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137 of 141 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant TV crime drama, neatly packaged
The Sweeney is by far the best TV series about British policing ever screened. It's gritty, hard-hitting (literally); packed with strong characters and tight plots; blessed with one of our great TV actors, and it set a very high bar for subsequent series to try to reach.
The Sweeney has very little of the gloss of American cops-n-robbers series. Instead it's set in...
Published on 24 Nov 2007 by Rowena Hoseason

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51 of 57 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Where was the small print?
Of course it's entirely my own fault, but I purchased this thinking it was the complete "digitally remastered" series. Well, it isn't! It's what I now realise is known as the "Vanilla" series, ie just the bare bones without all the additional material.
So it seems that if you want the complete digitally remastered series with all the bells & whistles, the only option...
Published on 5 Jan 2011 by Don Ramsey


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars classic sweeney, 6 Jun 2011
By 
Miss M. Potter "marcia" (england) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Sweeney - The Complete Series [Box Set] [DVD] (DVD)
The Sweeney has been long hailed as a milestone in British TV history for its quality acting and direction. And the series proves that is true when you realise that it still looks good after all these years. This is an excellent DVD set. The whole thing has been digitally restored and looks and sounds great.
I personally don't like this show as much as shows made by ITC but it clearly does have very good scripts, acting and production. It is still entertaining nearly 40 years after it was made.
Taking its name from the Cockney rhyming slang for flying squad, (Sweeney Todd) this is one of televisions most physical cop shows. It features crook thumping detectives Reagan and Carter. They race around London in their gold coloured Ford Granada. Reagan has little time for rules and regulations and is always in conflict with his superiors. He is a heavy drinker and is always in bed with another woman. Understandably he is estranged from his wife. Carter is the rookie who is reliable and tough.
The show was made at a time when the police did not record interviews with criminals. This is reflected in the show and these fictional characters use no nonsense and brutal methods to get a result.
The show used a former Flying Squad officer, (Jack Quarrie) to advise the scriptwriters. It was also claimed that the real police had such officers as Reagan and Carter and it raised public controversy over the reality of police methods and ethics.
The show has swearing and violence but it also has humour. It even had Morecambe and Wise in one episode. Two feature films were also made as a spin off from the series. The Sweeny ended in 1978.

This is a classic British TV series and the DVD set is well presented.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Hangover From The 70's..., 18 Nov 2010
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This review is from: The Sweeney - The Complete Series [Box Set] [DVD] (DVD)
They should come with health warnings, box sets. It's the terrifying way they graze on your life and distort your perception of reality... none more so than the 53 episodes of the Sweeney you get here. Having just finished hauling my way through (and it IS a haul...), I'd have to say it's one of the most depressing - and compelling - televisual experiences I've ever had.

On the surface, there's really not much to like. Most of the plots are, by today's standards, half-baked and prosaic; the characters don't really develop at all, and there isn't a single woman who manages to rise above caricature; and the scripts... ooooh, those scripts... well, to call them 'functional' would be going beyond a kindness. Sacrilege, perhaps - and don't shoot the messenger, here - but compare your favourite episode of The Sweeney with *any* episode of Life On Mars, and it'll quickly become apparent how undercooked the 70's series was.

...and yet, and yet... there's just something *about* The Sweeney that crawls beneath your skin. I'm beginning to think it's the complete consistency of the picture it paints of 1970's London. It must've been a weird time - a sort of dystopian bombsite between the swinging 60's and 1980's yuppiedom. From what I remember (with a shameful fondness, I'd have to say), pretty much everything was somehow *contaminated* back then... TV, music and politics were sleazy; the clothes were terrible; food was inedible, and everything from cars to council flats seemed to be cobbled together from plywood, nylon and rust. And The Sweeney somehow captures it all... beautifully. Sit close to the telly, and you can almost breathe the asbestos dust coming from the screen; you can smell the stale tobacco smoke and lead-saturated exhaust fumes spewing from the back of the Cortina. It's uniformly horrible stuff... the smell of it almost clings to your clothes as you watch... and even the most 'vanilla' character, Carter, is by any objective standards a pretty repellent case (well, you wouldn't leave your teenage sister with him, would you..? Would you..? No, thought not...). But still...

I think the locations clinch the appeal of the series for me, though - and why, despite everything, I really *really* like The Sweeney. Most of the best locations (the fire-gutted warehouses, the waterside wastelands, the decaying Victorian backstreets) have gone now. The bits that are still physically standing have been gentrified, and the other bits... well, just take a boat trip east from London Bridge to see what happened to any square inch of land with a Thames view. But in The Sweeney, the yuppie clean-up has yet to take place... and in the *world* of the Sweeney, it never ever does. And there's something quietly - and insidiously - thrilling about that. Just don't ignore the health warnings and try watching it all over one weekend...
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant time warp tv, 9 May 2011
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This review is from: The Sweeney - The Complete Series [Box Set] [DVD] (DVD)
This box set contains the complete TV SERIES bar the pilot 'Regan' which is well worth seeing BEFORE you view this box set as it introduces the principal characters DI Jack Regan and Sgt George Carter in proper context. There are also 2 spin off films available on Amazon as well. All the stories and characters hold up extremely well considering the series is nearly 40 years old but the early ones are by far the best. The later ones, originaly aired after a 2 year hiatus in 1978 (discs 11 - 14) are not up to the same standard IMHO. Each episode starts with the old Thames TV intro and 'breaks' where the adverts would have originally been shown, but without the adverts! Brilliant. Having seen most of the episodes first time round as a teenager, for me the pleasure is now pretty evenly split between the acting and plot, and looking back nostalgically at a way of life that has now gone forever. The series made extensive use of London locations and its rare to find a series that captures the air, the noise, the dirt, the feel and the attitudes of the 70's so completely. As far as I can tell the series has'nt been edited, so it remains completely un-pc and all the better for it. I'm now 70% deaf so can only just about hear everthing with the volume turned up, using a hearing aid with headphones. It would have scored 5 stars with subtitles.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic TV, 20 Sep 2009
By 
Nicnoc (Nottingham, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Sweeney - The Complete Series [Box Set] [DVD] (DVD)
Brilliant! The Sweeney is an absolute classic and this boxset takes you back to your front room in the Seventies. Each episode even has ad breaks - but luckily no ads - which does make it convenient to put the kettle on ... or get your dinner! It's a bargain and the extra features aren't missed at all. Great picture and sound quality, no subtitles though.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They just don't make 'em like this any more, 7 April 2014
By 
Davecg99 (Hampshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Sweeney - The Complete Series [Box Set] [DVD] (DVD)
Over the last few months, I have purchased various 'cop' series from the '70's and '80's (Dixon of Dock Green, Softly Softly Task Force and of course The Sweeney complete box set). Having gradually watched them all, and become quite square-eyed, The Sweeney box set has been a collection that I just could not put down and I found I had to limit myself to a maximum of 2 episodes per day. The problem was, after only the 2nd or 3rd episode, I very quickly reached the conclusion 'they just don't make 'em like this any more'. The casting was superb and the relationship between Regan, Carter and Haskins was always very well acted out. Regan and Carter had total respect for each other and were a great team. They had the occasional argument (Carter: "Why do I have to do it again?". Regan: "Because you're the sergeant and I'm the inspector!"). The great John Thaw (RIP and a greatly missed talent) showed many sides to his character, always very stern and serious in front of his junior staff (with the exception of Carter), but he had a gentle side too, as his daughter and many love interests saw. Dennis Waterman was at his best in this series and I don't think he has been as good in anything else since. I didn't like Minder so to my mind he wasn't as good in that.

The episodes were practically all excellent. I found I was constantly playing out "where have I seen that face before" as actors and actresses of today were to be seen (though of course about 40 years younger). There was plenty of action in the episodes and I almost feel that having reached the last episode on the last disc, I could go right back to the beginning and start again. Far, far better than so many modern police series, this was made when police were seen to be charging around, guns on show and never afraid to use them.

So if you liked The Sweeney when originally played 40 years ago, you can do far worse than buy this. It's a very reasonable price now when you consider there are 53 episodes over 14 discs, which adds up to about 2650 minutes (over 44 hours) and should keep you going for ages. If you are that bit too young to have seen these before and have only seen the film with Ray Winstone, my advice is to forget that as the film was a poor take off of an excellent police drama. Buy this instead and enjoy it - I don't think you will be disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 30 Sep 2013
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This review is from: The Sweeney - The Complete Series [Box Set] [DVD] (DVD)
In Spain when it was aired (1976) it was called "24 hours" and tho' it lacks subtitles (even the english ones) it something worth seeing. They don't make 'em like this anymore. Essential viewing by any standards. ¡¡14 DVDs at such a price it's not a bargain, it's a steal!!. Go grab it right now. I'm sorry to write this (it means I'm getting older) but writers, directors, actors and even TV executives had more guts, savvy and knowledge in those times.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars BEFORE MORSE, THERE WAS REGAN!, 30 July 2013
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This review is from: The Sweeney - The Complete Series [Box Set] [DVD] (DVD)
Being a Morse addict, I saw this series and wanted to watch John Thaw as he matured into the latter role. So far, it has been a fun, retro 70's experience. There are many great action scenes and car chases to keep one amused. The hair and clothing styles scream at you (and make you smile in memory). And, John Thaw! As Jack Regan, Thaw is the brash, athletic, more temperamental version of the later, sedate and philosophical Morse. I enjoyed seeing this side of the actor. A great set and a great bargain. Thanks.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best edited box set ever, 14 May 2008
This review is from: The Sweeney - The Complete Series [Box Set] [DVD] (DVD)
There is not a lot to say about the Sweeney. It's a classic and reviewing the Sweeney would be like reviewing Shakespeare. Let's focus on the DVD instead. The episodes are lovingly restored and the best picture quality I have seen in a 70s TV series re-release. Sound is also very good. The bonus materials are excellent: there are documentaries but also episodes of other series like Redcaps, Special Branch and Strangfe Report. Apart from that you get lots of interviews and promotionsal materials from the 70s. Absolutely one of the best edited box sets ever!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE SWEENEY COMPLETE SERIES [BOXSET] DVD, 10 Aug 2010
By 
sam lowry (gtr manchester uk) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Sweeney - The Complete Series [Box Set] [DVD] (DVD)
The Sweeney - The Complete Series [Box Set] [DVD]
I recently got hold of this excellent boxset(i already had Regan, Sweeney! and Sweeney 2 as separate dvds),
What is so refreshing is the lack of political correctness and sheer Brutality of the Sweeney...
While John Thaw as D/i Jack Regan holds the screen , as the deliberately "anti-hero" and Dennis Waterman as his "straight" foil George Carter , and Garfield Morgan as the permently stitched-up & hard pressed Haskins.

Another Aspect of all the series are the casts featuring many (now no longer with us) and in no order: Diana Dors, Roy Kinnear, George Sewell, Shiela Gish, Edward Judd, Morecombe and Wise, this is only quick and by no means comprehensive cast rundown either.
What is remarkable is how the series are as still liked as much, as when transmitted in the seventies...
Watch them and be back to the seventies....
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Sweeney Box Set (Vanilla version) [DVD], 20 April 2009
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This review is from: The Sweeney - The Complete Series [Box Set] [DVD] (DVD)
Don't understand what the 'Vanilla version' is, other than they've changed the order of the episodes slightly. However, that said, this is still one of televisions finest offerings, and we can even forgive the slightly slapstick fourth series, when you look at the quality of acting and scripts. Fast cars, brilliant theme music, outsatnding one-liners, proper policing and villains getting banged up for a long time. Bring back the 70's! If you love cop shows, this is a must-buy - bargain price too!
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