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HTF REVIEW: The Andy Griffith Show - The Complete First Season

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Scott Kimball, Nov 7, 2004.

  1. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
    The Andy Griffith Show - The Complete First Season



    Studio: Paramount

    Year: 1960-1961

    Rated: NR

    Length: 15 Hours, 15 Minutes

    Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1

    Audio: English Dolby Digital Mono

    Closed Captioned

    Special Features: None

    Expected Street Price: $30 USD


    Release Date: November 16, 2004




    The Andy Griffith Show is one of those timeless television programs with universal and lasting appeal. The down-home humor seems to work whether or not you come from a small town like Mayberry, or a large metropolis - though I’m sure the show carries a bit more weight with those of us who have firsthand experience with small town living.

    An endearing cast of characters is portrayed by a wonderful and talented ensemble, helping to make The Andy Griffith Show a historic achievement in television comedy.

    Andy Griffith plays Andy Taylor, widower, father to young son Opie (Ron Howard), and sheriff and Justice of the Peace of the tiny North Carolina town of Mayberry. Andy and Opie live with Aunt Bee (Francis Bavier), who acts as the mother of the household and exudes Southern Hospitality.

    Barney Fife (Don Knotts) is Andy’s cousin, and holds the job of deputy sheriff. He’s a lovable guy, but incompetent in most aspects of life - especially in his role as lawman. Thankfully, the town of Mayberry has no crime.

    The cast of regulars is rounded out, in this first season, by Ellie Walker, Otis (the town drunk), and Floyd the barber.

    Paramount serves up the original 32 episodes from season one in this DVD set.

    The Transfers
    This is, without a doubt, the best I’ve ever seen this show look. The elements used for the transfer were nearly pristine, with just a speck here and there. Considering these elements are 44 years old, I’m amazed by the quality.

    The picture is usually sharp, with an occasional soft scene here and there. There is an occasional hint of edge enhancement - but it is very slight and only visible under the right conditions.

    Contrast is excellent, overall, with solid black levels and good shadow detail.

    Grain is variable, as on the original elements. The vast majority of the time, grain is very fine and tight, with only a scene here and there where it becomes a bit courser.

    I have to say, after years of seeing deteriorated prints playing in reruns, I am pleasantly surprised at the sharpness, detail and contrast delivered by these discs.

    The sound is Dolby Digital Mono. There is some occasional mild hiss, especially noticeable in quieter passages. The hiss is of variable intensity, and is not always present - and it is the only defect of note in the audio.

    The dialog is always crisp, clean and intelligible, and music sounds as you would expect for a monaural source of this age.

    Special Features
    There are no special features. This is the one and only disappointment for fans of the show. It would have been nice to, at the very least, have had a thirty minute retrospective with interviews with surviving cast members. On the other hand, with a budget price of around $30 for the set, it’s hard to complain.

    Final Thoughts
    Fans of The Andy Griffith Show will be pleased with the audio-video quality of this set, and with the price. Those who are looking for extra features will be disappointed. For me, I’m happy to see a budget priced set with superb quality, so I can see these episodes cleanly and uncut for the first time in years.
     
  2. Pete Battista

    Pete Battista Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the review Scott...
    I was one that always loved extras... but as long as the transfer is good and it is priced right I am happy to add it to my collection... and sounds like this one is.... putting it onto my wishlist! [​IMG]
     
  3. James L White

    James L White Well-Known Member

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    no color video=no sale!!!!!! [​IMG]

    j/k glad the a/v is good but the lack of extras kinda sucks [​IMG]
     
  4. Casey Trowbridg

    Casey Trowbridg Well-Known Member

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    I'm getting this release, I'm glad to finally have Andy and Barn on DVD even if their are no extras.
     
  5. Steve...O

    Steve...O Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Scott! I'm glad to hear that this set looks very nice. Hopefully Paramount will be rewarded with good sales.

    As for extras, there was a very nice reunion on CBS within the last year that could be included in a future set and I'm sure plenty of archival interviews exist. If the budget doesn't allow for the production of new extras perhaps Paramount already owns some of this old material. Griffith, Knotts, and Nabors are not youngsters anymore and it's quite possible their health no longer allows active participation in these projects. The first two in particular looked quite frail in the CBS special.

    Steve
     
  6. William0

    William0 Member

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    Scott, thanks for the review! I definitely will buy it since it will be closed captioned and the price is incredibly low for the length of 15 hours. That show is one of my top 5 favorites of all time.

    I wish there are many companies like Paramount, they tend to provide captions. Paramount, wherever you are, millions of thanks!! By the way, I wish you take Twilight Zone because Image Entertainment will not have it captioned.
     
  7. Jeff Reis

    Jeff Reis Well-Known Member

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    This is among my 2 or 3 most-wanted shows on DVD so it's good to hear that the quality is so good.
    I can only hope that these episodes are truly uncut with all epilogue scenes intact.

    I would have loved some commentaries but I guess it just wasn't to be. If Paramount holds to their planned release schedule all the b/w episodes (5 seasons) will be out by this time next year.

    "Andy! Onvicts-cay Ere-hay!"
     
  8. Dave Farley

    Dave Farley Well-Known Member

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    I'm glad to hear this set is a good one. It's definitely on the top of my list.
     
  9. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Well-Known Member

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    Thank you, Scott K.

    Great to hear about the excellent PQ. [​IMG]

    Scott .... You mentioned right at the end of your review that the shows are "uncut". Does this also mean that purists will be happy because the original opening & closing (whistling) themes are intact, and not dubbed (like some PD DVD releases)?

    And: Do we get the much-wanted Chapter Break immediately after the opening theme?

    Can you give us a couple examples of running times on some eps.? According to the overall run time, the 32 shows avg. out to over 28.59 (!) minutes per ep., which is impossible, as we all know.

    They should = 25 or 25.5 min. per show. 26 tops. Which has to mean the 15 hr./15 min. total time is a bit on the high side. Unless they put in an unexpected Easter Egg, consisting of the Danny Thomas "pilot" episode. That'd be ultra-sweet on Paramount's part if they did that. [​IMG]

    Of course, that one added episode *still* wouldn't come close to making the total run time drop by nearly 100 minutes (from 915 min. for 28m avg. to 816 min. for a more-likely 25.5m avg.).

    Makes me wonder why they show 100 extra minutes for this 4-Disc set. [​IMG]
     
  10. george kaplan

    george kaplan Well-Known Member

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    I sure as hell hope so, because I must be a 'purist'. I have one of those dvds without the opening song, and all I can say is it completely ruins the experience for me.
     
  11. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Well-Known Member

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    Epilogues are intact.

    -Scott
     
  12. Jeff Reis

    Jeff Reis Well-Known Member

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    Great to hear Scott, thank you.
     
  13. Jonny_L

    Jonny_L Well-Known Member

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    A wise man once told me - $30 for an entire season is good, $40 for an entire season with lots of extras is better. [​IMG]
     
  14. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Well-Known Member

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    Then there was the poor man who, referring to the less than $1 per episode price said, "I'll buy that for a dollar."

    [​IMG]

    Either way, I'm happy. Extras are something I usually watch once, if they are really appealing. The episodes, I'll revisit time and again. While extras are nice, I don't like it when they bloat the price.

    -Scott
     
  15. Jonny_L

    Jonny_L Well-Known Member

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    lol...true, true. The quality of the show is ultimately what matters, but I personally like goodies too.
     
  16. Steven Thomas

    Steven Thomas Member

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    Thanks for the review Scott. This DVD set will be on the top of my Christmas wish list! Can't beat the price for such a wonderful show.[​IMG]
     
  17. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Well-Known Member

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    Spot-checking the episodes, the running times are between 25:30 and 26:00 for each episode.
     
  18. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Well-Known Member

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    That you, Scott, for your quick replies to my TAGS inquiries. [​IMG]

    By "dubbed" earlier, I was referring to most of the public-domain DVD copies of TAGS eps., that nearly all have "alternate" whistling at beginning & end of ea. show.

    Seems odd, too, because WHY couldn't just the original "whistler" be utilized for the discs? It's not much different either way, but any TRUE fan of TAGS can tell the "whistler" is "Wacky" (er....different, that is). [​IMG]

    I guess that the rights to the "original whistler's" version of "The Fishin' Hole" opening theme couldn't be acquired for the PD releases.

    Also -- Remember that S.1 has the "Christmas Story" ep.; that is required Dec. 24th viewing, kids. Just remember that before purchasing. [​IMG]
     
  19. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Well-Known Member

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    Roger. Wilco. Check. And good deal. [​IMG]

    Just what I thought. At those run times, we can be certain that no Barney-isms are deleted.
     
  20. george kaplan

    george kaplan Well-Known Member

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    Well that would have been better than the ones I have. They actually have an alternative song on there. [​IMG]
     

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