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

Rustifer

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OK... The "Big Mac" sandwich wasn't introduced until 1967. It is essentially a rip off of the Big Boy sandwich, which was introduced at Bob Wian's "Bob's Pantry" (later to become the Bob's Big Boy franchise) restaurant in 1937. So... he's likely calling the local Big Boy franchise for a "Big Boy" and fries.

And a bourbon float sounds absolutely nasty (I don't like whiskey no matter what you call it so...). :)
If the devil is in the details, you're one hell of a guy, Howie.
 
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JohnHopper

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Rustifer

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Episode Commentary
My Three Sons
"Dear Robbie" (S4E4)

One of the more endearing features of this series is that opening scene would usually feature a slice-of-life segment of the Douglas household before settling into the meat of the main plot. This could include, for example, Bub (William Frawley) making breakfast and grumbling over the consistency of his pancake batter; or Steve (Fred MacMurray) frantically scouring the house to find his schematics featuring the latest version of an atomic bomb; or Chip and Ernie (Stanley and Barry Livingston) fretting over their pet frog's slime factor. It's the everyday little things that makes the Douglas family real and lovable.

Well, not so in this episode--which begins right off with Robbie carping over the simpleton aspects of the school newspaper--boring and trivial his his estimation. As a result of his endless bitchfest, he's elected to write an advice column "Dear Robbie". Soon, as a result of his quirky advice, Robbie has boosted the circulation of the school newspaper twofold. However, he quickly falls into hot water by advising a young girl to elope with an "older" man that she claims to love. Dreadfully opposed to this rash advice, Steve contacts the young student Joanie (Brenda Scott) and arranges to meet her in the malt shop. A 50-ish man hunting down a young girl shouldn't raise too many eyebrows, nosireee. Yet it seems perfectly natural in this episode. I guess pedophilia didn't yet have a toe hold in 1960's societal consciousness. Steve takes the meeting a step further by complimenting Joanie on her attractiveness. He's about an inch away from inviting her to search for candy in his trouser pocket.

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Young Joanie grows up nicely; Notice Joanie's head had disappeared from sight while riding in Steve's car--his expression says it all; Ernie contemplates higher levels of Quantum Physics.

But Joanie's friend overhears their innocent conversation and spreads the rumor that Steve Douglas is Joanie's "older man" featured in Robbie's column. Joanie's parents are understandably incensed, as dad complains "She hasn't been the same since she tried on her first pair of nylons!" Pretty racy stuff for a family sitcom of that era. But before the pedophile squad is called to action, Steve brings Joanie home and confronts her parents. After several fumbling attempts to explain the situation, an understanding is finally arrived at.

There's one hitch. Capricious Joanie has now fallen in love with Steve and begins a concerted stalking effort. Confusion continues to reign until Joanie's 19 year old "older man" boyfriend shows up. He's afraid he can't compete against a successful man like Mr. Douglas, and he's damn mad about it. Steve sees an opportunity to leverage the boy's jealousy to divert Joanie's attention back to her boyfriend.

Cute episode that skates perilously close to featuring an illicit relationship, regardless of how innocent. I can't resist writing about this kind of stuff.
 
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bmasters9

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Earlier in receipt of my copy of VEI's all-in-one of Kate & Allie, and started on first disc (comprising entirety of first go, short as it was); finished first episode of that brief opening go ("Allie's First Date," OAD Monday, March 19, 1984 on CBS), and of 122 total

Some notes:
--This brief first go is labeled as Season One-Disc 1, even though it is only one disc of 6 shows.

--The Gimme A Break! episode included as a bonus is not something that I will touch any time soon, because I am not sure that I will enjoy that NBC comedy as much as (so far) I've enjoyed what I've seen of Kate & Allie.

Episode list from VEI's packaging:
kateallie1guide.jpg


Disc label:
kateallieseason1.jpg


Title screen on first show:

katealliefirstepisodetitle.jpg
 

mark-edk

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Messages
369
I'm not a great Westerns fan but for some reason 'The Californians' popped up on Amazon Prime video (the most difficult to use video streaming service ever) and it intrigued me. I ended up watching the whole series, which was almost like watching four series. The premise started out with Adam Kennedy as Dion Patrick an Irishman who came to CA to strike gold. After three or four eps, he decides to join the local paper as a reporter (without a day of J-school) and his adventures in looking for gold are promptly forgotten. The first season is only a little more than halfway over when we get a third premise: Dion Patrick disappears and Marshall Wayne comes to town. Wayne (played by Richard Coogan) is a tough but compassionate lawman, whose love interest is a woman who runs a saloon. No wait, that was Kitty This woman runs a gambling house. From some angles Marshall Wayne even looks a little like James Arness. And they're both named Matt!

When Coogan comes aboard, Sean McClory and his wife Nan Leslie drop out of the story. Pretty much central figures up to then, they are reduced to recurring (far too sparingly) for the rest of the series (though McClory did get to direct a few episodes... Jacques Tourneur, Byron Haskin, and William Castle also directed some). A few episodes before the end of season two the Marshall's cousin shows up, then the Marshall quits, and the cousin takes over. The cousin is none other than James Coburn, and he gets the main title 'Introducing James Coburn' for the last episode of season two, an attempt to get another season with a fourth premise. The attempt failed.

jc.jpg

While Adam Kennedy wasn't much of an actor (he achieved greater success as a writer) the stories were something a little different in the Western genre given his job as a reporter. McClory was a leader of the Vigilantes who are portrayed in a positive light in the early episodes. When they brought in the Marshall Adam's character just vanished - poof! Nobody ever mentioned him again. The stories became more in the traditional Western hero mode, helped along by the producers rewriting scripts from earlier series, mainly Jim Bowie. But remakes aren't all bad; one of them, 'A Girl Named Sam', is a highlight of the series, with Sue George (Gidget's gal pal in the first movie) playing a spunky young girl who might have been a prototype for Kim Darby's Mattie Ross. She proposes marriage to the hunky guy she meets on a trip from somewhere to somewhere, and he accepts. The lucky guy was Troy Donahue. Several other old friends, and up and comers appeared on the show: Henry Daniell, Leo G Carroll, DeForest Kelly, George Takei, Edgar Buchanan, Bruce Gordon, Tommy Kirk (tv's original Joe Hardy), Lurene Tuttle, Keye Luke, and many others. Oh, and playing an attorney during Marshall Wayne's tenure was Arthur Fleming, aka Art Fleming original Jeaopardy! host.

Rewriting old scripts wasn't the only way they tried to save money. Once McClory and his wife were written out, almost every other house Marshall Wayne entered was just a redecorated version of McClory's residence. A drape here, a few different pictures, and who would know the difference? Multiple pool halls, gambling dens, and saloons all had the exact same stairway leading up to the second floor. The pilot and the first few episodes were not scored with instrumental music but rather oohing and ahhing from the Ken Darby singers as was used on Jim Bowie. It didn't go over well and they switched to using stock music cues instead (probably cheaper too). The show's 'I've Come to California' song remained throughout on the end credits and most of the time on the opening titles.

Marshall Wayne proposed to his girlfriend the gambling house proprietor. She turned him down, and after that she never appeared again. That was just a few episodes before Wayne's exit in a show based on the vigilante hanging of two murderers. It was introduced as a 'true story' but the show was very haphazard in using that claim, sometimes attaching it to incidents that I could find no evidence for in web searches. But this particular story was very close to the actual events: Charles Cora (here played by Mike Connors) was charged with killing the California attorney general and the story very closely followed the facts (the hung jury, the vigilante trial, marrying his girl friend the night before the hanging etc) while incorporating the show's fictional characters. It was Marshall Wayne's disgust with the vigilantes' actions that led him to ride off into the sunset.

Overall I enjoyed watching the show and fact-checking their occasional 'true story' claims became a regular habit after each episode (the results were a mixture, most could not be verified but some were valid). Looks like pretty good 35mm prints used for these transfers, but they were done very haphazardly. Some episodes are full of washed out sequences with hardly any black levels at all. Then there'll be a shot that looks good, and the next shot is back to the washed-out look. It's like nobody was watching while the transfers were being made. Was surprised to see the CBS TV distribution logo at the end as I would have thought they would take more care than that in a show they were distributing themselves.
 
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morasp

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steve
I had a great line up of shows last week and my favorite one hour episode was Daniel Boone and favorite thirty minute episode was Dragnet.

Dragnet Season 2 Episode 4 The Bank Jobs Original Air Date OCT 5, 1967
I like to call episodes like this silky smooth, you know you really enjoyed it when it's over and it seems like you just started watching it. As much as I enjoy this show it took a long time to purchase the four seasons mostly because the seasons sold for $20+ and at the time you could get seasons of good shows for $10-$15 but now that I have them they seem like a great investment. Season two also includes the made for TV Dragnet pilot movie. Each episode starts with exterior scenes of Los Angeles in the late 60's early 70's and a narrative by Jack Webb as Sargant Joe Friday. This episode shows the Los Angeles Hall of Records old and new (1967) and the La Brea Tar Pits. In this episode a male bank robber hitches a ride with women driving alone and forces them at gunpoint to rob a bank it's pretty clever especially when you consider that Dragnet episodes are based on actual police cases. Joe and his partner Joe Gannon (Harry Morgan) are fooled at first but through diligent police work get the right man. Kent McCord (Reed from Adam-12) makes an appearance in this episode as a police officer at the scene of the first bank robbery.

Quote:
Richard Madden: Imagine a stinking broad wiping up the sidewalk with you. That dame's as strong as an ox.
Sergeant Joe Friday: Sure, she must weigh at least 120 pounds.
Richard Madden: What is she, a lady wrestler?
Sergeant Joe Friday: Linebacker for the Cleveland Browns.



Daniel Boone Season 1 Episode 13 The Hostages Original Air Date JAN 7 1965
Daniel Boone is a great example of the value of owning physical media. it may be available somewhere but since MeTV took it off I haven't seen it. In the scheme of things I guess it's probably a simple pleasure but it's so nice to be able to watch a full length episode any time I want and not worry about a network or streaming service taking it off. Like Bonanza, I haven't watched a bad episode yet. Fess Parker is perfect as Daniel Boone so much so it would be hard for me to imagine anyone else in the role. This episode features guest stars Ellen Corby (The Waltons) and Madlyn Rhue. Lies seems to be the overall theme of this episode where you can't trust anything anyone says and nothing is what it appears to be. Daniel even has to deceive his wife Becky for a short time and she's furious when he finally tells her the truth. I'm always confident that he will come out on top but Daniel is really put to the test in this adventure and he has to use both his wits and his physical prowess to make it through and in the process he shows what a smooth talker he can be. It was nice to see Daniel's wife Becky with a bigger role than in previous episodes and she shows off her fiery temper a few times, once when she finds out that Daniel lied to her and another time when she beats up an Indian woman trying to tell her what to do.


This Weeks Schedule
Monday

One Day at a Time
Hawaii Five-O Classic
Tuesday
Mad About You
Ironside
Wednesday
Mork and Mindy
Road to Avonlea
Thursday
Reba
Wonder Woman
Friday
Dennis the Menace
Star Trek The Next Generation
Saturday
Scooby Doo Where Are You
Have Gun Will Travel
Walker Texas Ranger
Sunday
Adam-12
Promised Land








 
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MatthewA

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--The Gimme A Break! episode included as a bonus is not something that I will touch any time soon, because I am not sure that I will enjoy that NBC comedy as much as (so far) I've enjoyed what I've seen of Kate & Allie.
That is one of my all-time favorites although the tone changes along with the star's weight (and sobriety) fluctuations and takes a dive after her male co-star dies; Kate & Allie is from the same company but tonally different, partly from being in NYC, but they both got on their high horses now and again.

I would give Gimme A Break! a slight edge just for not having Nell and Addy wedded to men by the end like Kate & Allie did.

Frankly, if those were my only choices, I'd rather watch either of those than a Norman Lear show despite their pedigree being traced back directly to him via ex-All in the Family producer Mort Lachman and ex-Jeffersons producer Sy Rosen. At least these weren't rehashes of UK shows.
 
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The Obsolete Man

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Head of the Class S5...

Man, Billy helped a lot.

The show got a bit of a shot in the arm, since they seemed to just wind Billy up and let him go. I'm assuming they just built a lot of his stand-up bits into the scripts, so otherwise thin stories at least had some solid laughs in them. And his relationships with the rest of the faculty was an interesting turn.

Granted, we just had to accept the sitcom convention of him being immediately close with the students, but hey, it worked well enough.

I'm not sure they could've gotten more than a season out of things like this, but it's a good season.
 

Rustifer

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I'm not a great Westerns fan but for some reason 'The Californians' popped up on Amazon Prime video (the most difficult to use video streaming service ever) and it intrigued me. I ended up watching the whole series, which was almost like watching four series. The premise started out with Adam Kennedy as Dion Patrick an Irishman who came to CA to strike gold. After three or four eps, he decides to join the local paper as a reporter (without a day of J-school) and his adventures in looking for gold are promptly forgotten. The first season is only a little more than halfway over when we get a third premise: Dion Patrick disappears and Marshall Wayne comes to town. Wayne (played by Richard Coogan) is a tough but compassionate lawman, whose love interest is a woman who runs a saloon. No wait, that was Kitty This woman runs a gambling house. From some angles Marshall Wayne even looks a little like James Arness. And they're both named Matt!

When Coogan comes aboard, Sean McClory and his wife Nan Leslie drop out of the story. Pretty much central figures up to then, they are reduced to recurring (far too sparingly) for the rest of the series (though McClory did get to direct a few episodes... Jacques Tourneur, Byron Haskin, and William Castle also directed some). A few episodes before the end of season two the Marshall's cousin shows up, then the Marshall quits, and the cousin takes over. The cousin is none other than James Coburn, and he gets the main title 'Introducing James Coburn' for the last episode of season two, an attempt to get another season with a fourth premise. The attempt failed.

View attachment 76457

While Adam Kennedy wasn't much of an actor (he achieved greater success as a writer) the stories were something a little different in the Western genre given his job as a reporter. McClory was a leader of the Vigilantes who are portrayed in a positive light in the early episodes. When they brought in the Marshall Adam's character just vanished - poof! Nobody ever mentioned him again. The stories became more in the traditional Western hero mode, helped along by the producers rewriting scripts from earlier series, mainly Jim Bowie. But remakes aren't all bad; one of them, 'A Girl Named Sam', is a highlight of the series, with Sue George (Gidget's gal pal in the first movie) playing a spunky young girl who might have been a prototype for Kim Darby's Mattie Ross. She proposes marriage to the hunky guy she meets on a trip from somewhere to somewhere, and he accepts. The lucky guy was Troy Donahue. Several other old friends, and up and comers appeared on the show: Henry Daniell, Leo G Carroll, DeForest Kelly, George Takei, Edgar Buchanan, Bruce Gordon, Tommy Kirk (tv's original Joe Hardy), Lurene Tuttle, Keye Luke, and many others. Oh, and playing an attorney during Marshall Wayne's tenure was Arthur Fleming, aka Art Fleming original Jeaopardy! host.

Rewriting old scripts wasn't the only way they tried to save money. Once McClory and his wife were written out, almost every other house Marshall Wayne entered was just a redecorated version of McClory's residence. A drape here, a few different pictures, and who would know the difference? Multiple pool halls, gambling dens, and saloons all had the exact same stairway leading up to the second floor. The pilot and the first few episodes were not scored with instrumental music but rather oohing and ahhing from the Ken Darby singers as was used on Jim Bowie. It didn't go over well and they switched to using stock music cues instead (probably cheaper too). The show's 'I've Come to California' song remained throughout on the end credits and most of the time on the opening titles.

Marshall Wayne proposed to his girlfriend the gambling house proprietor. She turned him down, and after that she never appeared again. That was just a few episodes before Wayne's exit in a show based on the vigilante hanging of two murderers. It was introduced as a 'true story' but the show was very haphazard in using that claim, sometimes attaching it to incidents that I could find no evidence for in web searches. But this particular story was very close to the actual events: Charles Cora (here played by Mike Connors) was charged with killing the California attorney general and the story very closely followed the facts (the hung jury, the vigilante trial, marrying his girl friend the night before the hanging etc) while incorporating the show's fictional characters. It was Marshall Wayne's disgust with the vigilantes' actions that led him to ride off into the sunset.

Overall I enjoyed watching the show and fact-checking their occasional 'true story' claims became a regular habit after each episode (the results were a mixture, most could not be verified but some were valid). Looks like pretty good 35mm prints used for these transfers, but they were done very haphazardly. Some episodes are full of washed out sequences with hardly any black levels at all. Then there'll be a shot that looks good, and the next shot is back to the washed-out look. It's like nobody was watching while the transfers were being made. Was surprised to see the CBS TV distribution logo at the end as I would have thought they would take more care than that in a show they were distributing themselves.
Nice review, Mark.
 

Flashgear

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Steve contacts the young student Joanie (Brenda Scott) and arranges to meet her in the malt shop. A 50-ish man hunting down a young girl shouldn't raise too many eyebrows, nosireee.
You guys should know by now that I will never miss an opportunity, at the mere mention of her name, to post some of my DVD screen caps of the luscious Brenda Scott, one of my absolute faves...here she is on Bonanza and The Virginian...
Brenda 13.JPG

Brenda 12.JPG

Brenda 14.JPG

Brenda 7.JPG

Brenda 6.JPG

Brenda 8.JPG

Brenda 9.JPG

Brenda 10.JPG

Brenda 15.JPG

Brenda 17.JPG

Brenda 18.JPG

Brenda 20.JPG


You're welcome! ha, ha...
 

Wiseguy

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Erich P. Wise
The season 7 AHP premiere episode, directed by Alfred Hitchcock himself, was Bang, You're Dead!, where a young Billy Mumy steals his Uncle's very real and loaded gun, touring the neighborhood and supermarket pointing it at various people playfully while his frantic family, horrified to discover that he has taken the gun and ammunition, search for him
Don't know what set you have but on mine (and on every episode list I've seen) the season premiere is "The Hatbox" (10/10/61) and "Bang! You're Dead" was the second episode broadcast (10/17/61), only the second season to not start with a Hitchcock-directed episode (the third season showed a Hitchcock-directed episode as the third broadcast).
 
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Rustifer

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Episode Commentary
Adam-12
"If The Shoe Fits" (S6E12)

Oh, how far our police dramas have come since this series aired in the early 1970's. IMDb classifies Adam-12 as a comedy/crime/drama. I guess one could describe Dexter in the same terms, but you could dock the Queen Mary in the amount of space between the two. While Dexter is dismembering a serial killer, Officer Reed (Kent McCord) is rescuing a pet turtle from a flushed toilet. As an aside, remember when police were here to serve the public? Remember when most cops weighed less than 300 lbs.? I told my doctor to judge my fitness by the standards of today's police physicals. Heck, I'd look like a marathon champion by comparison.

But I digress. This episode's top pressing problem is that Officer Reed's new shoes squeak so loud as to spook cattle as far away as Scotland. Senior partner Malloy (Martin Milner), earnest as a month of Sundays, considers this to be unacceptable. While on patrol, their conversation eventually reverts to the more relevant topic of nutritional value in candy bars. The boys are suddenly distracted by a frantically waving lady at the side of the street. She claims her neighbor's house is being burgled even as they speak. Turns out it's only a disgruntled husband busting up his own home because his wife has left him. No arrest is made so that the officers could return to their discussion of candy bars and squeaky shoes without having to deal with pesky paperwork.

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Always hilarious when officers fart in unison; Reed picks up a hooker for a little spin; No matter what age, everyone is subject to arrest

The next serious crime entails flagging down a work van with busted taillights. This is shaping up to be the kind of day that truly joggles the Earth. You can't miss the Dragnet-like features of Adam-12. Every problem is quirky simple and solutions are usually instantaneous. No long drawn out investigations, days of data checking or witness statements followed by complicated trials.

The day turns darker when a half-blind kid is trapped in a condemned building. Complications arise when the boy is found clinging to a crossbeam high up in the structure. But with the help of a crane, a rescue takes all of about 5 minutes, despite the kid being dumb as a frozen lizard. By now it's lunchtime and the officers fill their time enjoying cellophane-wrapped vending machine sandwiches, followed by a trip to the shoe repair shop to squelch the squeak in Reed's shoes. This proves to be fortunate as they stumble upon a bank robbery in progress. Instead of negotiating with the robbers or storming the bank, Malloy and Reed wait avidly outside the door and arrest the thieves as they depart. Whew--could've been worse--but hearty attitudes can often substitute for general ability.

I always like this series if only for the sunny reason that we want to believe all cops are good, helpful and empathetic. Today's environment seems to suggest something a bit different.
 

Rustifer

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Episode Commentary
Dennis the Menace
"Dennis and the Picnic" (S2E38)

It almost goes without saying that I've never been a fan of this series. Hank Ketcham's comic strip is actually amusing but its clever whimsicality failed to transfer to the TV version. For the sake of any of this show's fans, I will heed Jeff's admonition that I sometimes hammer stuff I find silly a little too hard. So I'll try to blanket this commentary with a thin veneer of velvet--I say I'll try, but I make no promises. These commentaries can take on a mind of their own and often seem like reigning in a Rhino on speed. But let's face it--Jay North's sticky, saccharine sweetness pretty much cancels out the "menace" portion of Dennis' existence.

The Mitchells and the Wilsons are preparing to go on a picnic but it quickly gets interrupted when Henry (Herbert Anderson) finds a package in his ditch containing $17,000. Converting to today's dollars, that comes out to around $8 billion. Dennis is disappointed in that he hoped the package contained something more exotic, like a bomb. What little boy wouldn't be thrilled to see his parents blown to bits before his eyes? Henry and George (Joseph Kearns) decide to take the money to the police after figuring that it's leftover swag from bank robbers. The two of them are as honest as a Sunday in April.

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"I'll show you mine if you show me yours"; Dennis finds a condom stuck to his shoe; George deals with incontinence

Dennis, who sometimes displays the mental capacity of an artichoke, calls the local newspaper to report the "stolen" money in hopes of impressing his friends. Meanwhile, down at the police station, George and Henry are beset by the press and become front page news. The neighborhood is practically agog at the newly-minted celebrities in their midst. The party atmosphere takes a dim turn when a couple of hard-boiled detectives show up and explain that the money is actually counterfeit. Dennis drops a dime on George by revealing the old man has a printing press in his basement. Before George can load his Depends, the detectives assure him that they know who and where the counterfeiters are. Why they're wasting time with George and Henry is anyone's guess.

The neighborhood party resumes and Dennis is surrounded by admiring friends. Everyone's happy save for Henry, who's trying to get some office work done. Wife Alice (Gloria Henry) is dashed that Henry will be late to bed as her recent Victoria's Secret purchase of a peek-a-boo teddy and lickable lotions will go unappreciated. But Poor Henry is in peril of losing a prospective client to a competitor. Not so Dennis, who's raking it in by selling his autograph to anyone who asks. The "picnic" aspect of this episode is left hanging in midair, never to be mentioned again.

As far as I can tell, the moral here is if you find a pile of counterfeit cash, try to spend it. Ya gotta make money somehow.
 

MatthewA

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Title screen on first show:

View attachment 76460
You can really see how the MPEG-2 compression exacerbates the flaws of analog tape. I took that picture and ran it through a process called Waifu2x, which was intended for Japanese animation (hence the name), to show what you might expect from an HD upconversion (assuming the rights holders were willing to pay for a good one).

katealliefirstepisodetitle_waifu2x.jpg
 

Flashgear

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Don't know what set you have but on mine (and on every episode list I've seen) the season premiere is "The Hatbox" (10/10/61) and "Bang! You're Dead" was the second episode broadcast (10/17/61), only the second season to not start with a Hitchcock-directed episode (the third season showed a Hitchcock-directed episode as the third broadcast).
My set is the Fabulous Films R2 DVD season 7 AHP set. The mistake is mine, assuming of the top of my head that the Hitchcock directed episode was the premiere as with most previous seasons. I did post a picture of my set that you must have missed. I'd welcome your reviews and critical appreciation of Hitchcock on television as a fellow fan of AHP/AHH. Thanks.


Alfred Hitchcock Hour season 2, Nothing Ever Happens in Linvale (Nov. 8, 1963), Special Guest Star Fess Parker, with Gary Merrill, Phyllis Thaxter and George Furth...directed by Herschel Daugherty, teleplay by William Link and Richard Levinson, adapted from Robert Twohy's short story "Out of this Nettle" in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine January 1962...music composed and conducted by the Great Bernard Herrmann, who's long time collaborations with Hitchcock are legendary, as with the immortal music for Rear Window, Vertigo, North by Northwest, Psycho, etc...my screen caps from the R2 Fabulous Films DVD sets...

Harry Jarvis (Garry Merrill) has been acting very strange lately...booking off work, lounging in his lawn chair drinking beer all day, and then staying up all night digging in his back yard...all to the disgust and irritation of his nosey next door neighbor Mrs. Logan (Phyllis Thaxter), who has been watching him from her upper floor bedroom window...Mrs. Logan has also noticed that Harry's once ubiquitous wife is nowhere to be seen these last several days...Mrs. Logan decides to act on her suspicions, calling the police to investigate Harry, despite the local folklore insisting that in this peaceful town, "Nothing ever happens in Linvale"...Sheriff Ben Wister (Fess Parker) and his deputy (George Furth) respond to her call...Sheriff Wister and deputy effect the manner reminiscent of small town lawmen familiar to us from the Andy Griffith Show...just as adorable, but more importantly, not to be underestimated and just as formidable as Sheriff Andy in the end...

Hitchcock's intro: (pounding nails) "Good evening. Sorry to keep you waiting, but I had to make my bed...our story does not concern a bed like this, but it does take place in a sleepy little town. Apparently, nothing much ever happens in Linvale. But I have the uneasy feeling that if we watch closely, something will...in case you're doing the driving, Linvale lies just on the other side of this one-minute billboard"
Alfred Hitchcock Hour 32.JPG

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Sheriff Wister finds Mrs. Logan to be high strung and irritable, and upon observing Harry Jarvis from her window, does indeed see him digging laboriously in the dark...just as Mrs. Logan glances again through the window, a grim looking Jarvis locks eyes with her, startling her and instilling a fear for her own life...
Alfred Hitchcock Hour 37.JPG

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Until Sheriff Wister can make discreet inquiries about the whereabouts of the allegedly missing Mrs. Jarvis, he has nothing to go on at this point...a fearful Mrs. Logan is left with her lively imagination for the time being...and perhaps she has reason to fear for her own life, as an increasingly angry and aggressive Jarvis has taken to intimidating her by pounding on her door...a surprised Sheriff Wister hides behind her door out of view of Jarvis while he berates Mrs. Logan for her busybody nosiness...Jarvis tells her that his wife, who admittedly has recently separated from him, is on vacation, and that the hole he has dug is for their recently deceased pet dog...he finally leaves after telling her to mind her own business...but not before he heightens the Sheriff's own, now well founded, suspicions...
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Having discovered that the missing Mrs. Jarvis is indeed unaccounted for, Sheriff Wister returns the next night to once again see Jarvis digging in the dark, apparently filling the hole he had dug...the Sheriff confronts Jarvis in his back yard with his own digging crew, determined to discover just what, or who, lies buried there...
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Sheriff Wister is both surprised and relieved when his helpers do indeed unearth the dog, and not the still missing Mrs. Jarvis...but Wister's back-country wisdom and intuition tells him that things just don't add up with how Jarvis has been behaving...and he's still concerned over Jarvis' threatening intimidation of his neighbor Mrs. Logan...Wister leans on him with a warning to stop threatening his neighbor...who understandably is still suspicious and fearful of him...
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No spoilers, but this episode's story has a memorable plot twist...and even better yet, an unexpected big laugh right at the end of it...one of my favorite Alfred Hitchcock Hours, and highly ranked by fans of this great series...it's an absolute delight to me, featuring good ol' Davy Crockett, Fess Parker himself... just months before he filmed the pilot for his long running (6 seasons) TV series Daniel Boone...love it!

Hitchcock's denouement: "I think our story is further evidence to support my belief that in cases like this, there is nothing quite as good as burial at sea. It is simple, tidy and not very incriminating. One word of warning however: if you take your wife on a sea voyage, buy her a round-trip ticket, no matter what your plans may be. Next week I shall return with another story, (sighs) some more commercials and more friendly tips for happy husbands. Until then, good night."
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Jeff Flugel

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I will heed Jeff's admonition that I sometimes hammer stuff I find silly a little too hard. So I'll try to blanket this commentary with a thin veneer of velvet--I say I'll try, but I make no promises. These commentaries can take on a mind of their own and often seem like reigning in a Rhino on speed. But let's face it--Jay North's sticky, saccharine sweetness pretty much cancels out the "menace" portion of Dennis' existence.
Oh, never an admonishment, Russ! Strictly an observation only. And you know, some shows are just crying out for the full-on Rustifer treatment...please feel free to kick Dennis the Menace down the street any old time you like. ;)

Enjoyed the reviews, as always!
 

Jeff Flugel

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Alfred Hitchcock Hour season 2, Nothing Ever Happens in Linvale (Nov. 8, 1963), Special Guest Star Fess Parker, with Gary Merrill, Phyllis Thaxter and George Furth...directed by Herschel Daugherty, teleplay by William Link and Richard Levinson, adapted from Robert Twohy's short story "Out of this Nettle" in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine January 1962...music composed and conducted by the Great Bernard Herrmann, who's long time collaborations with Hitchcock are legendary, as with the immortal music for Rear Window, Vertigo, North by Northwest, Psycho, etc...my screen caps from the R2 Fabulous Films DVD sets...

Harry Jarvis (Garry Merrill) has been acting very strange lately...booking off work, lounging in his lawn chair drinking beer all day, and then staying up all night digging in his back yard...all to the disgust and irritation of his nosey next door neighbor Mrs. Logan (Phyllis Thaxter), who has been watching him from her upper floor bedroom window...Mrs. Logan has also noticed that Harry's once ubiquitous wife is nowhere to be seen these last several days...Mrs. Logan decides to act on her suspicions, calling the police to investigate Harry, despite the local folklore insisting that in this peaceful town, "Nothing ever happens in Linvale"...Sheriff Ben Wister (Fess Parker) and his deputy (George Furth) respond to her call...Sheriff Wister and deputy effect the manner reminiscent of small town lawmen familiar to us from the Andy Griffith Show...just as adorable, but more importantly, not to be underestimated and just as formidable as Sheriff Andy in the end...
Fabulous stuff, Randall! I had no idea that Fess Parker ever starred in an Alfred Hitchcock Hour episode! Looks like quite a fun, blackly comic tale, too. Don't have any of those crisp-looking UK DVD sets like you, but luckily enough, this episode is available on Daily Motion in good quality...will be checking it out in more detail later.

 
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Rustifer

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I'd welcome your reviews and critical appreciation of Hitchcock on television as a fellow fan of AHP/AHH. Thanks.
I don't know why, but I continually skip over AHP whenever it appears on MeTV. However, your review rekindles my interest in the series.
As a kid, I don't think my parents let me watch the show for fear some of its underlying themes would turn my soul into a morass of godless goo. Even more reason to now catch up on it.
 

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