Sunday, February 17, 2013


By Harvey Chartrand
MR. LUCKY: THE COMPLETE SERIES is now available for the first time ever as a 4-DVD box set from Timeless Media Group… all 34 episodes, with a running time of about 840 minutes. MR. LUCKY– created by writer/director Blake Edwards (PETER GUNN) – ran for only one season (from 1959 to 1960), even though it was a hit with viewers.
This adventure/crime drama is a sort of PETER GUNN Lite, featuring a lush, organ-powered theme song by Henry Mancini (a bonus CD of MR. LUCKY’s soundtrack is included in the set), an assortment of shady characters aboard a floating casino, and competent acting by series regulars John Vivyan (as suave professional gambler Mr. Lucky), Ross Martin (as his sidekick and business partner Andamo), Pippa Scott (as Mr. Lucky’s girlfriend Maggie Shank-Rutherford) and Tom Brown (as Lieutenant Rovacs, Mr. Lucky’s cop buddy).
Edwards directed and co-wrote the first episode of MR. LUCKY, and the credits of the first 18 episodes include “Entire production supervised by Blake Edwards.” Jack Arnold (director of THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN and IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE) produced the show and directed 15 episodes. The end credits include “Series based on an original story: Bundles for Freedom by Milton Holmes,” which was published in Cosmopolitan in June 1942. This story was also the basis of the 1943 motion picture MR. LUCKY, starring Cary Grant as a gambling-ship owner out to fleece a beautiful society woman (Laraine Day), but who falls in love with her instead. The film and television series have little in common, except for the title and the suave nature of the leading man.
According to a March 1942 news item in The Hollywood Reporter, RKO bought Holmes’ story at the request of Cary Grant, who wanted to star in it. In a 1969 Hollywood Reporter news item, Holmes claimed that his story was inspired by Edward G. Nealis, the owner of the Clover Club on the Sunset Strip, a venue for drinking and illegal gambling in the early 1930s. In 1936, Nealis rigged a one-night gambling benefit at the Beverly Hills Hotel to raise $40,000 for a church.

Image quality on the 4-pack DVD varies from fair to very good. Audio quality is excellent throughout. 

1 comment:

RJR said...

I bought this and the complete Peter Gunn at the same time. Good stuff!