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The Andy Griffith Show: Missing Scenes, Laugh Tracks, And Other Issues

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Tony Bensley, Jun 4, 2017.

  1. Tony Bensley

    Tony Bensley Producer

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    At least one TAGS sponsor spot from the color seasons that's currently up on YouTube would seem to somewhat refute that theory, although I suppose it's possible that they might have shot fewer of them after the third season! It would have been great if CBS/Paramount could have included whatever sponsor spots were filmed after Season 3, at any rate.

    CHEERS! :)
     
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  2. Blimpoy06

    Blimpoy06 Screenwriter

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    It may have been that the sponsor spots that were episode and story specific had ceased by season 4. The online clips I've seen of latter season seem pretty generic and could be tagged on to any show that year.
     
  3. Tony Bensley

    Tony Bensley Producer

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    Perhaps this Post Toasties closing sponsor spot from the late Season 3 "A Wife For Andy" episode could have been an early sign of General Foods moving toward a more generic, non story specific approach as you have suggested? Production order was also not always the same as broadcast order. Maybe "A Wife For Andy" was the last episode shot for TAGS Season 3, and first to adopt this new approach?:
    vlcsnap-2017-07-13-16h31m15s099.

    CHEERS! :)
     
  4. BarryR

    BarryR Supporting Actor

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    n/a
     
  5. BarryR

    BarryR Supporting Actor

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    "As for Andy in the color years... IIRC, he got meaner. Less jovial, more perpetually annoyed."

    Even more than Helen Crump? :)
     
  6. Tony Bensley

    Tony Bensley Producer

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    I hate to admit it, but even looking at a couple of shots from the final season, Andy does look pretty miserable.

    When I get to THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW color seasons, that's when I'll resume my GOMER PYLE, U.S.M.C. viewing that got stalled awhile back. Alternating between shows should make for a less painful post Barney Fife experience on the former, especially when I reach the 8th and final season!

    Personal moving plans may also factor into subsequent viewings.

    CHEERS! :)
     
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  7. BarryR

    BarryR Supporting Actor

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    I recall his post series movie, ANGEL IN MY POCKET (1969). I don't think that's even been on DVD.
     
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  8. Message #148 of 247 Jul 14, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2017
    Tony Bensley

    Tony Bensley Producer

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    I started viewing the first disc of the Season 4 TAGS episodes, and have so far seen the first two ("Opie The Birdman" and "Haunted House.") of these. If I had to pick one season as being my favorite, this one would be it, as a lot of my favorites are among them, including "Opie And The Birdman;" "Citizens Arrest;" "The Fun Girls;" and pretty much any other episodes that featured Gomer Pyle or Ernest T. Bass. It also didn't hurt that yours truly was born by the time the last few episodes from this most iconic TAGS season aired, although it would be a few years before I actually viewed these episodes for the first time!

    Regarding the "Opie The Birdman" episode, I'm most thankful that Paramount did correct the missing laugh track, that had been an issue with the initial November 22, 2005 release of the Season 4 DVD set! Andy did seem to pick at Barney more than usual in this particular episode, and I can see how lack of accompanying laughter would have lent a less endearing flavor to this!

    I didn't mention this previously, but by the start of the 4th season, Howard McNear's Floyd The Barber had been absent from TAGS for quite some time, which was due to his having suffered a debilitating stroke not long after the shooting of the early Season 3 "Convicts-At-Large" episode. He was such a gem in that episode, it makes me sad that Howard McNear was never able to deliver that kind of a performance again, although just having his Floyd Lawson character back in any capacity was always a welcome sight, and I do look forward to his return later in season 4!

    CHEERS! :)
     
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  9. Message #149 of 247 Jul 15, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2017
    Tony Bensley

    Tony Bensley Producer

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    I just finished viewing the "Ernest T. Bass Joins The Army" (Season 4; Episode 3) episode. Curiously, this is one of those TAGS episodes that I had little to no direct recollection of having ever seen, although I suspect that I may have caught it at least once in my mid to late '90s TAGS Turner Broadcast Station viewings. I have a much more vivid recollection of the subsequent Ernest T. Bass episode, in which direct reference to the previous episode is made. If I recall correctly, the Canadian station (CKCO-TV Kitchener-Waterloo) on which much of my adolescent viewing of TAGS occurred, skipped over the "Ernest T. Bass Joins The Army" episode. This would explain why my recollection of this episode isn't as vivid as most of the others! The epilogue scene (Which today's viewing of may well be my first!) is certainly one that should be of the highly memorable variety!

    CHEERS! :)
     
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  10. Message #150 of 247 Jul 16, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017
    Tony Bensley

    Tony Bensley Producer

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    Having finished viewing the first disc of the Season 4 DVD set, here's a few observations and opinions:

    - As has often been posted, the "A Sermon For Today" and "Black Day In Mayberry" episodes, the laugh track stops right around the 18 minute mark. Especially considering that both of these episodes were completely missing their laugh tracks (Along with the season opener, "Opie The Birdman" episode!) on the initial TAGS Season 4 release, I find it curious that whoever was responsible for restoring these fell asleep at the wheel, and at about the same point in each of the two episodes, at that! In my opinion, this slip up especially didn't help the Sermon episode, which in my opinion, is already a bit of a weak sister, as Season 4 TAGS episodes go! Despite what has already been posted, I'm still a bit uncertain in regards to the "A Sermon For Today" episode being complete, in terms of length. Yes, I know what I said regarding the Gomer Pyle featured episodes, but for me, this one is an exception. Perhaps worth noting, is the visiting New York City Preacher was portrayed by David Lewis, who is perhaps best remembered by Daytime viewers as Edward L. Quartermaine on GENERAL HOSPITAL.

    - There appears to be a subtle change in the font style of the lettering used for THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW Season 4 opening and syndicated closing credits, with the background for the latter appearing somewhat scratchy, in comparison to what was used for the earlier seasons. The final show title end credit for the "Gomer The House Guest" episode also has shadow lettering separation around the copyright year portion.

    - In the aforementioned episode, at around the 15 minute mark, when the scene shifts to the Mayberry Sheriff's Office, two white vertical lines are visible for several seconds. The visual quality of these episodes are otherwise quite good for DVD, the somewhat scratchy syndicated end credits, notwithstanding!

    - The "A Black Day In Mayberry" episode features Ronny Howard's father, Rance Howard, and his brother Clint Howard, with the latter as usual, sporting a Cowboy Hat, and with a Sandwich in hand. I wonder if Ron had any difficulty in the opening Sheriff's Office scene, in which he approaches his TV "Pa" on his right, while his real Pa was standing immediately to his left! If he did, it sure didn't show, at least to my eyes!

    CHEERS!
    :)
     
  11. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Director
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    Well, I think "The Sermon for Today" is one of the all-time GREAT episodes, so there you are. You pays your money and you takes your choice.
     
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  12. Tony Bensley

    Tony Bensley Producer

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    Oh, I don't think it's a bad episode, per se. It just isn't among my top TAGS favorites. For some inexplicable reason, the second 10 minutes of that episode just didn't quite work for me this time around. Perhaps I was just in the wrong mood. I also think the laugh track dropping out at the 18 minute mark didn't help. Little things like that do matter, sometimes.

    CHEERS! :)
     
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  13. Tony Bensley

    Tony Bensley Producer

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    FYI: I've uploaded the complete 25 and a half minute edit of "The Darlings Are Coming" Public Domain episode to YouTube.

    CHEERS! :)
     
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  14. Message #154 of 247 Jul 20, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2017
    Tony Bensley

    Tony Bensley Producer

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    OK, perhaps a mod or somebody else could enlighten me?

    How is it that I get a copyright strike notice from YouTube for uploading a video that IS in the PUBLIC DOMAIN? :rolleyes:

    I am extremely pissed over this, by the way! Of all the TAGS episodes that shouldn't be up, and my PD episode gets bloody well nailed with a copyright violation notice. for pity sake! :angry:

    I don't feel that I need YouTube's copyright school, but I suppose that I'll have to play along. In the meantime, I can't upload anything else for 3 months because of this, which is a bloody PITA!

    End of rant - For now.

    EDIT: According to my YouTube account, the copyright complaint was filed by none other than CBS! Do they not know this episode, being from Season 3, is among the TAGS episodes that slipped into the Public Domain in the early 1990s due to non renewal? Many video companies sure seemed to get wind of this. It just floors me that of all the episodes from other TAGS seasons that ARE copyright renewed are allowed to remain up for months on end, while my PD episode gets taken down inside of THREE days?

    Perhaps CBS should sue Brentwood Home Video, the company that issued the ONLY unedited DVD version of "The Darlings Are Coming" episode, to begin with? For that matter, why don't they sue ALL of the independents that have released TAGS Public Domain DVD sets over the past couple of decades?

    CHEERS! :)
     
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  15. LeoA

    LeoA Cinematographer

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    Thanks for uploading it, even though CBS decided to play dirty.

    I imagine it's one of three things. An automated monitoring program flagged it, someone at CBS doesn't know what's what (Not a shocker since sometimes they don't know what they even own, let alone when they've let something lapse into the public domain due to their own negligence), or they know the facts and decided to be the bully since YouTube is setup in such a way that you can't argue it.

    I downloaded it to put on disc to toss in my Andy Griffith set, to correct an error that shouldn't of needed any correction had CBS done a better job at it all. I just hope it's fully intact since I haven't had a chance to view it and this program I use sometimes doesn't do such a great job at ripping videos. So it sometimes takes multiple tries to get one that's 100% right.
     
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  16. Tony Bensley

    Tony Bensley Producer

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    Anyway, moving forward, I had typed the following a few days ago:

    THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW - Season 4 - Observations & Opinions:

    Although I haven't as yet had fresh viewings of the last 3 TAGS Season 4 episodes, since I have previously viewed these on the original individual Season 4 DVD issue, and don't recall any stand out technical issues, I do feel ready to post about my overall favorite (Albeit, with a few in hindsight' caveats!) TAGS season!

    First off, inside of a few days, I've already viewed 29 of the 32 episodes. I believe that whatever else I post here, it's safe for me to state that my TAGS Season 4's unofficial "Favorite Season Title" remains intact!

    With that said, my latest viewing of these episodes weren't without noticing some early signs of disturbance in the Mayberry universe. Perhaps, the most obvious among these is an increased crankiness in the character of Sheriff Andy Taylor. Thankfully, this is still largely offset by Don Knotts' Deputy Sheriff Barney Fife, and there is still plenty of great interplay between these leads! This, coupled with the increased presence of Jim Nabors' Gomer Pyle really helped to keep the series running on all cylinders, even with some early subtle signs of rattling in the transmission.

    For me, the welcome return of Howard McNear as Floyd Lawson in the "Andy Saves Gomer" episode (#23) was marked with his post 1962 stroke symptoms appearing more obvious than in previous viewings of this episode. Besides the lenses in his glasses being quite noticeably thicker, I also noticed that his right eye had a bit of a tic. His voice also seemed affected, although not in a terribly adverse way. Of course, it has to be taken into consideration that this was quite possibly Howard McNear's first post stroke performance. I can't begin to imagine how difficult this was for him!

    Technically wise, apart from the already posted dropped laugh track issues in "The Sermon For Today" and "Black Day In Mayberry" (Plus, a possibly missing epilogue in the former?) episodes, the sped up end credits issue occasionally pops up again on the Season 4 DVD set. The worst among these, is the "Deal Is A Deal" episode (#27), in which the credits roll by so quickly, they are almost unreadable, which also somewhat accounts for its comparatively shorter than average 24:20 running time!

    Some other random bits of observation:

    At least two references to THE TWILIGHT ZONE are made in TAGS episodes during Season 4. As this was the season after the relative failure of the former's own Season 4 with that show's temporarily expanded hour long episode format, it strikes me that CBS was making at least some token attempt to save this series, which of course, didn't continue beyond the final 5th 1963-64 Season.

    In what could perhaps, be seen as a bit of calculated advance promotion on the part of CBS, the soon to be star title character of GILLIGAN'S ISLAND Bob Denver replaced Hoke Howell as Dud Wash, Charlene Darling's betrothed in the late Season 4 episode "Divorce - Mountain Style" (#25), despite Hoke Howell having already portrayed Dud in two previous late Season 3 episodes! Perhaps, in an even more bizarre twist, despite that episode ending without a divorce occurring, Charlene Darling Husband is absent in the Darlings subsequent Season 5 (Although she does have a baby in her last Black & White TAGS appearance!) and Season 7 appearances!

    While not a completely specific to Season 4 observation, I have noticed lengthy absences of certain Mayberry characters who even long time TAGS viewers tend to have the illusion of being in a lot more episodes then they really appeared in. For me, the main four characters this applies to are Andy and Barney's girlfriends Helen Crump and Thelma Lou (Especially the latter, despite being introduced during Season 1!), along with the town drunk Otis Campbell (Who is missing for a pretty lengthy stretch during Season 3!), and of course Howard McNear's town Barber Floyd Lawson was absent for nearly a year and a half (Missing ALL of the 1963 TAGS episodes!), due to his suffering a massive stroke towards the end of 1962! The incongruity in this, is by virtue of once again becoming a steady regular until during Season 7, Howard McNear's Floyd Lawson ended up appearing in more TAGS episodes (80) than the other 3 characters, as portrayed by Aneta Corsaut, Betty Lynn (Whose Thelma Lou appeared in only 26 TAGS episodes over a 5 year span!), and Hal Smith!

    I have since finished viewing the remaining TAGS Season 4 episodes, and am almost at the end of Disc 2 of the Season 5 episodes. While the show's flavor was undeniably shifting somewhat, I believe it was largely the continued presence of Don Knotts as Barney Fife that helped to keep things from slipping too much into into maudlin territory at this stage. I've also noticed that whenever The Dillards appeared, some of the old Season 1 Andy Taylor would come back with his "Extra good!" phrase slipping back into his vernacular, which is always nice to hear!


    CHEERS! :)
     
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  17. Blimpoy06

    Blimpoy06 Screenwriter

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    I have completely forgotten my source for this, but I remember reading somewhere that CBS wanted a change in tone in the show away from the more extreme rural references in the show as it went on. Including downplaying the antics of the town drunk Otis Campbell. Season Four does start that change I believe. But I also consider it the most consistent in terms of quality. It may well be my favorite season too.
     
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  18. Tony Bensley

    Tony Bensley Producer

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    I can definitely see all of that, plus the periodic visiting of more urban areas that began towards the end of the second season with the "Andy & Barney In The Big City" episode.

    On the other hand, I don't think it gets much more rural than PETTICOAT JUNCTION and GREEN ACRES (Albeit with a touch of Park Avenue in Eva Gabor's Lisa Douglas!) did, and the latter CBS series debuted after TAGS subtle urban shift began!

    CHEERS! :)
     
  19. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Director
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    Andy himself certainly began working on smoothing out his southern accent and losing some of the flat vowels and "down home" drawling that so distinguished his records, his early movie career, and the first couple of seasons of the show.
     
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  20. Message #160 of 247 Jul 24, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2017
    Tony Bensley

    Tony Bensley Producer

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    In the Season 5 TAGS episode "Andy And Helen Have Their Day" Colin Male, who did the opening voice overs in the early Season openings, appeared as a "Wormser" who fines Andy for fishing without a license!:
    vlcsnap-2017-07-24-19h07m19s162.


    Andy Griffith; Aneta Corsaut; and Colin Male. Note that Colin towers over the 6 foot tall Andy!:
    vlcsnap-2017-07-24-19h07m33s852.


    The closing cast credits also seem more elaborate by Season 5:
    vlcsnap-2017-07-24-19h08m41s499.


    This episode is also notable for featuring Howard Morris in his only non Ernest T. Bass TAGS appearance (Although he did also do voice overs on two other Season 5 TAGS episodes!), in which he plays a TV Repair Man!:
    vlcsnap-2017-07-24-19h06m47s861.


    Finally, my burning question: Was this opening title setup still originally being used for the Season 5 broadcasts, or did CBS/Paramount include these in error? If I recall correctly, they would have been updated for the 4th and 5th seasons with an older, taller Opie, and also minus the Colin Male voice over; plus with the additional Frances Bavier cast credit! Can anyone confirm or refute this?:
    vlcsnap-2017-07-24-19h09m35s240.

    CHEERS! :)
     
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