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leave it to beaver


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#41 of 218 OFFLINE   Joe Lugoff

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Posted May 15 2013 - 06:00 PM

Yes, those are interviews for the Archive of American Television.  They're great, because the people being interviewed thought they'd only be seen by researchers, and not the general public, so they were brutally honest.

 

It was most interesting to hear what Barbara Billingsley said about what Tony Dow's family was like in real life -- nothing like the Cleavers, for sure!



#42 of 218 OFFLINE   jimmyjet

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Posted May 15 2013 - 06:27 PM

i didnt know that.  (about them only being seen by researchers)

 

why did they think that ?

 

now that i think of it, i dont think i saw all of it.  i have no memory of any comments about tony's real life.

 

i will have to go back and watch it in its entirety, after i finish beaver.

 

i do recall either tony or jerry saying that hugh beaumont did not really like kids.

 

that may have added to his dislike of his character.  gosh, he sure did a good job playing it !!

 

i guess that is why they call it acting...



#43 of 218 OFFLINE   Joe Lugoff

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Posted May 16 2013 - 05:09 PM

They thought those interviews were just going to be seen by researchers, because that's what they were told.  But they all wound up on the Internet.

 

You know they weren't made for the general public by the way they were made:  Absolutely no camerawork, just the camera on the interviewee throughout.  You never even see the interviewer.

 

It's hard to believe Hugh Beaumont didn't like kids.  In real life, he was a licensed minister of the Methodist Church -- but I know that doesn't really mean much.  But I remember always reading that Billingsley and Beaumont were pretty much in real life the way they were on the show.

 

His Wikipedia article says he didn't like LEAVE IT TO BEAVER because it typecast him.  He didn't seem to work much after that.  Before Beaver, he was in many movies -- afterwards, only one, and it was an embarrassing, cheesy science fiction movie called "The Human Duplicators."



#44 of 218 OFFLINE   jimmyjet

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Posted May 16 2013 - 06:20 PM

the typecasting was certainly one reason that he did not like the show.

 

well, i just finished season 2 - where someone accepted an offer to buy their house.

 

i sure recall mayfield high, where wally was at in season 2.

 

in case you guys dont recall, season 1 is grade 2 for beaver and grade 8 for wally.

 

season 2 is grade 3 for beaver, and wally is a freshman at mayfield.

 

i dont recall just what they did with miss landers, but i am guessing she gets promoted to teaching 4th grade in season 3 !!

 

does anyone think that ward and june look a bit older than what typical parents would be with 2 kids the age of wally and beaver ?



#45 of 218 OFFLINE   TravisR

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Posted May 16 2013 - 06:41 PM

It's hard to believe Hugh Beaumont didn't like kids.

Not that I have any inside knowledge but I think that it might be more along the lines of him occasionally having to get stern when a child actor wouldn't know their lines or would get the giggles or would be acting bratty. I think there's a difference between wanting to go home at 5 and being a child hating creep. :)



#46 of 218 OFFLINE   jimmyjet

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Posted May 16 2013 - 11:04 PM

i dont recall the specifics, so i cant elaborate.

 

regarding child actors, probably most adult actors would get bugged with them at some point.

 

i did watch the entire elinor donahue interview - what i nice, humble lady.

 

she said that robert young would get irritated with them sometime, when the kids were misbehaving too much.



#47 of 218 OFFLINE   Joe Lugoff

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Posted May 17 2013 - 01:10 PM

does anyone think that ward and june look a bit older than what typical parents would be with 2 kids the age of wally and beaver ?

 

People looked older in the 1950s than they do now.  I've watched old episodes of "You Bet Your Life" where Groucho would ask a woman how old she was.  She'd say 25 and she looked about 45 to me.

 

In 1957, when Beaver was supposedly 7 (although Jerry Mathers was actually 9) and Wally 12 (his true age) -- and by the way, that means Wally should have been in 7th grade, not 8th, which would have worked out better later in the series -- Hugh Beaumont was 48 and Barbara Billingsley was 42.  That means they were 36 and 30 when Wally was born -- so, yes, I'd say they were older than the average parents of kids that age.

 

Getting back to Wally being in 8th grade the first season -- that means in the last season, he should have been in his first year of college, but he was still in his senior year of high school.  It wasn't mentioned -- obviously, such a good student didn't flunk and have to repeat the year!  I guess they didn't want him going to college in town and still live at home -- he's the type to go to a state college on an athletic scholarship -- so they just quietly kept him in high school for one more year.  If they had correctly put him in 7th grade the first season, it would have worked out perfectly.

 

But what's odder is that the last season should have had Beaver in 7th grade, but I think he was in 8th.  That implies he skipped a grade, which sure doesn't ring true for a kid who wasn't known for his brains.

 

On a personal note, in 1957 my older brother and I were the exact ages of Beaver and Wally, 7 and 12.  Our resemblance to the Cleaver family begins and ends there (although I did have a tendency to be led astray by some troublemaking so-called friends and a couple of truly awful cousins that made Eddie Haskell look like an angel in comparison.)



#48 of 218 OFFLINE   jimmyjet

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Posted May 17 2013 - 04:41 PM

i am beginning to wonder just how much of this series i actually saw ?

 

the first season has the sidewalk intro.

 

the second season has wally slamming the door, and beaver putting on his cap.

 

the third season has ward and june waking them out of bed.

 

none of those 3 intros ring any bells with me.

 

the one i recall the most is beaver cutting the grass.  and then there is one where beaver is looking out the back window of the car.

 

i was not yet 3 when it started.  which means i was not yet 8 when last season started.  so i guess it seems right that i remember the last seasons best.

 

they havent had the one yet where beaver gets trapped in a cup on a billoard.  curious to see which season that is in.  i still think of him as being pretty young.

 

regarding school - the nature of the show plays better with wally still in high school, so no doubt they wanted to keep him there.

 

i will try and report which grades they are in at the start of each season.  i have only watched a few shows in the 3rd season, so i dont know yet which grades they are in, and what miss landers is doing.



#49 of 218 OFFLINE   jimmyjet

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Posted May 17 2013 - 08:33 PM

beaver is in 4th grade.  miss landers is still the teacher, with absolutely no explanation !!

 

i dont know yet about wally.

 

but he is still attending mayfield high, even though they moved.

 

but there is really very little said about the move, so i wonder why they did so ?

 

maybe they had to tear the old set down for some reason, and needed to build a new one ?

 

earlier on, when they were gonna move, wally was complaining cuz he would no longer be able to go to mayfield.

 

so i guess the move was within the mayfield district !!!!!!!

 

these things all raise a bit of a chuckle, but the real point of the show is to demonstrate family life, values, etc.  so it is the individual episodes telling a story that are most important, not the passage of time of the cleaver family.



#50 of 218 OFFLINE   Joe Lugoff

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Posted May 18 2013 - 03:35 PM

Everyone remembers poor Beaver climbing up the billboard and winding up in the cup of soup.  I remember watching that the very Saturday night it was first shown -- and it's the only episode I vividly remember watching first run.  I should have known it would end up a classic.

 

It's Season 4, Episode 32, first shown May 6, 1961.

 

I can tell you why the Cleavers moved into a new house between Seasons 2 and 3.

 

The first two seasons were filmed at the old Republic studios (that's why indoor scenes look grainy -- the lights and cameras weren't as good as they'd be for the last four seasons.)

 

The last four seasons were filmed at Universal Studios.  Rather than move or rebuild the old house, they decided the Cleavers should just move, and they used a house on the Universal backlot built for the 1955 movie "The Desperate Hours" (filmed at Universal, but released by Paramount).  I guess now it's most famous as "the Cleaver House," but you can see it in movies both before and after "Beaver," and in many Universal television shows (both the outside and inside of it.)  It's always kind of sad for me to see people other than the Cleavers sitting in the living room.

 

This website tells the whole story of Beaver's house and street on the Universal backlot:

http://www.retroweb...._to_beaver.html



#51 of 218 OFFLINE   John Hermes

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Posted May 18 2013 - 03:52 PM

Everyone remembers poor Beaver climbing up the billboard and winding up in the cup of soup.  I remember watching that the very Saturday night it was first shown -- and it's the only episode I vividly remember watching first run.  I should have known it would end up a classic.

 

It's Season 4, Episode 32, first shown May 6, 1961.

 

I can tell you why the Cleavers moved into a new house between Seasons 2 and 3.

 

The first two seasons were filmed at the old Republic studios (that's why indoor scenes look grainy -- the lights and cameras weren't as good as they'd be for the last four seasons.)

 

The last four seasons were filmed at Universal Studios.  Rather than move or rebuild the old house, they decided the Cleavers should just move, and they used a house on the Universal backlot built for the 1955 movie "The Desperate Hours" (filmed at Universal, but released by Paramount).  I guess now it's most famous as "the Cleaver House," but you can see it in movies both before and after "Beaver," and in many Universal television shows (both the outside and inside of it.)  It's always kind of sad for me to see people other than the Cleavers sitting in the living room.

 

This website tells the whole story of Beaver's house and street on the Universal backlot:

http://www.retroweb...._to_beaver.html

Marcus Welby moved the house from Mayfield to Santa Monica and opened a practice there.   :)


Edited by John Hermes, May 18 2013 - 03:53 PM.


#52 of 218 OFFLINE   jimmyjet

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Posted May 18 2013 - 04:43 PM

wally is a sophomore.  so they havent demoted him yet !!!



#53 of 218 OFFLINE   Joe Lugoff

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Posted May 19 2013 - 07:36 AM

He repeats his senior year of high school, with nothing said about it.  They figured no one would notice, and I bet no one did.  They never dreamed we'd still be discussing and analyzing this show half a century later.



#54 of 218 OFFLINE   Rob_Ray

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Posted May 20 2013 - 07:02 AM

Everyone remembers poor Beaver climbing up the billboard and winding up in the cup of soup.  I remember watching that the very Saturday night it was first shown -- and it's the only episode I vividly remember watching first run.  I should have known it would end up a classic.

 

It's Season 4, Episode 32, first shown May 6, 1961.

 

That's the only episode I remember watching in its first run as well.  That billboard was such a strong visual that made such a massive impact on an impressionable five-year-old.  The picture of that lady must have actually been quite scary to quite a few of the younger kids.



#55 of 218 OFFLINE   jimmyjet

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Posted May 20 2013 - 07:58 PM

for me, the first weak episode is beaver the magician.  it was just a weak story.  nothing the actors could do about it, when compared to the other episodes.



#56 of 218 OFFLINE   jimmyjet

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Posted May 21 2013 - 10:28 PM

does anyone ever play the part of larry's father or sister ?

 

that "if your father was home" is really getting old.

 

i dont like the character of mrs. mondello.  first off, she is not believable to me.  she looks old enough to be larry's grandma.  and is just a weird mom.  larry is a bit weird as well, and i can see where he gets it.

 

today, it would remind me of a very dysfunctional family.  maybe that was part of the plan ?



#57 of 218 OFFLINE   TravisR

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Posted May 22 2013 - 03:56 AM

^ I'm nearly positive you don't ever see Larry's father (with those people to come home to, who could blame him for being on the road so much?) and I don't think his sister appears but she might be in an episode when Beaver and Larry read her diary.



#58 of 218 OFFLINE   Mike Frezon

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Posted May 22 2013 - 06:04 AM

Madge Blake was in her late fifties when she appeared in LitB.

 

So, yes, she would have been an older mom.  I could definitely see where Larry might've been a "mistake."  :laugh:

 

She had an interesting career with roles in nearly every 50s & 60s sit-com (usually as a next-door neighbor)...but some of them rather high-profile:  Dick Grayson's Aunt Harriet on Batman, Amos McCoy's girlfriend on The Real McCoys and she was also in Singin' In the Rain. 


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#59 of 218 OFFLINE   jimmyjet

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Posted May 22 2013 - 07:13 AM

hi travis,

 

that is the episode that i just watched.  she has been in it a fair amount in these past episodes.

 

i wanted to make it clear that i do not particularly like her character, not her as an actress.  she no doubt is acting the way the directors/producers want her to play the part.

 

i recall one part of bewitched where they had abner and gladys doing their nosy neighbor thing TOO MUCH.  and then they went back to a more normal amount.  i have no doubts that they got negative feedback about it.

 

i think the same about mrs. mondello, and her father line.  once every 10 shows is okay.  but not every time she is in it. 

 

to be honest, the only 3 characters outside of the four that i like are eddie haskell, mr. rutherford, and the teacher (canfield and landers).  i wish they had richard deacon in it a lot more. 

 

the rest of the cast is okay, but for me, they could easily be replaced by any number of other actors, and i would be just as happy.



#60 of 218 OFFLINE   jimmyjet

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Posted May 22 2013 - 07:16 AM

that should have read hi travis and mike - i see that people have edited their posts, but i dont see any edit buttons.






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