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CBS/Paramount and B/W shows

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Frank Soyke, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. Ron1973

    Ron1973 Beverly Hillbilles nut extraordinaire

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    Okay, I don't want to start an argument and I do respect your opinion. On the other hand, let the market place sort it out. If you're offended, you don't have to buy it. There is a ton of stuff these days that I would deem offensive but that doesn't mean it should be banned under lock and key. I realize Amos and Andy doesn't typlify black people any more than Uncle Jed typlifies oil millionaires who live in California.
     
  2. Jack P

    Jack P Producer

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    Amen to that! The programs should be made available to those who who want to see them as part of our history to form their own judgments and let the INDIVIDUAL decide whether to see it or not and set their own standards. I wouldn't have any interest in buying the TV series for pretty much the same reason I don't listen to episodes of the radio series, and just as I personally have my *legitimate* reasons for never wanting to waste my money or my time on the pretentious dramas of Herbert Brodkin and all his like-minded politically biased colleagues who believed in abusing the TV medium for shallow political indoctrination. But if those are going to become available on DVD, you won't catch me playing the role of Big Brother and demanding that they should be suppressed (even if for instance Frank Converse thought "Coronet Blue" was a piece of junk that he was glad to get off of at the time, which I've noticed is another standard some have invoked for whether a show should be released or not).
     
  3. Ron1973

    Ron1973 Beverly Hillbilles nut extraordinaire

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    A & A isn't something I would rush out and buy either. I've heard my parents speak of it and I can even remember my dad renting a VHS tape of it. I figure it's like a lot of shows of the era; it's historically important but maybe not exactly daily viewing material. I honestly am not looking to start any kind of argument but if we start banning everything one deems offensive, will we ban The Lone Ranger for its portrayal of Tonto as an Indian who couldn't speak basic English very well? If the powers-that-be want to put it on DVD and have a disclaimer that they don't agree with the content (much as they did on The Beverly Hillbillies' Winston ads), I'm fine with that but it shouldn't be kept under lock and key.
     
  4. Regulus

    Regulus Screenwriter

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    The Sky King box set (The one that sells for $250.00) includes a disk with four Amos and Andy episodes on it. :D
     
  5. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    I think a prime example of this type of potential "censorship" is what Fox did about a decade ago when they were scheduled to run a Charlie Chan marathon over the summer on FMC. Some folks, like George Takei, ended up getting on the bandwagon saying the films were offensive to Asian Americans and the marathon was cancelled outright as Fox bowed to the PC pressure. Eventually a so-called compromise was worked out where a few of the films were aired, but not without interruptions at various intervals where a special "panel" seated around some table would come on air and talk about all the offensiveness of them. It was truly pathetic.
    At that time, as dvds were really picking up steam, right here at HTF there was a chat night with Fox and someone asked about the potential release of the Fox Chan films, and the man in charge at the time said they wouldn't release them because they'd "lose their shirts" in sales if they did. Well, most of us knew that was baloney and that the real problem was, at least in part, a continuing carryover from the cancelled marathon and all the PC stuff that had gone on with it. Fox didn't want to release those films for fear of another firestorm. But the fact is that after a bit of time went by and more and more fans kept pressuring them to release the films, they finally did so. And guess what? They didn't lose their shirts at all. The films were big sellers on dvd. The market did indeed sort it out (as someone mentioned above). And that would be my solution with Amos and Andy as well. I wasn't around when they were originally aired and I don't consider the show a holy grail, so I don't have a real fighting interest in this one. But I do know they had an absolutely fabulous Christmas episode that was one of the best of all time in my book and I'd love to have a copy of that on dvd that looks better than the one I own now. Is it likely to happen (an official release)? Nope. Should it happen? Absolutely. But we all know it probably never will.
    Gary "I'm just glad that most of the CBS b/w shows I wanted badly are being released and finished up" O.
     
  6. Richard V

    Richard V Screenwriter

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    My memories of the Charlie Chan movies were primarily with Sydney Tolar as CC, and Keye Luke as his son. Tolar played him as the "ah-so" stereotype, but didn't his son play it straight, with normal speaking patterns with well spoken English?
     
  7. FanCollector

    FanCollector Producer

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    For the most part, Keye Luke worked with Warner Oland and Victor Sen Yung worked with Sidney Toler, but your larger point is true. I think the implicit explanation was that Chan was originally from China and English was a second language, whereas his sons were first-generation Americans for whom English was a first language.
     
  8. Neil Brock

    Neil Brock Screenwriter

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    The debate over Amos and Andy will rage on and never be resolved. The show is from an era when people speaking in dialects was not uncommon on television and you had other similar shows, such as The Goldbergs, Life With Luigi and Mama, all dealing with immigrant families who did not speak perfect English. The problem with A&A and why it became so controversial is that there were no other black shows on the air so the buffonery on this show was the only depiction of blacks being seen. It also became a touchstone of sorts for the NAACP in that they were able to get it withdrawn from syndication. People who have never been exposed to the show would be surprised at how inoffensive it actually is, especially in light of the shows that have come since. Thankfully, all but 6 episodes made their way over the years into private hands and are readily available to anyone who desires to seek them out.
     
  9. Guest

    I had never really seen the show until my brother got me one of those big sets that are out for Christmas one year. He is older than me and remembered the show better. I think it is hilarious and, if anything, a testament to the talent of the actors involved. I think it is inoffensive, too, but everyone has their opinion on that, I guess. It's not going to make me think black people are like that anymore than Green Acres makes me think it about white people. It's just a TV show.
     
  10. Neil Brock

    Neil Brock Screenwriter

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    The only show which featured a main character who was black before A&A was Beulah. She was essentially a black version of Hazel, helping out with a stupid white family which couldn't get along without her. Funny thing was the part was played over the 78 episodes by 3 different actresses. I don't remember which one it was but one of them had a classic line. When she was getting criticized for playing a maid on TV, her reply was that she could either make $500 a week for playing a maid or she could make $5 a week for being a maid.
     
  11. Regulus

    Regulus Screenwriter

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  12. Rob_Ray

    Rob_Ray Premium
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    That line has been attributed to Hattie McDaniel.
     
  13. Peter M Fitzgerald

    Peter M Fitzgerald Screenwriter

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  14. Ron1973

    Ron1973 Beverly Hillbilles nut extraordinaire

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    When we got our first VCR (circa 1985 or so) my dad rented A & A on VHS. From my recollections there was nothing offensive about it.
     
  15. Neil Brock

    Neil Brock Screenwriter

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    Unlike some of the black shows which came later, especially the Norman Lear ones like Good Times, A & A didn't do racial storylines nor set up white people as the enemy. All of the characters in the show were black - the crooks, the cops, the lawyers, the judges, the doctors, etc. Kingfish and Andy were not all that different from Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton. A blowhard schemer and his dimwitted sidekick.
     
  16. Sky Captain

    Sky Captain Second Unit

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    I'm sorry, Neil, but I have problems with some of the shows on your list; *The Web was made by Mark Goodson & Bill Todman, therefore it's owned by Freemantle Media. *The People's Choice was made by Norden Productions; there's no mention of it having anything to do with CBS or Paramount. *Not For Hire was made by California National Productions, which is a division of NBC, therefore it's likely part of the Universal Television portfolio, as are all of the other shows from this company.
     

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