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 Warner TV Favorites
Dave Garrett
Posted: Oct 9 2005, 10:33 PM


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The brief bit of discussion here about the Warner "Television Favorites" series of discs has got me wondering about future volumes in this series. For those who aren't familiar with them, they're low-priced, single-disc "best of" compilations of various TV series that haven't yet merited the full-season box-set treatment, at least as far as Warner is concerned (the exception is a DUKES OF HAZZARD sampler). Presumably they're intended to test the waters for the demand for season sets.

The ones I've seen so far:

WELCOME BACK KOTTER (this one is a Best Buy exclusive, and is priced higher than the others)
MAVERICK
CHEYENNE
CHICO AND THE MAN
F TROOP

I have to admit I'm more inclined to make an impulse buy of one of these when I can get it for $6.99 at my local Best Buy - at that price, they're practically giving them away. Anyone else getting these?

Warner Television Favorites

Dave
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Marshall Crist
Posted: Oct 9 2005, 11:28 PM


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Due to my abnormal psychology, I think Warner is shooting itself in the foot with these. I bought the CHICO AND THE MAN disc because I have been wanting to see this show again for about 25 years. The sampler is interesting and at times entertaining, but having seen it I think I can safely say I would not purchase a Season 1 set. Whereas I like F-TROOP but am holding out for a Season 1 set. Even more so with KOTTER. But I have just sent the opposite message to Warner with my purchase.

This post has been edited by Marshall Crist on Oct 9 2005, 11:29 PM
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Erik Nelson
Posted: Oct 10 2005, 02:11 AM


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I picked up MAVERICK and CHEYENNE at Sam's this past week for $5.62 each. I was quizzed about both selections by the cashier (in her earlier 20s) and the older lady who checks your receipt when you walk out of the store. She practically shrieked with delight.

I haven't watched MAVERICK yet, but I'm very familiar with all of the episodes on the set. The first GREENBACKS UNLIMITED is my favorite MAVERICK episode, even though James Garner kind of retires to the side after the first ten minutes of the show. (Other favorites are the one with Connie Stevens, the one with the guy who has built a fake wall to the bank and borrows money to cover his gambling shortfalls, "Two Tickets to Ten Strike", the one about "a person's brother" that has a great twist at the end, and the one where Maverick runs into Billy the Kid, Belle Starr, Cole Younger, and others. Which reminds me of the great episode where Maverick meets Doc Holliday, and... well, I'll stop for now.) Garner is wonderful anyway, "I'm working on it...", and you get to meet many of the recurring characters of the show. GUN SHY is a favorite of many people, and even though I like the episode, it wouldn't make my top ten. PAPPY is a little controversial among afficiandos, as some don't think the often quoted "Pappy" should have ever been shown, but it's a good episode, and Garner is having a lot of fun playing dual roles.

I watched CHEYENNE late last night (after THE FLY). I have fond memories of watching re-runs of the show on Saturday afternoons as a kid, but I've only had the opportunity to watch the show once - "The Iron Horse" - released on tape, with Dennis Hopper - in the past couple of decades. I only watched the first two episodes. I was tempted to watch the third, but I was up later than I should have been already and I decided to savor it later.

The first episode is from the first season and is not all that good. I thought the opening of the show was a "teaser", but it was the actual opening of the story. Things happen fast, and there is no shortage of plot and activities in this approximately 42 minute episode. In it's first season, "Cheyenne" was a rotating regular show on "Warner Brothers Presents" and the last fifteen minutes of the show was a promo for whatever WB feature was at the theater - THE SEARCHERS and HELEN OF TROY have examples of these little featurettes. This first season episode is also missing the distinctive woodcut credits and titles that were a nice touch on all 50's WB westerns. Barton McLane is the heavy and he's fine, but the story is over the top. Beverly Michaels gives a wild performance that is beyond camp; it makes me more anxious to see her in BLONDE BAIT and WICKED WOMAN. Cheyenne doesn't do too much in this episode, but there is a nicely executed shoot out and his final scene with the rancher's daughter is sweet.

The second show was based on a story from Leo Gordon, who is Big Mike McComb on the MAVERICK DVD, and is almost as far fetched as the first, but better executed. Rex Reason is good as the fast draw and a favorite WB regular of mine, Louis Jean Heydt has a supporting role. (It's almost like half of the cast of THE BIG SLEEP wound up in these westerns eight years later.) I don't think this is one of the better Cheyenne episodes, but it certainly has a lot going on. The paralyzed, wheelchair-bound patron, and his relationship with his daughter's "teacher" who became his wife reminded me of Bunuel, but this is basically a solid B western. You also get the woodcut titles and great theme song.

The Del Lords wrote a memorable song about watching Cheyenne on television that really hit home for me. While not as good as Maverick, Cheyenne was a solid adventure series. Clint Walker was a very fine roaming cowboy, evocative black and white photography, a memorable theme song, often very good scripts (Roy Huggins was a regular writer for the series), and great actors and actresses. (A mix of old WB pros and up and comers.) The selection of episodes for the first DVD was a little haphazard, but I hope there's more.

This post has been edited by Erik Nelson on Oct 10 2005, 02:17 AM
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Hal Horn
Posted: Oct 10 2005, 05:01 AM


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QUOTE (Erik Nelson @ Oct 10 2005, 08:11 AM)
I haven't watched MAVERICK yet, but I'm very familiar with all of the episodes on the set.  The first GREENBACKS UNLIMITED is my favorite MAVERICK episode, even though James Garner kind of retires to the side after the first ten minutes of the show.    Garner is wonderful anyway, "I'm working on it...", and you get to meet many of the recurring characters of the show. 

Isn't this episode SHADY DEAL AT SUNNY ACRES? With John Dehner as the bank manager? GREENBACKS UNLIMITED is the one with the fake wall to the bank if I remember right.

Anyway, SHADY DEAL being on the set might entice me to purchase, as it is my favorite MAVERICK episode. All of the others you mention are excellent too, and another episode I rank very highly is MAVERICK AND JULIET, which also features both Garner and Kelly. THE MAVERICK LINE is also great fun, with guest star Buddy Ebsen.

I reviewed the F TROOP set here last week. So far, so good on the prospect of a season one set....over at Amazon F TROOP has consistently ranked as the highest seller of the 4 releases since I started checking them last week. I too am hoping for season sets, especially the terrific first season of F TROOP; I'd purchase both seasons of F TROOP and probably the first 3 of MAVERICK if Warner chooses to release them. I probably wouldn't purchase season sets of the others.

HCH

This post has been edited by Hal Horn on Oct 10 2005, 05:08 AM


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Erik Nelson
Posted: Oct 10 2005, 10:28 AM


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"Isn't this episode SHADY DEAL AT SUNNY ACRES? With John Dehner as the bank manager? GREENBACKS UNLIMITED is the one with the fake wall to the bank if I remember right."

Yes, you're right. I was too lazy to double check, and look what happened! John Dehner was in both episodes, which is why I might have mixed them up. There were a couple of "sting" type episodes on ROCKFORD FILES, and one of them had John Dehner on Garner's side for a change. Leo Gordon popped up on at least one ROCKFORD, where Rockford arranged for him to be Kathryn Harrold's bodyguard.

This post has been edited by Erik Nelson on Oct 10 2005, 10:29 AM
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Brian Camp
Posted: Oct 10 2005, 02:55 PM


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Warner Bros. used to have a lot of good shows on back in the day. I used to watch "Maverick" and "Cheyenne" as a kid, along with stuff like "Bronco" and "Sugarfoot," to keep it to Warners shows. But I haven't seen any of this stuff since then. Warners also did that group of shows that were somewhat similarly themed and styled: "Surfside Six," "Hawaiian Eye" and "77 Sunset Strip," all private eye shows in sunny, beachside locales, IIRC. And didn't the characters cross over into each others' shows? The actors here include Robert Conrad, Troy Donahue, Connie Stevens, Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Anthony Eisley, and Edd "Kookie" Byrnes, basically what amounted to the last class of Warner Bros. contract players. I could see myself picking up a sampler that included one or two eps. of each in sets of thematically-grouped shows.

Warners also did the "No Time for Sergeants" sitcom, which I remember liking.

I remember visiting the Warner Bros. lot in January 1974 and watching them shoot an ep. of "Police Story" in which Kurt Russell was the lead actor and then passing through the soundstages where they were shooting "Kung Fu" and "The FBI" and seeing some of those actors. Roger E. Mosley and Judy Pace were the guests on that "Kung Fu" ep.

Speaking of which, where are the "Police Story" and "FBI" box sets?



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Marty McKee
Posted: Oct 10 2005, 03:59 PM


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QUOTE (Brian Camp @ Oct 10 2005, 03:55 PM)

Speaking of which, where are the "Police Story" and "FBI" box sets?

Quinn Martin (THE F.B.I.) in particular is sadly unreleased on DVD. I would think THE UNTOUCHABLES and THE FUGITIVE would sell well, and I bet THE INVADERS could succeed in a niche market. I'd definitely buy THE STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO and BARNABY JONES, but I'd also pay to own BERT D'ANGELO/SUPERSTAR, so don't listen to me.

This post has been edited by Marty McKee on Oct 10 2005, 03:59 PM


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Raymond Tucker
Posted: Oct 11 2005, 02:34 PM


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What the world really needs is a dvd set of A YEAR AT THE TOP.
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Shawn Garrett
Posted: Oct 11 2005, 03:22 PM


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QUOTE
What the world really needs is a dvd set of A YEAR AT THE TOP


Heh! My sister used to have the tie-in album release for that show (also had - The Kids From C.A.P.E.R, if anyone remembers that)

I really want QUINN MARTIN'S TALES OF THE UNEXPECTED on DVD.
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Ira Hozinsky
Posted: Oct 11 2005, 05:02 PM


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The cable channel AmericanLife TV shows a number of the old Warner Brothers series, as well as THE F.B.I. -- all, of course, time-compressed to unwatchability.
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William S. Wilson
Posted: Feb 14 2012, 11:16 AM


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QUOTE (Brian Camp @ Oct 10 2005, 02:55 PM)
Speaking of which, where are the "Police Story" and "FBI" box sets?

Warner Archive just released seasons 2 of FBI today, but in two separate sets.

http://www.wbshop.com/on/demandware.store/...?pid=1000275037

http://www.wbshop.com/on/demandware.store/...?pid=1000275034


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Marty McKee
Posted: Feb 14 2012, 02:07 PM


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I won't rest until every Quinn Martin episode is available on DVD. Bring on BERT D'ANGELO/SUPERSTAR!


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Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook, or follow my blog at Johnny LaRue's Crane Shot.
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