Amos 'n' Andy from Nostalgia Merchant

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by BarryM, Apr 2, 2008.

  1. BarryM

    BarryM Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Messages:
    175
    Likes Received:
    0
    I understand you can buy the entire collection for $89.00. I already have a lesser quality copy. Is this legit and is the quality worth the money??
     
  2. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2000
    Messages:
    6,929
    Likes Received:
    756
    Location:
    Salinas, CA
    Real Name:
    Matthew
    I don't own the release, but I can tell you it is not "legit," because there will never be a legit Amos 'n' Andy release. CBS renewed the copyrights but have apparently turned a blind eye to the bootlegs.
     
  3. Hank Dearborn

    Hank Dearborn Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 30, 2007
    Messages:
    715
    Likes Received:
    0

    No, CBS did NOT renew the copyrights and as a matter of fact lost when they brought a court case against someone selling the show. They do, however, retain all of the master elements although they will keep them buried until we are all dead. As for it being a "complete" release, that is impossible because as of last count there were still about 5 episodes which had not found their way into the collectors market.
     
  4. BarryM

    BarryM Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Messages:
    175
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the information; I didn't even know Nostalgia Merchant was still in business.

    Back in the days of VHS, Nostalgia Merchant was one of the best sources of high quality cult and classic movies. The only other company doing the same kind of thing was the brilliant Admit One Video out of Canada.
     
  5. Jon Martin

    Jon Martin Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2002
    Messages:
    2,219
    Likes Received:
    1
    Wasn't Nostalgia Merchant part of Media Home Video or another major? I remember them from the VHS days. While this one seems to be using the same logo, I don't know if it is the same company. Someone may have just reclaimed it after the original went out of business.

    Some good stuff on their site (although the site itself is poorly organized) but they claim everything is in the public domain. So, I don't know what the quality is.
     
  6. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 19, 2005
    Messages:
    1,760
    Likes Received:
    3

    While it appears as if there are a fair number of public domain shows/episodes offered on their site (maybe most of it), there are some that are seriously questionable. The Jim Hutton version of "Ellery Queen?" I don't think so. "Honey West?" No way; the official release is coming this year from VCI Entertainment.

    VCI Entertainment: Home

    A lot of the PD shows offered on their site can be had from companies like Alpha Video, Timeless Media (Timeless Television budget line) and others.
     
  7. Jon Martin

    Jon Martin Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2002
    Messages:
    2,219
    Likes Received:
    1
    I believe they know many of the titles are questionable as, on the About Us page, it states that if any of the rights holders contact them, they will remove them.

    Until this thread, I didn't know about the site, so I'm sure many of the companies also don't know.
     
  8. Jay_B!

    Jay_B! Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Messages:
    1,746
    Likes Received:
    0
    I know this is a highly controversial title, but if there's an obvious bootleg market for it, why doesn't Paramount just go ahead and release it?
     
  9. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2000
    Messages:
    6,929
    Likes Received:
    756
    Location:
    Salinas, CA
    Real Name:
    Matthew
    There were protests that got the show off the air. They were successful.

    There were protests to get the syndicated reruns out of circulation in 1966. They worked.

    Just the very name of the show has such a strong stigma against it, regardless of the actual content, that I don't think Paramount will even try.
     
  10. Hank Dearborn

    Hank Dearborn Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 30, 2007
    Messages:
    715
    Likes Received:
    0
    The amount of grief and negative publicity they might get just does not make it worth it to them for whatever profit the show might bring. It's just not worth the trouble for them to either put it out or lease it to someone. It's a can of worms they have no interest in opening up.
     
  11. Chip_HT

    Chip_HT Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2004
    Messages:
    266
    Likes Received:
    6
    Real Name:
    Chip
    I'll stick with Amos and Andy on the radio. It would be hard to top the 1943 season, though.
     
  12. Jay_B!

    Jay_B! Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Messages:
    1,746
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't understand the controversy, so it was about poor black men who didn't have the best jobs? Hmmm, sounds like Sanford And Son and Good Times
     
  13. Hank Dearborn

    Hank Dearborn Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 30, 2007
    Messages:
    715
    Likes Received:
    0


    Without getting into a pages long explanation, I'll give you the Cliff Notes version. It was about the only place on television where blacks were even seen, save for demeaning characters like the elevator operator on My Little Margie. Then there was the fact that some of the characters spoke in an ignorant sounding, broken English. Unlike today, where blacks speaking in giberish or "black English" is accepted and thought to be okay, back then it was looked at as something demeaning and a negative image for the race. And because there were no other black shows or important black roles on television, the only depiction of the race was this show and so they were very sensitive to any portrayal. It was not like today where there are black doctors, lawyers, cops, whatever. It was also from the era where ethnic comedies were prevalent - The Goldbergs (Jewish/Yiddish dialect), Life With Luigi (Italian dialect), Mama (Norwegian dialect). All of these kind of faded from the air by the mid-50s and were overtaken by the same generic, white, cookie cutter families living in generic, bland, cookie cutter towns. When looked at through modern eyes, Amos and Andy is far less offensive than many of the black shows that have come after it and also much funnier. But that's a war that CBS has no interest in ever revisiting.
     
  14. Jay_B!

    Jay_B! Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Messages:
    1,746
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have never seen Amos N Andy but from what I heard, it's no more demeaning to blacks than Beverly Hillbillies is to white people. Plus, why can't they go after all this hip hop garbage out today which is demeaning and also portrays black men in a very negative stereotype.

    Well, all I really think is, why would CBS care if someone else is distributing the show when they have absolutely no intention in hell to distribute it themselves? Disney is the same way with Song Of The South. So you're ashamed of it (and I don't understand why SOTS is banned now, but it was reissued in the theater in 1986 when I was a kid. After The Cosby Show came on, after Michael Jackson's Thriller, after Prince's Purple Rain, after The Color Purple, etc.... it wasn't seen as offensive in the era of MJ and Cosby, but suddenly it's offensive now?) but some people might want to see it again.
     
  15. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 19, 2005
    Messages:
    1,760
    Likes Received:
    3
    I've only seen a handful of episodes of Amos 'n' Andy (4 or 5), but happened to see the show's famous Christmas episode which was one of the most inspirational and moving television shows that I've ever seen, including Amos reciting The Lord's Prayer. I can't imagine any television show doing something like that today except, perhaps, religious programming at 6 a.m. on a Sunday morning. My limited exposure to the show was that it was very funny, but it also had a great measure of humanity. It's a real shame that this classic will likely never be seen on any sort of official release.

    Amos 'n' Andy Christmas

    Although not the success that "Amos 'n' Andy" was, "Beulah" was another early 1950s series that starred an African American woman. At least a few episodes from that series (most episodes are lost) were issued on a commercial DVD last year by Alpha Video (it's been a consistent top seller for them since it was issued last Summer).

    The Beulah Show - Volume 1 - Television on DVD Starring Hattie McDaniel & Louise Beavers; Directed by Abby Berlin & Richard Bare; Alpha Video : OLDIES.com
     
  16. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

    Joined:
    May 9, 2001
    Messages:
    15,398
    Likes Received:
    271
    Location:
    North Texas
    Real Name:
    Greg
    About ten years ago, I bought a VHS set of A&A that was put out by a company called Bridgestone. It might not have been legit, but it was on the shelves at Suncoast. It's a really great show, and it's a shame it will be lost to history. I'm pretty sure I read that Horace/Nick Stewart and some of the other cast members were saddened by the fact that their contributions to television history were blotted out by the controversy.

    I've always wanted a set, but was a little leery of buying one off of eBay. They were going for over a hundred bucks when I looked a few years ago. If this is an established company (going by Barry's post), I'll buy it with the knowledge that an official release isn't going to happen.
     
  17. Hank Dearborn

    Hank Dearborn Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 30, 2007
    Messages:
    715
    Likes Received:
    0
    One never likes to say definitely never but in this case, chances are pretty damn good that CBS will never release the show nor allow anyone access to their masters. Stranger things have happened but after over 40 years its highly unlikely CBS will have a change of heart any time soon. Too bad as this show, if it had widespread exposure, is as much of a comedy classic as The Honeymooners.
     
  18. Mark Edward Heuck

    Mark Edward Heuck Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2000
    Messages:
    1,184
    Likes Received:
    36
    To add to Hank's concise history of the show's controversy, the other detail that likely keeps a legit "AMOS & ANDY" release from happening is that in its original radio show incarnation, Amos and Andy were played by white actors, Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll, speaking in "black" dialect. They even made a movie for RKO, CHECK AND DOUBLE CHECK, where the actors appeared in blackface makeup. Therefore, even though actual black actors were used for the TV series (with Gosden and Correll serving as offscreen writer/producers), there is definitely a lot of residual bitterness towards the characters' origin as caricatures created by white men.
     
  19. Eric Vedowski

    Eric Vedowski Second Unit

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2002
    Messages:
    344
    Likes Received:
    38
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    Real Name:
    Eric
    The "Beulah" character mentioned a few posts back was also played by white men on radio.
     
  20. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2003
    Messages:
    4,094
    Likes Received:
    643
    Real Name:
    Steve
    Back to Barry's original question, does anyone have the Nostalgia Merchant version and, if so, what is the quality like?
     

Share This Page