Jump to content



Sign up for a free account to remove the pop-up ads

Signing up for an account is fast and free. As a member you can join in the conversation, enter contests and remove the pop-up ads that guests get. Click here to create your free account.

Photo
- - - - -

"Leave It To Beaver: Season 1" -- A Personal Review


  • You cannot start a new topic
  • Please log in to reply
102 replies to this topic

#81 of 103 OFFLINE   Louis C

Louis C

    Supporting Actor



  • 739 posts
  • Join Date: Jul 05 2002

Posted December 31 2005 - 11:48 AM

On the pilot there is no laugh track, which affects the feel of the show. I agree they did good by changing actors for Ward and Wally.

I have watched all of my set and it had no problems playing.

And, yes it is annoying to see and hear the Universal logo and theme play before EVERY single episode. Just once at the beginning of the disc is enough, OK?

Please give us Seasons 2 - 6!!!

#82 of 103 OFFLINE   David Von Pein

David Von Pein

    Producer



  • 5,736 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 04 2002

Posted January 29 2006 - 04:11 PM

Some Additional Casual Beaver Observations & Hunks O' Trivia..........................

Anybody notice something somewhat unusual about the TV series Leave It To Beaver (in general terms that is)?........

This something "unusual" hit me recently when watching the Season-One LITB episode "The Paper Route", which is a top-notch ep. featuring The Beav and The Wallace getting a job delivering newspapers to earn money for a new bicycle.

Unlike most other TV sitcoms from this 1950s-1960s era that I have seen, Leave It To Beaver has many scenes shot out-of-doors, instead of the "fake outdoors" method employed by I Love Lucy and The Dick Van Dyke Show, and many others, where the "outdoor" scenes are obviously filmed inside the more-controllable environment of the studio soundstages.

But in Beaver, "outdoors" is really outdoors, which I think adds even more of a realisitic and authentic feel to this TV series. In the "Paper Route" episode, about half of that program was filmed in the sunny outdoors at "Revue" Studios in California. And the outdoor scenes look absolutely wonderful and crystal-clear on the DVDs (as I previously mentioned in the review for the S.1 set). And it makes me wonder if a different type of film stock (with less or no grain) was utilized for those out-of-doors scenes, because they are definitely much less grain-filled than the indoors scenes.

The Andy Griffith Show was another show from this era that filmed a lot of stuff outside, which is definitely a good thing IMO. It's hard to imagine Beaver and Andy without all those "real" outdoors scenes. A fake blue-screen background just wouldn't cut it for either of those shows.

Jerry Mathers, in his 1998 self-authored book "...And Jerry Mathers As 'The Beaver'", even makes mention of how unusual it was for a TV series' production crew to film a lot of outdoor scenes......

"'Leave It To Beaver' was shot on 35mm film, like a movie. We used one camera, and much of the show was filmed outside. It took four days to shoot. The full crew had to be there every day we worked. The show was edited like a movie. In its day, the $45,000 per week 'Leave It To Beaver' production cost was considered expensive. In comparison, the one-camera {1985-} 1989 version of {The} 'New Leave It To Beaver' {aka 'Still The Beaver'} cost $800,000 per week to shoot." -- Jerry Mathers; circa 1998

------------------------

LITB Trivial Anecdotes:

Also relating to "The Paper Route" ep. -- June pays $6.20 to deliver Beaver's papers in a taxicab one night.....and she pays by check. Does anyone know of any cab driver who will accept a personal check from somebody for a cab ride? LOL. Posted Image

But, then too, perhaps June just turned on her magnetic charm and had the poor sap of a cab driver eating out of her hands. (Who knows what favors she might have promised the poor schnook! Posted Image)

More Meaningless, But Kinda Neat, "Paper Route" Trivia .............

The check that June made out to the cab company, btw, was Check #436 .... and was made out to the order of "City Cab Co." on March 7th, 1958. I'm sorry, but the account number is not visible on the check when you freeze the episode in question at the 12:21 mark on the Digital Versatile Disc. Posted Image

There's a verifiable error uttered by Ward Cleaver in that "check" scene of the episode too. Ward says that the check was dated "last Tuesday", which is impossible....since March 7, 1958, was a Friday....not a Tuesday. (Perpetual calendars are great, aren't they?) Posted Image

--------------

Post-Script Trivia:

Barbara Billingsley ("June Cleaver") turned 90 years young on December 22nd, 2005! Posted Image Posted Image

This following stat seems somewhat incredible to me -- Barbara B. is 5.5 years older than the late, great actor Richard Deacon (aka "Fred Rutherford"). Doesn't seem quite right, huh? (It must be Deac's ever-present Chrome Dome that just made him seem older than he was. Posted Image He was only 36 during the first season of LITB.)

Posted Image Posted Image

Posted Image Posted Image

#83 of 103 OFFLINE   Joe Lugoff

Joe Lugoff

    Screenwriter



  • 2,029 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 04 2005
  • Real Name:Joe

Posted January 30 2006 - 04:08 AM

Sitcoms in the '50s and '60s were filmed in two different ways.

Some were filmed with three cameras in front of a live audience. This was the system "I Love Lucy" made popular. Besides "Lucy," two popular shows using that technique were "Make Room for Daddy/The Danny Thomas Show" and "The Dick Van Dyke Show." That's why these shows have "fake" outdoor scenes (with a few exceptions -- there are some "I Love Lucy" moments filmed outdoors, including scenes in the first episode on the trip to Hollywood in Season Four.)

This technique became very big in the 1970s, with "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and its spinoffs "Rhoda" and "Phyllis" and all those Norman Lear shows done on videotape -- "All in the Family," "Sanford and Son," "Maude," "Good Times," etc. It was so popular that "Happy Times" switched to it soon in its run. The great majority of shows since 1970 have been filmed or taped with three cameras in front of a live audience.

The other style of show was filmed as movies are -- with one camera, not in front of a live audience. Thus, you'll find realistic outdoor scenes. Besides "Leave It to Beaver" and "The Andy Griffith Show," these shows included "The Beverly Hillbillies" and its spin-offs "Petticoat Junction" and "Green Acres," and the Screen Gems shows "Father Knows Best," "The Donna Reed Show," "Dennis the Menace," "Hazel" and "Bewitched."

I like both systems -- they both have their advantages and disadvantages. The shows in front of live audiences seemed funnier, for some reason -- but the shows filmed as movies seemed more realistic, if anyone can use the word in relation to stuff like "Green Acres" and "Bewitched." Posted Image

Speaking of Barbara Billingsley -- I'm sure many of you know about this already, but for those who don't: Many of the interviews made for the Television Academy are now available for viewing online, including a most-interesting one by Ms. Billingsley. Here's the link:http://www.emmys.tv/.../interviews.php

The links to the interviews seem to be broken at the moment, but these interviews can be seen by doing a search at Google video:http://video.google.com

#84 of 103 OFFLINE   Dave Scarpa

Dave Scarpa

    Producer



  • 5,287 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 08 1999

Posted January 30 2006 - 04:16 AM

I believe I dream of Jennie was Done this way as was the Munsters and Adams Family, and Gilligan's Island.
My DVD Collection

The Megaplex

#85 of 103 OFFLINE   Steve...O

Steve...O

    Producer



  • 3,293 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 31 2003
  • Real Name:Steve

Posted January 30 2006 - 05:39 AM

Wow - I didn't Barbara B was admitting to being 90 years old. Wasn't her "official" birthdate something like 10 years younger for the longest time?
Please help UCLA restore the Laurel & Hardy films: https://www.cinema.u...aurel-and-hardy

#86 of 103 OFFLINE   Mike Frezon

Mike Frezon

    Studio Mogul



  • 30,165 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 09 2001
  • LocationRensselaer, NY

Posted January 30 2006 - 08:46 AM

Quote:
This following stat seems somewhat incredible to me -- Barbara B. is 5.5 years older than the late, great actor Richard Deacon (aka "Fred Rutherford"). Doesn't seem quite right, huh? (It must be Deac's ever-present Chrome Dome that just made him seem older than he was.


Dave: I know you are very busy checking on obscure days/dates from 1958...but you might not have noticed that Barbara Billinglsey was also a helluva lot more attractive than Richard Deacon. Just thought I'd throw that in in case you had missed it. Posted Image

Posted Image

FWIW, I've been making my way slowly and steadily through the set...watching an episode or two a week. I just cannot say emphatically enough how wonderful I think this show is. I have always enjoyed the interplay between all the members of the Cleaver household...but this recent chance to re-live these gems from Season 1 of LitB have really proved to me what an excellent actor young Jerry Mathers was. His ability to "play" Beaver Cleaver so convincingly...to look up his oler brother and respond so accurately to his parents...is a testament to his acting chops. I have always thought all four of the main actors as well as the supporting cast were excellent, but I've got a new-found appreciation for the work of Mathers.

This series really catches a slice of life for us 40-to-50-year olds. I don't know if the younger set can relate to or appreciate the simplicity of the issues dealt with...but I have caught my 15 year old son on a number of occasions where I have been watching the show stop walking by and sit down to see what's going on in Mayfield. There's hope.

I have been pleased with the overall look to the show. I have noticed the graininess in a few instances...but nothing to write home to Aunt Martha about. It sounds fine...a couple of instances with uneven audio but, again, nothing that I would complain about.

The new Universal logos and fanfares before each episode are a pain in the neck and I would like to see them removed from future sets. The audio imbalance between those fanfares and the upcoming episodes is marked and obnoxious.

I was originally dismayed at the absence of chapter stops...but have found them to be unnecessary as I make my way through the episodes. Put me in the David Lynch school of thought on this one, I guess. Posted Image

Let's just hope that Season 2 is comin' soon. In another thread on 2006 releases, Dave Lambert said he's heard nothing yet about LitB: S2. Cross your fingers.

There's Jessie the yodeling cowgirl. Bullseye, he's Woody's horse. Pete the old prospector. And, Woody, the man himself.Of course, it's time for Woody's RoundUp. He's the very best! He's the rootinest, tootinest cowboy in the wild, wild west!


HTF Rules | HTF Mission Statement | Father of the Bride

Dieting with my Dog & Heart to Heart/Hand in Paw by Peggy Frezon


#87 of 103 OFFLINE   David Von Pein

David Von Pein

    Producer



  • 5,736 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 04 2002

Posted January 30 2006 - 08:03 PM

Quote:
I know you are very busy checking on obscure days/dates from 1958.....
Heck, somebody's gotta do it. You apparently aren't gonna. Posted Image

#88 of 103 OFFLINE   David Von Pein

David Von Pein

    Producer



  • 5,736 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 04 2002

Posted January 30 2006 - 11:03 PM

Quote:
Let's just hope that Season 2 is comin' soon. In another thread on 2006 releases, Dave Lambert said he's heard nothing yet about LitB: S2. Cross your fingers.
Leave It To Beaver Season 2 -- Coming May 2nd, 2006! Posted Image Posted Image ........

http://tvshowsondvd....cfm?NewsID=5024

#89 of 103 OFFLINE   Mike Frezon

Mike Frezon

    Studio Mogul



  • 30,165 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 09 2001
  • LocationRensselaer, NY

Posted January 31 2006 - 05:56 AM

It's good to know that Dave Lambert is still hanging on my every word and is willing to get me the answers to my questions. Posted Image

Quote:
The elements are digitally remastered for this DVD release, so we're expecting this to be sharp-looking and sounding.


Would that be any different than Season 1? Weren't Season 1's episodes "digitally remastered"?

To me that sounds like the ol' gambit when CDs were first released. Remember the old three-letter codes like A-D-D or A-A-D or D-D-D where the first letter was the source, the middle letter was the "mastering" and the third was the recording. Well, the third letter HAD to be a "D" or else you wouldn't have been holding a CD in your hand!

All shows on film or tape "have" to be digitally mastered to be put on DVD, right?! The real question is if they are "restored" or, I suppose, the amount of attention that goes into the "remastering".

There's Jessie the yodeling cowgirl. Bullseye, he's Woody's horse. Pete the old prospector. And, Woody, the man himself.Of course, it's time for Woody's RoundUp. He's the very best! He's the rootinest, tootinest cowboy in the wild, wild west!


HTF Rules | HTF Mission Statement | Father of the Bride

Dieting with my Dog & Heart to Heart/Hand in Paw by Peggy Frezon


#90 of 103 OFFLINE   Steve...O

Steve...O

    Producer



  • 3,293 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 31 2003
  • Real Name:Steve

Posted January 31 2006 - 12:21 PM

Mike has a good point. I thought by definition a DVD was "digially remastered". You see all those $1 type DVDs slapping this lingo on trying to entice people to think they're getting something special.

Big difference between "remastered" and "restored".
Please help UCLA restore the Laurel & Hardy films: https://www.cinema.u...aurel-and-hardy

#91 of 103 OFFLINE   David Von Pein

David Von Pein

    Producer



  • 5,736 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 04 2002

Posted January 31 2006 - 04:53 PM

Quote:
I thought by definition a DVD was "digitally remastered".
Indeed.

In fact, since these Beaver shows have never previously been placed onto a Digital medium, the wording should be "Digitally Mastered", and not "Digitally Remastered".

To "Remaster" something, it would have to have been "Mastered" the first time I presume.

In any event, if the Season-Two LITB set looks like the first-season batch, I'll be quite pleased. It'd be nice if some of the extra graininess could be cleared off of the S.2 prints, but I'm totally satisfied with the first-season DVDs (grain and all).

And remember -- "Wally's Haircomb" will be in the S.2 batch of eps., which features Wallace's nifty-looking "Jelly-roll" hairdo. It also features a nice angry tirade from June. Posted Image

Season 2 has many great episodes....including the "Haircomb" ep. just mentioned, plus "The Shave", "Wally's New Suit", and "Happy Weekend".

I'll close now with these sincere sentiments, also featured during Season 2 -- "Usted tiene una cara como puerco". Posted Image

#92 of 103 OFFLINE   Mike Frezon

Mike Frezon

    Studio Mogul



  • 30,165 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 09 2001
  • LocationRensselaer, NY

Posted February 01 2006 - 01:17 AM

"Beaver the Athlete" is one that jumps off the S2 list for me. (If its the episode I'm thinking of...when a little parental pressure from Ward forces Beave to try to be something he's not. I'm not sure though because I would have thought Beaver was a little older for that episode. Dave?)

Quote:
In any event, if the Season-Two LITB set looks like the first-season batch, I'll be quite pleased. It'd be nice if some of the extra graininess could be cleared off of the S.2 prints, but I'm totally satisfied with the first-season DVDs (grain and all).


I am in complete agreement, Dave. I was just curious about Dave Lambert's remarks. Was he not pleased with the look of S1? Or, was he just responding to some hyperbole from the Universal marketing dept. that S2 will look even better than S1 because of this "Digital Remastering"? Honestly, I'd be surprised if they put much work into restoration of this title. I am just THRILLED to have them in the (terrific) condition they're in. Posted Image

There's Jessie the yodeling cowgirl. Bullseye, he's Woody's horse. Pete the old prospector. And, Woody, the man himself.Of course, it's time for Woody's RoundUp. He's the very best! He's the rootinest, tootinest cowboy in the wild, wild west!


HTF Rules | HTF Mission Statement | Father of the Bride

Dieting with my Dog & Heart to Heart/Hand in Paw by Peggy Frezon


#93 of 103 OFFLINE   David Von Pein

David Von Pein

    Producer



  • 5,736 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 04 2002

Posted February 01 2006 - 02:44 AM

Quote:
"Beaver the Athlete" is one that jumps off the S2 list for me. (If its the episode I'm thinking of...when a little parental pressure from Ward forces Beave to try to be something he's not. I'm not sure though because I would have thought Beaver was a little older for that episode. Dave?)
"Beaver The Athlete" is the "tumbling on the front lawn" episode. Beaver gets a dreaded "D" in Phys. Ed. class, which upsets Ward. Ward and Wally then teach Beav how to "tumble" correctly (on the front lawn).

But the class switches from Tumbling to Baseball .... with Beaver acting like a clown when up to bat. Judy Hensler swats a four-ply wallop (aka: "a 4-Bagger"; aka: "a Tater" Posted Image), embarrassing The Beav even further.

The Judy circuit swat elicits Larry Mondello's funny hunk o' banter -- "Boy, Beaver....she made you look like a rusty gate!"

#94 of 103 OFFLINE   David Lambert

David Lambert

    Executive Producer



  • 11,386 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 03 2001

Posted February 02 2006 - 03:00 PM

Quote:
I was just curious about Dave Lambert's remarks. Was he not pleased with the look of S1? Or, was he just responding to some hyperbole from the Universal marketing dept. that S2 will look even better than S1 because of this "Digital Remastering"?


I was probably in a hurry that morning and went into "copy and paste" mode, grabbing info from Uni's marketing copy and trying to make it sound coherant.

I am often in the position of trying to post news before I have to rush off to my full-time paying job. When I'm at the point of "I gotta finish this and get to work", I hate using someone else's words rather than making up my own, but at those times I have little choice.

So, don't read anything into it. My lovely wife got me the lunchbox edition for Christmas, and I'm still catching up on box sets that I got prior to that. Last weekend I smoked through every disc in the Smallville S4 set. I'm waaay behind! Posted Image
DAVE/Memphis, TN

...Want to see your favorite show on DVD?

#95 of 103 OFFLINE   Mike Frezon

Mike Frezon

    Studio Mogul



  • 30,165 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 09 2001
  • LocationRensselaer, NY

Posted February 03 2006 - 01:09 AM

T'anks for the clarification, Dave! And, even more so, thanks for the great news about Season 2! Posted Image

There's Jessie the yodeling cowgirl. Bullseye, he's Woody's horse. Pete the old prospector. And, Woody, the man himself.Of course, it's time for Woody's RoundUp. He's the very best! He's the rootinest, tootinest cowboy in the wild, wild west!


HTF Rules | HTF Mission Statement | Father of the Bride

Dieting with my Dog & Heart to Heart/Hand in Paw by Peggy Frezon


#96 of 103 OFFLINE   David Von Pein

David Von Pein

    Producer



  • 5,736 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 04 2002

Posted March 28 2006 - 12:34 AM

If you don't have Beaver Season 1, looks like now is a good time to pick it up -- 50% off at Amazon (as of this writing on 03/28/2006). Won't last forever, no doubt...so stock up on your Beavers (and Wards, to boot).

#97 of 103 OFFLINE   Bob Hug

Bob Hug

    Screenwriter



  • 1,760 posts
  • Join Date: May 19 2005

Posted March 28 2006 - 01:38 AM

If you don't have Beaver Season 1, looks like now is a good time to pick it up -- 50% off at Amazon


That's about as low as I've seen this set priced. It took me a while to pick up this set and had I not recently picked it up at the same price at a Sam Goody liquidation sale, I would have purchased this set through Amazon. Just watched the episode "Vodoo Magic" last evening . . . very funny stuff with Eddie Haskell at his smarmiest. The humor is timeless. Good pre-order price for season 2 at Amazon, as well.

#98 of 103 OFFLINE   Jack Platt

Jack Platt

    Stunt Coordinator



  • 170 posts
  • Join Date: Sep 17 2005

Posted April 24 2006 - 02:39 AM

Yes Guys,

It is a beautiful set! I had one small freeze up on "Cleaning Up Beaver" in the same spot each time. But cleaning the disk and after running it through about 5x. It works fine now.

Jack

#99 of 103 OFFLINE   David Von Pein

David Von Pein

    Producer



  • 5,736 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 04 2002

Posted October 04 2007 - 01:07 PM

HAPPY 50th BIRTHDAY TO....
"LEAVE IT TO BEAVER"!!



OCTOBER 4, 1957 - OCTOBER 4, 2007



Posted Image Posted Image

Posted Image Posted Image

Posted Image Posted Image

#100 of 103 OFFLINE   Bob Hug

Bob Hug

    Screenwriter



  • 1,760 posts
  • Join Date: May 19 2005

Posted October 04 2007 - 11:22 PM

Thanks for commemorating the anniversary, David. While Universal couldn't be bothered, at least TVLand understands "Leave It To Beaver's" place in television history . . . . .

http://www.tvland.com/marathon/beaver/


Back to TV on DVD and Blu-ray


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Forum Nav Content I Follow