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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. Message #2521 of 2790 Aug 25, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2019
    Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Screenwriter

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    Back home in Japan again, after a nice (if frenetic) vacation. Here I am, up since 3 a.m., still getting over jet lag. Over the past week or so I watched an eclectic batch of shows, most of them viewed with friends and family, which always adds a little extra something to the experience. The rest of the year, I mostly watch these old shows by myself; luckily, I have you fine fellows to share my thoughts with. God bless the internet!

    The Twilight Zone (1980s version)
    1.6 "Examination Day / A Message from Charity"
    I remember this mid-'80s remake, narrated by Charles Aidman, quite fondly. It had a number of cool, high-concept sci-fi story adaptations, particularly in its first season. As with Night Gallery, some of the shorter segments don't work so well; however, the hit rate is better with this series. "Examination Day" falls in the middle of the pack, quality-wise, an OK if predictable (and predictably nasty) little tale, but the much longer, and meatier, "A Message from Charity" is by far the more memorable of the two. It's a charming telepathic time travel romance, between a modern boy and a Puritan girl in the year 1700, residents of the same town, but somehow psychically linked after they both suffer a severe fever. Kerry Noonan (as Charity) and a young Robert Duncan McNeill (Tom Paris from Star Trek: Voyager) give earnest performances. I'm a sucker for any kind of time travel yarn, so this one went over well. Also with James Cromwell (as Charity's father).

    The Rifleman
    1.5 "The Brother-in-Law"
    1.6 "Eight Hours to Die"
    1.7 "Duel of Honor"
    All three of these continue the strong episode streak. I particularly enjoyed "Duel of Honor," with Cesare Danova as a principled Italian count who gets harassed by slimy Jack Elam and challenges him to a duel, with Lucas McCain as his "second." "Eight Hours to Die" depicts the usually fearless McCain in an uncharacteristically worried light, but is redeemed by a committed performance by George Macready, as a deranged father out for revenge.

    The Scooby-Doo Show
    3.16 "The Beast is Awake in Bottomless Lake"
    The DVD set I picked up at Walmart lists this series under the Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? banner, but as far as I know, it never aired that way. The episodes do seem to follow the original series' blueprint, however, and the animation, while not up to the standards of the 1969-71 version, seems better than that found in The New Scooby-Doo Movies. I found this final episode quite similar in tone and quality to the original show as well; not genius material, certainly, but typically fun; what can I say, other than original recipe Scooby-Doo, along with Jonny Quest, is my favorite Hanna Barbera cartoon.

    Laverne & Shirley - 3.14 "The Horse Show"
    The comedy is laid on with a broad trowel, but this show (at least in its early years) remains very funny. The ladies are great physical comediennes, but it's Lenny and Squiggy who repeatedly steal the show. Not a series I'd likely buy for my own collection, but one I'm happy to sample here and there, especially with my Mom, sister and wife, who are all big fans.

    Fantasy Island
    2.10 "The Island of Lost Women / The Flight of Great Yellow Bird"
    This show is pretty dumb...in fact, the "Lost Women" segment is one of the stupidest things I've seen in a long while, with sailor Robert Morse parachuting onto an island and into the arms of a tribe of Amazonian babes, who plan to give him the time of his life before he's sacrificed. Lots of jiggle here, and a welcome appearance by a still quite beautiful Cyd Charisse as the Amazon Queen, but how this one plays out utterly defies belief. "Great Yellow Bird" is much better, but still ends on a sappy note. Disillusioned adventurer Peter Graves, on the island to give a lecture on Bigfoot, is drawn into the fantasy of an anthropologist (Barbara Rush) who wants to prove her father's wacko theory about the supposedly ESP-sensitive hairy hominid to the world. A mild but reasonably entertaining outdoor adventure ensues, and the Sasquatch costume is pretty good. I picked this one to view first from my new Season 2 set because of this "monster hunter" premise, the type of story I just can't resist. The second season seems to veer more into the fantastical, which is why I bought it before Season 1. Despite the silliness of it all, I think I'll enjoy watching more of this slice of late '70s cheese. The DVD transfers look very nice, BTW.

    [​IMG]


    The Night Stalker (on Blu-Ray, with Tim Lucas commentary)
    I've seen this excellent telefilm many times over the years, so I opted to watch Kino Lorber's stunning Blu-Ray edition while listening to Video Watchdog maven Lucas' commentary track. Diehard fans of the Kolchak movies and subsequent series perhaps won't find too much new info here, but Lucas gives a solid overview of the key players and making of this horror classic. Especially interesting is his discussion of the similarities between this film (including Jeff Rice's novel upon which it was based) and Leslie H. Whitten's earlier Progeny of the Adder. He also highlights the political aspects of Richard Matheson's teleplay, putting it into context with the turbulence and paranoia of the early '70s. The 4K remaster of this puppy looks fantastic, and I especially marveled at John Llewellyn Moxey's moody, cinematic direction, as well as seeing Las Vegas in all its seedy, early-'70s glory. And I've said it before, but I'll say it again: Darren McGavin's Carl Kolchak is easily one of the greatest TV characters of all time.
     
  2. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    I've never been much of a fan of Lavern and Shirley (even though I watched most of the episodes during its run - mainly due to "nothing better on" syndrome). In spite of that I did purchase a copy of S1 a few months back because it was *very* inexpensive ($3 or $4 IIRC) and somehow the open was discussed one day at the dinner table and my grandson asked what schlemiel and schlimazel meant so I decided he needed to see at least one episode for better understanding (hasn't happened yet).

    If I got nothing else from that show it was those two terms so I told him how it was told to me: A schlemiel is the person who's always spilling his soup and a schlimazel is the person he spills it on. A clumsy person and an unlucky person.

    I do recall the show being much better before they moved to California (? - I think that's where they moved to).
     
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  3. Rustifer

    Rustifer Screenwriter
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    Glad to see you back home safe and sound, Jeff!
     
  4. Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the Yiddish lesson, Howie! I must confess, I never stopped to think that the words actually meant anything...shows my ignorance, I guess. Now the question is, what is "Hassenpfeffer incorporated" supposed to mean? A clumsy person, and unlucky person, and a German stew? Hmmm...
     
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  5. Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Screenwriter

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    Thank you, Russ, good to be back! Now, how can we get Marv back in action around here?
     
  6. Doug Wallen

    Doug Wallen Lead Actor

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    Being semi-retired is great for this TV viewing pastime. During the past week I have sampled these series:

    The Rockford Files - Complete Series Bluray
    Caledonia - It's Worth A Fortune (1.11) Shelly Fabares, Ramon Bieri, Richard Schaal, Robert Ginty, Robert Ellenstein. A injured con sends his wife and former partner on a wild goose chase for stolen loot.

    Profit and Loss, Part 1: Profit and Profit and Loss, Part 2: Loss (1.12 and 1.13) Ned Beatty, Sharon Spelman, Gretchen Corbett, Albert Paulsen. Rockford is asked to investigate a financial firm by an insider who fears for his life. He later recants his fears and Jim is then asked to investigate a suspicious death. Forged bearer bonds come into play in this financial pyramid scheme. Good two parter.

    Aura Lee, Farewell (1.14) Robert Webber, Lindsay Wagner, Greg Mullavey, Bill Mumy, Linda Dano. A not so secluded Senator, a weekend fling, blackmail and an old girlfriend brings Rockford to this missing girl case.

    Sleight Of Hand (1.15) Joe Santos, Tom Atkins, Lara Parker, Allan Miller, Pat Delany, Gerald McRaney. Returning from a weekend with current girlfriend and her daughter, the girlfriend vanishes right under Rockford's nose. He is the prime suspect.

    Counter Gambit (1.16) Mary Frann, Eddie Fontaine, Burr DeBenning, Ford Rainey, Stuart Margolin, M. Emmet Walsh. Two cons hire Jim to find their former girlfriend/partner in order to track down a stolen pearl necklace.

    Perry Mason - Season 7-9
    The Case of the Wednesday Woman (7.13) Philip Pine, Lisa Gaye, Marie Windsor, Douglas Dick, Phyllis Hill, John Hoyt, Michael Pate, Alvy Moore. A man who paid for his crime finds himself accused of the murder of his business partner. Stolen gems are the catalyst.

    The Case of the Accosted Accountant (7.14) Richard Anderson, Dee Hartford, Murray Matheson, Gail Kobi, Lynn Bari, Leonard Stone. A business appears to have lost his way in business and his son-in-law wants to wrench control from him. Instead he gets a murder charge.

    The Case of the Capering Camera (7.15) Elaine Stewart, Margo Moore, Paula Raymond, Byron PalmerKurt, Kreuger. "Calendar" pictures and blackmail past and present leads to murder.

    The High Chaparral - Season 3
    Too Many Chiefs (3.23) Noah Beery Jr. John is suffering from exhaustion. Between Victoria's pleading and the Doctors urging, the Cannons head to San Francisco for a very delayed honeymoon. Blue is left in charge and things go from bad to worse.

    Auld Lang Syne (3.24) Gregory Walcott, Jonathan Lippe. Buck decides to help an old army buddy out, but as fate would have it, the friend is only using Buck.

    Generation (3.25) Blue's artistic style is subject to ridicule. It is his passion (apparently Mark Slade's in real life https://www.marksladestudio.com/marksladestudio-about) and only Victoria senses this. She sends his work out and Blue is rewarded with a job opportunity. Excellent episode examining a families reactions to unusual talent. It would seem that this leads in to the fact that Blue is absent for season 4.

    No Trouble At All (3.26) William Watson, Tony Russel, Felice Orlandi. Victoria is traveling through Indian territory to assist a friend with the birth of her child. John doesn't want her to go, but she is a Montoya and headstrong. Indians attack, she is separated from Buck and Mano. Three men rescue her. They have designs on her. Buck and Mano track them and exact revenge. Note: the hideout is a reuse of the interior for the cabin that Buck and Mano own.

    Well, that completes the third season set. I am waiting for the final season to be released in December!!!

    Have Gun - Will Travel - Complete Series
    Noticed a few episodes back that there is a new opening sequence, Paladin no longer recites a line of dialogue from the episode.

    Incident At Borrasco Bend (2.27) Jacques Aubuchon, Ben Wright. Frontier justice kangaroo court style for Paladin who is just passing through.

    Maggie O'Bannion (2.28) Marion Marshall, Peggy Rea, Dan Hagerty. Paladin wanders into a ranch owned by a lady who is being cheated by her foreman. Paladin takes a menial job and uncovers the truth.

    The Chase (2.29) Wright King, Paul Richards, Paul Birch, Lee Farr, Olive Sturgess. A wife convinced of her husband's innocence hires Paladin to prove it. A posse is more interested in killing the man than providing justice.

    Alaska (2.30) Karl Swenson, Richard Shannon, Fay Roope, Elizabeth York, Allen Case. Paladin enters a bobsled race for mining rights in Alaska.

    The Man Who Lost (2.31) Rodolfo Acosta, Mort Mills, Ed Nelson, Jack Elam. Paladin's quest for justice puts him in danger from an angry family with killing on their mind.

    The Return Of Roy Carter (2.32) Clu Gulager, Larry Blake, Brad Weston. Roy request Paladin's help for the chaplain who championed his life. They go in search of the priest and find him near death on a snow covered mountain.

    Sons Of Aaron Murdock (3.33) Philip Coolidge, Lee Kinsolving, Wesley Lau, Elizabeth York, Frank Gorshin. Murdock has two sons, the older is a bad apple and the younger idolizes the older. Paladin is asked in to help the younger brother follow a different path.

    Jonny Quest - Complete Series Bluray
    The House Of Seven Gargoyles (1.23) Gargoyles (creepy stone statues), haunted castles, antigravity, fjords, submarines and a glacier. This episode has it all.

    Terror Island (1.24) Mutant creatures from a "mad" scientist in the orient. Always a great episode with Jade in it. Race was sure lucky.

    Monster In The Monastery (1.25) Yeti or not Yeti, that is the question. Someone is scaring folks in the mountains of Nepal and there are many legends of the Yeti.

    The Sea Haunt (1.26) Keye Luke. A familiar voice in this one as Keye Luke is the voice of reason (read scared). A giant sea monster and coffins full of gold provide an interesting story.

    So ends the tales of the Quest family. I had high hopes for the 80's series, but Hardrockwas just a bit much. Couldn't really get into that one. Felt better about the 90's version until they kept adding that CGI virtual Questworld stuff (looked like refugees from Tron). I guess just like most classics, they just should not be messed with.

     
  7. Rustifer

    Rustifer Screenwriter
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    I think Marv is like the Tin Man rusting in the woods right now. He's gonna need some oil...
     
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  8. JohnHopper

    JohnHopper Screenwriter

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    This telefilm is a masterpiece of seventies television.
    I agree with you about Kolchak's cult status.

    Robert Cobert - The Night Stalker (1972)
    https://rutube.ru/video/16d3859c9c05c01959844609014883f5/
     
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  9. Message #2529 of 2790 Aug 26, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2019
    Rustifer

    Rustifer Screenwriter
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    Episode Commentary

    [​IMG]

    Look--up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a kinda chubby fellow in a monogrammed spandex suit and cape! What an 'S'!
    When I was a kid watching this show, every time Superman took off to fly--our cat jumped under the couch. It sounded like the vacuum cleaner.

    In Madam Selena's Wax Museum, the Madam (Mira McKinney) shows up looking a bit like Norma Desmond dressed in Lady Liberty's garb. Not exactly Vogue material. In a trance-like voice, she has a nasty habit of revealing the wax figure of a well known person who she predicts will soon die. Sure enough, each time it comes true. High up in the Trump Tower--Perry White, Clark and Lois think there might be a thread of a story here.

    Clark and Lois hotfoot it to the Museum to do what they do best--snoop around. Behind each display curtain they find the wax figure of the deceased with a recorded voice-over describing the circumstances of their death. The duo gets a meeting with Madam Selena, who offers them pekoe tea served in a stunning silver set from Williams-Sonoma. She's one creepy old bat, but obviously has good taste.

    upload_2019-8-26_11-57-7. upload_2019-8-26_11-57-37. [​IMG]
    Selena shows off her tea set; Perry learns he's next in line; Afterwards a few snorts are in order

    Clark deduces that all the dead guys were 5'8" weighing 150 lbs. So all the anorexic short men in Metropolis need to take note. Next on Madam's macabre list: Perry White. You can't convince me he weighs only 150 lbs. Nonetheless, he goes missing. Lois is heartbroken. There goes Perry's promise of her new office and a 401K. Drat! Ready to bite doorknobs in frustration, she sneaks back to the museum after closing and finds a secret room where all the "dead" guys, including Perry, are very much alive and kept in cages like lab rats. No visible chamber pots, so the environment is probably a little dicey. Madam catches Lois nosing around and unceremoniously knocks her out, cackling maniacally. She's been in the cooking sherry again.

    Enter Superman, who manhandles Selena and rescues everyone. The Madam will eventually launch a civil suit against him and the Daily Planet. Good thing, too--because I never saw her charge admission. No idea how she made ends meet.

    Notes:
    Mira McKinney, born in 1892, went on to play scores of snooty maiden aunts, angry shop customers, gimlet-eyed landladies, and at least one over-the-hill streetwalker. When this Superman episode was filmed, she was probably around 124 tears old.

    Jimmy Olsen did not appear in this particular episode. He was seen in Reno hocking his watch to pay off heavy gambling debts.
     
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  10. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    I *always* preferred Phyllis Coats to Noel Neil as Lois Lane. She wasn't the "damsel in distress" so much but held her own among the guys.

    Panther Girl of the Kongo (1955) A silly, fun serial that has a very good BR from Olive.
    [​IMG]

    With Clayton Moore (The Lone Ranger) in Jungle Drums of Africa (1953) - another serial (this one has a questionable release from Cheesy Flix)
    [​IMG]

    Hey Beeve! Who's your new neighbor?
    [​IMG]

    Terri Hatcher as Lois Lane and Phyllis Coats as Ellen Lane, Lois' *mother* in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman[​IMG]
     
  11. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    Recently I'd watched episode 1 of The Last Kingdom to see if I wanted to purchase S3. I liked it so I did. I spent most of my viewing time the past week watching the series and greatly enjoyed it. So... it's not exactly classic TV and that's not the jist of this post - just the lead up.

    When I finished it I was looking for the next thing to watch and remembered I'd purchased an inexpensive, used, copy of Sharpe's Challenge (2006) to test the waters on this series that comes with a high recommendation from Jeff.

    In 1817, two years after Sharpe has retired to be a farmer in Normandy, he is summoned by his former commander, the Duke of Wellington, to his London home and asked to undertake one more mission for him: to find a man in India. The missing agent was trying to learn the identity of a turncoat officer, who we saw in an opening sequence robbing a fort of its payroll years before, advising a rebellious Maratha rajah (different than but similar to a "Maharaja" he's a regional king of a specific caste). Sharpe refuses, unwilling to press his luck any further (he's unaware that the agent is his old comrade in arms and best friend, Patrick Harper). Apparently knowing Sharpe would refuse, the Duke brought in Harper's wife who, as he's leaving the house, thanks Sharpe for taking the job. Of course this changes everything and off he goes.

    Sharpe sets out for India. On his way to report to General Burroughs, he passes a group of soldiers escorting Celia Burroughs, the general's attractive daughter. After a short conversation with her, he rides on ahead and is attacked by marauders, but is rescued by Patrick Harper, who shows up just in time with his signature 7-barrel gun. Burroughs' escort is also attacked, by none other than Dodd, the turncoat officer. She is captured and taken to the fortress of Khande Rao, the nominal leader of the revolt. However, he is not yet of age and is under the influence of a regent, his late father's favorite concubine, Madhuvanthi, and her lover, now General William Dodd, who plan to kill Rao before he declares his majority. They use Celia Burroughs as hostage saying they'll kill her should British troops attack.

    And that sets up the next action packed 2 hours. It has a very nice cliffhanger at the end of part 1.

    It's a quite fun episode and absolutely good enough that I'll be picking up the rest of the series (it has a "full series" release in R2 in a very reasonably priced set - ~$20 US shipped from Amazon.uk). So... this title and Sharpe's Peril are not in that "full series" set. That means I won't double-dip with the set purchase. :)
     
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  12. Montytc

    Montytc Second Unit

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    I continue to learn important things in this thread. My experience with this show is very similar to yours. I watched it a lot but would not consider myself a real fan. I think I watched it in the beginning because of its Happy Days connection, but the two shows weren't really involved which each other so I guess I just watched out of habit.
     
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  13. Montytc

    Montytc Second Unit

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    I had a Davis Jansen film festival last night.

    Harry O - Season 1
    Episode 6: Eyewitness


    A nurse who had taken care of Harry several years back shows up to get his help in clearing her son of a murder he did not commit. There is a ruthless mob boss and Harry's only witness is blind, but he grinds through and saves the day. Not my favorite episode so far, but not bad.


    O'Hara, US Treasury - Season 1
    Episode 21: Operation: Good Citizen


    This is only the second episode of this show I have watched, but so far I will admit to being a little disappointed. The supporting cast just blends in to the background and there is zero character development with anyone.
    In this episode a mob bosses wife tries to help the department take down her cheating husband. O'Hara goes undercover and in the end he gets his man. John Larch, who played a bad guy at least once in every 1970's cop show is the bad husband and his wife is played by Martha Hyer. I couldn't figure out were I had seen Hyer before, but when I looked it up she had played a fairly big roll in one of my favorite westerns "The Sons Of Katie Elder". I'm going to try a few more episodes, but I'm beginning to see why this one only got one season despite featuring Jansen.


    The Fugitive - Season 4
    Episode 23: Passage To Helena


    Dr. Kimble is arrested for a crime he didn't commit, but he resists arrest and ends up in jail. He is transported to Helena with a real bad egg played by James Farentino who plans on making Kimble help him kill the deputy who is driving them and escape. To complicate things like all the episodes now, Farentino's character has figured out who Kimble really is and uses that to try and blackmail him into cooperating. In the end the good doctor gets away and helps save the deputy so we can move on to the next city. Overall just an OK episode.
     
  14. Message #2534 of 2790 Aug 26, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2019
    Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Screenwriter

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    Really glad to hear you liked it, Howie! In my opinion, this is one of the lesser Sharpe stories, despite the opulence of its setting. It's good, mind, just a little less "Sharpe-ish" than the norm. I have a feeling you're going to really like the rest of the series - but don't expect them all to have the production values and slick look of this particular entry. Don't get me wrong, every episode is well produced and looks good, but they really put the boat out budget-wise for Sharpe's Challenge. The plots and character interactions are of an arguably higher standard in the other episodes. I do recommend starting at the very beginning once you get the set, as there is a chronology that works dramatically, though certainly this timeline is not really necessary to enjoy the two later India-set telefilms. Are you planning to pick up Sharpe's Peril as well? That's one of my favorites of the whole series.

    Also please be advised that there is a (somewhat expensive, at around $49 list, though less once Amazon UK remove VAT) Region B Blu-Ray set of the series (as with the DVD set, not including the later Sharpe's Challenge and Sharpe's Peril). That $49 price tag is the absolute cheapest I've seen for this set, so your timing is good. Certainly, the DVD version is quite a bit cheaper and good value...normally I'd advise the less expensive option, but the production values and cinematography on this series are better than the average for the time and so would benefit being seen in HD.

    Look forward to hearing more of your thoughts on the series once you get a chance.
     
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  15. Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Screenwriter

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    I saw this one last year, Tim, and agree it's not up there with some of the better Harry-O episodes..but I did like seeing Harry in a grittier, Starsky & Hutch-like story. And man, was Harry grumpy in this one!
     
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  16. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    I'm not region free on BR so likely will pick up the DVD set as I *do* have a region free DVD player (I'm having trouble justifying ~$150 to go region free BR as I'm quite content to stay R1 with those - although there are more and more reasons to take the plunge). I'm also looking at just going for the digital versions from Amazon as I have enough "slow shipping digital credits" to "purchase" the entire series. I usually struggle a bit with just what to purchase so that would be an easy decision. If they were HD versions it'd be a no-brainer but they're SD.

    After discovering Sharpe's Challenge and Sharpe's Peril aren't in the box set I dropped a copy of Sharpe's Peril in my Amazon cart. Even if I go for the Amazon digital copies on the early episodes I'll do physical on "Peril" as it's not yet available for digital purchase.
     
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  17. Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Screenwriter

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    Sorry, Howie, didn't realize you didn't have a Region B BD player...are the digital versions HD? If so, that would be a good option. Either way, you're in for a treat with this series.
     
  18. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    No... unfortunately. I edited my original post with that bit of info. That'll make the decision a bit more difficult as, should I like the series as much as that one episode, I'd rather have them on disc and being in SD I'd just as soon get the discs rather than digital.
     
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  19. Jeff Flugel

    Jeff Flugel Screenwriter

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    In that case, I'd say yes, best go with the DVD set. 20 bucks for all 14 of the original Sharpe series of 14 two-hour movies is a steal of a deal!
     
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  20. Bob Gu

    Bob Gu Screenwriter

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    I remember taping SHARPE, sight unseen, when it was shown in the U.S. as part of MASTERPIECE THEATER in 1994. I liked it and even bought all the books that were in print at that time. Bernard Cornwell wrote "Sharpe's Eagles" first, I believe, and had to go back to write the earlier 'origin' story, "Sharpe's Rifles". I think some of the other books in the series were written out of time line order, also. The stories where Sharpe was an enlisted man and later a Sergeant, in India, were written much later. If I remember correctly, other than Harper, the Chosen Men characters were created for the TV series and Cornwall later started using them in his new Sharpe novels.

    I think PBS only showed the first five episodes over time. I didn't see the episodes I missed when the History Channel showed them, so I bought the BCI VHS.

    Later I bought the UK DVD set, which cost four times less than the U.S. release which came in a wooden chest.

    Good series, a little clunky at times, but over all a very satisfying show. I liked how Sharpe's longtime enemy, Simmerson, ended up in SHARPE'S PERIL. Very surprising.

    I am due for a rewatch
     
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