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From the Beginning...

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by MattPeriolat, Dec 7, 2004.

  1. MattPeriolat

    MattPeriolat Supporting Actor

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    Pardon me for asking what may be a foolish question but:

    What is currently the oldest TV series out on DVD? That is to say, how far back do these things go? I'm working on my own DVD collection and would like to do some vintage collecting. It looks like either I Love Lucy or The Honeymooners are the oldest unless there is something else. Thanks for any help!
     
  2. John McM

    John McM Second Unit

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    while it's public domain, I offer up Dragnet
     
  3. MattPeriolat

    MattPeriolat Supporting Actor

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    Color me shocked, I didn't know Dragnet was on DVD! It isn't discussed here on the boards much. Any othe candidates?
     
  4. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

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    Dragnet, 1951
    I Love Lucy, 1951
    The Honeymooners, 1955
    Have Gun, Will Travel, 1957
     
  5. Brian Knolhoff

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    Isn't there some You Bet Your Life on DVD? How old was that show?

    -Brian
     
  6. MattPeriolat

    MattPeriolat Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for all the help. And now that I think about it, when did Gunsmoke run on TV and what is the current status of that?

    Also, is it worth getting the public domain DVDs or should I hold out for better releases?
     
  7. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

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    Gunsmoke first aired in 1955. There has been no announcement from Paramount about a release of the full series, yet - but some Gunsmoke movies are out on DVD. I imagine we'll see the series, eventually.

    I can't speak to the PD Dragnet DVD's - but, generally speaking, PD releases leave a lot of room for improvement.

    -Scott
     
  8. MattPeriolat

    MattPeriolat Supporting Actor

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    Hmmm... OK, thanks for all the advice. Like my signature says, there is so much out there and growing every day, but my wallet just seems to keep on shrinking! OY!

    One more question: clearly, when looking at the DVD releases, the 39 Ep box set of the Honeymooners is the "series", the question is is it worth plunking down such serious money for the Lost Episode Box Sets? There are a LOT of those, they're all expensive and some of the reviews seem to have issues with them. Any expanded thoughts?

    As it is, looks like it'll be I Love Lucy to start unless a convincing pitch can be made to start with the PDs of Dragnet.
     
  9. Bert Greene

    Bert Greene Second Unit

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    The first episode of "You Bet Your Life" (from Oct. 1950) is on the first dvd-set. As for anything older, I'm not sure, but I'm guessing the initial trio of "Lone Ranger" episodes (which explained his origin) are available somewhere. They always have a 1949 copyright date on their end credits, but I don't know how this jives with actual 'airdates.' Another oldie is "Racket Squad," of which Alpha has a public-domain release on (below-par prints on those, however). I think it started filming in 1950, but the four episodes on the disc probably aren't from that debuting year.

    The p.d. prints of "Dragnet" aren't so hot, either, but they can be bought very cheaply and are very definately worth a look. It's a historically important series, just like "Gunsmoke."
     
  10. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    According to the records at TVShowsOnDVD, the following shows which started their run on TV in 1950 all have DVDs available:

    Cisco Kid, The
    Colgate Comedy Hour, The
    Gene Autry Show, The
    Jack Benny Program, The
    You Bet Your Life
    Your Show of Shows


    That doesn't mean there aren't stray representations around of earlier TV appearences. I'm pretty sure that the Bob Hope Ultimate Collection contains not only stuff from his 1952 show, but also a couple of things from the 1949-50 timeframe. I couldn't swear to it, though.
     
  11. MattPeriolat

    MattPeriolat Supporting Actor

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    *rubs his hands*

    I'd forgotten all about Bob Hope and the Lone Ranger! Of course, them being carryovers from radio, they're logicals for TV's early days. And what about Milton Berle? I gotta hit up Amazon and see what I can dredge up!

    Oh, and the exec who decided the first season of I Love Lucy should be twice as expensive as the other sets should be dragged out into the street and shot.
     
  12. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    That's not any one person's fault; it was an unfortunate side-effect of the way the first season was released through Columbia House. Subsequent seasons are more retail-friendly for their post-CH sales life.
     
  13. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

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    Umm... that's a bit extreme...

    But David provided an explanation, so I'll refrain from further comment.

    -Scott
     
  14. MattPeriolat

    MattPeriolat Supporting Actor

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    I want to apologize for that remark. I was trying to be funny, expressing that I and my pocketbook were most displeased to be paying so much when the next two seasons in line were not nearly as bad. In no way and at no time was I expressing a desire to see harm done to anyone. I am sorry and hope no one's feelings or impressions of me were hurt.

    Thank you for the explanation for the record. I understand the reasoning, but it sadly doesn't make it any easier for me to get I Love Lucy. But no matter, looks like Cisco Kid, Gene Autry and You Bet Your Life have jumped to the front of the pack. I just wonder why I never see these titles at my local Barnes and Nobel and only on Amazon. Anyway, thanks to everyone for your help. I'm still looking into Your Show of Shows and Lone Ranger. Only reason I'm hesitating on those is Your Show of Shows only has Best of... skits, not whole episodes, plus I've heard complaints about the quality of the images for Lone Ranger. Then again, I suppose it's expecting too much for Lone Ranger to look pristine given the age and the quality of the source material. Please continue to advise, it's very nice to be getting responses so quickly and I'm very grateful.
     
  15. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    Steve


    I don't have the Rhino Lone Ranger set to comment on it, but having watched this on the Encore Western channel a year or so ago, most of the episodes looked quite good. If they didn't look good on DVD then either the transfer was poorly done or bad prints were used.

    If this were released in season sets, I would definitely buy it. Clayton Moore, Jay Silverheels, and even John Hart, were a big part of my childhood, and most of the shows hold up even today.

    For Cisco Kid, you might check out Best Buy. I've seen them on the shelves there. To be honest, I don't shop for DVDs at B&N; they usually charge full MSRP.

    Steve
     
  16. MattPeriolat

    MattPeriolat Supporting Actor

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    I'll shop just about anywhere for a DVD provided the price is good. Save for Target. Just had too many issues with buying DVDs there and finding defective ones. Anyway, that's neither here nor there. Long term goal: have a collection of current media, both radio and television, stretching from the introduction of the media to the present day. Or in the case of vintage radio, from the introduction of the media to when the last of the "classic" shows either went off the air or made the jump to TV. But that's a topic for another board.

    Thanks again for all the help. Looks like this cowboy may be riding with Gene Autry and Cisco Kid and then playing You Bet Your Life. Unless Your Show of Shows or Lone Ranger is out in either season or more complete sets. Trying to avoid the Double Dip of Death as it were.
     
  17. Mark To

    Mark To Supporting Actor

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    I'm almost positive that the Lone Ranger set put out by Rhino has the cut versions running just 22 minutes. Can anyone confirm?
     
  18. MattPeriolat

    MattPeriolat Supporting Actor

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    This is part of the reason why I am holding off: why pay money now for something that is incomplete and might be presented in a better format later? I just have to be patient I suppose.
     

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