Friday, April 25, 2014

Mayberry D.V.D.

You may remember back in December of last year that I pasted a notice about the first season of Mayberry R.F.D. making its DVD debut in April 2014.  The collection is now out, and my boss at ClassicFlix was extremely generous enough to send me a freebie set as a belated Christmas gift.  (Some of you may not see it that way, of course; The Classic TV History Blog's Stephen Bowie, inarguably the finest of the television bloggers, tweeted me to say "That's called reaping what you sow.")  The first season aggregation contains all twenty-six episodes, all of which were discussed at one time in our TDOY feature Mayberry Mondays.

I opened the set this morning to satisfy my curiosity as to whether the episodes were uncut…and they most certainly are; for example, when I originally covered “The Copy Machine” I noticed the (always reliable) IMDb mentioned that actor George Cisar, who played Mayberry’s resident capitalist swine banker Cyrus Tankersley both on R.F.D. and the earlier Andy Griffith Show, was in this episode even though my copy (obtained via my friendly neighborhood bootlegger) did not reveal this to be the case,  I speculated that Cyrus’ scene might have been sacrificed to the snipping-for-syndication; I further guessed that there might have been a scene where Cyrus had approached Mike the Idiot Boy (Buddy Foster) and his pal Harold (Richard “Fishface” Steele) about making some copies.


I wasn’t far off—the uncut version features a scene that finds Mike trying to get a loan of seventy-five clams at Cyrus’ bank (after the little mook has broken the titular device) and even though he offers up most of his kid swag (bike, fishing rod, etc.) as collateral Cyrus sadly informs him that Mayberry Federal Savings and Loan just doesn’t lend money to kids.  I’m sure there is “bonus material” in all of the uncut first season episodes and if I still had my bootleg copies I’d compare them both and add an addendum to the past write-ups.  (I donated my bootlegs to an author friend who is currently working on a book about the show—he said he’d send me a free copy when it’s finished.)

The video quality on these DVD episodes compared to the bootlegs is the difference between night and day.  Compare:

DVD release.
So when I get a little extra goof-off time I’ll go back and revisit some of the episodes—I’ve only looked at two so far, “Machine” and “Andy and Helen Get Married.”  In the meantime, enjoy these screen captures of some of our favorite Mayberry denizens:

First season Millie (Arlene Golonka) true love.

Howard Sprague (Jack Dodson)...hipster.

Tell 'em Goober says 'Hey'!


Anonymous said...

I, too, am saddened that nobody had forethought to leave the original uncut episodes in tact. Episodes like "Barneys first Car" comes to mind, or the second episode with James Best reprising a role of local boy making good. Scenes cut out that really make the episode cut out, missing scenes where Don Knotts was so funny. Hogan's Heroes is another set promoted as being original, uncut episodes - I have 3 such sets, beginning in the 80's with painful and expensive Columbia House a few tapes at a time, the DVD sets of the 90's, and the latest remastered ones. The VHS copies had scenes the DVDs did not. The remastered ones were nearly identical but had the original pilot and intro by the network, but still had featured the cut pilot as "original, uncut."

Stacia said...

BUZZKILL ALERT: I love that you can actually see what's going on in the new DVDs, but is it me, or do these restored scenes look like black and white that's been colorized? The skin tones are so uniform over the whole face, it's very odd.