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Category:    Home > Reviews > Mystery > Detective > Drama > Action > Crime > Ironside – Season One (Shout! Factory/DVD-Video)

Ironside – Season One (Shout! Factory/DVD-Video)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: D     Episodes: B+



Raymond Burr gained a reputation for playing the heavy in many a film, including several Film Noirs and in a more ambiguous way in Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window in 1954.  Soon after, he became the ultimate good lawyer in the tremendous TV series hit Perry Mason, one of the longest-running early hit TV shows.  Eventually, the show wrapped off after a decade, Burr was still extremely popular and a new show was waiting in the wings.


Created by Collier Young, Ironside offered Burr a much tougher and less likable character, but instead of returning to his days as a heavy, he would play one of the toughest detectives on TV history.  The name tells you how tough he is, but as soon as he takes a very much-needed vacation, he is shot.  He should have died, but is instead paralyzed and from the first show is back to work trying to find out who tried to kill him.


And that is just the telefilm pilot.  No shown on TV in a while and classic of the genre, in no small part thanks to the amazing talent behind the scenes as well as in front of the camera.  The behind the scenes story is a separate essay for another time, but Burr was terrific playing a character that took advantage of TV’s growing realism and maturity.  Shout! Factory is releasing Season One on DVD (plus a smaller sampler version) for all to enjoy again.  The episodes for this debut season are:


1)     Pilot (guest stars Geraldine Page, Wally Cox, Kim Darby & Lilia Skala)

2)     Message From Beyond (guest stars Kent McCord, James Gregory & Madlyn Rhue)

3)     The Leaf In The Forrest (guest stars Barbara Barrie, Henry Beckman & Bert Freed)

4)     Dead Man’s Tale (guest stars Jack Lord)

5)     Eat, Drink & Be Buried (guest stars Lee Grant, Farley Granger, Richard Anderson & Quincy Jones)