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"The Fugitive: Season 1, Volume 1" -- A Personal Review

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#1 of 59 OFFLINE   David Von Pein

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Posted August 21 2007 - 01:25 PM

#2 of 59 OFFLINE   Gary OS

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Posted August 21 2007 - 02:14 PM

David, you have truly outdone yourself this time. My hat's off to you for an incredible, and I do mean incredible review!! First rate and really the best one I've read anywhere. You are to be commended my friend. I can always count on you for great reviews, but this is your best yet! Gary "fantastic stuff from every angle" O.
"Do not challenge supernatural unless armed with sword of truth"
                                             ...CHARLIE CHAN AT TREASURE ISLAND


#3 of 59 OFFLINE   David Von Pein

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Posted August 21 2007 - 02:51 PM

Should I send you the payola via money order this time? Or will you take a credit-card payment? Posted Image Posted Image

Gee, the above kind of comment will make even Gerard's hat from "Fear In A Desert City" likely far too small to fit my swelled cabeza. (Thank you, Gary OS. I appreciate your kind words.) Posted Image Posted Image

Posted Image

#4 of 59 OFFLINE   Gary OS

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Posted August 21 2007 - 03:05 PM

I meant every word, David. It really was a great, great review. Thank you for all the hard work I know you put into that.

Gary "you're too humble a guy to let your head get that big" O. Posted Image
"Do not challenge supernatural unless armed with sword of truth"
                                             ...CHARLIE CHAN AT TREASURE ISLAND


#5 of 59 OFFLINE   Hank Dearborn

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Posted August 21 2007 - 07:59 PM

I second that. A great review from someone who obviously knows the show and appreciates it very much. It's too bad that more reviews are not done by such people.

#6 of 59 ONLINE   Harry-N



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Posted August 21 2007 - 09:37 PM

Outstanding review David. Bravo! You've summed up and tidied up everything we've been saying in that other thread. Nice job, indeed. Harry
My DVD Collection

A fugitive moves on, through anguished tunnels of time, down dim streets, into dark corners. And each new day offers fear and frustration, tastes of honey and hemlock. But if there is a hazard, there is also hope. - Closing narration to THE FUGITIVE, "Death Is The Door Prize".

#7 of 59 OFFLINE   Bob Hug

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Posted August 21 2007 - 10:58 PM

Beautifully (and thoughtfully) written, David. You've captured the heart and soul of the show.

#8 of 59 OFFLINE   Sam Favate

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Posted August 21 2007 - 11:51 PM

I agree, outstanding review! Makes me want to go home right now and finish watching the rest of the DVDs! I've only just started watching them but have already been impressed by the quality of the presentation and, of course, the material.

#9 of 59 OFFLINE   Steve...O



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Posted August 22 2007 - 12:50 AM

David, I always enjoy reading your personal reviews because not only do they sum up the release, they provide historical context and allow readers who are not familiar with the series to gain an appreciation of it. Great job! Thanks, Steve
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#10 of 59 OFFLINE   Doug Wallen

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Posted August 22 2007 - 02:45 AM

Another tip of the hat for a great review of that amazing series. The thought and care you take with your personal review's make them a top priority read for me. Thank you for taking the time to post your thoughts and placing the show in the proper historical context of classic TV. Doug

#11 of 59 OFFLINE   Mitchum22



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Posted August 22 2007 - 03:38 AM

David, Beautiful, beautiful job. Both in terms of content and style. As someone with such a moving avatar, I was hoping you would expand on previous mentions of the Kennedy connection to the show. The sense of loss and sorrow is so strong here (Janssen's face could be an icon of such feelings) that its birth in the Autumn of '63 feels so right. I've always thought there was something very Kennedy-esque about Janssen, mostly around the eyes and of course his deep reserve. Metaphorically and mythically, "The Fugitive" can be seen as an Everyman longing for the restoration of lost innocence. Luckily for Kimble, he found it. We never did.

#12 of 59 OFFLINE   Jeff Willis

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Posted August 22 2007 - 04:56 AM

DavidVP, I can't add anything more to what the others have said here except if you're not writing TV/DVD reviews professionally, you should be Posted Image I won't add more words about your review since I couldn't convey the scope of your review properly. Thanks from a 1st-time viewer of this show.

ml1fyo.jpg  "Checkmate King Two, 'Out'" "Combat! A Selmur Production"


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My 2 all-time favorite TV shows:
"Combat!" & "The Fugitive"
My 2 all-time best blind-buys: "The Fugitive"   "The Donna Reed Show"

#13 of 59 OFFLINE   David Von Pein

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Posted August 22 2007 - 09:31 AM

Talk about a "moving avatar".....I think you summed things up very nicely here. And thank you.

And I want to thank the several HTF members who have posted their gracious compliments regarding my review above. I very much appreciate your kind words. This forum is a wonderful place to visit and to post messages and to start threads. The HTF software is so user-friendly....and so are the forum members (friendly, I mean). Posted Image

It would seem that nearly everybody in here has a certain affinity and admiration for 1960s-era TV shows. Which makes sense, I suppose. Otherwise, why even read and post to a thread such as this one.

Maybe all of you guys were also born in December 1961, huh? Maybe there's an "HTF Connection" to be looked into.* Posted Image

* = If I see a sea of responses saying, "Now that you mention it, I was", I'm going to seek out Rod Serling asap. For, then I'll know I've entered Rod's T-Zone. Posted Image (And, naturally, Rod's "Zone" is yet another of my favorites...and it, too, was on the air during those exact Kennedy years. Amazing, huh?)

But, hey, if any of you guys (and gals....are any females in here at all, btw? Hadn't really thought much about that gender thing heretofore) ever want to read a bunch of stuff about JFK's assassination and the continuing controversy about it, you can always take a few years off from work and read all of this stuff. (Shameless plug indeed.) Posted Image

But I'm not totally obsessed with that murder case. After all, I did have time to talk about "The Fugitive", didn't I? Posted Image

Take care everybody.

#14 of 59 OFFLINE   Tina_H_V


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Posted August 23 2007 - 05:46 AM

Way to go on your review, David!!!!! Posted Image

I have long been a Fugitive fan, not only collecting episodes on pre-recorded video tape, but also filling out that collection with VHS recordings of the reruns as they aired during the afternoons back in the early-to-mid 1990s. I only missed the episode, "The Good Guys and The Bad Guys" from going into my collection. Otherwise, I have them all on VHS tape in one way or another. (I even own Ed Robertson's brilliant book, The Fugitive: Recaptured, as well.)

That said...

...I am still going to add this series to my DVD TV collection in the coming time ahead!!!!!!

Oh, and one other mention I wanted to give on notable guest stars is one from an episode in this very volume: Ruby Dee, who played the boxer's (Joe Smith, as played by James Edwards) wife, Laura, in "Decision In The Ring", where Kimble's alias was Ray Miller--cutman. Ironically, the boxer was only boxing because he felt he could not do what he really wanted to do--be a doctor--because of the color of his skin. Ruby had just received an Emmy nomination for a performance she gave in another TV program that very year.

Ruby's late, great husband, Ossie Davis, would appear in an episode as a detective during the 1966-7 color season, "Death Is The Door Prize."

Ruby and Ossie--besides the also-trailblazing Mr. Edwards--were amongst a number of notable African-American thespians who would appear on The Fugitive throughout the course of this classic series--significant during the years of its run, 1963-1967. Posted Image
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#15 of 59 OFFLINE   David Von Pein

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Posted August 23 2007 - 06:23 AM

And Tina pops in to answer my own inquiry. Posted Image

#16 of 59 OFFLINE   David Von Pein

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Posted August 25 2007 - 12:42 PM

A couple of behind-the-scenes images of Fugitive star David Janssen:

Posted Image

Posted Image

#17 of 59 OFFLINE   David Von Pein

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Posted August 25 2007 - 03:57 PM

Off-Topic (but just barely related to this "Fugitive" thread in that Paramount released "I Love Lucy" on DVD too)...... Posted Image

Here's something I ran across today that I thought was interesting -- an "I Love Lucy" radio program from February 26, 1952, an episode called "Breaking The Lease" (which was also done as a TV episode).

I had no idea that "ILL" was ever done on radio. The complete half-hour show is linked HERE.

#18 of 59 OFFLINE   MichaelEl


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Posted August 25 2007 - 08:02 PM

I agree that the picture is generally clean and that outdoor and night shots tend to be quite sharp - sometimes amazingly so. However, as I've noted before, there are many indoor scenes which suffer from some sort of grain or video noise. This *shimmering* (or whatever you want to call it) is most noticeable on larger, lighter-colored surfaces, such as faces, clothing, walls, etc., and I find it to be occasionally annoying. Given that I've observed this effect using a number of different video devices, including a calibrated 36" Sony SDTV, an older 27" Sony Trinitron, an LCD display and various DVD players, I think it is definitely attributable to the DVD source, and not my imagination, although I will admit some people might not be as sensitive to it as I am. For what it's worth, I've noticed this same problem on a number of other DVDs mastered in HD, such as the TWILIGHT ZONE DEFINITIVE sets (also produced by CBS), and my conclusion is that the HD process is either capturing too much grain from film elements (grain is something you would probably never notice with softer TV broadcasts or VHS) or else some sort of video noise is being introduced in the down-conversion to SD. I've certainly never noticed this sort of thing with DVDs not mastered in HD - for example, the OUTER LIMITS sets (which is a good comparison I think, since that show was filmed in B&W by the same network during the same time period as THE FUGITIVE), and I think there's no question that it's due entirely to the HD part of the process. Aside from this grain issue and the line running down the entire length of FEAR IN A DESERT CITY, the only other complaint I have about this set is that the end credits are truncated slightly by a modern Paramount logo, but I don't consider that a major issue. All in all, I would say this effort is certainly watchable and definitely worth the purchase if you're a fan - as I am - although if you're annoyed at all by grain, I would recommend you check it out first. Actually, everyone needs to check this out at some point as THE FUGITIVE is one of the best television shows ever produced.

#19 of 59 OFFLINE   Joe Karlosi

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Posted August 25 2007 - 11:32 PM

I'm notorious for being bothered by softness or graininess (especially in feature films) and usually people try to convince me that "grain is good" and then we go back and forth... but I am not bothered by grain at all in THE FUGITIVE set. I don't notice it much at all ... either that, or the show is so noirish that it doesn't register.

#20 of 59 OFFLINE   Dan McW

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Posted August 26 2007 - 05:52 PM

Name: David Von Pein

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I don't know what I can add, David, except to agree with everyone's praises here for an outstanding review. I enjoyed the images you posted too. One of my favorite Fuge photos is "Image 3 of 3" at IMDb, with Janssen, Morse, and Raisch. Can that one be added to this thread?


I just watched "Decision in the Ring" last night. Great guest cast, with Dee, Edwards, and Oscar-winner James Dunn in one of his last roles. I also noticed an uncredited Davis Roberts in the cast, playing the cut man Kimble replaces. Roberts later played a doctor on a few episodes of Sanford and Son. At least one of his appearances featured a routine where Fred would ask him several questions about his exam, only to have Roberts say, "I don't know." When Fred got to, "How much do I owe you?," Roberts would say, "That I do know."

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