Judge P.S. Colbert has not broken the law; it's just a sprain.
Our reviews of Kojak: Season One (published April 6th, 2005), Kojak: Season Two (published September 27th, 2011), Kojak: Season Three (published March 8th, 2012), Kojak: Season Four (published May 9th, 2012), and Kojak: The Complete Movie Collection (published January 15th, 2012) are also available.
Doctor: "A lot of men are talking early retirement; going onto something
else. How about you?"
It's the final go 'round for the legendary lineup of Manhattan South's detective squad, but Lieutenant Theo's men are hardly wheezing in the home stretch. On the contrary, Kojak: Season Five pours on the steam, finishing with twenty two episodes (on six discs) of primetime Telly vision:
• "The Queen Of Hearts Is Wild"
Full disclosure: These episodes aren't all winners. A lightweight (as in feather-brained) "comedic" caper about horse thieves proved as fun and easy to sit through as a whoopee cushion loaded with thumb tacks. Furthermore, whoever's bright idea it was to have Detective Rizzo (Vince Conti) parade through an episode in drag (as a decoy) ought to have been forever banished to the set of Holmes & Yoyo.
Otherwise, Season Five delivers in spades, featuring some of the series' strongest installments, including the season-ending "In Full Command," which boasts an amazing dramatic turn from comedian Danny Thomas (Make Room For Daddy), and the stunning two-part "Summer Of '69," which opens with the nastiest father and son reunion this side of Shel Silverstein's "A Boy Named Sue."
Plenty of Oscar-caliber guest talent is also on hand, including Shelley Winters (The Poseidon Adventure), but more interesting (at least to incurable pop culture addicts like me) are appearances by actors whose names you probably wouldn't know, but faces you'll forever recognize, including Lee Bryant (the hysterical woman who gets slapped in Airplane!), Lenny Montana, (Luca Brasi of The Godfather), Tony Sirico (Paulie 'Walnuts' Gualtieri of The Sopranos), and former Hee Haw honey Misty Rowe.
Ms. Rowe's beautiful blond locks and irresistible baby-doll voice are wonderfully preserved in this stellar set of standard def 1.33:1 full frame transfers with Dolby 2.0 Digital Mono audio. There are no subtitles or bonus features included, but that shouldn't prevent the quality control department at Shout! Factory from taking a bow for another job well done.
I hate goodbyes, and since the lieutenant and company would reunite seven years later for Kojak: The Belarus File—which kicked off a series of TV movies stretching into the early '90—I'll leave things with "auf Wiedersehen."
Nice work, fellas.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Shout! Factory
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