Naked City: a Death of Princes

Naked City: a Death of Princes

DVD (Black & White)


Naked City: A Death Of Princes offers a range of episodes similar to its companion volume, Naked City: Button In The Haystack, mixing scripts centered on lethal violence among career criminals and shows depicting innocents who brush up against the more dangerous sides of life. This disc is more top heavy with major stars, including Eli Wallach in the title episode, Walter Matthau in "The Man Who Bit A Diamond In Half," Theodore Bikel in "Murder Is A Face I Know." "A Death Of Princes," "The Man Who Bit A Diamong In Half," and "Murder Is A Face I Know" are scripts that could be done today, on Law And Order: Criminal Intent, without too many changes. In the first show, Wallach plays a crooked detective who is also too quick with his gun, whose trigger-happy nature and corruption finally converge in a life-destroying plan. Today, with the public's greater awareness of the issues of excess force on the part of the police and corrupt cops, Wallach's episode would be treated with a tighter focus on the perpetrator and less on the misgivings of the detective who suspects a problem. Similarly, "Murder Is A Face I Know" -- about a seemingly model family man who murders five people on a boat for no reason, who proves to be a mob hit man -- would focus less on the suspect's family than on the suspect. The dialogue throughout, but especially in Wallach's show, is too arch and self-consciously tough for its own good. But, as with the original run of the series, the New York locations smooth over a multitude of excessive, over-the-top performances, of which Wallach (likely with the encouragement of director John Brahm) is the most guilty (though the real "culprit" is Stirling Silliphant's script). All of the episodes look good, with only a few, very isolated spotsin which there are signs of missing frames at an edit-point, but one has to look hard to notice. The disc skips the menu on start-up to go to the first episode, and the menu must be accessed manually. The latter is a little difficult to use at first, and is not designed to show the selection of chapters too easily, but one can get used to it. Each episode gets seven chapters, including the end credits. The transfer quality is excellent and the audio quality is a match for the image, which is sharp all the way through. Billy May's title music is reproduced about as crisply as its ever been heard, though the real delight is seeing the vividly detailed photography of New York City from 40 years ago.

Product Details

Release Date: 01/14/2003
UPC: 0014381185720
Original Release: 0000
Rating: NR
Source: Image Entertainment
Region Code: 1
Presentation: [B&W]
Sound: [Dolby Digital Mono]
Time: 3:16:00

Special Features

[None specified]

Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Gunned Down
2. On Baine's Case
3. The Gang's All Here
4. A New Way of Delivering Laundry
5. The Fight
6. The Robbery
7. End Credits
1. A Game of Cards
2. The New "Wife"
3. The $63,000 Question
4. Pleasing the Lady
5. A New Game
6. Caught in the Middle
7. End Credits
1. The Paracutun Diamond
2. Buying A Bauble
3. Another Job
4. A "Friendly" Visit
5. Homicide
6. The Big One
7. End Credits
1. All-American Assassin
2. Interrogation
3. Where's Poppa?
4. Gathering Evidence
5. A Visit From A Son
6. No Talking
7. End Credits

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