More Swedish Crime Fiction: The Martin Beck-series on DVD

by Peter on February 12, 2013

The so-alled Beck-series, a wonderful series of feature length movies based on the outstanding Swedish crime fiction novels featuring Inspector Martin Beck is now available on Amazon.com. This marvelous series of 10 books, called The Story of a Crime, thrilled the whole world when it was published. Written by Sjowall and Wahloo, this was the series that more than anything is responsible for the breakthrough of Scandinavian crime fiction in Europe and the United States. As a reviewer on amazon.com, Mark Pastin so eloquently put it:

«Before there was the girl with The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Joe Nesbo, Henning Mankell and all of the other excellent authors in the Scandinavian mystery invasion, there was the Martin Beck mystery series written by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo, published between 1965 and 1975. They are the Dashiel Hammett and Raymond Chandler of the Scandinavian school and their books stand up quite well against the best of Hammett and Chandler.»

Sjowall & Wahloo created the complex duo of Swedish cops working in Stockholm. Detective Martin Beck (Peter Haber) is the main protagonist: A smart and street-wise Swedish detective who works methodically to put the bad guys behind bars, but who is actually a nice, honest and quite interesting guy.

His partner, Gunvald Larson (Mikael Persbrandt) is the ultimate bad cop, albeit with some cracks in his armor. He is an impulsive and at times quite violent man, a dashing figure, totally politically incorrect, and a man who stops at nothing, once he gets going. Together, this intriguing duo , along with their team, solves the most difficult and heaviest cases of the Stockholm underworld.

Martin Beck and Gunnvald Larsson

The Beck-series is a wonderful set of detective movies. I believe I have seen them all. As in the novels – which most of the movies are based on – the plots are excellent, some of the plot twists mind-bending, with lots of very interesting personalities among both the bad and the good guys, and very interesting depictions of Swedish society. I love this series – it really is outstanding. What can I say: Realistic, well-scripted, well-acted, good stories, well- executed. What more can anyone want? It is simply Scandinavian noir crime fiction about as good as it gets! Excellent entertainment, and lots of it!

About the DVDs

Directors for the series are Pelle Seth and Kjell Sundvall. The format is widescreen in Swedish with English subtitles. The series comes in several sets of 3 DVDs of about 90 minutes each. The moves are NR, and Region One for customers from the US.

Beck-series, Episodes 1-3

EPISODE 1: THE DECOY BOY

Beck, episodes 1-3Beck: Episodes 1-3After the bodies of two immigrant boys are discovered, the police receive an anonymous message from a group called the Swedish Front: The slaughter has begun. Beck and his team find a lead through a website where young boys are sold for sex, but time is running out for them to locate the next victim before the killer strikes again.

EPISODE 2: THE MAN WITH THE ICONS

An elderly woman is found murdered. The prime suspect is her husband, a deeply-religious man who collects Russian icons. His grief appears genuine, yet his story doesn’t exactly check out. Could the real killer still be at large?

EPISODE 3: WHITE NIGHTS

A truck driver is killed in a sting operation – and the dead man turns out to be Beck’s long-lost son. Beck’s world crumbles around him, and he loses focus. When he returns to the investigation, it s with renewed passion – this time it’s personal.

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