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DVD Review The Virginian: The Complete Seventh Season DVD Review

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Richard Gallagher, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. bmasters9

    bmasters9 Producer

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    Ben Masters
    True that-- an expanded pilot movie is one thing (or even one to open up each season, as on Knight Rider, for instance), but a whole series full of expanded episodes (which is what The Virginian was) is something else entirely.
     
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  2. Hollywoodaholic

    Hollywoodaholic Edge of Glory?

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    Now Roy Huggins makes total sense. I think he was involved with Alias Smith and Jones, as well.
     
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  3. benbess

    benbess Producer

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    There's a good book on The Virginian by Paul Green. It's my favorite Western....

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. GMBurns

    GMBurns Second Unit

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    I love the Virginian and have been meaning to complete my collection with seasons 7 and 8, so this thread set me to looking. Season 7 does seem to have slipped off the radar in most of the usual places, even Shout's website, but I did find a "bundle" on Amazon. It's season 7 part 1 and part 2 for about $40. Just a little higher than the other seasons are selling for, but way better than the typical collector's prices once something goes out of print.
     
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  5. Blimpoy06

    Blimpoy06 Screenwriter

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    That's how they were packaged for Sam's Club. I bought the first three seasons there. Never saw any subsequent releases. I picked up The Men From Shiloh at Walmart for a decent price. It was when I bought season four that I realized it would be years before I got to them and stopped. I bought 5,6 and 8 last week when I saw 7 was scarce.
     
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  6. Randy Korstick

    Randy Korstick Producer

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    This might be a bootleg as this was only officially released as a complete set. It was never released as a part 1 and 2 in the US. Its possible it could be an import disc too.
     
  7. benbess

    benbess Producer

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    My homemade trailer for the first episode of The Virginian....

     
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  8. Message #28 of 40 Jul 18, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2017
    benbess

    benbess Producer

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    My illustrated article at this non-commercial site on the classic TV Western The Virginian....

    "....NBC promised in a press release at the launch of the The Virginian that it would be “the most ambitious and costly programming enterprise in network television history—one that will present television features with motion picture dimensions each week,” which would be “achieved not only by the ninety-minute length—which allows for full character development and expanded story-telling opportunities—but by color photography, location shooting, outstanding scripts and original musical scores." And The Virginian came close to living up to this hype during its nine year-run of 249 episodes, each of which is like a little Western movie with continuing characters. As Frank Price, an executive producer on the show, later wrote, “When we started on The Virginian, we didn’t know that producing a series of weekly 90-minute movies…was nearly impossible. So we managed to get the job done."

    Much more at the link.

    https://the-artifice.com/the-virginian-political-journeys/

    [​IMG]
     
  9. benbess

    benbess Producer

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    To relax I've been getting back to watching The Virginian. There's a good episode guide at this site:

    http://ctva.biz/US/Western/Virginian/V-homepage.htm

    Last night more or less at random I watched the 7th season episode "Incident at Diablo Crossing." This episode has some classic Western elements—passengers on a stagecoach, gold, murder mystery, etc. To me the setting for most of it was interesting—a Western ghost town on a river. My rating for this episode is a "B+", although as a fan of the show there may be some grade inflation in there. Like many episodes of this show there are some slow passages, but in a way that makes it somewhat more "realistic" than some Western TV shows of the 1960s. Here are the guest stars for this one....

    Gary Collins [Jason Adams]
    Kiel Martin [Trooper Rankin]
    Lee Kroeger [Marcy McLister]
    Steve Carlson [Bud McLister]
    Bernie Hamilton [Corporal Harvey]
    and:
    Anthony Caruso [Sam Mason]
     
  10. Message #30 of 40 Dec 5, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
    Pathfiner

    Pathfiner Second Unit

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    I suspect TV production people have their own angle on shows

    'it was AWFUL until I SAVED it' - is the sort of producer's comment I would ignore !

    for me The Virginian was great in EVERY season - including 'Men From Shiloh' which it seems fandom insists you dislike (sorry I like it too)

    the first 'Judge Garth' era was probably the show's best remembered era but what followed for me anyway was always just as enjoyable

    the sudden loss of Charles Bickford just into season six was covered well with John McIntire (as he earlier did in 'Wagon Train' for the late Ward Bond) once more riding to the rescue as Clay Granger the brother of the ranch owner who having turned up while John Granger was 'away on business' just seems to then become the new owner of Shiloh without any further ado...

    as stated here by season seven besides Charles Bickford's enforced replacement we've also lost both Clu Gulager (Sheriff Ryker) and if I remember correctly also Don Quine as Stacy Granger with David Hartman as 'mountain man' type drifter David Sutton breezing into the show - disliked by some 'intense' fans (probably the kind who bitterly hated Jim Drury changing his shirt for 'Men From Shiloh' later !!) he was a good new type of regular character if only for season seven

    I don't recall that many 'clunker' episodes - depends on what you like really doesn't it ?

    Jim and Doug were as strong as ever holding it all together re overall series continuity, John McIntire was fine as Clay, and I think his wife Jeanette Nolan as 'Holly' came onboard as a regular here - she might have featured in season six but here was a regular cast member with a first up closing credit

    Sara Lane as Elizabeth retained the link back to Charles Bickford's brief era on the show from season five and she's still one of the best 'in the saddle' !

    currently here in the UK the 'Spike' cable TV channel are rerunning seasons one and two over and over each day...

    I have seen those to death knowing them line by line..but it's better than NO classic TV westerns !
     
  11. benbess

    benbess Producer

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    I agree!

    I plan to watch another episode today....
     
  12. Message #32 of 40 Dec 6, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
    benbess

    benbess Producer

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    Watched three more TV-movie episodes of The Virginian.

    First off was "Storm Over Shiloh," which was first broadcast on March 19th, 1969. As I watched I was thinking of a few things that were going on at that time, such as the Vietnam War and the protests against it, the first moon landing in a few months, etc. Anyway, this episode is one of those "trapped in an abandoned mine" clichés from the time. It has some emotional moments and some good inside the mine scenes, but even as a fan of the show I confess that it seemed stretched out to fill the 75 minute run time. No guest stars for this episode. My rating: "B-"

    The next episode I watched was also the next broadcast, the 24th episode of the 7th season—"The Girl in the Shadows." This one has two interesting guest stars, Jack Albertson, who a couple of years later starred as the grandfather in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," and Brenda Scott, a beautiful actress of that time who also could put on a powerful performance when needed. I found myself emotionally moved at the end in a way that doesn't happen for me that often with most programs on TV today, even ones that I like. The guest stars as well as the main cast shine in this complicated story. My rating: "A-"

    I confess that I was a little bit entranced by Brenda Scott, and looking at the CTVA episode guide I saw that she was also the guest star for three earlier episodes of The Virginian. Skipping back to the first of these, I watched "Dark Destiny," the 29th episode of the second season, first broadcast on April 29th, 1964. This episode had another TV cliché at the time—temporary paralysis, which along with temporary blindness was something that showed up on this and other programs of the era. But this episode too kept me engaged and I found parts of the end moving because of Brenda Scott's performance. Another "A-" for me, although again as a fan of the show there's probably some grade inflation.

    brenda scott.



    [​IMG]
     
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  13. Message #33 of 40 Dec 6, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
    benbess

    benbess Producer

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    deleted.
     
  14. benbess

    benbess Producer

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    Today I went on another binge of watching The Virginian. I'm more or less off of work for a few weeks, and so I have time....

    Going back toward the start of the 2nd season, I watched "A Killer In Town," which was first broadcast in Oct. of 1963. One of the guest stars for this one is Broderick Crawford, winner of an Oscar for All The King's Men in 1949, who plays a tough bounty hunter who seems to be after Trampas—or is he? A wave of typhoid fever hits Medicine Bow hard complicating matters. Some ambiguous characters have some surprising twists and turns. Like many episodes of the show it takes its time to get to where its going, but it allows some more time for character development. For TV of the time an above average show, and it gets a "B+" rating from me. Hiring an Academy-Award winning actor for a role that seems to have been written for him is an example of how the show tried to aim a little higher than average.

    As one of The Virginian's executive producers, Frank Price, explained, “One of my maxims to all was that our goal was to make our shows for the critical ten percent of the audience. Ninety percent of the audience will be entertained by almost anything you do—if they like the actors and the concept of the series. But ten percent have a higher threshold of approval. And those were the people we were trying to please. We didn’t always succeed, but we were always trying.”
     
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  15. Message #35 of 40 Dec 6, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
    benbess

    benbess Producer

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    Robert Redford in 1963 in The Virginian. Episode 2.05 of The Virginian, "The Evil that Men Do," is considered a classic because of a strong performance by guest star and soon-to-be movie star Robert Redford, in perhaps his last TV appearance. Surprisingly he plays a hardened criminal, but the the fact that it's a young Redford keeps him at least slightly sympathetic through some rough stuff.

    The title as has probably been recognized comes from Shakespeare. In Mark Anthony's speech while addressing the crowd of Romans after Caesar's murder, he says, "The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones."

    My rating: "A-"
     
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  16. Message #36 of 40 Dec 6, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
    benbess

    benbess Producer

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    2.05, "It Takes a Big Man," is one of the less good episodes of the show, in spite of some good performances by guest stars Lloyd Nolan, Chris Robinson, and a young Ryan O'Neal, as well as a good performance by Doug McClure. Here's Doug McClure and O'Neal in 1967 at a celebrity baseball game. My rating for this one: "B-"
    Ryan O'Neal and Doug McClure 1967.
     
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  17. Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Screenwriter

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    Enjoying your Virginian reviews, Ben! I must confess that this series is a bit of a blind spot for me...I'm a big fan of TV westerns, but this one I've not seen. Planning on picking up season one and see what I think. Have heard from other members here that the picture quality on these sets is good.
     
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  18. benbess

    benbess Producer

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    If you like TV Westerns give it a try! You almost need to think of each episode as a Western movie rather than a TV show. In terms of pace, guest stars, writing, and production values it's closer to a lower budget but still good movie of that era than television. But the pacing is slower and there's less shooting than most other Westerns, and so imho you need to kind of relax into it. Hope you'll post some reviews here once you start watching it.
     
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  19. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    I’m not a fan of the 90 min format for shows and I’ve never watched many of the Virginian, I’d think about a complete series set if I could snag it cheap enough
     
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  20. benbess

    benbess Producer

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    If you're not a fan of 90 minute shows then The Virginian probably isn't for you, although without the ads each episode is actually about 75 minutes long. But if you like Westerns, and think of it as a series of 1 hour and 15 minute "B" Western movies then it might work for you. Looking at the entry for this show on Amazon it seems like maybe the first season has gone out of print. This show isn't boxed up as a complete series, but there are some sets of the first season of 30 episodes for about $30—just a dollar per TV movie, which is worth it imho. PQ is good, although not as good as Bonanza. But overall I think The Virginian is better than Bonanza because it has better writing, more location photography, better cinematography, etc.
     

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