HTF REVIEW: "Sanford and Son" Second Season (with screenshots)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ronald Epstein, Feb 5, 2003.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder

    Jul 3, 1997
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    Ronald Epstein

    Sanford and Son
    The Second Season

    Studio: Columbia
    Year: 1972
    Rated: NR
    Film Length: 530 minutes
    Aspect Ratio: Full Frame (1.33:1)
    Subtitles: English and Spanish

    Elizabeth! I'm comin', honey!"

    Sanford and Son debuted in January 1972, and became
    an instant success with television viewers. The
    show was based on the British sitcom Steptoe and Son
    about a cockney junk dealer and his son. The
    Americanized version used African-Americans as its
    central characters and moved the locale from England
    to California.

    The key ingredient was Redd Foxx, an accomplished
    standup comedian who made his mark in 'blue comedy'
    in days long before Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy.
    His genius at ad-libbing helped us laugh our way
    through some of the most desperate moments Lear
    came up with as the producer indulged in more and
    more contemporary issues and moralistic themes as
    time progressed. Foxx's catch phrases that he used
    every week (Ya big Dummy!) set the stage for many
    shows to come by making a reused line something
    to be anticipated.

    The show remained at the top of NBC's prime time
    slot during most of its 5 seasons, until when in
    1977, disputes with the stars over salaries and
    other projects caused its cancellation. Since then,
    Sanford and Son has continued to thrive in re-runs.
    It's only fitting that Columbia would choose this
    series as a DVD release.


    Sanford And Son: The Second Season arrives
    in a cardboard case whose inside slides out into
    a 3-pane gatefold. The 3 DVDs are held in plastic
    housing that features a red brick background. A
    total of 24 episodes are spread across the three


    A small pull-out pamphlet sits in a corner pocket.
    This pamphlet opens up to a 6-page Episode Guide
    that gives a brief description of the episode and
    the complete cast of stars, writers and directors.
    Unfortunately, there is no information on original
    air date.

    I had the opportunity to watch three episodes --
    one from each disc -- for evaluating the quality
    of this DVD release.


    By The Numbers
    Fred is having one of his dreams again. The next
    morning he tells Lamont about the dream, sure that
    he will have good luck in picking numbers for a
    lottery. His hunch turns out to be true, despite
    the fact that Lamont forbids him to participate.
    Fred quickly finds himself $500 richer but also
    finds a handful of his friends needing some fast


    A visit from Lena Horne
    Fred and Lamont take a tour through the NBC studios
    and Fred gets a kick out of seeing Johnny Carson's
    parking spot. However, what Fred really gets a kick
    out of is seeing Lena Horne's car and sneaks into
    her dressing room. After meeting her, he tries to
    trick her into visiting him at his home. None of
    Fred's pals believe for a second she'll ever show
    up, and thus, the bet begins!


    Rated X
    Lamont and Rollo answer an ad that promises them
    stardom through low-budget movies. Fred gets a hold
    of the brochure and decides to try out too. When
    they get down there they quickly discover the low
    budget movies are X-rated. Soon a police raid
    ensues and Fred, Lamont and Rollo are hauled off
    to jail. The one person who can save the day is
    the last Fred wants to see -- bible-thumpin' Aunt

    How is the transfer?


    I look at this 1972 television show that was produced
    during the era of 19" television and wonder if it
    really was ever meant to be blown up on large screen
    televisions of today.

    The reason I ponder this question is because I am
    not completely happy with the clarity of this show
    across my 57" RPTV. Images often look soft and
    slightly blurred. Colors seem to be well represented,
    though not particularly sharp. All of this, of
    course, is the fault of the source material. There
    are no blemishes or compression artifacts here.

    The audio is very representative of what you would
    expect from a show of that era -- mostly on the
    raw side and lacking any great dynamics. Still,
    audio comes across strong and sharp and it's
    exactly the way I remember it from 30 years ago.

    Special Features

    There are none.

    Let me use this space to address the fact that
    Columbia has provided no chapter stops in these
    episodes. Although many members and reviewers
    addressed this problem with Columbia after the
    release of The Complete First Season, the
    studio has done nothing to correct the situation
    on this release.

    Final Thoughts

    With all the studios now in full-swing with a
    seemingly new batch of TV releases every month, it
    becomes difficult to decide which show deserves the
    long-run investment. I have a feeling that Sanford
    and Son
    will prove to be one of the best TV
    sellers of the format. Of course, you don't need
    me to sell you on this series!

    Go out and buy this one and every set that follows it!

    Release Date: NOW

    All screen captures have been further compressed.
    They are for illustrative purposes only and do not
    represent actual picture quality
  2. GlennH

    GlennH Cinematographer

    Sep 28, 1998
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    Thanks for the review Ron. With respect to picture quality, unfortunately we're at the mercy of the original source, which in this case was video tape, wasn't it? Nowhere near as good as film for future viability.

    It should also be pointed out that one of the episodes on this set is a cut version, which appears to be a mistake on CTHE's part. Discussion of that is in this thread.
  3. BrianP

    BrianP Supporting Actor

    Dec 8, 1999
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    Can't wait to get this set along with All in the Family second season.
  4. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

    Apr 8, 1999
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    David Scarpa
    Well at under $20 a set and $100 for the complete series it's a pretty good buy. There must be some internal reason why one ep was cut when all others were ok. These along with AITF are very good buys. And it's a true testement to how well these shows were written in that they are as funny today as 30 years ago. Try taking one of the Homogenized sitcoms on the air now and say the same. Now we need some 60's sitcoms an area severely lacking on DVD
  5. Jeffrey Gray

    Jeffrey Gray Second Unit

    Aug 11, 2001
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    I think the edited version was an accident...there's no other possible explanation.
  6. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

    Apr 19, 2000
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    Salinas, CA
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    It would have to be. If All in the Family S2 is 100% uncut and Good Times S1 is 100% uncut, it would stand to reason such.

    Now how about bringing this to Columbia's attention?

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