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Regan - The original Armchair Cinema pilot for The Sweeney [Blu-ray]
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Before The Sweeney there was Regan.
Rough, tough and politically incorrect in the way that only the best '70s dramas can be, Regan was a pilot film for The Sweeney - one of the major television successes of the last fifty years. Featuring John Thaw as the irascible Detective Inspector Regan and Dennis Waterman as his loyal 'oppo', Detective Sergeant Carter, Regan was an immediate critical and ratings hit, resulting in four series of The Sweeney and two successful feature films. For the first time ever, Regan has been remastered and restored in High Definition for this Blu-ray release and has never looked better.
Jack Regan is a good copper, but his tough, intuitive style is becoming unfashionable in a Scotland Yard seeking a new image. When a policeman is mysteriously murdered, Regan breaks all the rules to find the killer - but he finds there are men in the Flying Squad prepared to break him.
 Commentary with Dennis Waterman, producer Ted Childs and director Tom Clegg
 Dolby 5.1 surround, original mono and music-only tracks
Regan is classic TV drama that will have you saying, "they don't make 'em like that any more". This is the feature-length pilot to what became the long-running TV series The Sweeney, starring John Thaw and Dennis Waterman as the hard-as-nails Flying Squad double act. The story opens in a south London pub decorated in shades of brown so manifold that it forms a patina on the screen more normally associated with a painterly artist. It's the early 1970s, and Thaw's Inspector Regan is a lone ranger fighting on several fronts including the imminent modernisation of the police force, which he describes as a vision of "hundreds of little grey men working on top of each other, pots of tea and committees". The dialogue is clever, rich and funny. When Regan tries to persuade Carter to work with him on the case he growls: "Mary darling, I'm not trying to start an affair with you." The heroes have thinning hair and bad habits: Regan drinks whiskey in the middle of the day and constantly smokes, he's lost his wife, let down his daughter, and then loses his girlfriend (Maureen Lipman). The filming is wonderfully crafted--shots taken from odd angles, action that surprises and gritty London locations. "You're a copper. You belong like me out in the cold," Regan says to Carter in the last scene as they go off to get a drink out of licensed hours. Not the end, but the start of a beautiful relationship. --Joan Byrne --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Well - my nickname is "the nose". So I call myself and like to be called by family and friends. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Traveller
Regan is a nice starter for the series and is a perfectly done film of its time.Published 3 months ago by Christof Schneck
Not the best transfer I've seen sound quality very good film really an extended episode still worth watchingPublished 4 months ago by kevin johnson
This was the Pilot of "The Sweeney" and a very enjoyable Movie. No surprised why they made the series.Published 4 months ago by Leila
Excellent...Takes me back to the 70's. I used to have this on a grainy VHS. The quality of this restoration is very good, if you like 70's drama you will love this...Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer