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"The Roaring 20's" was a "must see TV" at our house way back when! I remember watching this show week after week! Dorothy Provine as "Pinky Pinkam" was a very believable character. The show had a lot of action and some really good entertainment. I can still hear Pinky singing "Someone To Watch Over Me" is a kind of sad way at the loss of a boyfriend. Donald May and Rex Reason were great as newspaper reporters, both after the affections of Miss Pinkam. There were always car chases and shoot em ups to be had as well as plenty of mysteries to be solved. This show and "The Untouchables" went hand in hand and I so wish TV Land network would realize that us "Baby Boomers" are out here waiting for our shows to turn up on their network! Many "Boomers" would also like to be able to have these shows available to us in a DVD format.
The most memorable feature of this show for me as a boy of eight years old was the sex appeal of Dorothy Provine. I'd watch the show to get a glimpse of Miss Provine doing one of her flapper numbers and in my puzzled pre-adolescent mind wonder why her appearance always evoked such unusual and seemingly strange thoughts and sensations. Of course, this did not escape the notice of my parents, who were relentless in their teasing ("Oh, she's your girlfriend, now we know..."). Anyway, aside from that, the show featured plenty of action and intrigue in the riotous and often chaotic period preceding the Depression years. Looking back, it was a time of almost innocence after the experience of the first World War, which tragically turned out to be a precursor to a much bloodier and sobering experience a generation later. The passage of time has given a luster and burnish to those years which obviously paints over the harsher reality of violence and hardship. Still, it was a fun hour of escapism in the early years of network TV.
The Roaring Twenties as a television series had a two year run on
television and was marketed to take advantage of a brief spurt of
nostalgia for the era of the flapper. Donald May and Rex Reason were
reporters in the Twenties Chicago with Mike Road as a police
lieutenant. Between all of them they managed to solve a crime and get a
news story every week. Helping them out was Dorothy Provine who as a
speakeasy entertainer was in a position to hear a lot of interesting
Dorothy also sang a number or two straight out of the Roaring Twenties song book. She was pretty enough to entice younger viewers and their parents and grandparents got to hear the music of their youth. Though the show was set in the Twenties, in style it was not too different from those other Warner Brothers private eye shows of the time, 77 Sunset Strip, Surfside Six, Hawaiian Eye, Bourbon Street Beat, etc.
If you look at the episode list you won't see any names of some of the real gangster names of the times. That was left to the Untouchables. It also left plenty of room for the writer's imagination.
The episode I remember best was one with Claude Akins, a gangster reunited with his son and his new found responsibilities as a father persuade him to give up the life of a wiseguy. Not totally though, because after a trip to Comiskey Park to see the Yankees and Babe Ruth play the White Sox, they then went to Arlington Park to see Earl Sande, the Babe Ruth of jockeys ride a couple of winners home. And earn some money for Akins.
It was a good show, I do wish TV Land Channel would pick it up.
I too fondly remember the Roaring 20's and had a serious pre-teen crush on Dorothy Provine for many years. As far as I know, the series is not available on video disc or tape. So far the only way I have found to obtain copies (few and far between)of this great series was from sellers on Ebay, who had videotaped the series from re-runs in their local area. It appears that the tapes I purchased were 4th or 5th generation tapes and thus the quality was not as great as I would have liked, but nevertheless, all the copies I purchased, except one, were watchable, and brought back some great memories. Compared to the TV standards of today, these old series are somewhat lacking in story lines and excitement, but Miss Provine's singing is just as entertaining today as it was in the 1960's. That being said, if this great old series did become available for purchase, I would probably be first in line at the checkout counter.
Television came late to us in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia): in 1960.
We waited forever for it, getting our TV sets way ahead of the first
broadcasts (we got a Murphy set), and then watching the Indian test
pattern forever! But when it did arrive, besides Highway Patrol, The
Honeymooners, The Rag Trade, Fury, Dr. Kildare, 77 Sunset Strip, Zed
Cars, The Terrific Adventures of the Terrible Ten, the Adventures of
Robin Hood, and many others ... was one of my favourites: THE ROARING
I particularly loved the musical intro ending with the 1920's model motor flying over a shed and landing with a splat and a cloud of dust. I was mesmerized by the show. Dorothy Provine was all the rage in 1960 as a result of that. I remember the papers following her around the world, and reading of her arriving to adoring crowds in Rio de Janeiro and Paris. The show also spurned a 1920's revival in fashion and attitude. Great fun!
Years later when I was living in Sydney, Australia in the early 70s, I managed to find a copy of the soundtrack to the television series. I still have that album, and occasionally I play it.
Would love to see this series out on DVD ... no one has ever heard of it here in Amsterdam !
Excellent TV show set in the Twenties with great cast and stories. I remember seeing this in the 60's and loved the musical numbers in the Charleston Club. Could we please have the entire series on DVD including songs sung by Dorothy Provine listed on each volume. As of now, all we have are a few uploaded to YouTube. I bought the new CD from Amazon which is a compilation of songs from the show. However, many of us would like to see the numbers as well. Warner Bros. for some reason has not released a number of shows from the 60's which were popular such as Sunset Strip, Hawaiian Eye, etc. Why should this be? There are so many series released that are not as good. Thank you.
Once and for all, forget the other series speaking of the same period, thirties or late twenties. Yes, in this show ROARING TWENTIES, you also have from time to time gangsters and machine guns, but not necessarily. You also have dramas and comedies as well, without any gun shots or femmes fatales...But always a very good cabaret and burlesque atmosphere, so close to the one you had in those days. It's mostly an atmosphere show, with pretty good performances: acting and directing. Robert Altman gave the best episodes of the whole show, such as stories in DANCE MARATHON and PRAIRIE FLOWER episodes. Tremendous pieces of work, believe me. So, don't Watch this series with the same expectations as you could have after seeing UNTOUCHABLES or any other series speaking of the thirties. That's all I wanted to say about this unfortunately rare and underrated show.
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