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

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#1 of 12 OFFLINE   Scott Kimball

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Posted August 10 2005 - 04:08 PM

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The Andy Griffith Show - The Complete Third Season





Studio: Paramount

Year: 1962-63

Rated: NR

Length: 13 hours 28 minutes

Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1

Audio: Dolby Digital English 2.0 Mono

Closed Captioned

Special Features: Original Sponsor Spots

Suggested Retail Price: $39.93 USD
Release Date: August 16, 2005


The third season of The Andy Griffith Show features consistently good episodes, and the introduction of a new character. Gomer Pyle (Jim Nabors) makes his first appearance in season three.

It’s hard to pick favorite episodes from this season, but here are some that stand out...

In Mr. McBeevee, Opie tells Andy and Barney about his new friend who lives in the treetops and wears a silver hat. Andy and Barney believe that Opie’s friend is imaginary, and become concerned when he seems to use his “friend” as an excuse to lie.

In The Cow Thief, Mayor Stoner brings in an outside investigator to solve the mystery of the missing cows. Andy, of course, has his own ideas about the crime.

In The Loaded Goat, Cy Hudgins has a pet goat who will eat anything - including dynamite. This classic episode finds Andy and Barney trying to keep the “loaded” goat calm in a cell, when a “loaded” Otis demands his bed.

In The Darlings Are Coming, a family of hillbilly musicians comes to town to await the arrival of their daughter’s fiancee. Great humor and music make this episode stand out. Unfortunately, this DVD set appears to contain a syndicated cut of this fine episode - the running time is considerably shorter than the other episodes, and there are inconsistencies with regard to the quality of the title sequence when compared to other episodes of the season.

In Mountain Wedding, The Darlings return, asking Andy to come back to their home and stop Ernest T. Bass from pursuing recently married Charlene.

Here is a list of the episodes and their running times:

Mr. McBeevee - 25:24
Andy's Rich Girlfriend - 24:36
Andy and the New Mayor - 25:46
Andy and Opie, Bachelors - 25:41
The Cow Thief - 25:39
Barney Mends a Broken Heart - 24:34
Lawman Barney - 25:34
The Mayberry Band - 25:19
Floyd, The Gay Deceiver - 24:58
Opie's Rival - 25:15
Convicts-At-Large - 24:57
The Bed Jacket - 25:12
The Bank Job - 25:31
One-Punch Opie - 25:11
Barney and the Governor - 25:30
Man in a Hurry - 25:06
High Noon in Mayberry - 25:30
The Loaded Goat - 25:45
Class Reunion - 25:40
Rafe Hollister Sings - 25:35
Opie and the Spoiled Kid - 25:12
The Great Filling Station Robbery - 25:29
Andy Discovers America - 25:43
Aunt Bee's Medicine Man - 25:40
The Darlings Are Coming - 22:22
Andy's English Valet - 24:46
Barney's First Car - 25:49
The Rivals - 25:21
A Wife for Andy - 25:35
Dogs, Dogs, Dogs - 25:21
Mountain Wedding - 25:41
The Big House - 24:40

"The Darlings Are Coming" is the episode of concern. The title sequence on this episode is considerably darker and softer than the same sequence for all the other episodes. The title text also has a slightly different typeface and dropshadow. Once the episode begins, brightness values return almost to normal, and the image is only slightly softer than the other episodes. I'm not familiar enough with the episode to provide information on what may have been cut, but judging by the runtime, it is incomplete. I'll provide those facts, without speculation.

The Transfers
As with previous seasons on DVD, this is 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 over 40 years old, I’m very pleased by the quality.

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

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

The sound is Dolby Digital Mono. There is some occasional mild hiss, especially noticeable in quieter passages. 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
Original Sponsor Spots for most episodes.

Final Thoughts
While it is disappointing that one of the better episodes of the season seems to have been delivered in syndicated form, it is the one black mark on an otherwise outstanding season set. With very good video and audio quality for a series some forty plus years old, and some extras in the form of sponsor spots, Paramount continues to treat this classic sitcom with the respect it deserves. One must assume, given the way the studio has treated this show to date, that there were element problems with “The Darlings Are Coming,” which is a possible explanation for the apparent edits and quality difference on the episode.

#2 of 12 OFFLINE   Steve...O

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Posted August 10 2005 - 04:48 PM

Thanks for a well written review Scott.

Do you have a contact at Paramount that you could inquire about the reasons for including the truncated "Darlings" episode. As you know, speculation runs all over the board on this. It would be nice to allow Paramount to speak for themselves on this and to perhaps alert us how which "Andy" episodes are missing their full versions.

Perhaps if they publicize which ones aren't complete (assuming there are more), complete copies could be offered up by private collectors. This assumes that S4 & S5 haven't already been produced.

Steve
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#3 of 12 OFFLINE   JohnOPR

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Posted August 11 2005 - 02:16 AM

I just ran a timing on "The Darlings Are Coming" from my Brentwood Home Video (BCI Eclipse LLC, distributer) set. I clocked the show (with opening and ending credits) at 25'30". Will be interesting to see what portion of the Paramount episode of this one is missing.

#4 of 12 OFFLINE   Bob Hug

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Posted August 11 2005 - 03:14 AM

I also have a public domain copy of "The Darlings are Coming" from PC/DVD Treasures on a "dollar DVD" that I bought at Target. The episode also runs over 25 minutes. I suspect one of two things has occured: Either the epilog is missing or there are some music issues as The Dillards play several songs throughout the episode. I strongly suspect it's the former; Charlene Darling and her fiancee are married by Andy in his office.

#5 of 12 OFFLINE   Scott Kimball

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Posted August 11 2005 - 04:06 AM

Okay...

I don't believe there are any music cuts...
However - the episode in the new release ends at the bus stop, before the wedding.

Mr. Darling: Sorry, sheriff, looks like they is gonna git together.
Andy: Well, some's got it and some ain't.

The Darlings walk away. FTB on Andy smiling, thumbs in pockets at 00:21:18. Credits roll at 00:21:21.

Apparently, the epilog is missing.

-Scott

#6 of 12 OFFLINE   Bob Hug

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Posted August 11 2005 - 05:02 AM

It's definitely the epilog that's missing then because the ending that you describe is not the true ending. In all probability, Paramount has used a syndication print for this episode since the epilogs were dropped at some point for syndication purposes. Aside from the opening/closing theme replacement, my "dollar DVD" copy appears to be complete. This won't affect my purchase decision on Season 3 (I'm getting it), but I'm not getting rid of my "dollar DVD" either. One wonders why Paramount simply didn't get their hands on one of these PD copies and edit the missing footage back in . . . of course, then we would be complaining about the lesser a/v quality of the added epilog vis-a-vis the rest of the episode!

#7 of 12 OFFLINE   Greg_S_H

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Posted August 11 2005 - 05:21 AM

Paramount used lesser-quality bits for the Brady Bunch episodes, and it doesn't bother me. I'll still buy this set, though. It'll have to be "eventually," since I still haven't picked up S2 yet.

#8 of 12 OFFLINE   Kipp Teague

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Posted August 11 2005 - 11:57 AM

It is interesting that in the UAV / Sterling public domain DVD version of this episode which runs 25:27, the epilog (Charlene and Dud's wedding in the courthouse, followed by an abbreviated version of the song "Cindy"), is of considerably poorer quality than the remainder of the episode. It would seem that even UAV had to rescue this segment from an inferior source.

#9 of 12 OFFLINE   Casey Trowbridg

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Posted August 11 2005 - 02:49 PM

Thanks for the review Scott. I will pick this up eventually, but not right away as I have higher priorities.

#10 of 12 OFFLINE   Takayuki Kihara

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Posted September 03 2005 - 06:32 PM

"Barney Mends a Broken Heart" is missing the epilogue as well. If I remember correctly, the epilogue goes like this.

Barney spills the beans about the Fun Girls while Peggy is attending the Andy's black eye. Peggy gets angry, and Andy screams, "BARNEY!"

I thought it was a great ending for the string of 4 episodes with Miss Peggy, and could explain why she left the show afterwards. But, when aired, "Opie's Rival" (Episode 64) came after "Barney Mends a Broken Heart" (68), so the epilogue didn't seem to mean much in this order.

Anyway, the order of Miss Peggy episodes by the episode number is:

Opie's Rival (64)
Andy and Opie - Bachelors (65)
Andy's Rich Girlfriend (67)
Barney Mends a Broken Heart (68)

by the airing order:

Andy's Rich Girlfriend (65)
Andy and Opie - Bachelors (67)
Barney Mends a Broken Heart (69)
Opie's Rival (73)

Quite a shuffle, isn't it?

Anyway, I believe the epilogue was on the old VHS which I used to have, but not sure if TV Land shows the epilogue now.

#11 of 12 OFFLINE   ScottLloyd

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Posted February 12 2006 - 05:21 AM

I still haven't picked up season three but wondered what has been found out about missing eps.

I saw this somewhere and saved it:

missing footage:

1st Darlings Episode

Barney Mends a Broken Heart (epilogue missing)

Barney and the Governor (small clip missing in the middle)

#12 of 12 OFFLINE   DanWin

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Posted February 20 2006 - 04:05 AM

"(Charlene and Dud's wedding in the courthouse, followed by an abbreviated version of the song "Cindy"), is of considerably poorer quality than the remainder of the episode. It would seem that even UAV had to rescue this segment from an inferior source. "

There's an interesting story behind the UAV Andy Griffith Show releases. Long, long ago back in Charlotte, NC (where I'm from originally)- around 1983 or so a guy had an idea to sell video tapes of the Andy Griffith show in retail outlets like supermarkets. This was virtually unheard of at the time. He went to Paramount and asked if he could get the rights, they thought he was insane (nobody's gonna buy TV shows on home video) and sold him EXCLUSIVE home video rights for TAGS - a move they would regret for the next 10 years! That was the beginning of his little video company - which I think was called Premiere Productions - then later became UAV. That's also why TAGS did not come out through Columbia House or any other "official" entity other than the public domain episodes until a few years ago. The prints he got from Paramount were a mix of original shows - the "Mountain Wedding" episode had the original sponsor closing with the Post cereals in the bottom left corner - and some of the syndie versions had the "Andy of Mayberry" openings. They would release those and if they happened to have the epilogue from another source, they would tack it on there - which we loved them for.