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The Complete Sweeney (16 Disc Box Set) [1975] [DVD]

4.8 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: John Thaw
  • Directors: Viktors Ritelis, Ted Childs, Mike Vardy, Christopher Menaul, David Wickes
  • Format: Box set, PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 16
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Network
  • DVD Release Date: 1 Nov. 2004
  • Run Time: 2650 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002XOZD8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 122,817 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

All fifty-three episodes from the four series of the groundbreaking British television police drama, starring John Thaw and Dennis Waterman as tough, no-nonsense cops serving on Scotland Yard's Flying Squad, cleaning up the gritty streets of 1970s London. Episodes from series one are: 'Ringer'; 'Jackpot'; 'Thin Ice'; 'Queen's Pawn'; 'Jigsaw'; 'Night Out'; 'The Placer'; 'Cover Story'; 'Golden Boy'; 'Stoppo Driver'; 'Big Spender'; 'Contact Breaker' and 'Abduction'. Episodes from series two are: 'Chalk and Cheese'; 'Faces'; 'Supersnout'; 'Big Brother'; 'Hit and Run'; 'Trap'; 'Golden Fleece'; 'Poppy'; 'Stay Lucky, Eh?'; 'Trojan Bus'; 'I Want the Man'; 'Country Boy' and 'Thou Shalt Not Kill'. Episodes from series three are: 'Selected Target'; 'In From the Cold'; 'Visiting Fireman'; 'Tomorrow Man'; 'Taste of Fear'; 'Bad Apple'; 'Sweet Smell of Succession'; 'May'; 'Down to You Brother'; 'Payoff'; 'Loving Arms'; 'Lady Luck' and 'On the Run'. Episodes from series four are: 'Messenger of the Gods'; 'Hard Men'; 'Drag Act'; 'Trust Red'; 'Nightmare'; 'Money, Money, Money'; 'Bait'; 'The Bigger They Are'; 'Feet of Clay'; 'One of Your Own'; 'Hearts and Minds'; 'Latin Lady'; 'Victims' and 'Jack or Knave'.


If you were watching TV in the mid-1970s chances are The Sweeney was one of the weekly highlights and these re-mastered collections will have you pining for a time when the only choice was brown or beige, and a monkey would buy you a lot more than a nice whistle. If, however, these episodes are your first taste of Detective Inspector Jack Regan (John Thaw) and Detective Sergeant George Carter (Dennis Waterman) of the Flying Squad, be warned that you will soon be telling friends to "Shut it!" and scouring the pages of Exchange and Mart for a mint-condition Ford Granada in "Tawny Metallic". (Ironically the choice ride for slags in the show was the Jaguar MK2 later to become so closely associated with Thaw's more cerebral take on police work, Inspector Morse.) First aired as 1974's pilot Regan, the show was produced by Thames Television subsidiary Euston Films and ran over four series and 53 episodes. Despite being given strict guidelines on speaking parts, locations and structure, writers were expected to produce scripts very quickly and individual episodes were filmed within 10 working days. Based on this frenetic schedule, the result was a choice parade of slags, blags and assorted lowlife, played out across fantastic London locations with a gritty humour that set the agenda for many of the small-screen cop shows to follow. Regan and Carter manage to fit up a few collars between pints, and even occasionally shed their nylon shirts and flares for a distinctly unromantic interlude between the sheets--brown of course. In "Stoppo Driver", when a gang of villains lose their own driver in a high-speed chase the logical replacement for their next blag is Cooney (Billy Murray), the squad's latest chauffeur who learnt everything he knew from Evel Knievel. Led by Barney ("a tough monkey, plenty of form") the thieves kidnap Cooney's bride on their honeymoon night and blackmail him to help them rob a bent card game. Colin Welland provides the hired muscle in the second episode, "Faces", as renegade ex-marine Tober, visiting the Smoke from Manchester to help a terrorist gang take down four quickfire scores to fund their operations. The Sweeney boys know a hard man when they see one ("he did Smoky Evans with a hatchet") and relish the opportunity for some fisticuffs between styrofoam cups of tea (like "liquid concrete"). Things get messy when a stuck-up intelligence officer tells them the final blag is being faked to rustle out his undercover grass and Regan is forced to stand down, despite having acted on their own pint-sized informant's tip-off: "but it was the dwarf"! --Steve Napleton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
When you are lucky enough to immerse yourself in a DVD like this you realise just how poor, blighted and wet today's telly really is. Good stories, interesting human villians, flawed policemen that we sometimes find it hard to like and live with, played by excellent actors who know enough about real people to know that "looking cool" isn't acting: it's the fraud that is too often called acting. Crisp acidic scripting keeps us involved and explosive action of an order no longer available on TV make this a valuable addition to any DVD collection and there are jokes and down times that some comedians and all of Eastender's writers would dream about if only they had the imagination. And the music at the start is matched by the moodiness of the music at the end and this time without an undertalented, overpaid TV announcer telling us what's on next all over it, Fantastic!
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One of the best British TV Series of all-time and most certainly THE Best Police/Crime Drama that ignited the screen amidst all the controversy surrounding it back in the mid-70's.

Brilliantly written, produced, directed, and acted with a stellar cast which also featured some great supporting actors and actresses of the day. Thank heavens for this series especially now that it is released to our DVD screens in it's complete entirety - I feel so priviledged to be in a position to insert one of it's discs into my player in place of tuning in to the hum-drum 'Reality TV' of the likes of 'Big Brother' and 'Love Island'.

When I was growing up in the Seventies I never fully appreciated "The Sweeney" due to the fact I was too busy watching the glossy, and what appears to be now, 'cotton-candy', type of shows which the american market produced such as "Starsky & Hutch" and the fantastical world of 'Steve Austin' in the "Six Million Dollar Man". However, I was always impressed with the witty repartee between Messrs. Thaw and Waterman but just never fully appreciated the more or less realistic adult theme obviously due to my age and time.

I am so glad that I have now got another bite of the cherry in watching this classic piece of hard-hitting British TV which you won't find being done on any channel anymore - ever again.

The DVD sets are a must-buy and you'll also be delighted with the extras included here - End of!
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Format: DVD
I wish I had been old to enough to have been able to watch The Sweeney when it was originally broadcast back in the 1970's, in order to have truly appreciated how much impact this show had when it was first shown.

This is a first class TV series, and was truly far removed from any previous Police programmes made. It was superbly produced and directed, was violent, gritty and one of the first to consistently use outside locations and handheld cameras to provide the additional realism that set these series apart from anything else.

First of all I have to say that any companies wishing to remaster classic TV programmes should take note on how well Freemantle Media/Network Video have done with the digital restoration on The Sweeney, as quite simply they have done a superb job. The cleanup of the picture and sound is excellent (with a documentary showing you the different in quality between the original and remastered version) - it a credit to them of the work and effort put in to make this even more enjoyable viewing.

The 4 series were produced between 1975 and 1978, with 53 episodes made. I purchased the 4 Box sets as and when they were originally released, therefore, to be able to get the complete set for just the £40 is ridiculously excellent value and is a essential purchase for anyone who has a remote interest in a superbly produced police drama.

It is evident that John Thaw (Jack Regan) and Dennis Waterman (George Carter) enjoyed working together, and their rapport on screen is excellent. The banter that takes place, particularly when it's just the two of them is tense, funny, at times touching and most of all believable - throughout the series you see Regan battling against his superiors, notably Frank Haskins played by Garfield Morgan.
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Growing up in the 1970s, The Sweeney was must-see TV. As so much of it was filmed on location, the buildings, shops, cars and fashion that make up the background to the action provide glimpses of a vanished time when Britain was a bleak, depressing place - but it's fascinating to see it all again as it was. And the remastering, particularly on the audio, is first class. What prompted me to buy this was seeing Life On Mars, and realising how much that modern series had been inspired by this classic slice of 1970s drama. For £40, this box set is a blag - I paid a lot more but it was worth every penny.
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By Anon on 15 Feb. 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
5 *'s for the content

4 *'s for the presentation box

I watched this the first time round growing up in the 70's and it was unmissable. I haven't seen it since and it's definitely stood the test of time. I agree with all the other reviewers -it's brilliant in all departments, but what I'd forgotten is just how funny it is.

The box set is a bargain at ~£40. I'd seen it for double that from a DVD club outlet. Very nicely presented with lots of extras -I particularly like the interviews with some of the actors etc. Would make an ideal present for someone from that era. In this case -Me!

One fly in the ointment -on my set the transparent holders for the DVDs are stuck to the boxes with a kind of clear blue-tack-like substance. I opened the presentation box after several weeks and found several of the DVD holders had come unstuck from the cardboard. In trying to put them back/reposition them, the clear sticky stuff ripped the backing paper. Shame as it's damaged an otherwise perfect presentation set. Why they couldn't have used a permanent glue beats me. Hence the 4 stars.
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