I AGREE WITH MANY OF THE USER REVIEWS....R I P JERRY VAN DYKE!
I have fond memories of this show at age 6 1/2 to almost 7 1/2. Loved the theme song and I thought Van Dyke was perfect for the role. There are many cute episodes with known character actors of the time. Granted, there were some lame episodes. I did not find thia show any "stupider" than many of the shows of that era of witches, genies, monsters, talking horses, Martians, lame Space shows, etc. Loved the late model, Model T and Ann Sothern was great with her distinct voice. I own the DVD and watch it periodically. It was light and I found many higher rated shows with the poorest of acting. No names mentioned. So I'm good with this show and the fond memories it has brought to me of my childhood in the 60's.
I was 6 1/2 when this show came on and almost 8 1/2 when it went off. I had the opportunity recently on Sell.com to buy a DVD set someone made at home from what it looks like to be VHS recorded directly from TV. Some of the episodes are really clear, some quite grainy but nevertheless so enjoyable. He had 51 of the 58 episodes recorded and charged me a very reasonable price. I have found two other shows that did not make it to DVD as well. I must have only watched this show when it was actually airing as I do not recall any of the episodes, only the characters and other regulars. Probably watched the second season on Saturday night. I don't recall watching TV in the evening during the week. That was homework time.
This show was, by far, my favorite family show with some real-life issues and arguments, flooded basements, parents quarreling, sneaky kids, etc. Patricia Crowley was my dream Mom; pretty, beautiful voice and way more patient and understanding than my own Mom and a little less OCD than my Mom. Dad was great and so were the kids. Not bad acting for young kids all just a little older than me now. BTW, oldest show on TV with the starring cast all still alive and well. Loved all the 60's character actors that guest starred on this show and many other shows. And it took place in Westchester County, NY, not far from North Jersey where I grew up. I am so elated to watch this show now around 50 years later. It really brought me back to my childhood.
Working on Nanny and the Professor (1970-71), 53 episodes that never made it to DVD although it is on in the morning on one of the classic TV stations.
The Temptations lives and story as a group had so many ups and downs, joys and tragedies, achievements and disappointments, it made for such a wonderful movie. I have seen it dozens of times, moved to joy, tears and getting up to sing every time. I want to come to the defense of Otis Williams. When one writes a movie, a play or a book, it is written by someone who sees the events as THEY see it. May not always be factual or how the other members or their families saw the events or the feelings they had towards them. Writers and producers will rearrange some events and perhaps toy with the time lines a bit for dramatic purposes. You can't take any biographical movie and be certain all is totally accurate. I don't think, according to various sources I have read, that the movie was that far from the way it happened. You have to make a movie in a reasonable amount of time otherwise it'll run for hours, as long as this one was. The actors were fabulous and they did such a masterful job dubbing and choreographing the music. If indeed, some events were altered a bit, I believe their achievements were well laid out and the tragic demises close as to how it happened. I am a big Motown fan and R & B fan of the mid 60's, 70's and early 80's. I developed a much larger appreciation for the Temptations with this movie and have loaded their Anthology album on my I-Pod. I thank the producers and Otis Willialms for that. The other members no longer with us are sorely missed. I am a huge fan of all who did lead in many of their hits; Eddie, David and Dennis.
For my money, Fred Savage (Arnold) was by far the best child actor of TV. While there were many great child actors and many who came close, Savage's expressions were the best I ever saw for a kid age 12-17. His signature one-eye brow raise, his mouth and eye movements and his ability to wear his emotions and feelings on his face were nothing short of remarkable. His cute good looks and expressive eyes did a lot to help that as well. The other enjoyable part of this show was how the narrator sounded perfect as a grown up Arnold and when Savage spoke right after the narrator, it seemed to fit so well. Many of the episodes I truly relate to as in the show, Arnold was born in 1956, same year as my older brother. I was born in 1959. The styles, the house, the home furnishings, the cars and the events so paralleled my own suburban life in NJ, not far from NYC.
I am so angry I did not tape this entire series. When the announcement came that the show was to be canceled, I taped the last show and they then repeated 13 episodes. Supposed to have been 12 but they added a week, so I do have 14 of the 26 episodes. Like other comments here, I pull the two and half VHS tapes out of storage, still in good condition even taped on EP, every couple of years and watch them again. I love the actual commercials of the time, played in between the current commercials. As the tapes are getting older, the 1986-87 commercials are also becoming a bit nostalgic. I enjoyed all of the people they were able to interview or obtain footage of recent interviews of those who were there. Many have passed on since then. Loved the editing of this show and the variety of issues covered for a particular time period; International and national news mixed in with a popular song, TV icon, human interest story, inventions, discoveries, sports, records broken, commercials or products. Also, the way they looked back at the period, at the end of the show, for analysis and how it has affected us today. Ray Gandolf and Linda Elerbee did a wonderful announcing job. Can't believe Ray Gandolf was a sports news commentator. He is perfect as a history commentator. Some favorites were from 1968, Viet Nam, LBJ and the fashions and music of the late sixties, 1972 and McGovern, 1963 and MLK's March, 1957 with automobiles and desegregation, 1949, with early television and Levittown to 1952 with politics on television and the creation of Holiday Inn. I am so sorry it was never released on DVD. I would love to watch the entire series. It should have been played on PBS with the likes of Jazz and Baseball.
I watched this show every Saturday night on and off with my babysitter through much of its run. For someone 10-15 years old, it was funny slapstick with eccentric characters. As an adult, recently, I reviewed the DVD's and discussed it with other adults. Oliver was supposed to be the "voice of reason" although he reveals that he can be a bit eccentric himself. Lisa is the ardent consumer. Mr. Haney is the capitalist and Mr. Kimball is the inefficient bureaucrat. You've got Mr. Drucker trying to sell whatever he can get his hands on. The Monroe brothers represent the shady repairmen we deal with everyday who can't fix it right the first time. Others are just simple country folk. The show mimics real life in many ways and the real humor is how Oliver Wendell Douglas deals with the incompetent, inept bureaucrats and society as a whole. Kudos to the cast of supporting characters. I loved Barbara Pepper as Doris Ziffel. Eva Gabor was wonderful as was Eddie Albert, one of the great "straight man' roles of television.
Just purchased and viewed the entire series in one nice package. One of the greatest and funniest shows of its time. Kudos to Norman Lear on yet another groundbreaking show with a cast of supporting characters bar none. Between Lear and Lucille Ball, they both knew how to pick character actors. Season two thru four I thought were the best. Season One did not quite have it going yet and I thought the last two seasons distracted us from the show's regular characters by introducing too many famous stars and going off to places away from "ground zero" which was the South Central junkyard itself. Demond Wilson, however, had his best performances during the later seasons. I had this same complaint about All in the Family as well. The first five seasons were priceless. Both of these shows only needed the main characters in their own home, just sitting around making comments on life and the things around them. That was the humor in of itself. Like any great show, it appeared to be dragged on a season or two too long. Nevertheless, I enjoyed all of it immensely.
Why is race relations considered to be a liberal endeavor?
I have read some of the comments here and find them disturbing. Are these people so full of guilt for the wrong doings of our past generations in America? The fact remains that race relations is not a liberal undertaking. Many of my centrist and conservative friends are very sensitive about these issues. Clearly there were injustices and laws which kept a whole race of people, down and out with low self-esteem and dreams dashed. African-Americans built this nation with their bare hands, died and sweat for no wages or little wages. I am tired of liberals being blamed for declaring what was the truth of the history of this country and those who were unjust and unfair. Conservatives think they can have no rebuttal on their policies. "Want to Annoy a Conservative, Think for Yourself."
I can not express, in words, the quality of this show. It is so real that I, at times, fail to realize these people are in front of a camera. The script is so on key and the character actors, from a few better known to all of the lesser known and unknown, are masterful in their roles. While the 60 episodes over five seasons, seems to be a reasonable length, for a show of this kind, as far as I am concerned, it could have run forever. I had the opportunity of working in Newark, NJ as a teenager in the 70's, in and around "The Pit", a very similar setting of low rise and high rise city housing projects. I met many of the same people in my travels assisting a bread truck driver and got to know some of them personally. Kudos, once again, to HBO on accepting this production and delivering quality TV at its best. They are blowing network TV to shame. All network TV is full of low quality sitcoms and reality shows.
I grew up in the Greater Newark, NJ suburbs. We had a large Greek Orthodox Church called St. Helen and Contantine. My high school was around 3% Greek which was a fairly sizable population as this was a large high school. Some lived in my neighborhood and I had the opportunity to befriend several Greek boys and girls. Those on my street, I got to know the parents as well. One particular family so reminded me of this family. The dialogs on philosophies of life, the names, the styles, and oh, the most wonderful cooking and baking this side of creation. I patronized many of our Greek diners, around the State, and got to know some more families. Wonderfully warm people who made even non-Greeks feel welcome and at home. Certainly a history and a culture to be very proud of. I especially like their cuisine which seems to cross certain Italian foods with a taste of Middle Eastern foods. Their strong family ties and proud heritage reminded me of the many Italians and Jews I grew up with in the area. The many comments made and Toula's description of herself and her family was right on the money. Michael Contantine did a great job of probably imitating his folks only he seemed quite old to have children so young as he is around 75 in this movie. I thought Lanie Kazan was wonderful and looked very Greek as her features from being Spanish and Russian-Jewish combined for that Mediterranean look.
I can't say enough about this low-budget film. It was done so well. Paul Mazursky did a masterful casting job of supporting characters which just enhanced Art Carney's wonderful performance. Make no mistake about Art Carney. Get him out of The Honeymooner's, although a wonderful role indeed, and look into his theatrical work he did over the years. He was a brilliant dramatic actor who had a Vaudevillian way about him with his musical and physical comedy abilities. I consider this one of the best roles ever done by an actor. All of the experiences Harry and Tonto encounter and all of the people they meet on their trek cross country, were priceless. Every character actor he came across was better than the last. From better known actors to lesser known actors, this film was an acting paradise. I could have given Best Supporting Oscars to almost all who were in this film.
This show was indeed a classic. The stage setting and the house inside and out were stunning through all of the interior redesigns. The supporting cast was remarkable. I enjoyed Dick York and Dick Sargeant both and thought they both did a great job. With Dick York, the show seemed like a sixties show. I loved both Mrs. Kravtiz's, but admit, the original Alice Pearce was better. Abner Kravitz, Uncle Arthur, Doctor Bombay, Maurice and Endora really made the show. Without a doubt, Aunt Clara in the first four seasons, was priceless and about the best TV performance ever for a person who was age 81 when it opened. Dick Sargeant kind of moved the show into the seventies. I enjoyed Esmerelda as kind of an Aunt Clara replacement and the show seemed more up to date with a slightly younger, more 70's kind of Dad like Mike Brady was. The editing and technology used for the appearance and disappearance of the witch characters, were done quite well and rarely were any splits that noticeable. Samantha and Darrin played great "straight" actors and Samantha remained as beautiful as ever through three pregnancies and eight seasons.
I am a white male, mid 40's. One of the issues that disturbed me in the film, was that it seems the writer allowed the white characters to somehow redeem themselves, whether outwardly racist or whether they used racial dialog. Even the Persian store owner got his chance. Yet, the movie leaves the African American characters without redemption; Don Cheadle, Terrence Howard, Ludicrous.....
Just a thought. What do others think? This came up in discussion of the film several times with others. I previewed the movie at the Newark Black Film Festival and many others in discussion agreed with this statement.
What a wonderful, heart-warming movie. Great cast, great story. I love how Aunt Mary fought for the little people of all creeds and colors. Kids who think they don't count. Jean Stapleton give us her usual grand performance with many well-known supporting actors, like Dolph Sweet and Martin Balsam. One of the best TV films I have ever seen and I can not understand why Hallmark did not put it out on VHS/DVD.
I taped the movie twice but messed it up on my VCR. I have some of the unedited version and most of the edited version. It was never put on VHS/DVD. I rarely see it on TV anymore. Does anyone have a copy I could buy from them?? THANKS!
Don Cheadle is one of the finest actors of our time...period! He has played a variety of roles any actor would be proud of. From light comedy in The Golden Palace and recurring TV drama roles to great films such as A Lesson Before Dying, Hotel Rawanda and Crash. While some of his roles were strictly race oriented, such as these aforementioned films, he has played roles that a person with any racial or ethnic background could have played. Don Cheadle's masterful performances in all of his roles makes him a great actor and there is no denying this. Yes, of course, I see him as an African American, but most of his roles cross the racial divide. This again shows you the magnitude of his talent. I also find that many actors when playing very dramatic roles as in the three movies I mentioned, tend to be OVER-dramatic. Cheadle controls this beautifully and his emotions are strong, yet remain in check. Another attribute is the fact that he looks like the "guy next door." Not overly good looking with a chiseled face, but a nice, sincere, deep common man look that allows him to play so many roles. He is built beautifully as he shows his bare rear end in this film and also has been seen topless in some films and TV. I have seen almost all of his work and can not tell you how highly I think of his performances. He has got to be one of the best actors I have ever seen and rave about him constantly. He has never disappointed me. My only disappointment was that they didn't give co-Acadamy Awards for Best Actor to Fox for Ray and Cheadle for Hotel Rawanda. I am sure Cheadle will see that award someday very soon....
I Actually LIKED THE LATER, California EPISODES BETTER
I tend to disagree with many of the previous comments about how the show was not the same without Vivian Vance. I was just given a four CD box set of 28 episodes, some black and whites taking place in Connecticut, but most were the color ones taking place in California.
I found the early episodes unappealing, in many ways, especially coming off of I Love Lucy. Bear in mind, I was born in 1959, so I viewed all of the black and white Lucy's in re-runs. I did not like the setting in Danfield, CT. Lucy did not seem to fit in there well, the children did nothing for me and as far as Vivian Vance, I had already seen their best antics on I Love Lucy. I Love Lucy is a show that only comes about once in a lifetime and they were so good, I did not think this aging team, now getting into their 50's, were as good and many were just repeats. I just watched the Shower Installation episode, which is considered one of the funniest, and again, I didn't think it was that funny. I saw this comedy routine on Abbott and Costello and the Three Stooges. I did like the day they both went to a farm and William Frawley was there and Vance said to Lucy, "hey this guy looks familiar, doesn't he?" They did continue to get great guest stars and that was a saving grace. I may not be the best critic, because I rarely saw the black and white episodes in re-runs.
What I did get to see live and then in the early 70's in re-runs, were the color shows from 1965-68, when Lucy relocates to California. Here, the kids and Vance were gone and Lucy got to do her own antics and since she was so enormously funny and talented, I liked watching her solo with either famous actors and comedians or with some of the supporting cast from earlier Lucy's like Mary Jane Croft and Mary Wickes, to name a few. Gale Gordon was splendid as the straight man to Lucy's foils and the way he yelled MRS. CARMICHAEL!!! The show was sunny and colorful and the apartment stage set seem to fit her now 60's style much better as does Southern California. Yes, there were some marginal episodes, but many great ones as well. My favorite being Mary Wickes as Aunt Agatha. Bear in mind that the last two years of this show, 1967-68, it was number two in the ratings, higher than any of the ratings when it took place in Connecticut.
All in all the show had many funny moments and again, I liked seeing Lucy solo. When Here's Lucy came along in the fall of 1968, with Vance, Lucy Arnaz and Desi Jr. as well as Gale Gordon, the show was better and funnier with many good episodes both on CBS and NBC. All of her shows lasted six seasons, the norm for a good comedy.
I cherish all of the work she did throughout her 23 consecutive years on television. She and all of her cast will always be missed forever.....
I have seen this movie several times. HBO has been doing so many good movies, particularly movies on segregation and bigotry in African American history. They also have done wonderful biographical films.
This film is no exception. Much better than any movie I went to see in the theater this year. Mos Def gives such a compelling and moving performance. A most talented individual in many ways. I would like to see more of him. Alan Rickman and Mary Stuart Masterson also give performances of a lifetime and the supporting cast was great.
I listened on the DVD to the producer, screenplay writer and director's comments and indeed this movie is a perfect ten.
I was moved to tears of joy as well as deep sadness every time I have seen this film. It is such a heart-warming story and for one who has a family filled with heart by-pass operations, this film seems very relevant. I find myself so angered at the racial injustices that existed then and, sadly, still exist today in a less exposed way.
That said, beautifully edited, costumes and set designs were quite accurate, not too dragged out, although if it were three hours long, I would have been glued to my TV the whole time for sure. A wonderful story for all audiences.
Kudos to HBO for such an entertaining film at a time where all I see is sex, violence and profanity. Who says films can't be great without all of that stuff. Goes to show you how a well cast movie with a good story can be great and that it was. Definitely on my top 25 films of all time. I just ordered more HBO movies on DVD to have in my collection.
This movie is so brilliant, it is almost sad that Fields did not make more movies than he did. As 1940 approached, he actually was doing his best work but was in deteriorating health through his death in 1946. This movie was all written and done under Field's supervision and a masterpiece it is.
The all time funniest scene in movie history, in my opinion, was when he gets the bank examiner, J. Pinkerton Snoopington drunk and sick and brings him back to the hotel he was staying at. When he allegedly falls out the window and Field's comes running down the stairs to retrieve him was so brilliantly executed, it's amazing. He moves the camera to the far side of the lobby which allows you to get the full view of him running down the stairs. While the content of this humor may seem ordinary, it was filmed and executed brilliantly and is forever etched in my mind as the single most funny scene I can think of in movie history.