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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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Rolf Lassgard was the first to play Henning Mankell's now famous Swedish detective.
The problem for these programmes is that they may have been first but they come limping in quite some time after the release dates for Kenneth Brannagh & Krister Henriksson's versions.
Do we really need a third version released?
Well I have to admit I am really pleased to see this boxed set appear. I know there may be some chronology issues with the episodes but it's the interpretation that really matters here & I have to say Lassgard really did make his own mark on Wallander.
In complete contrast to Brannagh's intense, almost constantly tearful & Henriksson's emotionally stunted performances it's great to have Lassgard bumbling around as a, seemingly, bit of a dozy oaf who upsets people with his brash words and yet remains constantly likeable.
Far more savvy than anyone gives him credit for he seem's to sniff out the facts bloodhound like while ambling hopelessly around his personal relationships. A failed partnership with a work colleague becomes fraught with misery for them both as he fumbles the break up.
The cases are as interesting & grim as ever & the support acting of a high standard.
Not quite as relentlessly grim as the later versions and with a little humour thrown in. Lassgard really did lend something almost childlike & very likeable to Wallander while right from the off production values were as high as the detectives fans have come to expect.
If you've not tried any Wallander's at all then you have a good choice. Kenneth Branagh makes a surprisingly good version with the added bonus of no subtitles for those who don't like them while Krister Henriksson is quite simply brilliant in his role, particularly the first series supporeed by a very good Johanna Salstrom.
Lasgard is perhaps for those who love the stories & want yet another angle or who simply love a good detective yarn well told.
Possibly not a first choice then but a really good version nonetheless & well worth a look & repeated viewings.
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on 18 August 2013
A lot of nonsense has been spouted on this site about this box set. Its the best Wallander screenings out there, I'm not surprised Lassgard didn't make more it mustve taken so much out of him.

Please please please watch in this CORRECT order. Your viewing will be ruined otherwise especically in the horrendous events taking place in One Step Behind.

1. The Man Who Smiled
2. One Step Behind
3. Firewall
4. The Pyramid

Any other on here saying different is WRONG.

Argue with Henning Mankell not me...........

And the dvd production people who crazy idea it was to produce this item in such a way. No DVD review here. It's brilliant, you know that. Buy it. Almost as good as The Killing 1....... almost....

Amazing television
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on 27 April 2015
thot it would be more engaging.....
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on 25 June 2012
I'm really enjoying these DVD's but as mentioned before, watch them in the correct order which is "The man Who Smiled", "One Step Behind", "Firewall" and "The Pyramid". Hoping the earlier episodes are released.
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on 13 September 2012
This package contains the final four Wallander productions starring Rolf Lassgård as Inspector Kurt Wallander and presents them exactly as they were screened during their original and repeat presentations on BBC4 in the UK. This means that two of the films are broken into two. Some reviews on here seem to think taht this si some type of big deal, however it does not bother me as they are the full productiuons with no cuts and English subtitling in British English rather than a US English or any other form.
Lassgård is my favourite Wallander of the three available - Kenneth Branagh and Krister Henriksson also filling the role years after Rolf.
The stories here are far closer to the original Henning Mankell novels than you will find in the more recent BBC Kenneth Branagh adaptations. The Branagh versions all seem to be able to be squeezed into a very convenient 90 minute film. These versions are of varying length.
Marie Richardson stars as Kurt's colleague Maja. Richardson is a fine actress and luckily more can be seen of her in another Swedish production - legal drama Oskyldigt Dömd, available in the UK with English subtitles.
More recently BBC4 have screend two older Lassgård stories Sidetracked (screened as a two parter in July / August 2012) and The Fifth Woman (screened as a four part mini series in August with one episode gaining the highest ratings ever in the UK for a subtitled screening of Wallander). I'm hoping that these two along with the earlier three (as yet unseen in the UK) will be available on DVD soon as well.
If you like a decent detective story with characters with a decent amount of layering, then this set is for you.
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on 4 May 2012
I have not seen this box set yet as it it not available, but I have seen all the Wallander episodes it contains.

Like another poster here, I've been waiting a long time for the Rolf Lassgard Wallanders to come out and was thrilled to hear about this release, and I take on board the fact that there are five other stories which are not included here, possibly because of rights issues - or perhaps they will appear later in the year. However . . .

*** Possible non-specific spoiler ***
It's always a shame to see programmes listed out of their original running order, particularly when the last episode in the series (Pyramid), which contains certain long running, series-wide plot resolutions, appears first here (in fact, these four stories, which are the last four of the nine that were made starring Lassgard, appear on this box set in the exact reverse order to their original running order).
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on 3 October 2014
The collection does NOT contain six films, only four - two are in two parts.
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on 13 July 2012
I've seen all three versions of Wallander and have to say that Rolf Lassgard's portrayal is, to my mind, the best. The guy can act, and he plays the part with such abandon, and such a lack of vanity or self-consciousness that you really believe he's the character.

It's also interesting to compare some of these stories with the BBC versions, to see the differences in adaptation. I can't recommend these films more highly.
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on 8 June 2012
(Three stars because this is a poor box set - misleading )

Rolf Lassgård was Wallander in the same way that Ken Stott (and not John Hannah who came first!) was Rebus. While Branagh's Wallander could be (just about) accepted for those who required an English-speaking Wallander, the Krister Henrikkson Wallanders were only Swedish TV trying to cash in by making more films and (unlike Rebus) redoing the original ones without by any means improving them.

The Krister Henrikkson later Wallanders are like the later Morses in that they were not based on novels by Mankell but without the quality which ITV managed to preserve in the later Morses despite the lack of novel-based scripts.

So a collected box set of the "real" Wallanders at a reasonable price would be welcome. But this set as has been pointed out elsewhere is a cheat. If you see "Original Films 1-6" you do expect to have *the first* six full films that you can watch in order and then follow up by watching 7-10 (?) in order when they are released. What you don't expect to get is only four films and those not being even the first four films.

So despite having the right Wallander with very good acting all round (and care taken over every episode unlike the mass-produced Henrikkson versions)the very poor production of the DVD box means I give this three stars only.
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on 17 August 2014
Think Rolf Lassgard made a great Wallander but took a while to warm to his characterisation following getting used to Krister Henriksson's character. Having done a little research I think I am right in saying that this dvd is the last four films by Lassgard, and as somebody has already pointed out are in reverse order. The reason for the first five not as yet being available in the UK is the lack of English subtitles. I found them on DVD on a Swedish site, but subtitled only in Swedish and Norwegian. They are I think as follows 1, Faceless Murder 1995 or (Killer Without a Face) a 4part mini series on Swedish television. 2, The Hounds of Riga 1995. 3, The White Lioness 1996. 4, Sidetracked 2001. 5, The Fifth Woman 2002. Please can all Wallander fans have these released with subtitles so that the last four episodes make a little more sense.
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