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"Crime Story: Pilot (#1.1)"
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Reviews & Ratings for
"Crime Story" Pilot (1986)

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13 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Book em! Crime Story is great!

Author: Ezekiel Steiner from Los Angeles
23 January 2005

Growing up Crime Story was my favorite television show. I was watching a movie with my mother one night when she got a business call and so we stopped the movie for her. I flipped through the channels to see what was on and found this show on NBC. It was the first episode of the second season and picked up Mike Torello and his newly formed organized crime strike force Department of Justice. I watched religiously for the rest of the season. It is one of the most realistic cop and mob shows ever and come from the creative mind of Michael Mann. This series in large part come out of Mann's experience making the move Thief, which was based on a book by a famous thief and a character in Crime Story. Chicago and Vas Vegas never looked so good with so many classic cars and great rock and roll tunes coming from the radios. The production values are high and the acting is superb. I only wish it had stayed on the air longer.

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Fantastic Early's 1960's period Crime Drama - Based on History

Author: djdavig from United States
4 December 2003

I just finished watching the season one DVD set and "Crime Story" is the best 1963-5 period crime drama you will ever see. Filmed and recorded in 1986-7, the cinematography and music (with Todd Rundgren) are of the highest quality. Co-creators Chuck Adamson (a real life Chicago and Las Vegas detective) and Gus Reininger spent a lot of time living and researching the subject matter of organized crime in the Midwest and West. Dennis Farina (also a 20 year Chicago detective) is very convincing as an incorruptable Elliot Ness-like war hero(Mike Torello) with a very dysfunctional personal life. This is the "reverse Sopranos" where the highly strung and violent cop is the one who needs a shrink, but doesn't get one because you didn't do that then. He is basically a good guy, dedicated to fighting crime and injustice, but who is so obsessed with taking down the rising star of the Chicago mob that he loses almost everything in the process. Once The Outfit moves into Las Vegas, things begin to turn around for him but only after seeing some of his people die at the hands of the merciless men he is tracking. The series is based on the same events and characters from the book/movie "Casino" it pre-dated, namely, the ultraviolent Anthony "The Ant" Spilotro (or Ray Luca as played by Tony Denison) and gambling czar Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal (or Max Goldman as played by Andrew Dice Clay), and the mob's move into big time Vegas casino action led by an elderly Meyer Lansky (or Manny Weissport). It does not follow the history exactly but close enough so that you get a very good idea of how they operated in Chicago and Las Vegas and how they were brought down. The DVD images and soundtrack are high quality but there are no extra features and it doesn't have any chapter or scene selection capability. For your $50 will get 20 episodes and the pilot of a timeless TV crime epic and you won't be sorry. You will get an excellent written summary detailing the history of the show and its creators and actors. A must have for true crime buffs who want realism or are interested in organized crime/law enforcement and how it works. If you liked Casino and Goodfellas you will love this..... and Michael Madsen, David Caruso, Gary Sinise, Ving Rhames and Julia Roberts all have substantial roles in several of the episodes. There was a second season and we will have to wait for that one. Here's to hoping they roll out some extra features then as it would be interesting to see how much it influenced later crime dramas such as "The Sopranos".

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Great Acting

Author: Cathy McQuerry from United States
31 August 2006

How they can cancel this show after only 2 short seasons is mystifying to me. It's just too bad they don't have this high quality of television programing today. Now I am quite aware that the "Law and Order"/ "CSI" shows seem to be very popular and I certainly do not wish to demoralize those of you who are faithful viewers of these programs. However, even with the addition of Dennis Farina on "Law & Order" and the inclusion of William Petersen on CSI, still in the genre of Crime story dramas, it doesn't get any better than the 44 episodes of "Crime Story". Mr Farnia's and the late Mr. Ray Sharkey's acting skills are quite event in those programs. How sad was my world when it was cancelled. The world of TV programing is all the worse for the loss of this excellent crime story drama.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Chemistry of Farina and Denison makes this a 10

Author: enviro from Pacific Northwest
20 June 1999

From the driving opening credits moving to the classic Del Shannon hit "Runaway", you know Michael Mann (Miami Vice) has produced a top-notch crime drama.

Dennis Farina breaks into the mainstream, recreating for Hollywood what was his first career as a Chicago cop for 20+ years. Needless to say, he is a natural at playing the nemesis to the mob figure heads of the early 60's period in the movie.

Anthony Denison plays Ray Luca, a small-time mobster starting to make it to big-time organized crime. The movie is about the Chicago mob cops trying to thwart the bold moves of the rising mobs.

The movie and subsequent tv series were produced by Michael Mann, the creator and producer of Miami Vice. However, I think you will find Crime Story to be the more outstanding of the two efforts.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A pretty good start

Author: movieman_kev from United States
7 November 2003

This TV movie that was a prelude to the two season running series of the same name. And what a great moody start it was. All of the acting is top notch. Dennis Farina will always be remembered as Lt. Torello, in my mind at least. Micheal Mann produced 2 shows in the '80's Miami Vice and Crime Story. Miami Vice was a huge hit, Crime Story wasn't. That's a real shame as THIS was definately the better of the two. If you like cop shows, the TV movie is available on DVD with the complete first season & it's VERY MUCH worth getting.

My Grade: A

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Basis for Good Television Series

Author: marquis de cinema from Boston, MA
11 December 2001

One of the best works of film even if its a made for tv movie that Abel Ferrara did in the 1980s. Departure from the sleeze filled alleys and angered souls of The Driller Killer(1978), Ms.45(1981), and Fear City(1984). Created by the same people who did "Miami Vice" which was a good show in the 1980s. Between "Crime Story" and "Miami Vice", I found the former to be the better of the two for a couple of reasons.

First, there is the nice 1950s noir atmosphere that the show and this movie envoked. Second, the acting, direction, and screenplay of "Crime Story" and the movie were for the most part first class. Crime Story(1986)(TV) contains a pre NYPD Blue role for David Caruso where he does ok. The star of the TV film and series is Dennis Farina who has rarely been as good in a role as he was here.

His role is almost autobiographical due to the fact that before he became an actor, he was a Police officer for many years. So in a way he was simply at home in playing Michael Torrello. Has all the elements of Ferrara's crime and drama pictures...I.E., King of New York(1990), Bad Lieutenant(1992), and The Funeral(1996). Wonderful TV movie that inspired many of today's Police shows although none of them hold a candle to this TV film and series.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Awesome series

Author: defcon7 from Montreal, Canada
26 May 2002

I watched it on A&E. It's the best damn crime series out there. Dennis Farina plays the role of a tough, grizzled cop perfectly, mainly because he was an actual cop. Talk about being made for the part. The part of Ray Luca is played to an eerie perfection by Anthony John Denison. All in all, an amazing series, so go watch it.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

80's cop action with a twist.

Author: haildevilman from Tokyo, Japan
1 July 2007

Michael Mann had a knack for making great shows in the 80's. And the majority resembled 1 hour rock videos. In the wrong hands this could be a disaster. But the Mann had good hands.

A group of hard cops attempt to take down a Chicago, then later Vegas, mobster. They never nail the big guy (that would end the series) but they do get a lot of his lowlifes. Each show shows one (or sometimes two) hired thugs get zapped. This could be a loan shark, a bomber, a pimp...pick it.

The chemistry between Everybody was great. One gets the impression these guys all liked filming together.

The early sixties period is used more for atmosphere than anything else (like the 50's for L.A. Confidential). It seemed like the streets were always wet too. Maybe to reflect those Vegas lights?

Dennis Farina WAS Mike Torello. Brilliant! Anthony Denison was great as Luca too. You knew he was no good, but still liked him. And here's proof that Andrew Dice Clay can ACT. But the best part was John Santucci's "Pauli." My personal fave of the lot. I looked forward to his goofiness every time I saw this show.

Might be a bit dated now, but I'd still watch it.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Awesome show

Author: crime_story from Europe
27 December 2006

We just bought the entire two seasons on DVD and are reliving seeing the show in 1986. It's like a page turner. I'm starting to look like a zombie for watching the episodes late at night. If anybody thinks "CSI", "Law&Order", whatever would have been possible without Crime Story, think again. Parts of Tarantino's films are looking like they have been taken right out of this show. I just love it. It is a pity that there are not more comments here.

There are rumors that there might eventually be a remake. Well as I happen to think that "Manhunter" said all about the Red Dragon, I just can't begin to imagine what "Crime Story" without Dennis Farina, Stephen Lang and Anthony Denison would look like. Nothing for me.

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Amazig actualization of the classic film noir themes

Author: arbesudecon from Spain
4 August 2010

Really impressed. Didn't think it was possible to recreate the style of the 50's classic film noir in such an impressive way , and on top of that add to it an explicitly raw and violent touch you can find nowadays in other Ferrara's films like Bad Lieutenant or The Funeral . This produces a shocking effect, centered in the day to day of a Chicago police squad in the 50s , it picks up again the classic film noir themes , robbery ,double crossing , good guy going the wrong road and paying for the wrong choices.

But all is treated in a different way and it's not only a recreation of a classic film . Ferrara's approach is much more raw , Dennis Farina is not the honest cop who always sticks to the law . Here you have a degenerated cop who follows his own impulses rather than sticking to the procedures. Difference between good and bad it's no always that clear and Ferrrara plays perfectly with that duality,

As a one time film this works really fine , plot and ambiences are really solid ,only con is that , apart from Farina who is superb and makes the film, someone could ask for more charismatic actors to fill in the secondary roles ,here you have Michael Rooker and David Carusso who never were known for being the paradigm of good acting . Anyway , amazing film wasn't aware that this was based on a series but I'm looking forward to put my hands on that .

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