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Miami Vice

By Patrick Mondout / Donald Liebenson

The hippest TV show of its generation and the first to reflect the changes MTV was having on our culture, Miami Vice featured Sonny Crockett (Don Johnson) and Ricardo Tubbs (Philip Michael Thomas) as much as the scenery of Miami and the music of such diverse acts as Glen Frey, Billy Ocean, and Aerosmith. Detectives Crockett and Tubbs rode through the drug underworld of South Florida in a Ferrari Testarossa.

New love interests for Don Johnson, who went from an unemployed actor to one of the biggest sex symbols on television faster than you can say David Hasselhoff, were brought on nearly weekly but almost always got deep-sixed before the closing theme by Jan Hammer played, though Sheena Easton became a semi-regular as Crockett's wife for the '87-'88 season.

To hear the opening beats of Jan Hammer's percussive, propulsive Miami Vice theme is to be instantly transported back to 1984. But this groundbreaking series, with its cinematic sensibility, cool clothes, and killer soundtrack is no mere blast from the past. It still rocks. This three-disc set would be worthless if it didn't. Music was an integral part of Miami Vice's hip vibe. The soundtrack propelled the stories and established the mood like no series before it. So the first thing you want to know is: Have the music rights been secured for this DVD release? In the pilot episode, does Phil Collins's "In the Air Tonight" still play ominously as vice undercover cops Crockett and Tubbs speed toward a bust? Does Eric Clapton's "Wonderful Tonight" serenade Sonny and Gina on his boat in the episode "One-Eyed Jack?" And what would the benchmark episode, "Smuggler's Blues" be without Glenn Frey's instant classic? From the Rolling Stones on a boombox to Elvis Presley singing "Rubberneckin'" on a TV, Vice's cutting-edge soundtrack has been preserved and honed in 5.1 surround sound glory.

Miami Vice made stars out of Don Johnson, Philip Michael Thomas, and Edward James Olmos, who won an Emmy as the intense, taciturn Lt. Castillo (watching him bust some martial arts moves in "Golden Triangle" is like Yoda cutting lose in Attack of the Clones), but the first season also offers time-capsule glimpses of actors on the cusp of stardom, including a pre-L.A. Law Jimmy Smits in the pilot, a pre-Crime Story Dennis Farina in "One-Eyed Jack," and a pre-Moonlighting Bruce Willis in "No Exit." Miami Vice put a neon sheen on cop-show convention. Its fashion sense (pastel suits, no belt, no socks), and the brilliantly employed freeze frames are still arresting. Miami Vice was a TV watershed, and this DVD set does it full justice.

Guest stars included the CREEP-y G. Gordon Liddy, boxing promoter Don King, jazz legend Miles Davis, and Chrysler chairman Lee Iacocca. Others include: Bruce Willis, Julia Roberts, Barbra Streisand, Phil Collins, Lou Diamond Phillips, Laurence Fishburne, Annette Benning, Frank Zappa, Willie Nelson, James Brown, Roberto Duran, and Wesley Snipes.

Miami Vice on DVD!
Miami Vice is now available on DVD! Get it at!
Season One


Share Your Memories!

Do you have a favorite episode of Miami Vice? What do you remember about the series? Share your stories with the world! (We print the best stories right here!)

Your Memories Shared!

"Miami Vice definitely is one of the BEST cop/tv crime dramas ever created. It set the path for many shows today such as NYPD Blue and other related shows. The action, and drama are completely different than what we have on tv today. Micheal Mann did an excellent job directing, making this show into a "mini-movie." From the fashion, to the action sequences, and camera angles. Even in 2003, the show lives on!!"


"I’m a 48-year-old English teacher. Miami vice was the greatest crime show I ever watched. Every episode was fabulous, with the exception of the bull semen one, and the one where the guy who played Roy on wings was a psych killer. I was entranced by the tension of the show. The cops often times did not know whom to trust. This show had more corrupt cops than New York cities current crop. The villains that Crockett and Tubbs confronted were greater than the Godfather’s gangsters. I once left a beautiful dark haired Italian girl at a club one Friday night, because I suddenly remembered that my VCR was not set to record. She never called me again. I didn’t care – you’ve got to have priorities! My favorite episode was when Willie nelson played a vengeful retired Texas Ranger. I’ll never forget sonny's look when he discovered that nelson was once a Texas Ranger. Crockett idolized them. Another great episode was when crocket confronted the guy on the beach who murdered his wife, played by Easton. The only thing that disappointed me about that scene is that the writer showed that the bad guy had a gun by his side, suggesting that crocket did not kill him in cold blood. To me, this twist never lived up to a magnum episode where magnum confronted the evil Russian general who tortured his fellow soldiers back in ‘Nam. Magnum did the right thing by executing him. Crockett’s character was never given that justifiable freedom."


"I loved this show!! My favorite episode was the one where Crockett was driving his black Ferrari Spyder to meet a bad guy while "In The Air Tonight" by Phil Collins played in the background. The mood set by the song while Sonny drove to his possible death was unbelievable!!"


"Greatest show ever! Everything about just fit: The music, clothes, style, stories and great Awesome80s-colored copshow. The beginning of more daring TV series and films and ideas. Nice to have Miami Vice on VHS and DVD in the future! Just love Miami Vice."


"On your list of notable guest stars, I saw that there were a few (now) celebrities missing. Actually, when you look at it, Miami Vice was in the early days of the careers of many of the top actors/actresses of the last decade: Liam Neeson, Michael Richards, Helena Bonham Carter, Jimmy Smits, Dennis Farina just to name a few. [Editor's note: Keep it up folks, I'd love to have them all listed here!]"


"When "In the Air Tonight" was featured on episode two of Miami Vice, when Tubbs and Crockett were on thier way to capture Calderone it was awesome, the music fit over the scene perfectly especially when Crockett speeds off when the drums in the song heat up. 10/10"


"It just doesn't get any better than Miami Vice. What an awesome show it was. You can see it over and over again and it gets better with age like a fine wine. It was a heck of a performence by the two best tv cops and the best director and crew."


"Miami Vice was my all time favorite show ever! I LIVED for this show weekly, and planned my evening around it. Sonny Crocket was the coolest, sexiest cop alive. Rico Tubbs was suave and debonair. You could just feel this show! The story lines made you feel as if you were right there, experiencing this with them! All of the supporting cast was terrific, as well. My favorite show was the one that Melanie Griffith guest starred in, along with Vanity. I saw the original show arring, which was later altered for its graphic nature. I had taped the original show, and was thrilled I had it on tape. My husband later taped a football game over it! I was crushed. I still watch Miami Vice reruns when they are on TV."


"Long live Miami Vice! I have 3 years of episodes on VCR. The intro song was light years ahead of it's time. I used to crank it up and drive my TransAm with the T-tops off at night down the beach in south Florida. It doesn't get any cooler than that. My favorite show was where Sonny is pursuing the bad guy, running from behind palm tree to palm tree trying to nail him first. Sonny whips out into the open to face the guy and calmly says, "Surf's up, Pal." His blend of wit and authority was awesome."


"What about Glen Frey of the Eagles? And that episode on "Smuggler's Blues".. It was quite a shock to see him without that dashing moustache of the music years.."


"Miami Vice was so great - the stars, the sets, the clothes, the scripts - and of course that wonderful choice of music. For some reason, the Phil Collins songs are the ones that stay in the memory. I can never hear him singing "I don't care anymore" without seeing those boats on the Miami waterfront at night.

Wouldn't it be great if some channel played the whole of Miami Vice, all 4 seasons or whatever it was, from beginning to end, perhaps one a night, or every other night?

It would get a huge new following. I know Fox had it on a few years back, but at the time it was not on the New York cable network (it is now)."

--Doug A.

"My mom and I both LOVED Miami Vice. She lived in Florida and I in Michigan. We would talk to each other about the show often. Once, when she came to visit me, we were watching the show and it was the season where Don Johnson had let his hair grow out nice and long. My Mom walked right over to the TV and touched Don's cyber hair saying "Isn't he just beautiful?!"

It was nice to see that "older" women can still have fun!"


"Sorry everyone, but the best music/emotion scene was when they were driving across town at night to the strains of "Brothers in Arms" by Dire Straits. Absolutely perfect! "In The Air Tonight" a good second place though."


""Out Where the Buses Don't Run" is an excellent episode. It features the single greates scene in the shows history: Racing through the deserted streets on a wet night with "BROTHERS IN ARMS" by Dire Straits perfectly matching the mood of the moment. A scene NEVER bettered on the show"

--Elvis Bites

"Back in the mid Awesome80s we had an auto museum in Illinois and were offered a dark brown 1980 Maseratti Quattraporte sun roof Sedan that was used in the "Miami Vice" series from a Florida collector. It came with various photos from when it was used including ones with Don Johnson and other figures in the series. We were outbid at an auction (the 1985, 86 or 87 April In Rockford Auction if memory serves me ) and it migrated to an Arizona collector- named & nbsp; Ron Lazarus-no relation. A few years later it popped up again and this time we bought it but the photos were kept by someone in the interim. We had a need to funds a few years later, closed the museum and & nbsp; unfortunately sold it at the James Leake auction in Tulsa to an Ohio collector who's son sold it back to us a couple of years ago thru the Volo Auto Museum . We have owned a number of Quattraportes over the years and still have a white one with a 440 Chrysler motor but this one with the power sunroof is unique and our favorite. We hope to be able to keep it in the collection - health and finances permitting. Who would know how or where we could locate photos of this car when it was used in the series. It may have been used extensively or maybe only once or twice ~ any advice would be appreciated. Our email address is collection1948@aol. com, our tollfree 24 hour voicemail is 888-724-3211 extension 100118 and we are located in northern Illinois-Rockford area. Any advice appreciated ~ who out there is a real "Miami Vice" expert and can help us in our quest?
Thank you for your response,
curator and & nbsp; old car addict office:815-874-8258 fax 815-874-1236"

--K. C. Katz

"If i'm stranded on a deserted island for the rest of my life with a tv and dvd, all I need is the andy griffeth show(b&w only), mash and miami vice. Best cop show ever. It was the first show I remember not sugar coating the word. The endings were often heart wrenching and brutal. They showed the seedy side of drug dealing and drug use. Of course the main characters, Crocket and Tubbs, were the life blood and were totally awesome, but I always liked the secondary characters tremendously. Switech and Zito were fabulous. The one episode "Made for Each Other" which basically focused on there friendship is my all time favorite. I still get misty eyed when Stan finds Zito dead in season three. The show lost a little after that, but aside from the UFO James Brown fiasco, I could watch any episode twice a day. They'll never mak'em like Miami Vice again. "

--One Eyed Jack

"What do I remember most about the series? Don Johnson wearing pink t-shirts and oh-so-casual beach shoes. Somehow, they just didn't look right on anyone else. My boyfriend at the time turned up one night wearing a jacket with the sleeves pushed up, a la Don Johnson, but the effect was lost on him - he just looked scruffy.

Oh, and the music - "Rhythm of the night" by DeBarge - loved that. The background music was incredible, some of it wouldn't sound out of place even today. Bits of it made my spine tingle. All the episodes were repeated in the UK a few years ago and I taped every one of them - still haven't got round to watching them all. . . sigh. . . Cheers."

--Sue in the UK

"My favorite episode was "Little Miss Dangerous". I believe that's what it was called. That scene where Fiona has Tubbs chained to the bed and then shoots herself with PIL's "Order of Death" playing in the background was incredible."




Aired: September 16, 1984 - July 26, 1989

Cast: Don Johnson, Philip Michael Thomas, Edward James Olmos, Saundra Santiago, Olivia Brown

Network: NBC

Genre: Police Drama

Theme songMiami Vice Theme by Jan Hammer

Image courtesy of NBC

Miami Vice memorabilia!
Miami Vice Videos and DVDs!
Don Johnson memorabilia!
Don Johnson Videos and DVDs!
Philip Michael Thomas memorabilia!
Philip Michael Thomas Videos and DVDs!

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