One of TV's all-time greatest anthologies in the biggest DVD set ever... @ 22 February 2013 05:01 PM
Loretta Young was one of Hollywood's biggest stars and one of the first to transition to television. Her much-imitated (and parodied) trademark was to come sweeping through a door in a designer outfit. But there was much more to the show that a grand entrance.

Young was to early dramatic TV what Lucille Ball was to comedy. She and her husband, Tom Lewis, partnered in this "Lewislor Productions," much as Lucy and Desi Arnaz did with Desilu. Ironically, The Loretta Young Show was filmed, at least in the early stages, at "D-P-I," which was Desilu, with many of the same crew members as I Love Lucy. Like the Arnazes, both the business and personal partnerships did not end happily, with the respective actresses, both strong, skilled and assertive, took over the reins of their shows.

Anthology shows were common in early television, but most were live, not filmed. The Loretta Young Show was filmed on a fairly tight budget, relative to its ambitious attempt to use different characters in different setting every week. While many of the episodes are dramatic, some are light romances, some family stories and a few are out-and-out comedies. There are even some creepy ones, like The Mirror, co-starring the voice of Cruella DeVille, Betty Lou Gerson.

Each episode (a few are two-parters) is like a little movies, making up for their limits in scope with vivid characters studies and the indomitable presence of Ms. Young, who seldom played a submissive woman, whether in the role of a mother, executive, sheriff's wife, performer or political activist. Even when the story called for a woman in a position of being dominated (such as "The Bronte Story," in which she was oppressed by an unmoving father), it's seldom a permanent situation. For this series, Young won a Best Actress Emmy award three times.

One of the reasons Young chose the anthology form was to be able to play more than just the saintly characters she played in the movies. Her characters run the gamut of psychologically disturbed to bitter and insolent. By and large, though, she plays lots of good, hearty people, including a hospital nun named Sister Ann in several shows (based on a real-life friend) and a Swedish farm lady reminiscent of her Oscar-winning character in The Farmer's Daughter.

For baby boomers, film fans and TV enthusiasts, The Loretta Young Show is a treasure trove of familiar, beloved character actors (Jeanette Nolan, Kathleen Freeman, William Frawley, and iconic performers who were either well-known at the time (Hugh O'Brien, Jock Mahoney, Eddie Albert, George Nader, Beverly Washburn) or became so when they got their own series a few years later:  Hugh Beaumont and Eric Osmond (Leave it to Beaver), Alan Hale, Jr. and Natalie Schaefer (Gilligan's Island), Craig Stevens (Peter Gunn), Sandra Gould (Bewitched), Shelley Fabares (The Donna Reed Show), Frances Bavier (Tbe Andy Griffith Show) and many, many more -- playing roles sometimes very unlike the ones that they later became identified. Even Sally Field's actress mother, Margaret Field, appears in at least one episode.



The series ran from 1953 to 1961, producing 257 half-hour episodes. This new collection,
100th Birthday Edition: The Best of the Complete Series, is the most comprehensive collection ever released, with a total of 144 episodes on 17 discs. Some were omitted because Young fell seriously ill and several superstar Hollywood star friends stepped in to host the show -- but they didn't enter through "the door." Perhaps someday it will be economically feasible to include those shows in a future set, if they exist in good enough condition.

The estate tracked down as many classic episodes as possible in the best condition available (a few have short bouts of missing audio). Many episodes appear for the first time on this collection, including The Accused, which was entered into the Congressional Record.

Loretta Young had a complicated personal life but sincerely held to strong beliefs. The shows definitely convey positive messages and are largely family-friendly. Young once even lost a sponsor because it didn't want to advertise on her extra-length, extra-budget episode, The Road, about an agnostic woman with cancer who visits Lourdes. The sponsor balked, Young wouldn't back down and the episode was produced and aired with other sponsors.

The new collection contains all the episodes of previous DVD releases, without just a few of the bonus features, but you still get lots of rare home movie footage, interviews and more.

What you don't get is a booklet with a complete episode guide -- and the episodes are not all in consecutive order. The 17 discs are packed in two plastic cases in a slipcase. Here is the entire list of shows as they appear on the set:

BOX 1: THE BEST OF SEASONS ONE-FOUR
DISC ONE

 SEASON 1

1. Trial Run (Season 1, Episode 1, September 20, 1953)

2. A Family Out of Us (Season 1, Episode 21, February 7, 1954)

3. Prisoner at One O'Clock (Season 1, Episode 3, October 4, 1953)

4. Girl on a Flagpole (Season 1, Episode 4, October 11, 1953)

5. The Turn of the Card (Season 1, Episode 5, October 18, 1953)

6. Earthquake (Season 1, Episode 6, October 25, 1953)

7. The One That Got Away (Season 1, Episode 7, November 1, 1953)

8. Kid Stuff (Season 1, Episode 8, November 8, 1953)

9. The Bronte Story (Season 1, Episode 9, November 15, 1953)

10. Laughing Boy (Season 1, Episode 12, December 6, 1953

DISC TWO

1. Love Story (Season 1, Episode 12, November 29, 1953)

2. Thanksgiving in Beaver Run (Season 1, Episode 10, November 21, 1953)

3. The Faith of Chata (Season 1, Episode 13, December 13, 1953)

4. The Night My Father Came Home (Season 1, Episode 14, December 20, 1953)

5. Hotel Irritant (Season 1, Episode 15, December 29, 1953)

6. Inga #1 (Season 1, Episode 16, January 3, 1954)

7. Lady Killer (Season 1, Episode 17, January 10, 1954)

8. Secret Answer (Season 1, Episode 18, January 17, 1954)

9. "The Mirror" (Season 1, Episode 2, September 27, 1953) 

10. The Hollywood Story (Season 1, Episode 20, January 31, 1954)

DISC THREE

1. Act of Faith (Season 1, Episode 22, February 14, 1954)

2. Big Little Lie (Season 1, Episode 19, January 24, 1954)

3. The New York Story (Season 1, Episode 23, February 28, 1954)

4. Man's Estate (Season 1, Episode 29, April 11, 1954)

5. Nobody's Boy (Season 1, Episode 24, March 7, 1954)

6. The Count of Ten (Season 1, Episode 25, March 14, 1954)

7. The Clara Schumann Story (Season 1, Episode 26, March 21, 1954)

8. Son, This is Your Father (Season 1, Episode 27, March 28, 1954

9. First Man to Ask Her (Season 1, Episode 28, April 4, 1954)

10. Forest Ranger (Season 1, Episode 30, April 18, 1954)

DISC FOUR

SEASON 2

  1. Dr. Juliet (Season 2, Episode 2, August 29, 1954)
  1. Double Trouble (Season 2, Episode 3, September 12, 1954)
  1. The Lamp (Season 2, Episode 4, September 19, 1954)
  1. You're Driving Me Crazy (Season 2, Episode 5, September 26, 1954)
  1. Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (Season 2, Episode 6, October 3, 1954)
  1. On Your Honor, Your Honor (Season 2, Episode 8, October 17, 1954)
  1. The Girl Scout Story (Season 2, Episode 9, October 31, 1954)
  1. No Help Wanted (Season 2, Episode 10, November 7, 1954)
  1. Something About Love (Season 2, Episode 12, November 21, 1954) 
  1. Our Sacred Honor (Season 2, Episode 13, November 28, 1954)

DISC FIVE

  1. Feeling No Pain (Season 2, Episode 33, April 17, 1955)
  1. Three Minutes Too Late (Season 2, Episode 17, December 26, 1954)
  1. Evil for Evil (Season 2, Episode 15, December 12, 1954)
  1. The Girl Who Knew (Season 2, Episode 18, January 2, 1955)
  1. The Flood (Season 2, Episode 19, January 9, 1955)
  1. The Refinement of 'Ab' (Season 2, Episode 21, January 23, 1955) 
  1. Decision (Season 2, Episode 20, January 16, 1955)
  1. 600 Seconds (Season 2, Episode 22, January 30, 1955)
  1. The Case of Mrs. Bannister (Season 2, Episode 23, February 6, 1955)
  1. Dickie (Season 2, Episode 24, February 13, 1955)

DISC SIX

  1. Option On a Wife (Season 2, Episode 25, February 20, 1955)
  1. Tale of the Cayuse (Season 2, Episode 26, February 27, 1955)
  1. Case Book (Season 2, Episode 27, March 6, 1955) 
  1. Inga #2 (Season 2, Episode 29, March 20, 1955)
  1. Dateline Korea (Season 2, Episode 28, March 13, 1955) 
  1. Mink Coat (Season 2, Episode 30, March 27, 1955)
  1. Let Columbus Discover You (Season 2, Episode 31, April 3, 1955)
  1. He Always Comes Home (Season 2, Episode 32, April 10, 1955) 
  1. The Little Teacher (Season 2, Episode 34, April 24, 1955)
  1. I Remember the Rani (Season 2, Episode 35, May 5, 1955)

DISC SEVEN

SEASON 3

  1. Christmas Stopover (Season 3, Episode 17, December 25, 1955)
  1. Inga #3 (Season 3, Episode 17, January 19, 1956)
  1. The Secret (Season 3, Episode 22, January 29, 1956)
  1. The Pearl (Season 3, Episode 23, February 12, 1956)
  1. Gesundheit (Season 3, Episode 25, February 26, 1956)
  1. His Inheritance (Season 3, Episode 27, March 18, 1956)
  1. But for God's Grace (Season 3, Episode 29, April 1, 1956)

SEASON 4

  1. Double Partners (Season 4, Episode 1, August 26, 1956)
  1. The Question (Season 4, Episode 2, September 2, 1956)
  1. Little League (Season 4, Episode 4, September 16, 1956)

DISC EIGHT

  1. Now a Brief Word (Season 4, Episode 6, September 2, 1956)
  1. The Years Between (Season 4, Episode 7, October 7, 1956)
  1. Goodbye, Goodbye (Season 4, Episode 9, October 21, 1956)
  1. The Great Divide (Season 4, Episode 10, October 28, 1956)
  1. The End of the Week (Season 4, Episode 12, November 11, 1956)
  1. Inga #4 (Season 4, Episode 13, November 18, 1956)
  1. Somebody Else's Dream (Season 4, Episode 15, December 9, 1956)
  1. Three and Two, Please (Season 4, Episode 15, December 16, 1956)
  1. Imperfect Balance (Season 4, Episode 17, December 30, 1956)
  1. Queen Nefertiti (Season 4, Episode 18, January 6, 1957)

DISC NINE 

  1. My Favorite Monster (Season 4, Episode 19, January 13, 1957)
  1. Miss Ashley's Demon (Season 4, Episode 20, January 27, 1957)
  1. Tension (Season 4, Episode 22, February 17, 1957)
  1. Wedding Day (Season 4, Episode 21, February 3, 1957)
  1. The Room Next Door (Season 4, Episode 26, March 31, 1957)
  1. So Bright a Light (Season 4, Episode 27, April 7, 1957)
  1. The Legacy Light (Season 4, Episode 29, April 21, 1957)
  1. The Countess Light (Season 4, Episode 31, May 5, 1957)
  1. A Mind of Their Own (Season 4, Episode 32, May 12, 1957)
  1. Royal Parners, Part 1 (Season 4, Episode 33, May 19, 1957)
  1. Royal Partners, Part 2 (Season 4, Episode 34, May 26, 1957)

Box 2: THE BEST OF SEASONS FIVE-EIGHT

DISC ONE
 

SEASON 5

  1. A Dollar's Worth (Season 4, Episode 1, October 7, 1957)
  1. Innocent Conspiracy (Season 4, Episode 3, November 3, 1957)
  1. The Little Witness (Season 4, Episode 5, November 24, 1957)
  1. Friends at a Distance (Season 4, Episode 7, December 8, 1957)
  1. The Demon and Mrs. Devon (Season 4, Episode 8, December 15, 1957)
  1. The Accused (Season 6, Episode 29, April 26, 1959) **FROM SEASON SIX
  1. Dear Mr. Milkman (Season 5, Episode 29, February 9, 1958)

DISC TWO

  1. A Greater Strength (Season 5, Episode 17, February 23, 1958)
  1. The Oriental Mind (Season 5, Episode 19, March 9, 1958)
  1. Time of Decision (Season 5, Episode 21, March 23, 1958)
  1. To Open a Door (Season 5, Episode 23, April 6, 1958)
  1. Dangerous Verdict (Season 5, Episode 25, April 20, 1958)
  1. South American Uncle (Season 5, Episode 27, May 4, 1958)
  1. A Strange Adventure (Season 5, Episode 28, May 11, 1958)

DISC THREE

  1. A Day of Rest (Season 5, Episode 29, May 18, 1958)

SEASON 6

  1. The Near Unknown (Season 6, Episode 2, October 12, 1958)
  1. A Visit to San Paulo (Season 6, Episode 4, October 26, 1958)
  1. The 20 Cent Tip (Season 6, Episode 6, November 9, 1958)
  1. In the Good Old Summertime (Season 6, Episode 3, October 19, 1958)
  1. The Woman Between (Season 6, Episode 8, November 23, 1958)
  1. Black Lace Valentine (Season 6, Episode 19, February 8, 1959)

DISC FOUR

  1. The Happy Widow (Season 6, Episode 10, December 7, 1958) 
  1. Sister Ann (Season 6, Episode 15, January 11, 1959) 
  1. Incident in India (Season 6, Episode 17, January 25, 1959)
  1. The Portrait (Season 6, Episode 21, February 22, 1959)
  1. Mr. Wilson's Wife #1 (Season 6, Episode 26, April 5, 1959)
  1. The Prettiest Girl in Town (Season 6, Episode 23, March 8, 1959) 
  1. The Tenderizer (Season 6, Episode 24, March 21, 1959)

DISC FIVE

  1. Mr. Wilson's Wife #2 (Season 6, Episode 27, April 12, 1959)

SEASON 7

  1. The Road (Season 7, Episode 1, September 20, 1959)
  1. One Beautful Moment (Season 7, Episode 2, September 27, 1959)
  1. Mask of Evidence (Season 7, Episode 4, October 11, 1959)
  1. A New Step (Season 7, Episode 7, November 8, 1959)
  1. Lady in a Fish Bowl (Season 7, Episode 9, November 22, 1959)
  1. Alien Love (Season 7, Episode 12, December 13, 1959)

DISC SIX

  1. Little Monster, Tell Tales (Little Miss Tell Tales) (Season 7, Episode 15, January 10, 1960)
  1. Mrs. Minton (Season 7, Episode 17, January 24, 1960) 
  1. Second Spring (Season 7, Episode 20, February 21, 1960)
  1. The Trouble with Laury's Men (Season 7, Episode 22, March 13, 1960)
  1. Faith, Hope and Mr. Flaherty (Season 7, Episode 27, May 8, 1960)
  1. The Eternal Now, Part 1 (Season 7, Episode 28, May 15, 1960)
  1. The Eternal Now, Part 2 (Season 7, Episode 29, May 22, 1960)

SEASON 8 

DISC SEVEN

  1. Long Night (Season 8, Episode 1, September 18, 1960)
  1. Fair Exchange (Season 8, Episode 3, October 2, 1960)
  1. Love Between the Acts (Season 8, Episode 6, October 23, 1960)
  1. The Seducer (Season 8, Episode 8, November 6, 1960)
  1. Conditional Surrender (Season 8, Episode 10, November 20, 1960)
  1. These Few Years (Season 8, Episode 12, November 11, 1960)

Bonus Features: "In her Own Words," Movie Trailers

DISC EIGHT

  1. Quiet Desperation (Season 8, Episode 17, February 5, 1961)
  1. Subtle Danger (Season 8, Episode 17, February 5, 1961)
  1. Doesn't Everybody? (Season 8, Episode 15, January 15, 1961)
  1. Emergency in 114 (Season 8, Episode 26, April 23, 1961)
  1. The Forbidden Guests (Season 8, Episode 30, May 28, 1961)
  1. Not in Our Stars (Season 8, Episode 31, June 4, 1961)

Bonus Features: Loretta Young's Home Movies; Beverly Washburn Interview


"...Well, goodnight. See you next week?"


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