"Make Room For Daddy" (5th Season) DVD Set Review

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Bill Seasearydr, Mar 22, 2005.

  1. Bill Seasearydr

    Bill Seasearydr Auditioning

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    What a RIPOFF!!!

    I'm referring to the "Complete 5th Season", starring Danny Thomas and Marjorie Lord, with the following copyrights:

    sfm Entertainment
    2004 Danny Thomas Productions
    MMIV Questar, Inc.

    Whichever sleazy company above is responsible for this release, they gave us the *severely* edited *syndicated* versions of these episodes that have run on cable!

    From my experience, the typical full length version of a 50's - mid-60's TV series' episode would be anywhere from about 24 1/2 min. to 26 min. I timed (by stopwatch) about 8 episodes on this DVD set and all of them ranged from about 20:30 - 20:55 in length.

    Naturally, there is NO mention anywhere on the box that these are the *edited* versions. In fact, to further mislead the buyer, they put a statement on the back cover saying:

    "...available for the first time in this exclusive collection authorized by the Danny Thomas family."

    If this is true, I'm also holding "the Danny Thomas family" partly responsible for this abortion! However, another statement says that Questar has the exclusive rights to *distribute* this series (and) that the series is actually "owned and operated by Danny Thomas Productions." SO, maybe Danny Thomas Productions is 100% responsible for this crap.

    It just goes to show you that unless a TV series is released by (or) in association with either:

    1) the original network it aired on (or) the company that currently owns that network.....or

    2) the freelance production company that made the series

    ...you'll be taking a risk in getting what you expect.

    This is really shameful and inexcusable. I sure didn't think I was going to have to worry about getting the UN-edited episodes of a TV series, as long as they were being released "by season".

    I do realize, though, that if a TV show is NOT released "by season", you really don't know what you're going to get. Not only could it be severely edited, but, it might even be a 3rd or 4th generation copy!

    Speaking of which, to add insult to injury, they did NOT use the "Make Room For Daddy" film masters when transferring to DVD. There are MANY speckles and spots throughout the video and the overall clarity looks to be 3rd generation at best!

    Three other annoying aspects of this set are:

    1) The audio is noticeably HISSY, even without trying to listen for it!

    2) After each and EVERY episode, there is a full screen text graphic of Questar's mailing address - quite cheesy wouldn't you say?

    3) ONLY the first episode on each disc has the beginning credits and music - all other episodes start abruptly with no intro what-so-ever.

    Bill

    P.S.: I almost forgot to warn you about another TV series released by Questar. It's the Complete 2nd Season of "The Joey Bishop Show".

    I didn't buy this set, but, it has the same "style" artwork and packaging as "Make Room For Daddy", so those episodes might be the edited / syndicated, low quality versions also.

    (NOTE: To be fair, in another thread here I was reading, the Joey Bishop episodes *might* not be cut (edited), but I haven't read a 100% verification of this. It was said, however, that the picture quality was hit and miss! SO, I still stand stedfast behind my "Bottom Line" comment below.)

    Bottom Line:
    I wouldn't buy ANY releases from ANY of the 3 companies I listed at the top of this post because as far as I'm concerned, they ALL had a hand in this ripoff due to sheer GREED and disrespect for their customers!
     
  2. Paul Miller

    Paul Miller Supporting Actor

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    I am eagerly awaiting Make Room For Daddy Season 6. It was by far one of the best box sets I ever bought especially for the price I bought it at. There may be cuts, but I've never seen them without it in my lifetime so I'll take what I can get if it means a classic being out on DVD for me to enjoy.


    Paul
     
  3. Steve Phillips

    Steve Phillips Screenwriter

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    JOEY BISHOP is uncut, the quality is decent but the color isn't the best I've seen. The credits only play when you load the disc though, they've been removed from the episodes proper.

    For $20 I'm not complaining on this one.
     
  4. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Cinematographer

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    I totally agree with the sentiments expressed by:
    Bill Seasearydr
    and I totally disagree with:
    Paul Miller

    Bill, when this set came out Mark To was the first to warn us about everything you mentioned -- so I didn't waste any money on this set. It's a shame you weren't a member of this forum back then -- otherwise, you would have known and not thrown money away on this travesty, which only encourages the company to produce more like this. I don't believe they do this out of dishonesty, though -- just ignorance.
     
  5. Bert Greene

    Bert Greene Supporting Actor

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    I got the MRFD set the week it came out, hoping it wouldn't be cut. But, boy is it. Chopped up something awful, and you really FEEL the cuts. Terribly disappointing. Especially since it's such a fine series.

    On the other hand, the JOEY BISHOP set is intact, and other than Questar's (very) annoying habit of separating the opening credits at the beginning of each disc, it's actually a pretty nice set. I got quite a bit of entertainment from it. The scripts are often only so-so, but Bishop and the rest of the cast gave things a sort of live, off-the-cuff flair, which could occasionally be infectiously amusing. The color is indeed a bit erratic, but the picture is always satisfyingly sharp.
     
  6. Mark To

    Mark To Supporting Actor

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    It's really a shame the way this series has been mistreated over the years, from having 6 of the 11 seasons dropped from syndication, to having the shows badly chopped for syndication to now this DVD release. I really wonder if the Thomas family knows about the abominable way this show has been treated. This is a perfect example of killing off a great property. The show has a limited appeal as it is, not due to lack of quality as the show holds it's own against any other 50s sitcom, but from it's lack of exposure. So take that small market to begin with and then chop it in half with a shoddy release. Really a shameful way to treat such a great show.
     
  7. Eric Paddon

    Eric Paddon Screenwriter

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    The lack of opening credits on the Bishop show set is what's kept me away from it. To me, it's just not proper to view a show without the full context of it preseved and to leave them off this release is just pointless.

    Danny Thomas fans will just have to content themselves with the one uncut episode in the Dick Van Dyke Show season 3 set. (That is the right season?)
     
  8. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Cinematographer

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    To Mark To:

    Which 6 of the 11 seasons were not in syndication? I seem to remember seeing the three Jean Hagen seasons. I have no recollection of Season 4, when he was a widower. I also don't remember Season 10, when Danny and Kathy went to Europe and only appeared in something like 1 out of 4 episodes.

    Another question about the cut episodes on the DVDs -- political correctness seems to feel that no black people should be shown as servants, so I'm wondering if all the scenes with Louise (the maid) were removed. Or is she still in there?
     
  9. Steve Phillips

    Steve Phillips Screenwriter

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    She's still there.
     
  10. Mark To

    Mark To Supporting Actor

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    The first 4 seasons have not been rerun since the show was part of NBC's weekday afternoon lineup in the early sixties. Once the show went into traditional syndication, those episodes were never included in the package. The reasons have never been fully explained as the show was very fresh and funny, as are most shows in their earliest incarnations. The 10th and 11th seasons I believe may have been in the syndi packages that were around in the 60s and 70s but were definitely no longer being offered by the 80s. Season 10 probably for the reason stated about Danny and Kathy only being in a few shows. 11 may have just been a numbers thing as even with out the 6 omited seasons there are still 161 episodes. As we got into the 80s many syndicators began to shorten their packages as stations no longer wanted 200+ episode series. Donna Reed was cut back from 275 to 175. Rawhide, Beverly Hillbillies and many others had episodes removed. Other shows, like Petticoat Junction and Mannix had seasons that were never included. Even when Hawaii Five-0 was first offered it was only 200 shows with all of the 2-parters left out.
     

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