Wyatt Earp and why best of sometimes is the right way to go

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Michael Alden, Sep 10, 2005.

  1. Michael Alden

    Michael Alden Supporting Actor

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    Some series just have too many episodes and too few fans that a nice best of package is really the only way to go. Unlike a show like Have Gun Will Travel which has a similar number of episodes and seasons, Wyatt Earp hasn't had nearly as much exposure over the last couple of decades (and frankly isn't as good a series) to warrant season releases. If they had gone that route it would have been another one and done I'm afraid. So, considering the alternative, I would rather get this than a first season with no more to come. When dealing with 200+ episode shows that have not seen a lot of airing, this may be the best we can hope for.
     
  2. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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  3. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Screenwriter

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    Michael, TV Land did a short-lived revival of sorts with "Wyatt Earp" earlier this year on Saturday afternoons. Outside of a single episode that slipped into the public domain and is available on some public domain TV Westerns collections, I had not seen this series in many years. But, I'm guessing that the TV Land exposure was enough to "green light" the DVD.

    Now I have no way of knowing if these are going to be unedited or syndication episodes but, that issue aside for the moment, this release from Rhino looks like it could be a model for those vintage television shows that will likely never get full season treatments. You put together the best episodes in some sort of logical and meaningful order and sprinkle in some worthwhile bonus features. This is an interesting approach that very well may satisfy fans and, at the same time, lessen the risk for studios who might be skittish about releasing black & white shows or simply full seasons of older shows that may not have as wide an audience as "Have Gun, Will Travel" or the like. The beauty of this type of release is simple. Suppose that sesaon 1 was released and flopped . . . you would never get a chance to have the final season with the "Shootout at the OK Corral" sequence of episodes. At least this way, you're getting the highlights of the series in an orderly flow. And this is certainly a much more substantial release for fans of TV Westerns than the three episode, single disc releases of "Maverick" and "Cheyenne" that Warner's will be releasing on the same day as "Wyatt Earp." By the way, DeepDiscountDVD has this on pre-order for under $21 shipped.
     
  4. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Screenwriter

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    I received my "Wyatt Earp" set yesterday and . . . so far, so good. I've sampled a few episodes on disc 1 (which contains the oldest episodes from the series) and they run between 25 and a half minutes to 26 minutes . . . sounds about right for a series that began broadcasts in 1955, so it appears that full length prints have been used. There are some film specks and visible grain, at times, but not so much that it would detract from the enjoyment of the show. The principal extras include two present-day interviews with star Hugh O'Brian and Mason Dinehart III, who played "Bat Masterson" in the early years of the show, and these are certainly worthwhile for anyone interested in the series. I know that Rhino has had some problems in the past with some of their classic/vintage TV-on-DVD releases, but from what I've seen thus far, I'd give Rhino a "thumbs up" on this release.
     
  5. Michael Alden

    Michael Alden Supporting Actor

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    I got mine a couple of days ago and I started watching them. Have to say I was quite pleased with the look of the shows as well as the overall way everything was done. Uncut shows and seemingly well thought out episode selection. Great job by SFM Entertainment in putting this together for Rhino.
     
  6. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Screenwriter

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    Glad that you're enjoying the "Wyatt Earp" set. I've watched the first three discs plus the extras on disc 4 so far, and am really pleased with this set. It seems to me that other DVD companies that are concerned about releasing vintage black & white shows could learn something from this release . . . solid transfers, thoughtful episode selection, a decent quantity of episodes, and a few meaningful extras in a nicely designed package. If you're going to go the "Best Of" route, this seems to be the way to go.
     
  7. Bert Greene

    Bert Greene Supporting Actor

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    This is indeed a nice set. Just picked it up this week, and have breezed through the first disc. Whereas I'm also someone who might tend to eschew "best of's," this was a good option for WYATT EARP. I've certainly gained a better appreciation of the series thanks to the set. Overall, it was never one of my favorite westerns, due to a somewhat starchy, 'history lesson' type approach which made it seem rather dated, compared to some others. But, I've nonetheless found myself enjoying this set far more than I expected. And, wow, that fifth episode on the set just 'has' to be the earliest I've ever seen Angie Dickinson (circa early 1956). Anyway, Rhino sure deserves some kudos for this very attractive set.
     
  8. Brent Avery

    Brent Avery Supporting Actor

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    I'm a sucker for any half way decent tv series from the '50's and '60's and just happened to come across this dvd release quite by accident. I don't really recall this one from my early days - since I was born in '56. I had to put in a special order as none of the retail outlets here - including one that does normally carry this sort of thing - would stock it. It's a bit of a shame though for Rhino not to have much exposure. I'll be watching some episodes tonight. Along with Wyatt Earp my collection continues to expand the Western on tv with Have Gun Will Travel, Wanted: Dead Or Alive, The Rifleman, Cheyenne, Maverick, and Bonanza (released thru Artisan with original music). Soon there will be Gunsmoke and was there a release scheduled in the near future of The Wild Wild West as well? Seems the only show being released with any regularity is Have Gun Will Travel.

    I do hope Warner Bros. decides to release Cheyenne and Maverick as Season sets, 3 episodes each barely whets one's appetite - it's almost borders on cruelty! There is a definite market for quality shows such as these. In fact, I find myself really looking forward to many others (hopefully) making it to dvd. I have my sights on Time Tunnel, Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea, Leave It To Beaver, and Get Smart in the near future.
     
  9. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Screenwriter

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    Brent, they're on a smaller label, Timeless Media Group, but you can also add the full series runs of Chuck Connors' "Branded" and Walter Brennan's "The Guns of Will Sonnett" to the TV Westerns on DVD list. Speaking of Chuck Connors, MPI has released four box sets of "The Rifleman" and they've also done box sets of "The Cisco Kid" as well. The TV Western fan seems to be getting a little more attention from the DVD companies these days.
     
  10. Mark_Wilson

    Mark_Wilson Screenwriter

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    Where is 'Ponderosa'? Is it Public Domain?
     
  11. Brent Avery

    Brent Avery Supporting Actor

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    Mark - By Ponderosa do you mean Bonanza? If so the only decent version is the Artisan release and so far I think there is only Vol.1 - which just has a handful of episodes from various seasons. It's the only one out there with the original theme music by the way.
     
  12. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Screenwriter

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  13. Johannes S

    Johannes S Stunt Coordinator

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  14. Mark_Wilson

    Mark_Wilson Screenwriter

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    Sorry, I meant Bonanza.

    btw, wasn't there another western TV show similar to Bonanza?
     
  15. Lutz Koch

    Lutz Koch Stunt Coordinator

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    BONANZA ran from 1959 to 1973, so this will definitely not be "all" of it. Nevertheless, thanks for the news, hadn't heard about it. It will be interesting to see if this will be a fully licensed product or just another one of those without the original theme song. (I hate those!)
     
  16. Bob Hug

    Bob Hug Screenwriter

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    In the US, 31 epsisode from 1959 and 1960 are in the public domain and they've been released by multiple companies specializing in public domain material, almost always without the original theme music. If, indeed, six seasons are being released, then it will almost certainly include episodes that have not been on DVD before. Other than one official release by Artisan a few years ago (2 DVDs/8 episodes), all of the US Bonanza releases have been of the public domain variety.
     

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