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After School Specials: 1976-1977 DVD Set

4.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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(Oct 12, 2004)
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$77.68 $14.39

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Editorial Reviews

After School Specials - Francesca Baby / Beat the Turtle Drum Martin Tahse is the most prolific and successful producer of After School Specials. His 26 productions have won numerous awards and prizes including 18 Emmys three Blue Ribbons in the American Film Festival the Peabody Award and First Second and Third Prize in the Chicago Film Festival in the same year - an honor which has never since been matched. His original contributions remain important to today's young and adult audiences. "Francesca Baby" - Francesca (Carol Jones) and her younger sister Kate (Tara Talboy) live in constant embarrassment with their alcoholic mother (Melendy Britt). When their mother falls asleep in bed with a lighted cigarette endangering the lives of the girls the outcome between Francesca and her mother is both dramatic and revealingly true. "Beat the Turtle Drum" - For her birthday Joss (Katy Kurtzman) is given a horse for a week. She and her older sister Kate (Melissa Sue Anderson) go out with the horse and tie it up so they can climb and play in a tree. Kate is devastated when Joss accidentally falls and is killed. Desolate and fearing the might have been able to save her sister Kate goes on a search to come to grips with the tragedy. After School Specials - Pinballs The / Trouble River Martin Tahse is the most prolific and successful producer of After School Specials. His 26 productions have won numerous awards and prizes including 18 Emmys three Blue Ribbons in the American Film Festival the Peabody Award and First Second and Third Prize in the Chicago Film Festival in the same year - an honor which has never since been matched. His original contributions remain important to today's young and adult audiences. "The Pinballs" - Three kids each with both haunting and often humorous backgrounds form a friendship while in a foster home.

Special Features

  • Includes:
  • Francesca, Baby (1976)
  • Beat the Turtle Drum (1977)
  • The Pinballs (1977)
  • Trouble River (1977)

Product Details

  • Actors: Carol Jones, Melendy Britt, Dennis Bowen, Tara Talboy, Alice Nunn
  • Directors: Larry Elikann, Roger Flint, Richard Bennett (II)
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Unknown)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: BCI / Sunset Home Visual Entertainment (SHE)
  • DVD Release Date: October 12, 2004
  • Run Time: 180 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00062IZAY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #151,453 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "After School Specials: 1976-1977 DVD Set" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Verified Purchase
The mid 70's...that wondrous time between Vietnam and Reaganomics...if you were growing up during that period, like me, you're probably familiar with these shows. Many families needed two incomes to survive (so much more so now), so generally once school let out for the day, you were pretty much on your own until Mom or Dad got home (usually Mom). What to do? There was no MTV (or cable, for that matter) and no Playstation 2...no, if you weren't off messing around with your friends poking dead animals with sticks, you were probably at home, watching After School Specials, dramatic programs designed especially entertain and teach pre-teens about life and issues they could have very well faced, in terms they could understand in an hour-long format (approximately 45 minutes, without the commercials). Each set comes with two DVDs, each containing 2 episodes, or 4 episodes per set. The series (I believe there were something like 26 episodes) was created and produced by Martin Tahse, and won a slew of awards, was really unique in that it was programming for young people that wasn't created to tie into products or sell merchandise, but to speak to them about situations difficult to understand or comprehend, treating its' audience with the respect and intelligence not often seen, not talking down to them but talking to them, and basically relating to them on a level they deserved.

Francesca, Baby (Originally aired 6/10/76) deals with the issue of an alcoholic parent. Francesca (Carol Jones) and her little sister, Kate (Tara Talboy) deals with the burden (in the words of Lost in Space's Dr. Smith, "The shame, the shame...") of a mother who's struggling with a booze monkey on her back.
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2 Comments 71 of 74 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Here is the sad truth about the video quality. It's not due to bad DVD mastering. These shows were filmed on film but then they were post produced and edited on videotape(Videotronics was the company). Videotape of the 1970's. You get the idea. The best broadcast quality videotape of yesteryear is no match for DVD quality of today (as fans of the classic Norman Lear videotaped sitcoms have found out).

Add to that the deterioration that the master tapes have experienced then it all adds up to that we are seeing it as good as it's ever going to get (unless someone digs up the original film and edit that together).

the packaging is truly inspired and remarkable and the quality concerns were unavoidable.
3 Comments 20 of 22 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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I actually don't find the quality to be all that horrible. Looks like I would expect from 70's vidio TV. Colors are nowhere near as vivid as we now expect from HDTV but the shows themselves are fun and include some talent that has gone on to do some new favorites. Also the packaging and full motion animated menus are excellent.
Comment 7 of 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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These old after school specials have aged very well...Children and teens watching them today would have no trouble identifying with the characters and their issues, especially if they had gone through some of the same things themselves (i.e. having an alcoholic parent, the death of a sibling, etc.). The picture quality on these shows are not bad at all. They may not be digitally remastered, but they are very, very watchable and I have seen MUCH worse! Brentwood Communications/BCI Eclipse (the company that released these shows) continues to amaze me with the stuff they put out; when it comes to quality at a low price, they do not disappoint. It's very rare to find "bargain bin" DVDs, ESPECIALLY of old 70s TV shows that are watchable; if anyone thinks the quality on these shows are bad, check out some of the bargain bin "Lucy Show" DVDs sometime...THAT is poor quality...audio dropouts, horrible color, artifacting, and dirt and grain. These shows have none of those problems. Do yourself a favor and pick these After School Specials up. You won't be disappointed!
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I am 46 years old and use to watch the After School Specials when I was a child and still enjoy them today. The after School Specials are nice clean stories that all can watch. I recommend these stories for all age groups to enjoy.
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I'd been looking for "The Pinballs" for years, ever since I first saw in on TV 'way back when. I was SO THRILLED to finally find it on this set! And, the other movies are great as well. I've always been a fan of these and hope to get the other sets, too. Ok so the quality may not be up to today's standards, but they are very fun to see again. "The Pinballs" will always be one of my all-time favorite movies, and when I saw it the first time, I became a die-hard fan of Kristy McNichol.
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