35 user 13 critic
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The saga of a Chicago police detective's efforts to stop a young hood's ruthless rise in the ranks of organized crime.
3,768 ( 432)




2   1  
1988   1987   1986  
Nominated for 3 Primetime Emmys. See more awards »



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Complete series cast summary:
Dennis Farina ...  Lt. Mike Torello 43 episodes, 1986-1988
Bill Smitrovich ...  Sgt. Danny Krychek / ... 32 episodes, 1986-1988
Steve Ryan ...  Det. Nate Grossman 31 episodes, 1986-1988
Billy Campbell ...  Det. Joey Indelli / ... 31 episodes, 1986-1988
Paul Butler Paul Butler ...  Det. Walter Clemmons 31 episodes, 1986-1988
Tony Denison ...  Ray Luca 29 episodes, 1986-1988
Stephen Lang ...  Atty. David Abrams 29 episodes, 1986-1988
John Santucci John Santucci ...  Pauli Taglia 28 episodes, 1986-1988
Joseph Wiseman ...  Manny Weisbord 18 episodes, 1986-1988


Chicago, 1963. As head of the police department's Major Crime Unit, Lieutenant Michael Torello must deal with the city's most dangerous criminals. And possibly the most dangerous of all is Ray Luca, a young ambitious street hood who's out to gain wealth and power by whatever means - including theft, threats, extortion and murder. As Luca begins his ruthless climb up the ladder of organized crime, leaving a growing number of victims in his wake, Torello becomes more and more determined to bring him down. Written by Eugene Kim <genekim@concentric.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


See all certifications »






Release Date:

18 September 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Brigada mòvil de Xicago See more »

Filming Locations:

Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(42 episodes)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Del Shannon re-wrote and re-recorded his classic hit "Runaway" for the title sequence of the series. See more »


Throughout the filming of the series in Chicago, if you pay attention, you can see modern cars, billboards, etc. in the background of this series which takes place in the 1960s. See more »


Lt. Mike Torello: Hey you. You hurt anybody else, when this is over, I'm gonna find what you love the most and I'm gonna kill it. Your mother, your father, your dog... don't matter what it is, it's dead.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Al Kooper ... Guy who picks music for the show See more »


Referenced in Something Is Out There (1988) See more »


Written by Del Shannon (uncredited) and Max Crook (uncredited)
Performed by Del Shannon
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

The amazing tale of a ruthless gangster and the cop who'll stop at nothing to catch him
2 August 2008 | by Sephiroth_FFSee all my reviews

Whether you like action, drama or anything else in between, Crime Story is a one-of-a-kind show. If you've never seen it before and just read about it, you'll think "it's all been done before" but that's entirely untrue. Debuting in 1986, Crime Story centres on Lieutenant Mike Torello (Dennis Farina), a 1960's Chicago cop who is determined to catch the notorious and ruthless gangster Ray Luca (Anthony Denison). As Luca rises to power with each new kill, Torello is even more willing to do whatever it takes to take him down. And that includes going against protocol. Not only does Luca affect his working life but he also affects his personal life, with people he cares about getting in the cross-fire.

Often touted as a "precursor to "The Sopranos", Crime Story is a show that's seems too good to be true. Every episode is powerful and riveting and features some top-notch acting performances. Dennis Farina shines in the lead role as Mike Torello in his first-ever regular TV series. Being an ex-Chicago cop in real life, the role comes easy to him and makes it so believable that you'll sometimes forget it's just a TV show. You'll laugh with him, you'll cry with him, you'll feel his pain, you'll feel his joy. Dennis Farina has a very wide range and carries this show like he's not even trying. He's THAT good. Not only is Farina excellent but Anthony Denison (now known as Tony Denison who appears on TNT's The Closer) is just as good as Ray Luca. Crime Story was one of the first things Denison had appeared in but made it look like he had been acting all of his life. His performance as Ray Luca has to be one of the most gripping I've ever seen. He starts off as a street thug working for other people but gradually rises up in the ranks, taking people down around him. For the most part, Tony seems expressionless yet still manages to convey an evilness that is simply chilling. Torello and Luca cannot exist without each other. If you take one away, the show would lose something. Every time they come eye-to-eye, you'll feel the tension between them. As Luca becomes ever more powerful, he begins to think he is unstoppable and pushes the boundaries to the limit. No matter how frightening Luca seems, the only person who could send a shiver down his spine is Torello and although Luca would never admit it, you can see the fear in his eyes.

Not only are Farina and Denison's character two of the most powerful in television history but the supporting cast is also great too. Bill Smitrovich plays Danny Krychek, who works with Torello closer than anyone else on the team, Steve Ryan plays Nate Grossman, the smart-alec of the team, Bill Campbell is the young Joey Indelli and Paul Butler plays Walter Clemmons (who constantly has a smoke in his mouth). There is also Stephen Lang as David Abrams, an attorney who is at ends with Torello but eventually becomes one of his closest allies.

Support from the other side of the law include memorable performances from Jon Polito as Phil Bartoli (many of whom would recognize from a string of TV shows and movies), John Santucci as Ray Luca's clown-faced side-kick Pauli Taglia, Ted Levine as the slow-witted Frank Holman and Joseph Wiseman as the boss-of-bosses, Manny Weisbord. Also backing up the cast are guest stars such as David Caruso, Michael Madsen, Pam Grier, Julia Roberts, Gary Sinise (both in two of their earliest roles) and many more.

Music also plays a big part in the series. As we watch modern-day shows, lines and lines of dialogue are often drowned out by whiny and screaming music. This isn't the case with Crime Story. The show is filled with rock n' roll tunes that'll make you feel like you're really back in the 60's. But the most important thing about the music is that there's always a reason for it to be played (once again, unlike modern shows). Every episode of the show is introduced with a redone version of Del Shannon's "Runaway". Shannon was asked to rewrite the lyrics to reflect on the tragic circumstances that are often encountered by the characters featured in the show, hence the "some live and others die" line.

If all of this doesn't convince you to see the show then I don't know what would. It has so much to offer. Even after it's over, you'll still be thinking about it. It'll have a great impact on you and although it only went for two seasons, they were two incredibly powerful seasons. Even though the show was cancelled twenty odd years ago, you'll rack your brain over how it could've happened. The ratings may not have been too good but the show was highly praised at it's time and is now considered a cult classic. Once you see it, you'll want to watch it again and again and again.

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