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"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. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Well-Known Member

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    LEAVE IT TO BEAVER: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON

    [​IMG]

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    AT-A-GLANCE DVD STATS:

    Number of Episodes -- 39.
    Number of DVDs -- 3 (Dual-Sided; Dual-Layered; DVD-18).
    Video Aspect Ratio -- Full Frame OAR (1.33:1).
    Audio -- Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (English only).
    Color or B&W? -- B&W.
    Any Bonus Stuff? -- No.
    Subtitles -- English SDH (No Spanish subtitles this time).
    "Play All" Option Included? -- Yes.
    Chapter Stops Included? -- Yes. [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Are These Episodes Complete and Unedited? -- Yes. [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Booklet/Insert Included? -- No.
    DVD Distributor -- Universal Studios Home Entertainment.
    DVD Release Date -- May 2, 2006.

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    A SECOND FULL YEAR OF THE CLEAVER FAMILY:

    Universal Studios' second-season DVD set of "Leave It To Beaver" is most certainly a required addition to anyone's "Beaver-on-DVD" collection. Jerry Mathers, Tony Dow, Hugh Beaumont, Barbara Billingsley, Ken Osmond, Frank Bank, Rusty Stevens, and Richard Deacon are all back for Season 2 of this engaging and always-rewarding family-oriented television series.

    This 1958-'59 sophomore campaign of "Beaver" cranked out a healthy total of 39 shows (each of the six seasons of the series had exactly that same number of episodes). Some of the ones in this collection that I'll be revisiting often include: "Happy Weekend", "Wally's Haircomb", "The Grass Is Always Greener", "The Shave", "Beaver Gets Adopted", "Most Interesting Character", "A Horse Named Nick", and "Wally's New Suit". (See full episode list for Season #2 below, including more comments about many of these episodes.)

    Fans of "Leave It To Beaver" will, of course, notice that the show's opening credits sequence has changed from the first-year "Handprints In Wet Cement" opening. A brand-new opening was filmed for each of the 6 LITB seasons, in fact.

    Here in Season #2 (the last of the two seasons spent in the much-cozier Cleaver house at "485 Maple Drive"; sometimes known as "485 Mapleton Drive" as well), the show opening features mom and dad (June and Ward) waiting at the bottom of the staircase for their two young sons. As Wally and Beaver each come down the stairs, they are handed their lunches on their way out the door.

    [​IMG]

    And in case anyone might be wondering why there aren't any of those Hugh Beaumont-narrated "Teasers/Previews" attached to any of these second-year LITB shows .... it's because no such previews were filmed for these episodes. The teasers were only done for the first-season shows.

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    ABOUT THE DVDs:

    This DVD set was released by Universal on May 2nd, 2006, which is just slightly more than five months after the first-season collection was made available. That first-year set is also a vital item for the Beaver faithful (quite naturally). A whole gob of info regarding that first LITB season on DVD can be found here:

    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htf/...d.php?t=224915

    Like Season 1, the year-two set comes with three double-sided discs, featuring 7 episodes per disc side (except Side B of Disc #3, which offers 4 shows to round out this season). I'd have preferred six single-sided discs with artwork on the DVDs, but I'm not going to gripe too much about this two-sided "DVD-18" format -- mainly because I've yet to have any trouble playing any of my Universal DVD-18s to date; they've all played just fine in my player, this 3-Disc set included.

    The picture quality for these black-and-white shows is very pleasing, just like the first-year set. The indoor scenes do incorporate a good deal of grain within the image, but IMO it's not so bad or annoying that it makes me want to scream bloody murder. And some scenes seem to have less grain in them than other scenes (sometimes varying in degree within the same episode).

    All of the scenes that were filmed outdoors, however, are absolutely crystal-clear and gorgeous (without a hint of film grain that I can see). The outdoor scenes do make me yearn for a less-grainy image for the indoor shots.

    In seeing the obvious differences in grain level when comparing the inside vs. out-of-doors shots, it does make me wonder just exactly why the inside scenes can't look just as grain-free too? It must be something inherent to the film stock being utilized for the outdoor camerawork that accounts for the varying levels in grain that can be observed in these episodes. (Or, maybe it's something else altogether. Beats me. I'm certainly no techno-wizard.) [​IMG]

    More talk concerning the PQ of this set is located here:

    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htf/...0&postcount=55

    But, overall, just like the first-season DVD collection, I'm as happy as the proverbial lark with the video quality that Universal has given LITB fans here. The Dolby Digital 2.0 English Mono audio tracks sound just fine too. Very little background hiss or "pops" at all. For a series this old, the audio sounds just about perfect. [​IMG]

    Whoever did the English subtitling did a very nice job, too. From the shows I have checked in both Season 1 and Season 2 with subtitles engaged, it appears that these subtitles offer up a perfect word-for-word account of each episode (with every ambient "door slam" and "dog bark" also added into the mix as well). It's an excellent job at giving hard-of-hearing LITB fans a way to experience "Verbatim Beavers". [​IMG]

    And lookie here! We have a major improvement over Season #1 -- Chapter stops have been included for all of these S.2 shows! [​IMG] This includes a handy chapter break just after the opening titles. There are 4 total chapters per episode. Good job, Universal. I like a few chapters on DVDs, no matter if it's a movie, a documentary, or a TV show. I guess Universal now must agree with that point-of-view too (after providing no chaptering for any of the Season-One Beaver shows).

    There aren't any Special Features adorning this set. Just the thirty-nine full-length, uncut episodes are included. But that's okay with me, because the episodes themselves are so darn good and eminently rewatchable, that no bonus items are really required here.

    A "Play All" function is included for Season 2, which is always very handy for many DVD-watchers (although I never utilize this feature personally; but it's nice to know it's there if you want to use it).

    The average running time per episode is pretty close to 26 full minutes for each of these second-season "Leave It To Beaver" entries. To get even more technical, according to the stats on the packaging, the average run time for these 39 shows works out to precisely 25:52 per program, based on the total running time of 1,009 minutes (16 hrs., 49 min.) shown on the box. I haven't timed each and every show, but that stat seems about right to me....and is a figure I'm certainly not disappointed with, in that it most certainly indicates "Full-Length Beavers" to this writer! [​IMG]

    It's very interesting and fun to go through these episodes and notice some scenes that I haven't seen for many years (if ever). Example being: the first scene in "The Lost Watch", which has an irate Ward shouting up the stairs for Wally. This scene is normally cut out altogether in syndicated prints, with the episode usually starting out at the baseball field with the boys. It's great having all of those small snippets like the one I just mentioned placed back into the shows for all time on these DVDs.

    The DVD format also affords the viewer to fully appreciate (if they so desire) the ending credits sequence on all of these episodes. This second season of LITB has a different ending than season one, with one long continuous shot being used showing Wally and "The Beaver" walking home from school toward their house in Mayfield.

    So often nowadays the end credits of TV shows are squeezed off to the side of the screen by the TV networks to allow more commercials and promos to come into our homes. But on the DVDs, there aren't any "Coming Up Next" interruptions at the end of these episodes, and the video remains where it should be....filling the whole 1.33:1 frame of your TV.

    Another very nice thing about this set (as compared to Season #1) is something that's NOT present here -- and that is the annoying and needlessly-repetitive Universal Studios tag/logo which was included prior to every single first-season episode. Thankfully, Universal (evidently) realized that nobody wants or needs to hear that 22-second-long hunk of useless fanfare prior to watching each Beaver entry. (The loud music associated with that dang thing practically blasts you out of the house every time it comes on. But, at least they did make it skippable via a quick remote keystroke on Season 1 anyway.)

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    ICE-BLUE PACKAGING:

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    The style of the 2nd-Season packaging is exactly the same as the Season-One release -- An open-ended outer "slipcase" box that holds three clear slim plastic cases. Episode information is provided on the back of each of the plastic cases (with ep. titles plus a brief description of each program too).

    On the negative "packaging" side is the cheap quality of the outer box here. It's very, very thin and not nearly as sturdy as the Season-One (standard version) box that Universal issued for that set. It's a good-looking S.2 box (with attractive shiny lettering used for the titling), but it's extremely flimsy. Hopefully future season sets will retain the thickness and heavier weight of the first-season disc-holding packaging.

    The lettering used on the DVD box (and the general overall look of the package) is the same as the first-year set, making it blend in nicely with Season #1, which is a plus. This second-season box is blue, while Season 1 was done in white.

    A small picture of "The Beav" occupies the center of the box front for Season 2. In fact, it's the exact same photo of Jerry Mathers ("Beaver") that can be found on the front of the first-season limited-edition "Lunch Box" package.

    Universal has included a "Complete Second Season" notation on the spine of the box....which is unlike the first-year set, which for some odd reason doesn't have any "season number" markings on the box spine at all. I'm glad that's been added for this DVD release though. In fact, they've splashed "The Complete Second Season" in various locations throughout this boxed set. So, at least we're not going to forget which season we are watching when handling this 2nd-year set at any rate. [​IMG]

    The back cover of the outer box has a blurb about the series in general, plus some DVD specs, but no episode list, which, IMO, would have been a nice addition to the outer case. Having a quick-reference list of the shows all in one space is very handy (as Paramount has done with several seasons of its DVD releases of "The Andy Griffith Show"). I'd prefer an episode list on the slipcase rather than the proverbial descriptive blurb about the TV series (which is something you're likely to read once and then never again). Oh, well....I guess I'm just being fussy. [​IMG]

    The photo that is shown on the back of the outer carton, btw, is not a picture from this second season. The tell-tale sign that it's from a later year (probably Season 3) is the Cleaver house that is visible in the background. That's the "Pine Street" dwelling...not the "Maple/Mapleton Drive" house that is featured in this second season of the series. It's a good group/family shot of the Cleavers nevertheless, and is a promotional picture I had never seen before getting this DVD set.

    The front of each of the three inner cases duplicates the slipcase artwork. Only Disc Three's case features a photo on the back (the same one that occupies the back of the outer box).


    Additional pictures of the LITB-S.2 packaging (front and back):

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    WHAT'S ON BEAVER'S "MENU"?:

    (Sure hope it's not brussels sprouts....The Beav can't stand those things!) [​IMG]

    But, regarding the S.2 "DVD Menus" -- Those Menus are the same design as the Season-One set (static design with looped LITB theme music playing under the Main Menu). The Main Menu has a single picture of "The Beaver" (the same pic that's on the front of the boxed set).

    Upon load-up of Disc 1, there are 3.5 minutes of "Previews" for other Universal DVDs. But these ads can be skipped by hitting the "Menu" button. The studio logo and FBI warning are also other annoyances that can be quickly skipped on each of the DVDs (which is always nice).

    There are Sub-Menus for "Episode Index" and "Languages". These Sub-Menus are silent. One thing missing, though, are the episode Sub-Menus, with descriptions of the episodes printed on the screen (which were done for the first season).

    But here for Season Two, when "Play" is selected from the "Episode Index" Menu, you go straight to the episode. This does make getting to the shows faster, especially without that awful fanfare/logo thingy to bypass in this set too....but the show synopses were done very well for Season 1 (with some of them even stretching into two separate screen "pages"), and it would have been nice for continuity sake to have them included in this set as well. But, Universal has placed the episode descriptions on the DVD cases for S.2, instead of on the DVD Sub-Menus.

    Another small change for Season 2 is the lack of an "Episode List" on the DVDs themselves, which was a handy on-screen ep. guide that is featured on the S.1 set that allows you to see all the S.1 show titles at a quick glance. It's not a major omission for S.2, but I figured I'd mention it anyway.

    On the "Languages" Menu for this S.2 set, there's an interesting promotional photo of Jerry Mathers and Tony Dow riding bicycles (probably on the Universal back lot). Again, it's not a picture taken during Season #2 however. It's from a later year of the series.

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    THE EPISODES:

    Below is a listing of the 39 shows that are digitally encoded in lovely fashion on these three discs (episodes 40 through 78 in the history of the series). I've included the original ABC-TV airdates for each program, plus some miscellaneous and assorted descriptive passages and quotes for some of the episodes:


    LEAVE IT TO BEAVER -- SEASON #2 (1958-1959):

    40. "Beaver's Poem" (First Aired: Thursday, October 2, 1958) -- Season Two opens with a very sweet and engaging episode, with Beaver having trouble writing a poem for a school assignment. Father Ward comes to the rescue and writes the poem for Beaver, which results in some trouble later on, when the poem wins a prize. This is a perfect "do your own homework" lesson for children; with Ward learning his "lesson" as well. .... The scenes where Ward scolds Beaver at the top of his lungs are hilarious here. .... And: Keep a sharp eye out for the several (very smoothly done) edits that were integrated into this season-opening show -- each edit (or "dub") revolving around the school "grade" that Beaver was supposed to be in at the time. The original filmed dialogue has the words "second grade" spoken by various cast members throughout the episode. But, on each of these occasions, the words "third grade" have been seamlessly dubbed into the script by the actors at a later date.

    41. "Eddie's Girl" (October 9, 1958)

    42. "Ward's Problem" (October 16, 1958) -- Sue Randall makes her first appearance as Beaver's new teacher, "Miss Landers".

    43. "Beaver And Chuey" (October 23, 1958) -- This episode breaks a few language and cultural barriers, as Beaver makes a new friend, who just happens to be Spanish and speaks not a word of English. This show is written with just the right mix of humor and tenderness, with another of "life's little lessons" being learned through the eyes of Beaver Cleaver. .... To give you an idea of the impact that this particular LITB entry made on me -- I can't speak a speck of Spanish, except for the six-word insulting phrase that Eddie Haskell teaches Beaver to say to "Chuey" in this episode. Those six words flow off my tongue fluidly because of this program. The six words being: "Usted tiene una cara como puerco". Translation (to the chagrin of everyone concerned in this episode): "You have the face of a pig". [​IMG] .... More hilarity ensues when Ward asks Beaver what those words mean. Beaver's answer to his father: "I don't know dad; but whenever you say it, everybody leaves the room". [​IMG]

    44. "The Lost Watch" (October 30, 1958)

    45. "Her Idol" (November 6, 1958)

    46. "Beaver's Ring" (November 13, 1958) -- Beaver learns yet another of life's many lessons after getting a ring stuck on his finger. And for a while, The Beav thinks they're going to have to chop off his finger to get the darn thing off! .... "It's just about my favorite finger." [​IMG]

    47. "The Shave" (November 20, 1958) -- A terrific episode, with Wally center-stage this time, as he thinks he's ready to start shaving his massive beard on a near-daily basis. Watch for Howard McNear as "Andy The Barber" here. McNear, two years later, would make a name for himself by playing the part of yet another barber ("Floyd Lawson") on the popular TV series "The Andy Griffith Show". It seems that Howard was destined to play barbers on TV. [​IMG]

    48. "The Pipe" (November 27, 1958) -- A late-'50s lesson about the effects of smoking is illustrated in this funny LITB installment. (There's no talk of cancer, though -- just a whale of a tummy ache for Beaver and his friend Larry Mondello, who is forever getting The Beav into trouble.)

    49. "Wally's New Suit" (December 4, 1958) -- Wally just loves his brand-new "bright" and "loud" suit that he was allowed to shop for all by himself. .... "Alright, let him wear that horse blanket to the dance!"

    50. "School Play" (December 11, 1958) -- "I expect you have a few butterflies in the ol' stomach, eh Beav?" ---> "How would they get in there, dad?" [​IMG]

    51. "The Visiting Aunts" (December 18, 1958)

    52. "Happy Weekend" (December 25, 1958) -- One of my all-time favorite episodes. Ward takes the family to a cabin up in the woods for the weekend. .... Wally gets in a good zinger when face-to-face with the man who rents the fishing equipment up at the lake -- "Dad says the stuff you rent is a bunch of junk". [​IMG]

    53. "Wally's Present" (January 1, 1959)

    54. "The Grass Is Always Greener" (January 8, 1959) -- Wally & The Beaver befriend the trash man's kids in this very charming show. As Ward says in this ep., Wally and Beaver start looking at things "through the eyes of the trash man's kids". And everyone's the better for this revelation (especially those of us watching this delightful episode). .... Actor Jess Kirkpatrick, who plays the trash man here, pops up in multiple "Beaver" episodes as various characters, including more than one appearance as the neighborhood garbage collector.

    55. "The Boat Builders" (January 15, 1959)

    56. "Beaver Plays Hooky" (January 22, 1959) -- "What a dope! First he plays hooky and then goes on television!" .... This episode also features one of the best 'one-way telephone calls' I've ever seen filmed for any TV show before or since, where Ward gets word from June over the phone that Beaver has ditched school. Hugh Beaumont, as the flustered Ward, plays this phone scene to utter perfection, a scene which ends with Ward's absolutely hysterical line: "June, you can pick up clothes-pins anytime!" [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    57. "The Garage Painters" (January 29, 1959)

    58. "Wally's Pug Nose" (February 5, 1959)

    59. "Beaver's Pigeons" (February 12, 1959)

    60. "The Tooth" (February 19, 1959) -- Beaver's fear of visiting the dentist isn't eased the slightest bit after Lumpy adds his two-cents' worth about what he says the dentist is going to do to poor Beav. And Fred Rutherford's account of a previous medical procedure performed on his daughter, Violet, certainly doesn't help matters for Beaver either --- "When that doctor took her leg and started pulling; and the bones were grinding...!" [​IMG]

    61. "Beaver Gets Adopted" (February 26, 1959) -- Beaver advertises for new parents after some trouble at home. There's a touching resolution to this episode (which, of course, isn't uncommon among LITB eps., since most of them end in a similar fashion, which is part of the overall pleasantness of this forever-enduring television series).

    62. "The Haunted House" (March 5, 1959) -- "Well I'm sorry dear; I guess there just isn't any diplomatic way to tell a woman she looks like a witch." [​IMG]

    63. "The Bus Ride" (March 12, 1959)

    64. "Beaver And Gilbert" (March 19, 1959)

    65. "Price Of Fame" (March 26, 1959) -- A double batch of trouble for predicament-prone Beaver in this episode. He first gets locked in the principal's office at school; and later finds himself trapped in an iron fence in the park.

    66. "A Horse Named Nick" (April 2, 1959) -- "Well, June, you can't just take a full-grown horse out and lose him. Anyway, there's probably a law against 'equine desertion'." .... "I'm sorry madam, I can't touch them unless they're dead." [​IMG]

    67. "Beaver's Hero" (April 9, 1959) -- "Dad, I'll bet you were the best dirt-leveller in the whole Seabees."

    68. "Beaver Says Goodbye" (April 16, 1959)

    69. "Beaver's Newspaper" (April 23, 1959)

    70. "Beaver's Sweater" (April 30, 1959) -- Beaver and mean old Judy Hensler show up at school one day wearing exactly the same kind of "Eskimo" sweater. Needless to say, Beaver's not exactly thrilled at the realization he's purchased an article of female apparel.

    71. "Friendship" (May 7, 1959)

    72. "Dance Contest" (May 14, 1959)

    73. [​IMG] [​IMG] "Wally's Haircomb" [​IMG] [​IMG] (May 21, 1959) -- Just thinking about this episode (and its humorous title) makes me burst out laughing. Wally's new-fangled "haircomb" (dubbed a "Jelly Roll") sends mother June into a frenetic state of worry and concern over her boy's hideous looks due to the "comb". The "jazzy" musical accompaniment every time we see Wally's strange-looking hairdo is a real howl (and a neat twist that's not normally encountered in this TV series). By episode's end, however, June has shown Wallace the error of his hair-combing ways, with June offering up a hunk of advice that every child would be wise to listen to -- "Wally, we knew you'd grow up with good sense; but what's wrong with having good sense on the way?"

    74. "The Cookie Fund" (May 28, 1959)

    75. "Forgotten Party" (June 4, 1959)

    76. "Beaver The Athlete" (June 11, 1959) -- Ward is concerned over Beaver's poor grade in Physical Education. .... "Now I'm going to have to wash his hair tonight."

    77. "Found Money" (June 18, 1959) -- Larry Mondello does it again, managing to get Beaver into more hot water after swiping some of his mother's loose change and then coaxing Beaver into coming over to his house to conveniently "find" the loot in Larry's yard. According to Larry, the money dropped out of an airplane when the pilot was flying upside-down over Larry's dwelling. [​IMG] .... Young Larry's mother (played by SIXTY-year-old Madge Blake, who, in reality, was more of the age to be portraying Lawrence's GRANDmother, instead of his mom [​IMG]) appears in this episode and supplies numerous laughs with her unique delivery of funny lines of dialogue. I imagine Larry's dad was in Cincinnati on business again during this program (he's forever going to Cincinnati when Larry's getting into trouble at home). Perhaps Mr. Mondello was just a huge Cincinnati Reds' baseball fan, and loved visiting Crosley Field constantly. [​IMG] [​IMG]

    78. "Most Interesting Character" (June 25, 1959) -- The season-two wrap-up show is a dandy. Beaver has to write a composition for school, and ultimately decides to write about his father. The final act has Ward reading Beaver's essay to the whole family at the breakfast table, providing yet another sweet and tender "LITB moment" (without being overly "sappy" about it). Hugh Beaumont reads it just perfectly. .... "He may not be interesting to you, or someone else, because he's not your father -- just mine."

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    CLOSING CLEAVER COMMENTS:

    A second distinguished, homespun season of "Leave It To Beaver" resides within this nicely-designed 3-Disc DVD collection from Universal Studios Home Entertainment.

    What other TV show could possibly produce entire half-hour episodes that revolve around nothing more than getting a ring stuck on your finger, or buying a new suit, or writing a grade-school poem -- and yet make these seemingly-mundane occurrences come out so charming and realistic-feeling on our television screens? Not many shows could accomplish this task as nicely and skillfully as "Leave It To Beaver" managed to do.

    Collecting these full-season DVD sets of this enchanting TV sitcom is like placing a small (but genuinely-entertaining) piece of mid-20th-century Americana right into your living room.

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    http://homevideo.universalstudios.co...?childId=36174

    http://www.leaveittobeaverdvd.com/index.htm

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...qid=1145854109

    http://www.dvdempire.com/Exec/v4_ite...item_id=938121

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  2. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    David: Thank you...several times over!

    What a terrific post. And a Crosley Field reference, to boot! [​IMG]

    I cannot wait until I get my hands on this set! I believe it will be my weekend project...if I can't figure out how to secure it sooner!

    Am glad to hear you're pleased with the video transfer..and that you say it's just as good as Season 1.

    I wonder how these sets are selling for Universal. It sure would be nice to find out.

    I'll report back later with my own impressions when I've finally got this gem in my hands.

     
  3. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Well-Known Member

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    As of this moment, it's doing pretty well -- #51 @ Amazon:

    Amazon.com Sales Rank: #51 in DVD.
    Yesterday: #36 in DVD.
     
  4. ScottR

    ScottR Well-Known Member

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    Is the original closing Universal logo on Seasons One and Two?
     
  5. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Well-Known Member

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    There's no "Universal" logo anywhere on S.1 or S.2. Is there supposed to be (even though S.1 & S.2 were officially "MCA TV" productions in these years)?

    At the end of the closing credits, the only logos that appear are:

    "Filmed at Revue in Hollywood"

    and

    "In association with MCA TV -- Exclusive Distributor".
     
  6. HowardPaul

    HowardPaul Well-Known Member

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    Fabulous review! I loved Season 1 and can't wait to see this.
    How
     
  7. John Carr

    John Carr Well-Known Member

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    Great review David -- hats off! I've watched the first 2 discs and agree with all your comments and evaluations.

    My only surprise for this season was at how much hollering Ward does in some of the early episodes! I don't remember him getting that angry, but -- as you mentioned -- some of that was cut out for the reruns... So my memory was probably overlaid by repeats, too.

    Even June raises her voice!

    I do remember my Dad hated both Father Knows Best and Leave It To Beaver, because I'd always stick them in his eye! I even had my little brothers telling him, 'Why can't you be more like Ward Cleaver?' To this day, just mentioning these shows raises his blood pressure!

    My Dad was quite the world-class hollerer and made even Ward's outbursts seem tame -- or I would have remembered them! Not that having 5 kids, 4 of them boys, had anything to do with it!

    Nor did it help that we were a bunch of wild Injuns compared to the Cleaver boys...

    John
     
  8. Jim-M

    Jim-M Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the excellent review. Your highlights of the episodes really captured the essence of the show. We haven't even finished season 1 yet, but I'll get season 2 eventually and am now more excited about it based on your review. This is spurring me to get going and start watching season 1 again - little league season has really cut down on the time for that.
     
  9. ScottR

    ScottR Well-Known Member

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    I think those are the right logos. I don't think it was officially Universal until a year or so later.
     
  10. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Well-Known Member

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    Right. I was thinking that was correct too.

    The show moved from the "Republic" ("Revue") lot to the Universal lot for Season 3 (hence, the house change). Interesting, though, is that the producers obviously knew that such a move was coming for S.3, because in the latter S.2 shows the Cleavers are actively in the market for a new house.
     
  11. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    You see, I never knew that!

    David, THAT kind of information is why I was hoping you'd do one of your reviews for LITB: S2! Very cool! [​IMG]
     
  12. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Well-Known Member

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    Mike,

    That info re. the switch from "Republic"/"Revue" to the "Universal" lot is info I gleaned from Jerry Mathers' book "...And Jerry Mathers As 'The Beaver'" (written in 1998). ......

    [​IMG]

    That book is a bit on the disjointed side in places, but I enjoyed reading about Jerry Mathers' personal experiences as "The Beav".

    Pages 96 and 97 of that volume provide the info re. the switch of filming locations:

    "At Revue, Gomalco Productions (formed by comedian George Gobel and baseball mogul Dave O'Malley) produced our shows. Gobel it seems was looking for a good investment for some leftover money. During our third season in 1959, Leave It To Beaver moved from Revue on the Republic lot to Universal Studios.

    "When TV intruded on the motion picture scene in the 1950s, there was a real need for change. Universal was floundering and was acquired by MCA (Music Corporation Of America) in 1959, and became known as 'MCA/Universal'. Before that, MCA had run the television department at Revue. So when MCA bought Universal they took their entire stock of TV shows with them {including Beaver}."
    -- Jerry Mathers; 1998
     
  13. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    That may be a book I'll have to seek out...
     
  14. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Well-Known Member

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    Meaningless (Albeit Semi-Nifty) LITB Trivia........

    In the S.2 episode "Wally's Pug Nose", closely watch the scene when Beaver pulls the "nose gadget" box out from under the bed......

    Take note of the slick way the front of the box was filmed....with Beaver's thumb conveniently positioned over the address label in order to hide the U.S. state that the package was sent to....thereby keeping the location of "Mayfield" forever a mystery. [​IMG]

    The nose gadget, btw, was shipped to "Wallace Cleaver; 485 Mapleton", and was shipped by "Contoura Products" of _______ Junction, New York (the first part of town name is unreadable), on "January 17 AM" (the episode aired on February 5th; so that's pretty good real-calendar continuity). [​IMG]

    BTW #2 -- The video quality for that "Pug Nose" ep. features much less grain than other episodes. [​IMG]
     
  15. Jim-M

    Jim-M Well-Known Member

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    Fry's has this set for $27.99 today-Tuesday. Looks like I'll be picking it up earlier than expected.
     
  16. Wezzo

    Wezzo Well-Known Member

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    I love your reviews, David, they're so in-depth and detailed. Great job!
     
  17. Michael Rogers

    Michael Rogers Well-Known Member

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    Good review, got my set and will be cracking it open soon
     
  18. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Got mine, too! Called a local Wal-Mart and got an over-the-phone price of $39.88. With Best Buy ad in hand to price-match ($34.99), I went to a different Wal-Mart today and the shelf price was $33.24! [​IMG]

    Hope to get to mine before the weekend is over.
     
  19. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Watched Episode #1 of the set "Beaver's Poem"
    last night and I agree completely with your assessment, David. The indoor scenes do, indeed, have that certain amount of grain which, while it is noticeable, is not overpowering.

    I gotta tell you that I LOVED going directly to the theme after selecting the episode from the menu. TERRIFIC! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] Hats off to the people at Universal for making that adjustment from Season 1.

    Looking forward to making it through the rest of the episodes.
     
  20. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I must agree .... being able to start a particular "Official Beaver Session" with fewer remote keystrokes is a plus. And a quick "chapter advance" to get past the opening titles is even better. [​IMG]

    By-the-by, Mike F. ...... Did you take particular notice of the three or four well-done "Third-Grade" dubs that were integrated into the S.2 debut episode ("Beaver's Poem")? The dubs affect several of the actors too....with Ward being dubbed once, Wally once, and The Beav at least one time too.*

    * = Footnote -- I don't want to mislead anyone here into thinking that I'm talking about "edited" material in this "dub" regard. Because that's not the case at all. That episode aired with those "third-grade" dubbed-in lines intact on the original LITB soundtrack (well, I'm practically certain it was aired that way in '58 at any rate; because every print I've ever seen has those dubs in place).

    --------

    "How can you try too hard to be a good parent?!", bellowed Ward Cleaver during a Season-One episode of LITB.

    To which there was this response from the lips of the razor-sharp, first-season version of June Bronson-Cleaver (a feistiness which Mrs. Cleaver retains throughout the second season of the series as well):

    "I don't know...but it looks like you've mastered it."

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    (BTW -- Beaver looks JUST like a "Bronson".)
     

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