"Leave It To Beaver: Season 2" -- A Personal Review

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by David Von Pein, May 3, 2006.

  1. Dave-P

    Dave-P Agent

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    Re: the episode, "The Shave." Is that the episode where Ward gets mad (no, gets "really" mad) at Wally for using his razor when he has told him not to?
     
  2. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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    Dave P.:

    Yes.
     
  3. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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    Some really cool and fun "Hey, Lookie At What I Discovered In This Episode" stuff uncovered by HTF member Jack Platt. I figured it would be nice to add it to this LITB S.2 thread (since it involves a Season-Two episode):

    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htf/...d.php?t=236955
     
  4. James RD

    James RD Supporting Actor

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    "A man wants to look good for the weekend".
     
  5. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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    I hate to correct a Beaver fan like James RD --- But "Andy The Barber's" exact line was: "A man likes to look right over the weekend." (With the emphasis on the "end" in "weekend".) [​IMG]

    "Not too hot for you, is it Wally?"

    --------------------------

    A June Cleaver Wardrobe Bulletin/Interjection! -------

    I didn't think that June Bronson-Cleaver ever was seen wearing anything but dresses during Seasons 1 and 2. But I'm dead-wrong.

    June is decked out in a lovely casual outfit in the S.2 ep. "Dance Contest". She's wearing pants and an attractive blouse (which I'd love to see in color; bet it'd be nice-looking in 'full living color').

    June is also seen in pants (~gasp~) in the episode about the boys getting a paper route too. And, come to think of it, The June-ster is also seen in pants in the S.2 ep. "Happy Weekend" (the "Go To The Cabin Up In The Woods" ep.).

    I'll be French-dipped! I hadn't realized that June went dress-less in that many early episodic adventures.

    Extra Bulletin --- Ward, however, is never seen in a negligee or a ladies' pant suit. (This might disappoint the cross-dressers in our audience today, but them's the breaks.) [​IMG]

    However, Ward is seen in a grass skirt (via a WWII photo the boys dig up in the garage). Although you can't really tell if it's Hugh/Ward in the pic or not. It could be Rod Serling or Randolph Mantooth for all I can tell.
     
  6. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Dave: I have this recollection of June in slacks doing some gardening at some time over the course of the show. Maybe it was a later season?

    Seems to me she was even wearing a bandana of sorts around her head! Probably was still wearing the pearls, though! [​IMG]
     
  7. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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    That's the previously-alluded-to "Paper Route" episode (when the man in the newspaper truck tosses the bundle of papers into June's flowerbed, pissing off the slacks-clad June-ster royally). [​IMG]
     
  8. Bert Greene

    Bert Greene Second Unit

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    I'm currently enjoying this 2nd-season, especially when I run across an episode I haven't seen in a good 20-25 years or so. There are a few more 'favorites' than I expected to see. Like, "Family Vacation," with the boys watching the drive-in movie through the binoculars. I remember that one from way back. Also, "Beaver Plays Hooky" is such a gem. Great seeing Richard Lane (whom I always liked from the "Boston Blackie" movies) as the tv-cowboy. Also saw John Hart pop up again in a tiny, tiny bit, in that episode. Only recently did I learn that Buddy Hart (who plays Wally's pal, Chester) was John Hart's son.

    Anyway, I hope we hear about season-3 soon. I'm also anxious to see some of the later seasons, when a lot of the plots revolve around Wally, Eddie and Lumpy. Although, I will miss Larry Mondello, who often just cracks me up with the expression on his face. I guess that's one thing that I always liked about this series is that the kids really remind me of kids, as opposed to a bunch of all-knowing, precocious hipsters like we see nowadays on tv.
     
  9. Seymour Uranowitz

    Seymour Uranowitz Stunt Coordinator

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    "Pissing her off" ???? The June Bronson-Cleaver that I know and love would NEVER get "pissed-off." "Miffed" maybe, but that's about as far as her emotional outbursts would go. You must have confused her with Maude Findlay...

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  10. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Screenwriter

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    Well said, Bert!
     
  11. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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    Amen to that sentiment.
    [​IMG]
     
  12. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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    No, I'd say June was quite "peed" when her just-planted flowers were destroyed by the careless paper-tosser. You cue up "The Paper Route" episode again and see if I'm not correct in this regard.

    She even wanted to get the number off the truck so that she could start serious legal action against the Sun-Courier paper distributors of Mayfield (USA). [​IMG] Ward was able to calm down his irate spouse, however. But it took several days and multiple back-rubs to accomplish this feat. [​IMG]
     
  13. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by David VP [/b]
    Ward was able to calm down his irate spouse, however. But it took several days and multiple back-rubs to accomplish this feat. [/url]
     
  14. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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    But I get dibs on doing it to Mary Ellen Rogers!

    Er...um...a "back-rub" I mean. That's all I meant. Really. What else could I possibly have been referring to anyway? You see, I'm not licensed for anything else. And clearing the licensing fees for anything else would cost me (and Universal) a fortune in fooling-around-on-the-couch rights. (Especially if Mary Ellen were to start singing Captain & Tennille's "Do That To Me One More Time" while on the couch; that'd cost the moon!) [​IMG]
     
  15. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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    A FOOTNOTE CONCERNING THE LITB VIDEO QUALITY ISSUE:

    I contacted USHE (Universal Studios Home Entertainment) by e-mail and asked them why the indoor scenes of LITB on DVD had so much more "grain" content in them as opposed to the outdoor shots (which absolutely sparkle in every respect, without any film grain to be seen in the out-of-doors scenes on both Season 1 and Season 2).

    Here's the verbatim reply I received from USHE (a very quick e-mail reply, too, I might add):

    ~~~~~~~~

    Subj: RE: Leave It To Beaver Seasons 1 & 2 - Inquiry # 57648
    Date: 7/6/2006 5:18:05 PM Eastern Daylight Time
    From: USHE.ConsumerRelations@worldmarkinc.com
    To: davevonpein@aol.com


    "Dear Mr. Von Pein,

    Thank you for contacting Universal Studios Home Entertainment. We strive to provide the highest standard in product quality and customer care. We have examined a copy of the 'Leave it to Beaver: the Complete Second Season' DVD, and find that it reflects the original film elements as supplied by the Studio.

    Mid-1950's black-and-white television series such as 'Leave it to Beaver' were created on film of much lower resolution than today's color television sets, video monitors and DVD players are designed to reproduce. Therefore, image characteristics can appear quite different from more recent productions. We appreciate your patronage and hope that you will continue to enjoy our products. Sincerely, Universal Studios Home Entertainment."


    ~~~~~~~~

    While I definitely appreciated getting the quick reply from Universal, it didn't fully address the question I posed to them. Because I also was very curious to know why in the heck the scenes filmed out-of-doors look totally grain-free on the DVDs vs. the grainier indoor portions of the episodes.

    If, in fact, "Mid-1950's black-and-white television series such as 'Leave it to Beaver' were created on film of much lower resolution than today's color television sets, video monitors and DVD players are designed to reproduce", as USHE told me, then HOW can the OUTDOOR scenes (filmed at the exact same time in the mid-'50s and on B&W film) look so perfect and grain-free? Shouldn't the ENTIRE episode look pretty much the same, either grainy or non-grainy?

    That explanation from USHE is also not very convincing when you go and look at the DVD video quality of TV series like "I Love Lucy" and "The Andy Griffith Show" (both put out by Paramount), which both look excellent on the Digital Disc format, exhibiting minimal grain content (even during "indoor" scenes). And both of those TV shows are in B&W and were made at about the same approximate time as LITB (with "Lucy's" premiere even preceding "Beaver" by six years).

    I guess the "resolution" of the LITB video is somehow bumped up when the crew filmed stuff out-of-doors. Ya think?? Beats me. It's still a mystery to this writer. But, anyway, at least I got a courteous reply from Universal, which pleased me.

    Overall, however (as mentioned previously), I'm still pretty happy with the PQ on both the Season-One and Season-Two LITB DVD sets (despite the presence of the excessive film grain).

    Anyway, just thought I'd pass along that USHE e-mail I received. I was surprised to get anything more than just a standard form letter of some kind. Somebody actually took time at USHE to write out a nice response to my inquiry (even though the main question I asked was not really addressed).

    So, what do the HTF Experts think re. that explanation by Universal concerning this matter?

    Does that person who wrote me have any idea what he/she is talking about? Or is Universal full of BS re. this topic? I really wouldn't know how to answer that. But I tend to lean toward the latter option, for reasons already stated above. [​IMG]
     
  16. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    David:

    I'm far from an expert on the topic. In fact, I hesitate to even say anything because there are so many here at the HTF more learned on the subject than me. I hope you garner some of their opinions on this.

    But, what she wrote makes a fair amount of sense. The indoor scenes are going to be filmed in a "low-light" situation and if a low-resolution film stock was used, an increase in grain--as compared to the outdoor scenes. There is never a substitute for good ol' sol to light a scene and bring out the best in any film gear/equipment--especially that which is challenged in any way.

    Compare it to taking pictures on 100 speed 35mm film inside versus outside.

    Re: your comparisons between LITB and TAGS & I Love Lucy, I would suspect that an entirely different type of camera and film stock was used...especially for ILL. ILL pioneered the three camera sitcom formula and Desilu was known for doing things topnotch.

    I, too, commend USHE for the non-programmed response to your inquiry. [​IMG]
     
  17. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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    Thanks for your thoughts Mike.

    What you said seems to make a good deal of sense too. (Although, I'll admit, I'm certainly no techno expert re. cameras, film stocks, lighting, et al.) [​IMG]

    BTW -- How do you know I heard from a "she"? The mail was signed "USHE". [​IMG]

    BTW #2 -- Another kind of odd thing re. the DVD "grain" situation --- I've looked and looked for the "excessive grain" on my VHS copies of LITB and (in an over-the-air situation) via the prints shown on TVLand....and I can't see any distinctly-noticeable grain in those versions of LITB. And I'm wondering why? I suppose the increased general quality of the "DVD format" might be bringing out any and all imperfections visible on the film (stuff that neither VHS nor OTA broadcasts will reveal to the naked eye). That convenient explanation looks good on paper, I'll admit...but, to tell the truth, I think that explanation is full of hot air. Because the excessive grain is not there on TVLand prints, or the old VHS tapes I've had for decades.

    Perhaps I'm just nuts. (A distinct possibility indeed.) [​IMG]
     
  18. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Yeah, well...we've all been talking... [​IMG]

    If I were you, I'd start a separate thread on the topic (the grain issue, not your mental health!) and get some quick responses from the learned (who might not be prompted to look in here).
     
  19. michael_ks

    michael_ks Screenwriter

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    I have to say that this is hands down the most enjoyable thread I've ever read on this forum. And I can hardly wait until "The Fugitive" is released since no doubt David VP will treat us with such a thorough and edifying review that it will be worthy of inclusion in a reprint of "The Fugitive Recaptured: The 30th Anniversary Companion to a Television Classic".

    The theory of the film grain between indoor/outdoor scenes seems very plausible. It is something that has puzzled me with the "Have Gun Will Travel" sets, where, in S2 especially, it is more pronounced than what we see on the LITB sets.

    One very minor and barely significant correction: what Beaver says to Chuey is in fact seven words: "Usted tiene una cara como un puerco" ("You have a face like a pig")
     
  20. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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