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What did you watch this week in classic TV on DVD(or Blu)?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Bryan^H, Aug 28, 2015.

  1. Jasper70

    Jasper70 Stunt Coordinator

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    Tonight was Touch of Evil Blu-ray, got it at a pawnshop yesterday for $2.50. Great transfer. Saw the regular cut years ago, this time was the reconstructed cut.
    Then two episodes of Simon & Simon from season two.
     
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  2. Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Screenwriter

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    Been meaning to pick up a season or two of Simon & Simon. I have fond memories of watching it paired with Magnum, P.I. back-to-back on CBS Thursday nights when I was in my mid-to-late teens.
     
  3. bmasters9

    bmasters9 Producer

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    And I think those two were part of a very strong three-way on CBS Thursdays in the 80s, with Knots Landing ending the night from 10 to 11.
     
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  4. Jasper70

    Jasper70 Stunt Coordinator

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    I only have the first four seasons. I’d really like to get the rest but Shout factory decided 1-4 get closed captions but 5-8 do not. I’m not deaf but HOH. Even with very good hearing aids I still cannot understand all of the dialogue.
    Just have to wait until it’s available on a streaming service with captions.
     
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  5. Jasper70

    Jasper70 Stunt Coordinator

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    Tonight was the Criterion Blu-ray of The Game, picked it up for $2.50 at a pawnshop. When I first watched this movie 20 years ago, I was enthralled with it. Pretty much figured I’d never see it again because I knew the ending. Really enjoyed seeing it again even though I knew how it would come out. Nice transfer.

    Followed by a few more episodes of Simon & Simon.
     
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  6. Message #1986 of 2755 Jun 2, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2019
    bmasters9

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    1/3 of the way through Season 3 on The A-Team

    New for this season (and this would continue through the final Robert Vaughn postscript season [fifth one, 1986]) is a credit for Matthew N. Herman as "Executive In Charge of Production"; on Season 3, this credit would be at the front of the closing credits, while on Season 4 and Season 5, it would be just before the Cannell copyright card (that latter version having Herman's title on two lines).

    ateamhermaneicopseason3.

    Also, Herman's EICOP credit (IIRC) would be on everything that Stephen J. Cannell was doing at this time (this and Riptide and Hunter on NBC, Hardcastle and McCormick on ABC, and starting in 1987, 21 Jump Street on Fox, and Wiseguy on CBS).

    Another thing: the Lupo/Cannell creator credit that was in the title sequence has been moved to the creative credits at the beginning of each story, and is now centered on the screen (in the title sequence, it was at the bottom of the screen).

    ateamcenteredlupocannellcreatorcredit.

    Finally, here's an original NBC promo for the third-season episode "The Island" (OAD Tuesday, Nov. 13, 1984 on NBC; also includes promos for Riptide and Remington Steele that same night); A-Team promo has old-style NCI CC icon at top right of a shot of Mr. T (as Baracus) saying, "You eat it!"; seeing that "Island" episode yesterday, that line was in context of Hannibal trying to get Face to swallow a tracking bug; Face demurs enough to where Baracus forces him to swallow it (IIRC, B.A.'s line was "I made it-- you eat it!").



    ateam1984NBCpromoclosedcaptioning.

    ETA: started third-season episode "The Bells of St. Mary's" last night, and apparently the Lupo/Cannell creator credit is on the title sequence again; hopefully I'm not wrong about that change of placement that I just mentioned.
     
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  7. Message #1987 of 2755 Jun 2, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2019
    Rustifer

    Rustifer Screenwriter
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    I would like to wish Jerry Mathers (Leave It To Beaver) a happy 71st birthday today. He was born one year before me, and I have a bit of advise for him.
    Jerry--at our age, we no longer need to wear trousers every day. Maybe to weddings and funerals, but for the most part we've earned the right to sweat pants and flannel shorts and to sleep under electric blankets all year long. Being in one's 60's is seen as "middle age" and still sensible. 80's-90's are definitely in the realm of old age and incontinence. But 70's gives one the right to eccentricity--old enough to know better, but not so old as to not know the difference.

    So Jerry, enjoy your birthday. Take off your pants.

    images (7).
     
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  8. Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Screenwriter

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    Good to see that Jerry Mathers is still kicking. Speaking of, Russ...when are we going to see another one of your Leave It To Beaver recaps? Always get a good laugh out of those...
     
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  9. Rustifer

    Rustifer Screenwriter
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    Oh, Jeff... I'm sure I'll fling out another LITB soon enough.
    I'm agog at all the neato shows you review that I'm not even familiar with. Fun stuff to read!
     
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  10. Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the kind words, Russ! I'm sure my natterings about obscure British shows are of little interest to some readers...but that's never stopped me before! Heh heh. More in the same vein coming soon - though I did watch some I Dream of Jeannie, inspired by the rewatch thread, so it's not all UK telly, all the time...
     
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  11. Mysto

    Mysto Screenwriter

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    Hey Jeff - we love your Brit Blurbs. You have got me to check out some stuff I was unaware of. And we always enjoy Russ and his warped ways. Some day things here will get back to normal and I'll get to start up with mysteries again.

    We usually have a bit of time at night between movie and news where we watch other things. Currently we have been watching vintage TV from youtube. Programs that usually are not available. Last night was Ben Casey - night before was Greatest Show on Earth - night before was Pantomime quiz... you get the idea. I wish some of this stuff was on dvd.
     
  12. Rustifer

    Rustifer Screenwriter
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    When, Marv?! Without you posting your magical mystic knowledge of old series mysteries, the thread is beginning to look like a small town Pentecostal graveyard--a few dead people who never knew they were once alive anyway. It's nearly criminal that one of the last posts there is my inane recitation on Hardy Boys novels from 2 months ago.
    People who make a difference are not allowed to let up. Put on your Speedos and get back in the pool, son.

    Jeff, the very best of this forum comes from "natterings" posted by people like you. It's never about who's not interested, it's about those of us who are.

    Yeah, sometimes I talk like I know what I'm saying. Probably the absolute definition of a fool.
     
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  13. Message #1993 of 2755 Jun 4, 2019
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    BobO'Link

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    I cracked open my It Ain't Half Hot Mum Complete Series set yesterday. This one, like Dad's Army, is written by David Croft who also brought us Are You Being Served?, Hi-de-Hi!, 'Allo 'Allo, You Rang, M'Lord? and others.

    I don't yet quite know what to make of this one. It's a blind buy based solely on Croft's credentials (I greatly enjoy those other series I listed - well... other than You Rang, M'Lord? which I've not yet seen but is high on my British wish list). I've seen the first series so far and it plays more like a filmed stage play, right down to a performer who "over acts" as if he's on the stage. I'm not particularly fond of stage productions so it's taking some getting used to. I was expecting something along the lines of Dad's Army with regular troops in India but that's not even close.

    The premise is a group of misfits, soldiers in the Royal Artillery Core, who form an extremely bad concert party touring the hot and steamy jungles of Burma entertaining the troops during World War II. There're lots of very stereotypical Indian characters (one could say the depictions are rather racist) and a commanding officer who finds the whole performing troupe to be quite offensive so is constantly working against them to break it all up. I'm curious to see how it progresses as it ran for 8 series with a total of 56 episodes. Right now it's a rather one note affair (many of the same jokes/lines are repeated frequently as if they're trying to create catch phrases) but has had a few quite good moments.
     
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  14. Message #1994 of 2755 Jun 4, 2019
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    Jeff Flugel

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    I've only seen a few episodes of It Ain't Half Hot Mum, from later on in the run, and found them enjoyable enough. It's reputation, despite coming from the famed duo of David Croft and Jimmy Perry, has been tarnished somewhat by the presence of white English actors playing native Indians...though to be fair to the writers, the native characters are generally presented as the smartest people in the room. I think if you stick with it, Howie, you'll enjoy it, though it's no Dad's Army.

    You Rang, M'Lord? is great fun and well cast....I imagine you'll take to it right away, if you liked the other Croft & Perry sitcoms listed above.
     
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  15. Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the votes of confidence, guys! I will continue to natter away in this little corner of the HTF. And Marv, I definitely agree with you that getting more of the type of lesser-known '50s and '60s TV shows you've been seeking out on YouTube recently actually released on DVD would be a very good thing, though at this stage of the game probably unlikely.
     
  16. Message #1996 of 2755 Jun 5, 2019
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    BobO'Link

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    I finished series 2 last night and found it more of the same - pretty much a direct extension of series 1 with fewer instances of catch phrase manipulation. I absolutely agree about the native characters being "the smartest people in the room." All the British characters are more stereotypical with officers mostly being of the "upper class twit" variety. The short fellow (Don Estelle) in the troupe who does most (all?) of the singing is quite good. I can say that I'm quite tired of the blustery/over acting/yelling performance of Sergeant Major Williams (Windsor Davies). I hope that gets toned down a bit. Everyone else is pretty natural with just him standing out with a performance that screams "I'm acting."

    Based on what I've read about the series, the only English actor portraying a native Indian was born in India and speaks Urdu fluently. Supposedly his "makeup" consisted of a "light tan" and nothing else. I'd have to say he gets a "pass" based on that information.

    Well... heck... read it for yourself. From Wikipedia:
     
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  17. Message #1997 of 2755 Jun 5, 2019
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    Rustifer

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    Episode Commentary
    Lassie*
    "The Gun" (S1E4)

    Young Jeff (Tommy Rettig) finds a .22 rifle in the barn. He visualizes killing a timber wolf without realizing that a .22 is no more than a pellet gun with just a touch of additional velocity. At best, he might be able to aerate a soda can from 20 yards with the thing.
    Mom Ellen (Jan Clayton) is horrified, throwing down the gun and running into the house as if her rhubarb pie was burning up in the oven. Seems the rifle belonged to Jeff's dad, who died in a war. Ellen keeps a picture of her dead husband on the mantel. Well, to clarify, it's a picture of her husband who died--not a photo of him dead, for goodness' sake.

    Jeff, far too young to understand the implications of the rifle to his mom, still dreams of raining bullets down on all known fauna in the countryside. Ellen grudgingly lets him "play" with the gun as long as it remains unloaded--which is about as much fun as polishing your Sunday shoes. Enter neighbor Joe King, who borrows the gun from Jeff to fend off a chicken-stealing fox. When he returns the rifle, Jeff is unaware it's still loaded and accidentally shoots Lassie--a good, obedient pet until her master nearly blows off her fuzzy ears.

    upload_2019-6-5_10-3-42. [​IMG]
    Jeff vainly tries to explain the bullet hole in Lassie's ear; Ellen and Gramps amused that their 1942 Ford F1 still runs

    Jeff, completely nonplussed at firing a loaded weapon, runs home presumably to change underwear. He tells Gramps (George Cleveland) that he's going out to search for Lassie. Suspicious, Gramps smells the rifle's chamber, then smells a rat--and goes after Jeff to either tan his hide or console him for his mistake. The jury's out at this point.
    Fortunately, Lassie is only slightly wounded. Jeff learns a lesson: Better to have shot Joe King for leaving the gun loaded than harm a loving pet.

    Randoms:
    Jan Clayton, a promising young starlet in B films in the 1940's, saw her career turn to toast after being typecast as Jeff's mom in Lassie.
    About ten years of serious drinking and 3 husbands later, she finally hopped on the wagon and worked as a volunteer for Alcoholics Anonymous until her death at age 66.

    George Cleveland, who was around 143 years old when appearing in Lassie, was also a film producer and director in his earlier years.

    *Lassie was eventually re-syndicated as Jeff's Collie for the Tommy Rettig episodes (3 seasons)
     
  18. Montytc

    Montytc Second Unit

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    Another great review Russ. I think this version of the show is better than the Timmy years, but I saw a lot more of the later growing up. I've also always been surprised that none of it ever made it out on DVD, but I'm sure that some kind of legal tangle probably explains that.
     
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  19. Message #1999 of 2755 Jun 6, 2019
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    Rustifer

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    Episode Commentary
    Dennis the Menace
    "Woodman, Spare That Tree" (S2E28)

    For those of you who found this series charming, spoiler alert: I am about to eviscerate this particular episode in a mean and spiteful manner.*
    I must admit, I was never a fan of Hank Ketchum's comic strip or the show. To me, Jay North (Dennis) was the pinnacle of tiresome adolescent overacting--screechy voice and the irritating habit of constantly nodding his head after every sentence as if cementing his thought. His outfit of overalls and a striped t-shirt was an affront to every kid that age. I was approximately the same age as Jay when this series was filmed (1958-1963), and I can assure you I'd have preferred to wander around in a periwinkle-colored pinafore dress rather than to wear his silly ensemble. I was also dumbfounded by how much latitude and deference the adults gave to such a spoiled little brat. In my neighborhood, any kid that acted like Dennis would have caused the neighbors to storm our house with pitchforks and torches.

    The premise of this episode has Mr. Wilson (Joseph Kearns) on a crusade to save a large oak in the park that has been scheduled to be felled to make room for a volleyball court. With this rickety premise, the writers built an entire episode. Inspired, yes? Dennis and his equally annoying friend Tommy (Billy Booth) are feeding crows in Wilson's back yard. One of the birds swoops in and steals a $100 bill from Wilson's hand and flies off. Good 'Ol Mr. Wilson is apoplectic, requiring wife Martha (Sylvia Field) to dissipate his exasperation. Martha is an uncommonly compromising woman for being married to such a pompous ass, wherein any other self-respecting female would have exulted in burying a dull hatchet between his buggy eyes long ago.

    upload_2019-6-6_9-35-7. [​IMG] upload_2019-6-6_9-36-14.
    Ya just wanna kill him, dontcha? Mr. Wilson at his happiest; the freakish indulgence of the parents

    To build on the edge-of-seat excitement so far, the $100 bill has been incorporated by the crow into his nest. Where? In the targeted tree in the park, of course. Mr. Wilson is compelled to climb the tree to fetch his cash and as such is mistaken as a martyr by trying to stunt the attempt to fell the tree. A true friend of nature and the bird society. Bah. Humbug.

    So why did I bother to write such a nasty commentary on a show I don't even like? I dunno. I guess I just wanted to share my rankleness with anyone who might feel the same as I do. There were so many interesting sitcoms in this time period (Father Knows Best, Leave It To Beaver, Andy Griffith, Dick Van Dyke, Donna Reed Show, just to name a few) that never sank to the dreadfulness of this mindless TV effort. For a sitcom that never made the top ten in ratings, I'm surprised it lasted as long as it did.

    Randoms:
    This episode was directed by Charles Barton, an Academy Award winner who also worked on some Abbott & Costello and Ma & Pa Kettle films--which remain among my favorites. What the hell was he doing here?

    The role of Dennis pretty much killed any serious adult-acting future career for Jay North. He bounced around in the Navy and finally retreated into the health food industry. Fortunately, he is well off today due to his mother's strategic investments of his earnings as a child star.
    Billy Booth (Tommy) graduated with a law degree from USC and taught at Cal Poly.

    If one is considering a sitcom based on a comic strip, my choice would be "Zits"--as long as creator Jerry Scott also writes the scripts.

    *My apologies if you liked this show.
     
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  20. Message #2000 of 2755 Jun 6, 2019
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    Rustifer

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    Tim, I couldn't agree more with you. My thoughts on the Lassie episodes with Timmy are parallel to what I just wrote (above) about Dennis the Menace.
    Tommy Rettig as Jeff Miller portrayed such a convincing edginess of a kid that age that the cloyingly sweet Timmy (Jon Provost) could never match.
     
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