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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
75
Regan [DVD]
Format: DVD|Change
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on 29 May 2017
Trailblazing feature that launched The Sweeney
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on 20 October 2016
Well - my nickname is "the nose". So I call myself and like to be called by family and friends. Because it is always me when me and my wife travel through UK during our holiday stays and then by chance that I discover on TV screen very interesting english television series.
I LIKE JOHN THAW VERY, VERY MUCH and I am very sad that this magnificant english actor is no longer with us. So I view, listen and enjoy these spectacular films and series in original language on my home video equipment with beamer. Not than I can say from myself to be the best english language speaker (the thousands kinds of english idioms and dialects are still a challenge for me). But - I do my very best to understand and follow the dialogues. By the way: I am German (but please don't take this to seriously. An original born child in the 50s but feeling very international). I absolutely like to recommand this film/series in this very good restored version to other potential buyers.
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on 13 November 2012
"Regan" is now at my "Best Movies Ever" list. brilliantly written by Ian Kennedy Martin, it is intelligent, realistic, and have a good amount of action. And this DVD release is great.

The menus are one of the most beautiful I ever saw. The remasterization is outstanding, with a amazing picture quality, 5.1 sound, and "Music-Only" tracks it's a very good detail for the fans. And, as I said before, the film by itself is great. John Thaw and Dennis Waterman made excellent performances in this film.

I higly recommend you to buy this film and the Complete Series 1 of "The Sweeney". Lovers of Cop Movies and TV series will love it.
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on 27 December 2015
The Sweeney pilot and a nice piece of television history, even though things obviously have moved on a lot since then.
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HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERon 13 June 2012
Before the Sweeney became the police show that redefined police shows, there was a pilot aired called Regan. Developed by Ian Kennedy-Martin, it was always intended (as he makes clear in a bonus interview with the man himself) that it would become a series. So all the elements had to be right from the off, and they were.

The film, 77 minutes in length and first shown as part of the Armchair Theatre strand, focuses on John Thaw's title character, Jack Regan. It's a great character, and a great portrayal. He is given the most memorable opening line for any character on TV - the now famous `Get your trousers on, you're nicked' are the first words he utters in character, and have gone down in TV history. From the off his tough, uncompromising thief taker is the template that would be used time and time again by pale imitations. A member of the Flying Squad, he is investigating the death of one of his team. He is not only fighting the villains (with whom he shares many qualities) but also his own police force, trying to modernise in the light of recent scandal. He seems far closer to the villains he is trying to nick than to his own colleagues, and an interesting tension results.

Also in this film is the introduction of the other essential element in the Sweeney formula - Dennis Waterman's Sergeant Carter. He is the perfect partner for Regan, the voice of reason but willing to join in with his escapades and a reliable back-up. Garfield Morgan is present as Haskins, the slightly stuffy superior that Regan is very out of step with, but who's aims aren't any different from Regan's, just his methods. If only Regan could see it.

Filmed largely on location, this captures mid seventies London in it's decay and grime to a tee. It's a fascinating look at the times and the attitudes. It was made by the same team who had made the third and fourth series of Special Branch a year or two earlier. In that series they started to set the template for the tough, gritty, non-studio bound production that sublimated itself with Regan and the Sweeney. It's got loads of cool cars as well!

Network have made a superb job of releasing The Sweeney on DVD, and I am pleased to report that they have continued their track record with this stand alone release of the pilot episode on Blu Ray. There are some limitations in the picture quality due to the original film stock, but in all honesty it has never looked so good, and is a film that deserves the loving attention given to it. I especially like the 5.1 surround sound. There is an option to listen in the original mono and there is a music only sound track, as with their releases of the four series.

It's 5 stars all round. A quality piece of modern crime drama (even from the mid seventies, with its attitudes, story and filming technique I would still call it modern) in a tip-top presentation. 5 stars. Lets hope the series look as good when released on Blu-Ray.
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on 2 December 2003
Both Amazon and the DVD cover list the running time as 90 minutes on this title. The correct time is actually just under 77 minutes, but according to the BBFC (British Board of Film Censors) no cuts were made. This then is presumably how it originally aired back on the 4th June 1974 as part of 'Armchair Cinema' from Euston Films.
The only extra on the DVD is a short picture gallery of stills. Although the print is reasonably clean, the overall picture quality is not particularly impressive. Especially when compared to the digitally restored 'The Sweeney - The Complete First Series', which is stunning.
That said this is riviting stuff. All the major characters are included here. Garfield Morgan as Haskins, Morris Perry as Det. Chief Supt. Maynon and even Janet Key as Regan's ex-wife Kate. The story is a good one, with violence, excitement, pathos, and humour all rolled into one. The scene where Regan meets his ex-wife's boyfriend is absolutely brilliant. But in truth it is all brilliant, the acting, writing, direction, camerawork. Truly, a masterpiece of British television from the seventies.
'Regan' itself is well worth 5 stars, but the poor presentation from Digital Entertainment Ltd., loses a star from my rating.
If you are a fan of John Thaw, Dennis Waterman or 'The Sweeney' you will no doubt overlook the negatives and enjoy a superb pilot. I did.
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on 15 September 2012
Regan was the 1974 Armchair Cinema production for ITV by Euston films and is effectively the pilot episode and blueprint if you like for 'The Sweeney' series that followed, which ran up to 1978.

Indeed, the lead charachters in 'Regan' transferred to 'The Sweeney,' and the Regan pilot features some actors later to guest in the Sweeney such as Lee Montague (as Colin Kibber), Maureen Lipman (as a housewife), Morris Perry who was Supt. Manyon for example.

Indeed, Regan does feature a number of very recognisable 70's acting 'faces' such as Stephen Yardley as Insp Laker, and extras in the pub scene who crop up in diverse other contemporary 70's dramas such as 'Out,' probably Central Casting faces?

Regan was written by Ian Kennedy Martin and is a a very well written, taught and fast moving program, longer than the following Sweeney episodes, the film stands the extra length well. Use is well made of the now vanished East End docks area much of which was then derelict and now redeveloped.

The use of mounted cameras on the vehicles (where a lot of the lead actor's time is spent) lends an almost documentary feel to the film. The Euston films people got the best people available for Regan and the Sweeney behind the cameras and this really shows in the way these programs feel fresh and exciting to watch even today.

Certainly Regan is a world away from Dixon of Dock Green's homely style of law enforcement, the Flying Squad dealt with nasty people and when these programs aired, suddenly the public got a new and raw insight into Policing and indeed reality Policing. And they liked it. They liked seeing no neck villains getting duffed up by the police.

Perhaps to compare Regan to the Sweeney might seem unfair, but the simple fact is that the great actors who made Regan and later the Sweeney were superb. Making the Regan pilot, you may just presume it was just another acting job, making just another police drama program. But if you really watch it closely, they did this job justice.

What they did with that proposition was extremely good. Top quality would be a fair description of what they achieved. John Thaw and Denis Waterman are just two of the greats in British film making and television, you have to try and look past the action in Regan and the Sweeney and analyse how they made this believable television but also replicated this blueprint into 4 series which won awards.It looks hard, gritty and earnest, they made it look real, like a documentary and that is the difference, making it beleiveable is the skill.

The writing is excellent and the story twists and turns are very well done as Regan delves into the mysterious death of one of his men and starts looking for answers, he kicks in doors and says 'Get your trahserrs on, you're nicked!' as a matter of course. Regan of course is a maverick and a very driven man, who has to get the answers to his questions and quickly.

Some of his methods may not be acceptable in this risk averse world we live in now, but back then they often worked.

Not only does the acting and writing stand up after almost 40 years, but the quality of the people behind the camera involved in the film adds up to make this a very watchable entree to those who enjoy the Sweeney too.

Regan and the Sweeney for ITV really made their rivals at BBC have to sit up and take notice that Dixon of Dock Green and Z cars type material had suddenly become rather dated, and to their credit the BBC did come up with some good series such as Law and Order, Hazell, Shoestring and Bergerac later on in response.

Regan and the Sweeney used many outside locations in their productions which set the tone for the BBC rival shows to follow, another groundbreaking measure that these programs enjoyed.

I highly recommend this DVD.
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on 13 May 2017
First class picture quality. Great TV drama
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This is a fantastic video-its one of the best Sweeney storylines i have seen and every minute of the video is great! A definite must for ALL SWEENEY FANS!!!! Great actors great music and even better cars! Brilliant!
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on 18 September 2012
The Sweeney is, without doubt, the finest police drama ever made and it is about time to have a separate DVD release for this pilot.

If you are a massive fan of the brilliant show and are hoping this to be a forgotten gem of an episode then be warned: Regan hits new heights but also hits new lows.

High points are simple - you get to see Regan forging the relationship with Carter, which is a nice tough. You also see Regan operating totally outside of all parameters in the way that he never quite does on the TV show; the word Maverick does not ever come close...

Lows - well sadly John Thaw takes time to slip into the role and the first few minutes he is almost a little stilted. There are numerous clumsy continuity blunders (I'm not a geek so won't list them - well not on THIS website anyway) and moments where Thaw and Waterman clearly fluff their lines. The supporting acting is a little bleah too.

But all in all this has proven to be a worthwhile purchase for me and it has made me want to spend the next few weeks watching The Sweeney all over again. So job done. Now stop reading and buy this DVD!
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