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Deadwood: Complete HBO Season 1 [2004] [DVD]

4.6 out of 5 stars 136 customer reviews

Price: £8.72 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane, Molly Parker, Jim Beaver, W. Earl Brown
  • Format: PAL
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Paramount Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 4 July 2005
  • Run Time: 720 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (136 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009J2QEU
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 16,662 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

All twelve episodes from the first series of HBO's controversial television western, set in the violent and corrupt South Dakota town of Deadwood in the days after Custer's defeat at the Little Big Horn. In this series, Al Swearengen (Ian McShane) must negotiate a settlement between one of his prostitutes and a violent customer, Wild Bill Hickok (Keith Carradine) is killed while playing poker, and Bullock's (Timothy Olyphant) attempt to track down a murderer leaves him a marked man. With tensions rising between Bullock and Swearengen, Cy Tolliver (Powers Boothe) opens up a rival saloon and whorehouse and challenges Swearengen for control of the settlement, at the same time as the United States government threatens to annexe Deadwood and bring the rule of law. Episodes are: 'Deadwood'; 'Deep Water'; 'Reconnoitering the Rim'; 'Here Was a Man'; 'The Trial of Jack McCall'; 'Plague'; 'Bullock Returns to the Camp'; 'Suffer the Little Children'; 'No Other Sons or Daughters'; 'Mister Wu'; 'Jewel's Boot is Made For Walking' and 'Sold Under Sin'.

From Amazon.co.uk

The remarkable first season of Deadwood represents one of those periodic, wholesale reinventions of the Western that is as different from, say, Lonesome Dove as that miniseries is from Howard Hawks's Rio Bravo or the latter is from Anthony Mann's The Naked Spur. In many ways, Deadwood embraces the Western's unambiguous morality during the cinema's silent era through the 1930s while also blazing trails through a post-NYPD Blue, post-The West Wing television age exalting dense and customized dialogue. On top of that, Deadwood has managed an original look and texture for a familiar genre: gritty, chaotic, and surging with both dark and hopeful energy. Yet the show's creator, erstwhile NYPD Blue head writer David Milch, never ridicules or condescends to his more grasping, futile characters or overstates the virtues of his heroic ones.

Set in an ungoverned stretch of South Dakota soon after the 1876 Custer massacre, Deadwood concerns a lawless, evolving town attracting fortune-seekers, drifters, tyrants, and burned-out adventurers searching for a card game and a place to die. Others, particularly women trapped in prostitution, sundry do-gooders, and hangers-on have nowhere else to go. Into this pool of aspiration and nightmare arrive former Montana lawman Seth Bullock (Timothy Olyphant) and his friend Sol Starr (John Hawkes), determined to open a lucrative hardware business. Over time, their paths cross with a weary but still formidable Wild Bill Hickok (Keith Carradine) and his doting companion, the coarse angel Calamity Jane (Robin Weigert); an aristocratic, drug-addicted widow (Molly Parker) trying to salvage a gold mining claim; and a despondent hooker (Paula Malcomson) who cares, briefly, for an orphaned girl. Casting a giant shadow over all is a blood-soaked king, Gem Saloon owner Al Swearengen (Ian McShane), possibly the best, most complex, and mesmerizing villain seen on TV in years. Over 12 episodes, each of these characters, and many others, will forge alliances and feuds, cope with disasters (such as smallpox), and move--almost invisibly but inexorably--toward some semblance of order and common cause. Making it all worthwhile is Milch's masterful dialogue--often profane, sometimes courtly and civilized, never perfunctory--and the brilliant acting of the aforementioned performers plus Brad Dourif, Leon Rippy, Powers Boothe, and Kim Dickens. --Tom Keogh, Amazon.com

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I'm not a western fan. I grew up watching a lot of them with my dad, but aside from the Gunfight at OK Corral, I never really got into them. So I wasn't sure about this, but I thought I'd have a look due to some very positive reviews.

Now this is going to sound a little bit weird, so I apologise... but I'm not sure if I'm glad that I did look. I've had to rate the series 5 stars because I sat glued to every episode in Season 1 and Season 2, so it's undeniably gripping television, very slickly directly, well scripted, and imaginatively filmed, but it's not a pleasant experience. There's nothing uplifting here. This is televisual nihilism. Dark, murky, filthy and frequently horrific. There are some much needed comic moments, due to a cast of very colourful characters, but the base tones here are black, brown and grey.

I have no problem at all with the frequent swearing. I didn't even notice it much, to be honest. Can't really understand why so many people get their knickers in a twist over it. More grisly murders than you can shake a stick at, and they get flustered over the F and C words. Crazy. I did feel a little bit uncomfortable with the feeling I got in a couple of episodes that some scenes of horror were veering very close to gratuitous wallowing, though. Shock for shock's sake. But this was not the norm- just a feeling I got in maybe 2 of the episodes. I'm not usually bothered by explicit material either, but again, an explicit blowjob while a character is giving a soliloquy can smack a little of... well, going out of your way to offend the easily offended. I do like the risk-taking element, though, and the bravery of the concept. Very original, and tastefully pulled off for the most part.
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Format: DVD
The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Wire... HBO's resume is bursting with TV goodness. And it's from this network that the latest - some would say best - of the bunch now emerges.

The concept is fairly simple: Gold rush. Old west mining town. Lots of gold. Lots of whoring. Lots of double-crossing and murdering. But the show is so much more than your average 'Cowboys and Injuns'. Deadwood gives out as much as the audience is willing to put in. It is not an easy show to keep up with. The dialogue between the characters is superb, but a bizarre mixture between antiquated and modern colloqualism. But it works. In fact, it is entirely possible to watch the show, have no idea what is going on and on a superficial level, just enjoy watching the beautifully realized characters interacting with one another.

The plot, well-crafted and sometimes frustratingly complex as it is, can usually take a backseat to the other elements of the show - which is hugely impressive and a brave step for a flagship programme such as this. In fact, it seems the writers have gone out of their way to intentionally snub the classical approach to popular TV writing. David Milch, the godlike genius behind NYPD Blue, is probably responsible for this approach, as it can sometimes feel random and disorganised... in other words, more life-like.

You get the impression that the writers and actors love the characters. The show is certainly an ensemble piece as every member of the regular cast pulls their weight. Ian McShane deserves a large amount of the praise for his dispicable, human and ultimately quite likeable portrayal of Gem Saloon brothel owner Al Swearengen.
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Format: DVD
In truth, the title to this review actually does the entire series a bit of an injustice. It is a little unfair to apply Deadwood to a particular genre when in fact, it's probably one of the best programmes ever made.
All of the performances in it are perfectly judged, most notably that of Keith Carradine as the weary and tired Wild Bill Hickok who if he doesn't have an out and out death wish, is almost certainly exhausted with having to live up to the legend of his name and Ian McShane as the ruthless and profane owner of the Gem saloon, Al Swearengen. Swearengen is one of the truly great TV characters. A dangerous and violent man, but also one who for all of his wickedness, also has a gentler side. It's well hidden and he doesn't show it very often, but occassionally he does and then you are forced to re-evaluate your oponion of him.
In fact, there are too many excellent performances to name them all. Every time you watch Deadwood, you will find a new favourite or a new villain.
On top of the excellent acting performances is the superb set, showing Deadwood as a dirty, squalid and hazardous place. A town in which life counts for almost nothing and where anything can be bought, provided you have the collateral and that doesn't always mean money. In short, probably what the real Deadwood would have been like.
The dialogue is not for the faint hearted. Profanity is used in almost every sentence, but anybody who complains about it is missing the point. The producers of this show have went for authenticity, and in a town where you can pan for gold, drink, gamble, whore, get high and kill all in the same day, the people who live in it aren't likely to be too bothered about their P's and Q's.
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