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
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
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.