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Mr. Novak, NBC TV Series 1963-65.

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Flashgear, Jul 11, 2017.

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  1. Jobla

    Jobla Supporting Actor

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    I've just opened my set, and the discs are purple/burned, as I expected. I got my set directly from Warner Shop.
     
  2. bmasters9

    bmasters9 Cinematographer

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    That's good to hear! I hope the picture quality is satisfactory for you.
     
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  3. phenri

    phenri Second Unit

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    This is the first time I received DVD-R discs for a multi season series from Warner; and I have been ordering from them since the beginning.

    This must be a new trend for WB. I'm guessing they will be issuing only burned DVDs going forward.
     
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  4. Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Supporting Actor

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    I think you're right, sadly. Warner Archive's release of A Man Called Shenandoah being burned also adds evidence to your theory. The days of them releasing series on pressed discs seem to be over.

    I know a lot of their classic TV series releases were given limited pressed disc runs several years ago. I'm curious when they started to drop this policy...Does anyone know what the most recent pressed release of this type was? Was Hank pressed, for example? How about more modern(ish) things like Alice and Perfect Strangers? I'm guessing that the archive has been slowly phasing the initial pressings out. I guess it doesn't really matter as long as they continue to guarantee the replacement of any faulty burnt discs.

    Just dumped a lot of money moving house, so won't be able to pick Mr. Novak S1 up till December at the earliest. Hopefully, Randall will be a gent and give us a few screencaps of the set when he's able (hint hint...) ;)
     
  5. Message #305 of 333 Nov 8, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
    Flashgear

    Flashgear Screenwriter

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    Jeff, I can certainly understand the stresses, financial and otherwise, of moving family and household. I'm lucky in that I haven't moved in over 15 years, after a lifetime as a sometimes vagabond in my temporal spaces, ha, ha. And Christmas is coming also...Christmas must be a unique, special, and maybe even surreal experience for your family in Japan!

    I have my order for Mr. Novak season one in at Oldies.com...they currently have a good sale (20% off MRSP) across the board for the WAC back catalog, pre-orders and newly released WAC titles too! So, I also ordered Eleventh Hour season one (1962-63), which was another MGM TV sister show of Mr. Novak, with many of the same guest stars, including James Franciscus himself...also among many notables...Vera Miles, George C. Scott, Colleen Dewhurst, Telly Savalas, Cliff Robertson, Tuesday Weld, Kurt Russell, Angela Cartwright, Ronnie Howard, Martin Balsam, Brenda Scott and Angela Lansbury (about the same time she was the infamous Queen of Diamonds in The Manchurian Candidate)...and I also continued to back fill my missing WB westerns seasons with Sugarfoot, Lawman etc.

    Something strange happened with the Amazon Mr. Novak pre-orders...the prime eligible pre-order tag was up for over a week, then dropped with the placeholder saying "currently unavailable", with third party sellers slowly filling in the options...Newtown Video, Deep Discount, ImportCD and others...but the last time I checked Amazon, it currently wasn't available from them directly via "Create Space" under Prime eligible ordering...strange...

    I hope to have my order in hand by mid month...it's supposed to come to me via FedEx. Another thing that complicates matters for me is that we currently have rotating postal strikes in Canada. I think the Post Office dispute will be settled soon. Another thing is that WB Shop doesn't ship directly to Canada, so I couldn't order from them. And our own Amazon Canada is sometimes pretty slow in putting WAC titles up for pre-order...and as you guys can tell, I don't want to wait to get it from them. As for Oldies.com, I have done business with them for many years and they are excellent!

    When I finally have my copy of Mr. Novak, I will post screen caps from some episodes...principally the Kim Darby and Marta Kristen episodes which I have previously not had in my home made DVD collection... and haven't seen since the fall of 1963 and the spring of '64.

    Also looking forward to others reviews and impressions...Jobla, Bob, Paul, and any others who have the new release!
     
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  6. Message #306 of 333 Nov 8, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
    Bob Gu

    Bob Gu Screenwriter

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    I have watched the first Disc and think the picture quality is excellent. And the episodes so far have bumpers. Starts with a bumper, then a pre-credit sequence setting up the story, then the credits sequence, then the creators bumper, then the show starts. It seems the commercial break bumpers are the going to, not the coming back from, bumpers.

    It's fun spotting the kid actors from other shows and series. Not only the more well known ones, like Tony Dow and Shelly Fabares,, but "Little Luke", Mike Winkleman, from THE REAL McCOYS , "Pee Wee", Jimmy Baird, from FURY, and others. Baird did become a teacher in real life. One of the troublemakers in episode five, James Houghton, became a soap star.

    I, also, asked, earlier, if the more recent WAC releases of the comedy shows and newer dramas were pressed, but I guess the comedy and newer stuff fans don't read this NOVAK thread. According to posters at HTF, HANK (released 2015) was pressed. It was a Warner show. THE JIMMY STEWART SHOW, (released 2014) was a Warner show and it was on DVD-R. (WAC started pressing TV series in 2012, but not all of them.)

    Maybe the DVD or DVD-R decision is based on pre-orders by the big online retailers? But maybe not, I would have thought HONDO, (released on DVD-R, May 2017) had more name recognition than SAM BENEDICT, (released on pressed DVD, Nov 2016).

    My newest WAC purchased series on pressed DVD was LAZARUS MAN, (released Feb. 2018).

    (I noticed the Warner Home Entertainment Shield comes up first now on the recent releases and the official FBI piracy warning after pressing play all. They had been using a curved TV shaped WARNING with red lettering.)

    WAC released the newer series FOREVER, with Ioan Gruffudd, (Jan. 2017) pressed, and released it in Canada also pressed, as a Warner Home Video release with WHV sleeve art. But it was the same pressed run as the WAC release including the MOD labeling. (One Amazon.ca reviewer was convinced that the MOD label meant the DVD was a DVD-R, but it was a pressed DVD.) The Canadian WHV edition was and is still less expensive than the WAC edition.( Does Amazon.ca burn any releases, in house,?)
    51J5T+MuI1L._AA240_QL65_. 81Mn0rRbc+L._SY445_.

    Getting back to MR.NOVAK. There was a joke about the spelling of his name in the first episode. I am sure I spelled it NOVACK in my previous posts. I'm afraid to look.

    I have started Disc 2, the episode with Alexander Scourby, (what a voice) and Sherry Jackson as his wife, (what everything else!).
     
  7. Flashgear

    Flashgear Screenwriter

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    Thank you Bob for your detailed review!...Keep those reports coming! I can't tell you how happy I am that Warner didn't drop the Mr. Novak bumpers and creator title cards! The old TNT broadcasts always retained them. I expect the episodes to look great as George Feltenstein always emphasized they were going back to the 35mm OCN film elements to begin the transfers! You really have an eye for the harder to identify kid actors too!

    About Amazon Canada...I don't know for sure if they have their own separate burning capability, but I doubt it...for many of the WAC TV box set releases, multi-season or single season, they only have a very few "in stock" at any one time...and the few that are in stock seem to be completely random with low quantities on hand...for the great majority of WAC TV, they have only third party sellers listed like ImportCD, Marvelo, Round3, etc., as options...the single disc WAC movies on DVD are generally much more available from Amazon.ca...and they tend to put up the pre-orders for the WAC Blu-rays much faster and for all titles, not just a selection...the prices are mostly competitive when calculated by current currency exchange rates and shipping costs, whether you have Prime or not...

    The big Amazon Canada mystery for me is why, as a Canadian, I often find Kino Lorber releases at better (sometimes much better) prices for pre-order...for instance, I got Blu-rays of Night Stalker, Night Strangler, Ghost of Sierra de Cobre, Lisbon, A Man Alone and Female on the Beach, Foxfire, Last Command on pre-orders all for $20.97 Canadian each...about $15.97 U.S. Not that I'm complaining, of course! just mystified...a lot of these titles, like Foxfire, Female on the Beach and Last Command are currently at $21.89 U.S. for pre-order on Amazon.com. I'm also getting Outer Limits season two Blu-ray for $37.20 U.S! I also find that CBS TV and Shout Factory pre-orders for me on Amazon Canada to be a big saving over what I would pay for them on Amazon.com or other U.S. based retailers!...especially so as I don't pay for shipping on Amazon Canada, as I always hit their $35 CA threshold for free shipping. I dropped my Prime membership about three years ago. Olive and Criterion releases always seem a little over priced on Amazon.ca...ClassicFlix and TT are never listed as available on Amazon Canada...sometimes they are available from third party on the site...

    I'm fine with anything on DVD-R, as long as it's presented on quality blanks the way that WAC and Amazon does them. In ordering them from Amazon's in house Create Space program, I have rarely found unidentifiable foreign matter in the case, indicating less than ideal clean room duping facilities...but the discs all played fine...the much more concerning issue for me was episodes for The FBI season two being mixed up with those from The FBI season five! In this case it was for the rarer 2 episode disc and must have been fouled up during the labeling process, as the disc (which I still have in my possession, though they did send me a replacement) clearly is labeled as two episodes from season two...but upon playing, you discover they are other episodes from season five! I haven't heard of anyone else ever encountering this kind of mistake.
     
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  8. Bob Gu

    Bob Gu Screenwriter

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    I received the Second Vol. of the Kirby Grant and Chinook Mountie series from WAC, when it was first released, and the DVD-R had the three movies from Vol. One on the disc. I called WAC and a replacement was sent. In the meantime WAC noticed the mistake and mailed out replacement discs to everyone who ordered. So I wound up with two copies of Vol. Two and an extra copy of Vol. One disguised as Vol. Two
    wac691098d.

    I ordered the WHV Blu-Ray/DVD combo of Person Of Interest S1 and found that the DVDs were clean as a whistle but the Blu-Rays had clear greasy fingerprints on them. I sent the prints along to our pal Arthur Ward at THE F.B.I., in color, (gee, you think he would retire, already!). The prints belonged to a Lionel Fusco.
    11521f42578c6d1481fc71a743277653.
    tumblr_mpeefqWN4w1qmgpdwo3_r1_500.
     
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  9. bmasters9

    bmasters9 Cinematographer

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    Similar to O-R Jack Lord Five-O from CBS, I take it?
     
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  10. Flashgear

    Flashgear Screenwriter

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    You have me laughing out loud Bob! Well done. You need to play the big rooms in Vegas with that material! Ha, ha! I never thought of sending my unidentified substance that I found as foreign objects in a Cheyenne box set or my mysteriously flubbed disc of The FBI to Quantico for forensic analysis...where undoubtedly, a 1966 version of James Sikking or Dabney Coleman would examine them, just as they did on the QM show!

    I've got to get those Kirby Grant and Chinook box sets...hopefully problem free...after all, I'm Canadian and it may be required by law! I certainly enjoyed them back when...laughed at Kirby Grant giving his dog Chinook preferential seating in the canoe over his own girlfriend! Good to know I'm not the only one to have WAC discs mislabeled.

    Arthur Ward and Lou Erskine might be on the J. Edgar Hoover career plan at the FBI...holding on by their deathbed and hoping their loyal long serving secretaries won't flub the required file shredding and burning or backyard file burials next to the pumpkin papers, ha, ha...yes, I've read Anthony Summers book J. Edgar Hoover, Private and Confidential...in that book, Summers did claim that J. Edgar and Clyde Tolson in fact actually reviewed each and every script up to Hoover's death in 1972...I would think that J. Edgar would have taken a dim view of Inspector Lou Erskine's flashy Mustang...wondering if he was on the take with Mob money or on the Soviet payroll!
     
  11. Message #311 of 333 Nov 8, 2018
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    Bob Gu

    Bob Gu Screenwriter

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    Material? It's all true!

    Chinook kills more bad guys than Kirby Grant in the series. The three WAC sets are missing the tenth movie in the series, YUKON VENGEANCE, since it somehow passed from RKO to Paramount. (I hope it shows up on YouTube someday.) Chinook played "The White Shadow" in the Disney MICKEY MOUSE CLUB serial "Corky and the White Shadow". I don't remember if I ever saw that.

    VCI has a couple of the Renfrew of the Mounties series. Alpha has them all in, as I like to say, varying quality.



    I'd like to see R.C.M.P. with Don Francks, a late 50s show actually filmed in Canada. It was syndicated down here briefly.


    Bringing things back to NOVAK. Did James Franciscus ever play a Mountie?
     
  12. Bert Greene

    Bert Greene Supporting Actor

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    Wow, how did the Novak thread turn to Mounties? I do love those Kirby Grant films, though. Although I still think Kermit Maynard's RCMP films for Ambassador are even better. Anyone familiar with future-director Irving Cummings' series of silent two-reel Mountie films?

    A bit disappointed to hear that the Novak discs are not pressed. I've indeed had more problems over the years with WB's dvd-r's. Not to the point of overwhelming, but just enough cases of momentary pictures freezes, and my players giving off those peculiar sounds of struggling. It's made me a hair more disinclined to go for something that might be of only borderline interest.
     
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  13. Message #313 of 333 Nov 8, 2018
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    Flashgear

    Flashgear Screenwriter

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    Bob, I had no knowledge of that R.C.M.P. series from 1959...the same year that Seaway came out, maybe from the same producers? Big year for Canadian produced drama, apparently, what with the St. Lawrence Seaway opening for business that same year. Don Francks is an interesting actor...I kind of rediscovered him from WAC's release of all 17 episodes of Jericho (1966-67). I sure don't remember many home grown Canadian cop shows, other than John Vernon's Wojeck...

    Thanks for posting all those links for these Mountie shows, Bob! Renfrew of the Royal Mounted is another hoot of an enjoyable B series from the '30s that I haven't seen in years. Always laughed hard at the mounted columns of singing Mounties bellowing out their rip roaring tunes that carried for miles away...even to the bad guys they were chasing after. I remember one of the Renfrews where the camp cooks started cooking furiously as they heard the hungry Mounties singing over the pines from way off, ha, ha...The Mounties were kind of big in Hollywood for a good long while...out of favor these days I guess, except for Paul Gross in Due South back in the '90s. Along with Sergeant Preston of the Yukon, I also loved the CBC's Forest Rangers, another rare show from the early '60s that was shot in color at Georgian Bay in Ontario. Gordon Pinsent was the Mountie in that one. A bunch of kids living in a backwoods fort...a wonderful fantasy for a child.
    [​IMG]

    I don't recall James Franciscus ever playing a Mountie, too bad! He is a bad guy of a kind in a second season Dr. Kildare...and I look forward to seeing him in the Eleventh Hour episode he did also...as well as Mr. Novak remastered and pristine! Some of his finest work is seen on Mr. Novak of course...another favorite Franciscus performance is in Wagon Train season three's Benjamin Burns Story...
     
  14. Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Supporting Actor

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    Loving this Mountie tangent, guys! Thanks for reminding me of those Kirby Grant and Chinook three-fers from Warner Archive. I've been meaning to pick those up at some point...

    Re: Bob's comment upthread about Chinook taking out more baddies than the nominal hero...it reminds me of The Phantom movie serial, where The Ghost Who Walks is actually pretty ineffectual, and his dog, Devil, ends up saving his sorry butt about 6 times per chapter.

    Nice to hear that the Mr. Novak S1 transfers look sharp and include the bumpers. Thanks for that info, Bob!
     
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  15. Bob Gu

    Bob Gu Screenwriter

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    Jeff, the Kirby Grant and Chinook films are very good second features with exciting action and an energized and wry performance from Kirby Grant, and Chinook is no slouch either.

    I am in the mood to watch a serial. I think I'll dig THE PHANTOM out of my serial box, (ouch!).

    Randall, I see that FOREST RANGERS show was released on DVD in Canada and France some time back and commands high out of print prices. There are also episodes up at YouTube. The show has an active fanbase and there are reunion gatherings, for the show videos, also, on YouTube.

    I am watching the NOVAK with Joey Heatherton next. Bonnie Franklin is in this episode too. They were both about nineteen.

    Joey, about that time, and Bonnie about two years later with her U.N.C.L.E.
    1944-joey-heatherton-crop-top.
    gazeb090.
     
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  16. bmasters9

    bmasters9 Cinematographer

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    Same age as a current actress named Joey (surname King) is!
     
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  17. Flashgear

    Flashgear Screenwriter

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    Thanks Bob, for that info about the Forest Rangers community and episodes on Youtube. I'll have to check them out! I don't have that old DVD release of Forest Rangers, but wish I had picked it up when it first came out. Forest Rangers was a very popular after school show in Canada from 1963-66. Being filmed in color must have helped with syndication into the U.S. television market, and as far as I can tell, a fair number of affiliates picked it up in your country too. It was a quality and entertaining show that would look gorgeous if it was remastered in HD. The Georgian Bay and Muskoka lake cottage country locations are beautiful. About the same time, The Littlest Hobo in it's original 1963-65 TV syndication run was mostly filmed in Canada, but also in the USA...another wonderfully warm childhood memory! I have the two VCI box sets and the WAC released 1958 feature film of Littlest Hobo which features London rescuing a sheep and taking an eye popping tour of West Hollywood and Inglewood. It's really something to see for the period Los Angeles setting alone!

    Another color publicity photo featuring the cast of Forest Rangers...
    [​IMG]

    That Mr. Novak episode featuring the stunning Joey Heatherton is a good one...and I think she is especially convincing and compelling in the final scene where she showed she really could act! And old stalwart Royal Dano has a memorably effective single scene as her father. You've got to admire old John Novak's self control and focused iron clad reserve in the face of Joey's provocative charms. The man was a paragon of professional integrity! I don't think I could have shown such resolve...the girls who cared, mostly had their way with me back in my high school days...the weak, pathetic and simpering specimen of wayward youth that I represented in a few young girl's fevered imaginations, ha, ha...but though they were pretty, they didn't look quite as stunning as Joey Heatherton or Brenda Scott, ha, ha...

    Joey Heatherton was a real talent on the Vegas night club and Hotel Casino scene later in the '60s, '70s and `80s...I never saw her shows, but family and friends who did said she was a real knockout as a singer and dancer too...and could really carry a big Vegas show as a headliner. I've only seen flashes of that on the Dean Martin variety show and the Bob Hope Vietnam USO Christmas shows...there are videos on Youtube of Joey singing and dancing on the deck of an aircraft carrier (USS Oriskany or Forrestal) during those tours where you can see what a hit she was with the servicemen of the Vietnam era! Imagine her, Racquel Welch and Anne Margaret on the same show! God almighty.

    So, I don`t know when I`ll get my copy of Mr. Novak season one, hopefully in the next 10 days. But I`m sure enjoying and looking forward to more of everyone`s impressions, observations and reviews! And the interesting, enjoyable tangents and detours along the way as well!
     
  18. Message #318 of 333 Nov 14, 2018 at 8:39 AM
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    Bob Gu

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    I just finished Disc 3 and liked episode 15, with Edward Mulhare, as a self taught famous writer. It was a welcome episode after three episodes with rude, angry destructive young men, whose illegal behavior, vandalism, and house breaking, is brushed aside because of alleged redeeming qualities they possess. Novak is a saint.

    I spotted another uncredited kid actor in episode 15, Lee Aaker from RIN TIN TIN. I think he was in other episodes, too.

    The sub-plots, and sometimes front burner plots, about the hostility and lack of respect teachers endure, from some of the public, are interesting to see and still very true today.

    Well back to the Mountie tangent:
    pl1.
    duesouth570.
     
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  19. Message #319 of 333 Nov 14, 2018 at 2:26 PM
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    Flashgear

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    Ha, ha, you have me laughing again, Bob! I need to pull out and re-watch that "Singing Mountie" episode of F Troup and revisit Paul Lynde as a Mountie and fellow countryman! You know, I don't have Due South on DVD. As a show that is now about 20 years old and on the verge of becoming vintage, I might have to add it to my collection. I had almost forgotten that Leslie Nielsen ('Sgt. Buck Frobisher') was a guest star in 4 episodes on that show! He knew a little bit about Mounties, as his father and elder brother were both serving mounties. His elder brother Erik was a real death defying bomber pilot hero in WW2 and went on to be a very prominent Federal politician in Ottawa as well!


    Leslie Nielsen was a radio DJ and announcer in my Hometown of Calgary, Alberta, in the post war years before heading to Hollywood with the likes of William Shatner, Lloyd Bochner, Lorne Green and other Canadians... I found this newspaper article from April 1958 in my wanderings of the Google newspaper archives. Leslie Nielsen the movie star was in Calgary to visit with his Mother and family, and the reporter helpfully put his Mom's address into the story to help autograph hounds! Different times, eh? Leslie Nielsen was only two years removed from his immortal role in Forbidden Planet and was making waves as an up and comer with Tammy and the Batchelor and the recently completed The Sheepman with fellow Canadian Glenn Ford...man, he did loads of great TV over the years before regaining global celebrity with the Airplane and Naked Gun movies. Another personal favorite actor!
    Nielsen 1.JPG Nielsen 2.JPG

    Leslie Nielsen didn't do any work on Mr. Novak, unfortunately. I'm still waiting for my set to ship from Oldies.com. A little frustrating for me, but what the hell...last time I checked, Amazon still had it only available from marketplace sellers, I don't know what's up with that! WB Shop doesn't ship directly to Canada. And I don't want my shipment to get caught up in rotating postal strikes which are still happening in my country.

    That episode of Mr. Novak with Edward Mulhare, He Who Can, Does is a real highlight in season one. I'm glad you enjoyed it Bob! A fine script with beautiful performances by Edward Mulhare and Jeanne Bal at the center of it. Memorable outing for the great Dean Jagger also, especially his scene with Bal. And a great Franciscus episode with some of his most memorable dialogue with Mulhare on the nature of personal fulfillment, the drive to experience the metaphorical fine wine of life and live recklessly even at the cost of the loved ones you might leave behind...and the collateral damage of ruined lives as a consequence. A brilliant script, profound and powerful, with compelling and genuine performances that really stayed with me. So good in fact, that for me, it ranks with the best ever TV drama that I've ever seen from the 1955-65 era, my favorite realm in collectible TV. I think that easily another half dozen or more episodes in season one would rank as highly too.

    Screen caps from my home made DVD...now crappy compared to the new remastered transfers from WAC, which I have yet to see...these were derived from 16 mm film...you can see the hair and dirt caught up in the projector gate at the margins, ha, ha...one of the many delights in collecting a huge swath of classic TV that will mostly never get a licensed or studio official release...
    Does 6.JPG

    The world famous best selling author...a celebrated Bon Vivant of the literary realm.
    Does 19.JPG

    Invited by Novak to address his English class...he enthralls and delights the kids with his wit and seductive insight found in his many real life globe trotting adventures of renown...the inspiration and creative impulse behind his many best selling novels...ala Hemingway...
    Does 7.JPG
    Does 9.JPG

    He offers Novak the opportunity to join him in Paris as a personal assistant and Aide de Camp of a kind...with the promise of informal apprenticeship to learn from the master himself the art of writing the great novel...what humble English teacher could refuse this windfall? "Have you seen Paris, Johnny? Best to hurry and see it now. It changes with your age...the game is to the swift"...
    Does 13.JPG
    Does 22.JPG
    Does 23.JPG
    Does 24.JPG

    Novak discovers the inner torment behind the polished facade...the world famous writer is a broken spirit, a lonely man living out of hotel rooms and a whiskey bottle...the youthful optimism and idealism is vanquished in the face of the tragic reckoning behind his visit to humble Jefferson High...
    Does 14.JPG

    Assistant Principal Pagano was the once youthful lost love the author left behind...and the enduring muse of inspiration behind the tragic central character of his long ago break through original best selling novel...
    Does 18.JPG

    In the midst of her painful recall, she asks him why he chose to return now?... He answers: "I left something behind"...
    Does 16.JPG

    Principal Vane offers emotional support to his colleague...and the wisdom of insight as well...
    Does 17.JPG
    Does 20.JPG

    He Who Can, Does is an absolute gem in season one of Mr. Novak...
     
    Jobla, Bob Gu and Jeff Flugel like this.
  20. Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Supporting Actor

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Osaka, Japan
    Real Name:
    Jeff Flugel
    Seems unfair that, after all your championing of Mr. Novak, Randall, that you have to wait so long to receive your copy of the DVD set. You'd think Warner Archive would have sent you a copy, gratis, after all the work you put getting others on this site to buy the set. ;)

    Hope it shows up on your doorstep soon!

    That singing mountie episode of F Troop is a real hoot.

    [​IMG]
     

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