"Leave It To Beaver: Season 1" -- A Personal Review

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by David Von Pein, Nov 23, 2005.

  1. John Carr

    John Carr Stunt Coordinator

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    Love this Beaver! I remember watching these shows when they were first broadcast; it brought back some great memories... I was the same age as Walley so I shared a lot of his problems with the Beav, maybe more so because I had 3 younger brothers and a baby sister!

    My Dad still hates this show; me and my younger brothers were always telling him, "Why don't we have a cool dad like Walley and the Beaver!" After a while, Dad would leave the room when the theme music came on; that is, if he didn't have a cowboy show to change the channel to! Those were the days of one TV, and my Dad ruled the channel knob wiht an iron hand!

    In the 80's when "Leave it to Beaver" was in syndication in the morning, I 'forced' my poor wife to tape all the episodes for me; then I'd watch them at night. While watching the new DVD, we were both surprised at how much more meat the complete shows contained. Victoria had never liked the syndicated show very much, but she's really enjoying the complete versions on this 1st season DVD set.

    Highly recommended. Next to Father Knows Best, the best family sitcom of the 50's/60's! Surprisingly, the stories and acting hold up almost 50 years later! Highly recommended.
     
  2. Dane Marvin

    Dane Marvin Screenwriter

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    The humor in this show will simply never grow old. I just don't get how did they did that, but they did. It's mind-boggling. Leave it to Beaver and The Twilight Zone will always be the two pre-70's shows that time will never forget.
     
  3. pitchman

    pitchman Screenwriter

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    I purchased a copy of this set today and the transfers are absolutely splendid! There is no denying that Leave It To Beaver: The Complete First Season looks and sounds stunning. Universal is to be commended for doing a first-rate job on the transfers...

    But unfortunately, and not to thread-crap here, my copy will be going back tomorrow.

    Be forewarned: If you have encountered any playback problems with the recent DVD-18 offerings from Universal, you are most likely in for more of the same here!

    The first thing I did after inspecting all three of these overly fragile (IMO) discs for physical defects was to put in side two of disc 3 so I could watch the original pilot. Everything was fine for the first twelve-and-a-half minutes, when all of a sudden, the screen froze, went green, and bounced back to the episode menu. Being a glutton for punishment, I decided to hit play again. Since, as David pointed out in his very fine review, there are no chapter stops, I tried to fast-forward past the problem area. This time, however, the disc simply refused to play and bounced back to the main menu.

    I removed the disc and decided to try another player. Since I had 2 Sony changers and 2 Panasonic players at the ready, I thought surely I could get the disc to play back in at least one of them. The second Sony (a SACD changer) was worse than the first and started stuttering and freezing a couple of minutes into the program.

    Off to the first Panasonic changer I went. The Panny never made it to the episode itself, rather, it locked up during the Universal logo animation. The second Panasonic, an ancient A310, coughed up the disc immediately with a display that read "bad disc."

    What should have been a DVD set to cherish and treasure has become yet another nightmare for me thanks to Universal's insistance on forcing these shoddy discs on an unsuspecting public. At an average street price of $40 plus, this is not a bargain basement, bare-bones release. Why does Universal insist on treating it like one?

    From this point forward, whenever I see the words "Universal," "DVD-18," and "Made in Mexico" on a DVD package, I will pass. I don't care what's inside. If these discs are this problematic when they are brand new, I shudder to think what they will be like in 5 or 6 years. What is happening now with so many of the old Universal "Collector Series" discs (Apollo 13, Vertigo, etc.) may be a harbinger of things to come.

    Flame off!
     
  4. DanFe

    DanFe Second Unit

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    Gary, the pilot is the only part where I had a hangup. It was at the very end, though. Every other episode is playing ok.
     
  5. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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  6. Jack Platt

    Jack Platt Stunt Coordinator

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    Guys,

    Play your LITB lost pilot episodes if you can please and let me know how many of you had a problem with them, Thanks!

    Are you DVD owners noticing a lot of restored footage that you didn't see on TV Land or Syndication?

    Jack
     
  7. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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  8. DanFe

    DanFe Second Unit

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    Actually, David, I think the pilot was a dud and it was because of the poor interaction between the actors who played Ward and Wally and the rest of the cast. I can say that if those two had stayed in the cast LITB would have been canceled after 6 months. The pilot is one program I won't be watching all that much.
     
  9. JeffT.

    JeffT. Screenwriter

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    No matter how much people are forewarned there will still be somebody who'll say that there's "nothing wrong" with my DVD set but you can just forget about it when it comes to the Universal Studios Home Entertainment issued DVD-18s microcompressions...they suck to high heaven!
    I (personally) gave up after my derisive experience with the ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS - THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON 3-disc set and (after some effort) got a full refund on my order.
    Pertaining to the HITCHCOCK set to accomodate the scant 3 discs used this necessitated that some of the 39 half hour first season (1955-56) episodes had to have either the opening or closing narratives (deliberately) omitted which is defeating the (very) purpose of marketing these classic tv series in the first place. People (quite reasonably) expect the episodes to be presented complete and uncut.
    It's funny that there were absolutely no complaints made here about THE MUNSTERS - THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON - 3-disc set either it's a (one in a million chance) fluke on the part of the manufacturer (who finally did something right on them) or maybe because those who purchased them have yet to watch all the episodes.
    This is absolutely reprehensible and Universal just can't be allowed to continue marketing defective garbage like this.
    I reiterate where is Ralph Nader when he is so desperately needed?
    Jeff T.
     
  10. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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  11. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    Or maybe you're just blinded by Diane Brewster's radiance. She has that effect on me, I know.
     
  12. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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  13. Brian W.

    Brian W. Screenwriter

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  14. Brian W.

    Brian W. Screenwriter

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    Thank you for the fantastic review, David VP. I've been waiting for Beaver for a long time. It's one of my favorite shows ever. The moment in "The Haircut" where Beaver's getting yelled at for cutting his hair, and June interrupts -- "Excuse me" -- and puts the stocking cap back on Beaver's head makes me laugh every I think about it, even though I haven't seen the episode in probably 20 years.

    I hope in future releases they will include some of the cast commercials. Only one I've seen is the Purina Dog Chow commercial, but I know that was later in the series. They ran it in syndication, at the end of the show. Beaver is babysitting Miss Landers' dog while she's away on vacation, and she's giving him instructions at her house. "Ggggee, Miss Landers, that's Purina Dog Chow!" "Yes, Beaver -- the eager eater's dog food." I've been wanting to see that again ever since I first saw it back in the late '70s.
     
  15. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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  16. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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  17. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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  18. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    I'm in the same boat as Mike. I may not wait until Christmas, but I don't have it right now. I saw the pilot a long, long time ago, but I don't remember enough to comment. I do remember the other Ward was totally suave in his smoking jacket. [​IMG]
     
  19. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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  20. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Okay, David. I'd say you are starting to over-think this whole thing! [​IMG]
    Less than a month until I get me some Beaver! :b
     

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