going for a swim in a New York dumpster. But the highlight for me was the song Paul Shaffer and the band played right after "The Top 10 Things Overheard on
's First Night in Prison." They briefly played and sang, "What's a Nice Kid Like You Doing in a Place Like This?" from the 1966 Hanna-Barbera
TV special. Cool!
YOURS, MINE AND THE BEAVER'S
Posted on Jul 24 2010 by Greg
They were on sale at Big Lots, so we got DVDs of two remakes.
One was the newer version of Yours, Mine and Ours
that recast Lucille Ball
and Henry Fonda
with Rene Russo
and Dennis Quaid
. Ironically, even though the 1968 version starred two iconic legends, the remake seemed more farfetched and broad.
Dennis Quaid played a higher ranking officer who still had plenty of time for his kids and Rene Russo appeared as a quintessential successful businesswoman who also balanced a lot of time bonding with her kids and a talking stick -- and looked fantabulous.
In the original, Henry Fonda played a career military man who had little time for his family until his wife's death forced him to get to know his somewhat resentful children and Lucille Ball played a military nurse. So much for the "phoney, fakey Hollywood" of yesterday as opposed to the "more relatable, honest Hollywood" of today.
That said, even though it did not compare favorably overall to the original, the new Yours Mine and Ours
The 1997 remake of Leave it to Beaver, now largely forgotten while the original series lives on, was just okay. Clearly produced under conflicting circumstances, there was a lot of valiant effort to reproduce the wit of the series. Everyone tried hard, but it felt that, behind the scenes of the film, there was a "classic" camp and a "contemporary' camp at work, very much at odds with each other.
The film went for a retro look, right down to the title in cement, Wally and Beaver walking home over the end credits, vintage cars and June Cleaver's dresses (which were kind of a caricature here), while there was lots of language that you just wouldn't hear in the Cleaver household. It's as if it was forced in, and maybe it was. There was a talented cast, but just not making the magic -- and how can you -- of the marvelous original.
It sure is hard to capture lightning in a bottle -- again and again.
LEAVE IT TO STU'S SHOW!
Posted on Jul 17 2010 by Greg
The big news this year isn't the "latest thing" in Hollywood, it's one of the greatest things in classic TV: Leave it to Beaver
The long awaited for complete series is finally on DVD. Only two seasons had been released for many years, but now Shout! Factory is issuing Season Three through Six individually, with One and Two to follow, as well as the new complete series deluxe boxed set.The Complete Series
box contains an bonus disc with the unaired pilot (which did not feature Tony Dow
or Hugh Beaumont
and included a young Harry Shearer
), a public service film, promos, a vintage board game and two new documentaries: one feature length that focuses on the principals and the show's history and another at featurette length about the supporting cast, particularly Eddie and Lumpy.
The feature video is documentary-style, fairly straightforward and benefits greatly from the presence of Barbara Billingsley
, Jerry Mathers
and Tony Dow, the latter two being involved behind the scenes as well (Mathers' brother Jimmy
The second video, produced and directed by Shostak, takes a more whimsical approach. What fan of "Leave it to Beaver" wouldn't want to see Ken "Eddie" Osmond
and Frank "Lumpy" Bank
give each other "the business?" If they just talked "straight" through, it would not have been as true to the two characters and the actors who, as evidenced on the "Stu's Show" interviews included on the individual discs.
The clips in this segment are exactly the best clips to showcase Eddie and Lumpy. To someone who loves the show, like I do, as soon as each clip came on I laughed, "Oh! I love that episode!" It struck just the right chords.
[Perhaps no other single broadcast has been able to contribute more material to a classic TV series DVD collection than Stu's Show on shokus internet radio. You can also hear Alan Young
and Connie Hines
, the latter in her last interview in the bonus features of Mister Ed
(Young on Season One; Young and Hines on Season Two).]
"Leave it to Beaver" is a landmark show in pop culture history, not because it broke new ground or was particularly innovative, but because it honed in on the life of kids, their relationships with adults and the odd moments of life that still and will always resound, regardless of changing styles and technical inroads.
If you remember it, revisit it afresh. If you have kids, by all means make it part of their lives too. If you don't have kids, it will strike a chord with the kid inside. There's something special about it.
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