Eight "Kojak" movies and new seasons of "Cheyenne" and "Mannix" are among TV shows arriving on DVD this week.
"Kojak: the Complete Movie Collection" (Shout! 1973-90, four discs, $44.99). This set is comprised of the feature-length movies shown outside the "Kojak" television series about the bald, lollipop-sucking but tough New York homicide detective given iconic status by Telly Savalas' strong performance.
Included is the film that served as the series' pilot, "The Marcus-Nelson Murders," a solid, gripping story based on a real-life incident, which won two Emmys and kick-started character actor Savalas' career. This one is good enough to have been released theatrically, as Kojak suspects that a teen who has confessed to murder was coerced by police.
The rest of the pictures here followed the series after its five-season run. Some are better than others but all are worth a look, especially for fans of the show. Guest stars include Angie Dickinson, Suzanne Pleshette, Max von Sydow, Kate Nelligan, Darren McGavin, Rip Torn, Jerry Orbach and Marcia Gay Harden.
Extras: full frame, eight films, featurette
"Cheyenne: The Complete Third Season" (Warner Archive, 1957-58, b/w, five discs, $49.95). Clint Walker's low-key performance holds up well as the soft-spoken big man Cheyenne Bodie in this classic Western series, finding trouble whether he's hiring on as a cow-puncher or going undercover to expose a conspiracy. Guests include Utah actress Marie Windsor, Mike Connors a decade before "Mannix" and two future "Bonanza" stars, Michael Landon and Dan Blocker.
Extras: full frame, 20 episodes (available at www.WarnerArchive.com)
"Mannix: The Sixth Season" (CBS/Paramount, 1972-73, six discs, $54.99). Mike Connors is back in action for another round of episodes about hard-boiled Los Angeles private eye Joe Mannix, along with Gail Fisher as his gal Friday. Guests this season include William Shatner, Anne Archer, Rip Torn, Burgess Meredith, Martin Sheen, Elsa Lanchester, Tina Louise and Jessica Walter.
Extras: full frame, 24 episodes
"WWII in 3D" (History/Blu-ray/3-D, 2011, $29.95). This 46-minute documentary displays 3-D stereograph color photos taken by Allied forces and occupied civilians, as well as 3-D movies shot by Nazis in 1943.
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