HTF REVIEW: "Surviving Gilligan's Island" (with screenshots)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ronald Epstein, Oct 8, 2002.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder

    Jul 3, 1997
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    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein

    Surviving Gilligan's Island

    Studio: Artisan
    Year: 2001
    Rated: NR
    Film Length: 85 minutes
    Aspect Ratio: Full Frame (1.33:1)
    Subtitles: Spanish

    You know I must be having a slow week if I look
    through my large pile of unreviewed DVDs and pull
    out Surviving Gilligan's Island. One must
    give this show credit....Gilligan's Island was
    one of the most highly viewed comedy series on
    television and nearly thirty years later, the show
    has been revitalized by a new generation of young
    TV watchers.
    Surviving Gilligan's Island is not as bad
    as I thought it would be. In fact, I found it to
    be very well made and quite revealing. It's a
    behind-the-scenes look at how Sherwood Schwartz
    attempted to put his show on the air, how they did
    casting, and how everyone dealt with the sudden
    flock of publicity.
    The show works as both a retrospective and homage
    to the series as original actors Dawn Wells (Mary
    Ann,) Russell Johnson (The Professor,) and Bob Denver
    (Gilligan) come aboard in cameo appearances to add
    support to the stories that are being told by the
    actors who portray younger versions of themselves.
    These actors do a superb job of getting all the
    right mannerisms down. I particularly liked Eric
    Allan Kramer's portrayal of the Skipper (Alan Hale Jr).
    Though I wouldn't say there's much dirty laundry
    being thrown around here, there are some
    interesting behind-the-scenes secrets revealed here
    for the very first time. While we probably guessed
    that CBS executives never understood the success of
    the show (they rejected it 3 times), you may be
    surprised how a phone book led to the naming of
    the show. If we are to believe what is being told
    by her co-stars, Tina Louise (Ginger) was one helluva
    bitch. From the start, she thought the show was
    about her and did everything to put herself in the
    show's spotlight. Russell Johnson (The Professor)
    never really wanted the part, but surprisingly became
    quite comfortable with it after the first season.
    There's also some very touching moments here that
    include Jim Backus's final day on the set and a
    revealing secret from Natalie Schafer (Mrs. Howell).
    This nostalgic Look at an amazing phenomenon
    doesn't dismiss its fan base. During this
    retrospective, fans get to participate in trivia
    questions such as "What was Gilligan's first name?"
    It's also interesting to learn how seriously the
    public took the show as tons of letters were sent
    to the military by concerned citizens asking for
    a rescue effort. People actually thought there
    were a party of 7 stranded on a remote island.
    How is the transfer?
    Surviving Gilligan's Island looks about as
    good as what you would expect from broadcast
    television. Presented in the original (1.33:1)
    aspect ratio of the television broadcast, the
    picture is bright, vivid and colorful. There seems,
    however, to be a slight underlay of grain in the
    transfer which is quite noticeable in bright reds.
    Otherwise, the transfer is quite nice.
    The Dolby stereo track is very clear and strong,
    but nothing above what you would expect from a
    television retrospective such as this.
    Special Features
    Though the animated menus are extremely cheesy
    looking, there's one or two interesting supplements
    to be found here...
    Inside The Skipper & Gilligan's Hut we
    have a 6-minute collection of Wacky
    outtakes that are totally unamusing for
    the fact that these are outtakes from the
    retrospective -- not from the original show itself.
    It almost looks like most of the bloopers here
    were intentional as none of them invoked a smile
    from this reviewer. Casting sessions shows
    us the original auditions by the young actors from
    the retrospective. A castaway trivia game
    gives some rather complicated questions that might
    only be successfully answered had you watched the
    retrospective first.
    Inside The Professor's Hut you'll find an
    Episode Synopsis with a detailed listing of
    all 98 original episodes with air dates, synopses,
    and guest star appearances. Behind the scenes
    comparisons takes us behind the camera as we
    watch how four scenes were filmed. Using two windows
    laid side-by-side, we get a nice "real time" feel
    of how that particular sequence was shot. Don't
    miss the Easter Egg: click the potion on
    the table to see a short 8mm home movie of Dawn
    Wells (Mary Ann) at Christmas.
    Inside Ginger & Mary Ann's hut you will find
    Island Recipes for such delicacies as
    Skipper's Navy Bean Soup, Lagoon Lasagne and
    Giant Gilligan Burger. Probably the most
    interesting supplement on this entire DVD is
    Mary Ann's Home Movies. Here are personal
    8mm home movies taken on the set of the show. Alas,
    the footage is less than 1.5 minutes in length.
    A Gallery of the stars contains less than 20
    photos of the elderly actors as well as the young
    cast that portray them.
    Scattered about the menus are some Lagoon Fun
    Final Thoughts
    An extremely well-made and tasteful retrospective
    is presented here without being gossipy or scandalous.
    This nostalgic trip aboard the S.S. Minnow is smooth
    sailing all the way.
    Release Date: Now
  2. Michael St. Clair

    May 3, 1999
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    This movie was broadcast in true 16:9 HDTV!
  3. Steve Phillips

    Steve Phillips Screenwriter

    Jan 18, 2002
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    Yes, it was shown in HDTV at 1:78 to 1 on CBS. The DVD should have been the widescreen version, as this was composed with widescreen in mind.
  4. Michael St. Clair

    May 3, 1999
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    I actually would have bought this disc in 16:9.
    Artisan also released 'Trees Lounge' as 4:3. I think I'm not buying anything else from Artisan other than 'Twin Peaks.
    Here's 2 big thumbs down to Artisan! [​IMG] [​IMG]
  5. johnbr

    johnbr Stunt Coordinator

    Jun 30, 1997
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    I allso so it in 16/9 in hdtv great picture.So no sale.
  6. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

    Aug 13, 2000
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    Off the topic slightly, but I would LOVE to have all the episodes on DVD. Unfortunately, there has been no word about this.
  7. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

    Apr 19, 2000
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    Salinas, CA
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    I think someone here said the rights were so tangled up that it's going to take a mountain of lawyers. The rights, I believe, are split between Phil Silvers' daughters (his company produced the show from what I understand) and Warners (who inherited it from Turner).
  8. Alex S

    Alex S Second Unit

    Feb 21, 2000
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    Maryann or Ginger ?
    Maryann for me.

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