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"It Takes A Thief" - (Complete Series)
Reviewer:
Wayne Klein
Studio: Entertainment One
Genre:
TV - Series
Release Date:
November 15, 2011
Special Features:

See Below

Review:

A classic TV series that saw considerable syndication that was probably more successful than its original run "It Takes a Thief" Robert Wagner's TV series finally arrives on DVD in a set that includes the complete original run series.***

Wagner plays talented thief Alexander Mundy sprung from prison (sound familiar to you fans of "White Collar"?) by government agent Noah Bain (the marvelous Malachi Throne)to "steal" things for the Secret Intelligence Agency.***

Featuring some terrific guest stars including the late Fred Astaire as Mundy's father (and a final season with episodes shot on location in Europe), the series was a popular fixture on ABC and although it was never a huge hit for the network the appeal of Wagner, the often breezy scripts and top notch acting helped keep the series on air. Wagner and Throne had great onscreen chemistry and when Throne left the series the show suffered for it.***

Image & Sound:

Entertainment One has done a nice job with the series. Although remastered the series doesn't look quite as good as other vintage TV shows but still beats many of the others that have arrived on DVD. Colors look pretty good overall although they aren't quite as bold and detail isn't quite as strong as I had hoped. It's possible this may be an older transfer prepared for the Hulu and other online viewing so, perhaps, a stronger restoration attempt wasn't made here. Either way, fans will be satisfied for the most part with the look of the show as they are largely clean, clear and have nice color.***

As far as I can tell these are the uncut nonsyndicated version of the series including the restored pilot episode (which wasn't initially syndicated as I recall).***

The original mono audio appears (on first viewing) unaltered but I don't have the original to syndicated version to compare it with.***

Special Features:

Although I could have done without the collectable box along with a senitype, a 35mm frame featuring Wagner's image. I really didn't need the set of four drink coasters although the full-color booklet with the informative essay by Dean Brierly is much appreciated. The packaging includes information on the original air dates for the episodes.***

We get "The King of Thieves" a 30 minute interview with star Wagner about the series as well as a 30 minute interview with writer/producer Glen A. Larson who worked on the series under the clever punning title "A Matter of Larceny".***

The pilot is presented in its longer theatrical running time (it was released theatrically in Europe)and we also get the original U.S. TV version (which runs over 20 minutes less). The stylish direction by Leslie Stevens ("The Outer Limits" and TV's "Buck Rogers")along with the script make the pilot movie and its expanded version a big plus for this set.***

Although the writing on some episodes hasn't aged quite as well as I'd hoped, the show still remains delightfully fun to watch even in these instances due to Wagner's breezy appealing performance and Throne's marvelous performance as Bain. The image quality isn't perfect but this is probably about the best the show has looked without a full restoration.***

Final Words:

For fans of the series this is recommended.***

 

 
 
 
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