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Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Brian:C, May 24, 2007.
Thanks, Hank, for the confirmation on the running times.
A curious thing about "Checkmate". Maybe it's just the episodes that were selected for this particular set, but no less than three veteren silver screen sirens make an appearance in the episodes presented (Anne Baxter, Jane Wyman and Joan Fontaine). Each of these ladies had nearly 30 years experience in the film business prior to appearing in "Checkmate". Charles Laughton, Mickey Rooney, Phillip Ahn and Joseph Cotton, no strangers to the film world either, also appear in the set. In the case of Laughton, whose career spans to the 1920s, no less, "Checkmate" was about the last thing he ever appeared in. Other great actors who appear in the 12 episode set are Mary Tyler Moore, John Hoyt, Martin Landau, Ricardo Montalban, Bruce Gordon, Gary Merrill, Yvonne Craig, Henry Jones, Dean Stockwell, Dan Druyea and Dabs Greer. Nice talent.
I just finished the 15 episodes of The Tall Man and have watched the first four episodes of The Restless Gun. One thing that I'm curious about is why does Tall Man have only 15 episodes and Restless Gun have 24 - both are 30 minute shows? I can't remember the back-story on these TM releases; maybe someone can refresh my memory. Are these public domain or did they license them cheaply? Could TM only find 15 episodes of The Tall Man good enough to release?
I have to say that so far I am enjoying these TM releases far more than I would have anticipated. Video and audio quality is much better than expected; but the biggest revelation is the quality of the shows themselves, which thus far have been great. One standout episode of The Restless Gun with great character actor Royal Dano was, in my opinion, simply brilliant; one of the best 30 minute western episodes I have ever seen. I am hopeful that if these sets sell decently, Timeless Media will put out other volumes of these great shows. Does anyone have any idea if Timeless has any other vintage TV gems up their sleeves?
Doug, Timeless Media is licensing these older Revue Studios titles from NBC Universal, but only the titles. Universal is not providing Timeless with the prints; Timeless has to secure prints from collectors and/or whatever sources they can find and that very well may be the reason that there are discrepancies in the number of episodes from one set to the next. The other possibility is that Timeless may be "stockpiling" episodes for subsequent volumes, but that's pure speculation on my part. Incidentally, "Laredo" is the number one selling DVD currently at Timeless' site; Amazon customer reviews are positive.
Over the Summer I sent a note to Lanny Lee who is a producer for Timeless inquiring about the 1962-63 series "The Wide Country," a modern day (circa early 1960s) drama using the professional rodeo circuit as its backdrop with stars Earl Holliman and Andrew Prine as the Guthrie brothers. Mr. Lee advised that they were working on it and it is a Revue/Universal series, so hopefully we'll see that next year.
I've only purchased one of these titles so far, "Arrest and Trial," and despite less than stellar prints, the show is outstanding. I also have "Checkmate" winging its way to me via DVD Pacific and hope to have that one by this weekend.
Incidentally, DeepDiscount.com is carrying the new Timeless titles and, with the 20% off sale going on right now, each of these are going for less than $18 shipped.
Thanks for that information Bob! I always look for your posts on this forum, because when it comes to vintage TV, you are the go to person. I've made a lot of purchasing decisions based on info that you have provided. Thanks again.
Thanks for your kind words, Doug, but trust me, there are a number of people on this board who know far more than I do when it comes to vintage TV . . . . I learn from them, as well, and it's one of the major reasons I've stayed with this board.
As long as it's listed at the site (and hasn't gone permanently out of stock), you can get the 20% discount. I've ordered out-of-stock items at DD before during their 20% off sale . . . . you just wait longer to get your shipment. What you can't use the 20% discount on is pre-orders . . . . that's why I'm holding off until November 20th on season 3 of both "Mission: Impossible" and "Wild Wild West" and "Man with a Camera," all of which are being released next week.
Also, you can use each discount code only once, but there are multiple codes, each of which can be used once enabling you to make multiple orders if you so desire. There are probably more, but SUPERSALE, DVDTALK, and PRICESEARCH have all been confirmed as working codes.
Great stuff guys! I've bought all the Timeless releases and am pleased with every single one of them. I highly recommend all of them (and this would be the time because of the aforementioned 20% off sale from Deep Discount)!!!
Gary "and I really hope we see a 'Wide Country' release too, Bob - that would be very welcome" O.
Bob, are you sure you aren't my long lost twin? We think too much alike. I'm doing the exact same thing you are and buying those three releases next week. I'll also pick up the third volume of "Tales of Tomorrow" then too.
Right now, I'm juggling "Checkmate," "Cimarron City" and "Arrest and Trial," and enjoying them all immensely. Can't wait to get the others! And, I certainly hope this little arrangement between Timeless and Universal continues.
Bert, care to share your thoughts on "Cimarron City?" I've never seen this series and don't know much about it.
This was my first encounter with "Cimarron City." I'd say it comes across very much like its fellow Revue western, "Wagon Train," although the latter was obviously far more successful. In other words, some pretty traditional, middle-of-the-road western fare... more character-study than found in the WB shows, but not as edgy/downbeat as the CBS shows.
The plots trapse very familiar territory. I've viewed the first seven episodes on the set, and pretty much every storyline rang a bell. But, the adept guest-casts seem to give it enough of a sparkle. For example, in "Hired Hand," you have the old one about a nefarious foreman who covets a young widow and her ranch... yet guests Mike Connors and Elizabeth Montgomery manage to make it an entirely satisfying effort.
Interestingly, a bearded Dan Blocker portrays a particularly menacing villain in the first episode in the set, "Terror Town." But a few episodes later, sans beard but with a big brushy mustache, he's an altogether different character, a semi-regular, as one of the Cimarron townsfolk.
Thanks for your thoughts, Bert. Looks like something I'll pick up down the line.
I'd join that club--he's one of my favorite character actors. I've seen Dano in the past year in episodes of Twin Peaks (one of his final roles), The Rifleman (as a preacher harassed by Warren Oates and L.Q. Jones), and Cimarron Strip, among other series. Encore Westerns showed a 1-hour b/w Gunsmoke a couple of years ago in which Dano played a character who spoke in a monotone and who was basically the Haggen family hatchet man.
Speaking of Timeless releases, Dano is apparently in the "Home Town" episode of Tate. Anyone seen that one yet?
So,are the TATE episodes from video tape masters or kinescopes.
I don't own "Tate" but found these comments from Charles H in an October 24th post in the "Route 66" thread:
"I just received ARREST & TRIAL and TATE from Timeless Media. TATE is an interesting western loaded with unusual guest stars like Louise Fletcher, Robert Redford, Leonard Nemoy, James Coburn, and it is in impeccable condition."
I do have a single episode of "Tate" that was released on a TV Westerns compilation from the Falcon Picture Group (1950s TV's Greatest Westerns) and I recall the episode to be fairly clean looking.
From a Disneyland trivia web page:
Dano was "....the original voice of Abe in 'Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.' A very talented character actor named Royal Dano gave voice to Mr. Lincoln well before he appeared at the New York 1964 world's Fair."
I've always called Royal Dano the poor man's Gregory Peck, because I think there is a definite resemblance to Peck both in voice and appearance. There is no doubt that he is one of the best character actors around. I wonder what his personality was like in real life? He so often played such an oppressed sad sack of a human being; it is hard to imagine him ever being happy. It seems like he was around forever. He was also in one of the episodes of Suspense that I just watched from around 1950.