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TV on DVD: 'Peter Gunn,' Ernie Kovacs

Henry Mancini is the composer behind the

Henry Mancini is the composer behind the "Peter Gunn" theme. Credit: Newsday


Series Cool jazz. Hot women. Two-fisted sleuthing and gunplay. Henry Mancini's timeless tunes for this 1958 half-hour whodunit from Blake Edwards ("The Pink Panther") perfectly pace Craig Stevens' elegant private eye, tracking baddies from riverfront dives to the Riviera without mussing his business suit. He also romances Lola Albright's saloon chanteuse in perhaps TV's first truly adult relationship. Their banter is as silky as the shadows of nighttime noir nicely staged by ace directors like Boris Sagal (Katey's father). And "Gunn" looks sublime this time, prints vastly improved from 2002 releases.

Extras Bonus CD of Mancini's album of the year Grammy-winner, ideal lounge sounds for the hipster of the '50s, '80s or today.

List price $100 for 114 episodes on 12 discs, out today from Timeless Media Group.

More vintage treats:

MR. LUCKY John Vivyan gets Mancini music, too, as a floating casino king, with aide Ross Martin (and a bonus soundtrack CD); $35 for 4 discs, Timeless.

THE ERNIE KOVACS COLLECTION, VOL. 2 More gems from early TV's mustachioed maniac of video/verbal wit: '50s talk/comedy, '60s game/comedy, and '60s sitcom pilot "Medicine Man" -- he's a "wizard juice" peddler aided by Indian one-man-band Buster Keaton; $30 for 3 discs, Shout.


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