Buddy Hackett "Stanley" DVD Review

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by William Miller, Mar 29, 2013.

  1. William Miller

    William Miller Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow! I couldn’t believe the listing of this DVD when I first saw this on Amazon. Stanley was a live sitcom that debuted in September, 1956 and ran for 19 episodes and never was seen again. Classic TV fans just thought the kinescopes all went to Live TV Heaven and were lost forever. Now, out of the blue, comes this amazing DVD release which must have come from the Hackett family vaults or the holdings of Max Liebman, the producer.I have received this DVD and have watched Disc 1. (7 episodes).Here’s the good news:The episodes look great! They are bright and clear visually and the sound is outstanding. They are uncut and have the original commercials. The extras are a nice bonus. The packaging is very good and the whole thing has been done in a very professional manner. (And the show itself is pretty funny. If you are a fan of Buddy Hackett and/or Carol Burnett, this is a must buy for you).It’s almost like going back in a time machine to 1956. Note I said almost.Now for the bad news:The producers of this DVD have done something very bad. They decided it was a necessity to have a logo superimposed on the screen in the lower left corner during every second of every show. The logo is a cute caricature of Hackett as Stanley done originally by the legendary Al Hirschfeld. It’s cute when you see it on the inside of the DVD cover but it’s not so cute when you see it all the time when you are trying to concentrate on the show. It is very annoying. I know why they did this. It’s a weak attempt to try to stop bootleggers from copying the show. How many bootleggers would want to copy this show? Does the DVD of “Gone With the Wind” have a logo on the screen? Did you see one when you last watched your “Godfather” DVD? The whole experience of watching a show like that is to take you back to the era of the original broadcast. They did not have logos on the screen in 1956. I know that most TV and cable networks have logos all the time in 2013. But this horrible concept has rarely entered the DVD world.Oh well, nobody said life is perfect. This DVD is almost perfect. I still am very happy that it is now available despite the major flaw.
     
  2. JoeDoakes

    JoeDoakes Cinematographer
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    Most of the time when logos are put on prints, it's because the underlying work is in the public domain. Whoever paid to put this DVD set together probably had a legitamate concern that the money they expended on transfers and the like would be lost if someone like Mill Creek simply copied the shows from the DVD set and released a new set at a lower price. Still, it would be much better if at least the bug was not on the screen all the time.
     
  3. Richard V

    Richard V Cinematographer

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    Could you please send the link for the Stanley DVD. I cannot find it on Amazon, as you said.
     
  4. Mike*HTF

    Mike*HTF Supporting Actor

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    www.amazon.com/Buddy-Hackett-STANLEY-1956-57-Disc/dp/B00B0P1VCK
     
  5. Richard V

    Richard V Cinematographer

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    Thanks. :)
     
  6. LJH

    LJH Auditioning

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    Hi Everyone!
    Wanted to invite you to our web site: www.buddyhackett.tv
    Available now... STANLEY, and
    Buddy's HBO Live and Uncensored Concerts.
    Thanks, and happy holidays.
     
  7. Neil Brock

    Neil Brock Cinematographer

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    With regard to the logo, I'm sure it was done because its a public domain show and that's the only way of insuring it against theft by unscrupulous companies like Mill Creek and others. Unfortunate but unavoidable.
     
  8. LJH

    LJH Auditioning

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    "Stanley" is NOT public domain. After a decade of work to bring this material to market, this is the first ever publication of this material. The Library of Congress issued a copyright on this material in 2013.
     
  9. Neil Brock

    Neil Brock Cinematographer

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    Great, but then why the need to have the shows blemished by having a logo on screen throughout the episodes? The only reason that's done on any DVD releases is because a show is P.D. and to protect it from being copied and put out by others. Unless of course the only way to obtain the copyright was by adding the watermark thus altering the original material and therefore being able to copyright this new version.
     
  10. JoeDoakes

    JoeDoakes Cinematographer
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    I don't believe that adding a watermark would enable them to get a copyright on public domain material. They likely did it because (1) they were afraid of it being copied by bootleg and public domain type issuers and they have limited ability to fight that type of activity; and, (2) this is apparently a family project and they were not aware of how many tv on dvd fans don't like watermarks.
     
  11. LJH

    LJH Auditioning

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    Ray, you are exactly right on all accounts! Additionally, the footage needed protecting while it spent a decade going through many third party hands. Thanks for your insight.
     
  12. LouA

    LouA Screenwriter

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    Good show. I loved it as an 8 year old kid, and I love it now. Excellant cast and Buddy is especaily poignent . I never thought I'd ever see even one episode, again let alone the whole series. The Christmas episode is very entertaining, and I believe it aired on Christmas Eve in 1956. Thanks LJH!
     
  13. LouA

    LouA Screenwriter

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    Anyone who bought this series on DVD - does the episode The Proposal on disc 3 cut out abruptly on your copy at the 20 min mark leaving the episode incomplete? Mine does and I'm wondering if the rest of the episode is lost or my copy of the DVD is defective.
     
  14. ChrisALM

    ChrisALM Supporting Actor

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    I checked out my copy this afternoon and it played straight through to the end of the episode. I was using a pc drive, but I wouldn't think that would make any difference in this case.
     
  15. LouA

    LouA Screenwriter

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    Thanks Chris . I guess mine is defective .
     
  16. DeWilson

    DeWilson Cinematographer

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    I am a big supporter of the small guys,families,etc who takes the time to locate material such as this and put it out, even if they have to put watermarks and tweak the elements

    However, It's the "big rights holders" trying to get more protection on material that clearly was "published" and now Public Domain then they are entitled to

    A live show is put on kinescope, then the kinescopes were duplicated and then sent physically (not just rebroadcast) to a 3rd party (affiliates not O&O) who either ran the shows at times different from the network (especially stations that had 2nd and 3rd affiliation with a network.) or for whatever reason, were not directly hooked up to the coax feed. This clearly shows a work being "published" and "sold" (or leased, which is just the same)

    Which means they had 28 years to register the work. Oh, and look how many DID NOT. Let's also not forget the omission of proper copyright notice either in the first place.

    Ever notice that the live G-T game shows into the mid-1960's are missing them!

    Now I know about this, I'll have to pick it up! :)
     

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