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82 of 84 people found the following review helpful
on September 18, 2009
To be completely honest, I already had the German DVDs of seasons 1-6, but I figure you just can't have too much Bonanza. I'm sorry it took so long but it's still worth the wait. The color is crystal, the picture gorgeous, the sound perfect, and the special features are terrific. I watched six episodes today and two yesterday and I bet I'll get another dozen knocked out before the weekend is over -- Bonanza never gets old. And having it on DVD with the original music, with special features, and in a format that means you don't have to plug up the region free player or watch some fuzzy public domain piece is just so special!

I grew up during Bonanza's first run -- we are the same age. I was born in July '59; the series debuted in September of that year. I still remember sitting on the floor of our little apartment in Chicago eagerly watching and learning my moral code from Bonanza and shows like it. There are worse ways to grow up. This was a great show and though I have watched it many times since, it's either been in syndication with chunks cut for more commercials, or on fuzzy public domain DVDs with hollow sound and weird music. When I bought the German DVDs, even then I found an occasional odd piece cut. And figuring out the German menus and bringing up the English soundtrack is something I could figure out, but it is wonderful not to have to! I'm loving this boxed set and eagerly awaiting season 2. Don't let it be too long, TPTB!!!
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65 of 72 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 15, 2009
I have been waiting for this box set for ages! And it has finally arrived. I wasn't around when this show first aired. But I remember my first viewing of it sometime in the 90's (I know, really late to the party) and I fell in LOVE! Ugh, there was just something about it that made me obsessed with it. For some strange reason there is a sense of tranquility that I got from that one viewing that there just doesn't seem to be on TV anymore.

From that one viewing, I started watching it religiously, it came on as a two hour block. And I watched every flippin' two dang hours, every dang day of the week. And was happy to find out that they spazzed out with marathons of it on weekends! I was in Bonanza heaven! And then the networks took it from me! No more Little Joe, Hoss - Adam! I had some serious withdrawals. And I was not only shocked but a little bit upset to find out that this classic television show was not available on DVD!

But that has been fixed. The packaging is OK. Nothing to rave about. It doesn't even come in a box! You just get two dvd cases. Would it have killed Paramount to give us loyal viewers a customized box! You do get a summary of each episode and you do get the original theme song. Yes, I find that very important. On youtube, you get some bastardized version and when I want my Bonanza I want the original. The discs look great, a bump in quality than what they usually look like on television. The extras are not mind blowing, some of them consist of: alternate pilot ending, a tribute remembering Michael Landon/Dan Blocker etc.

I don't have to recommend the show to those who love it, but for those who don't, give it a chance.
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61 of 68 people found the following review helpful
on September 16, 2009
Bonanza of course sits at the very cradle of television itself. There really isn't much to say that fans do not already know in regards to the series. First and foremost it was the acting that brought the well rounded scripts to life. Not just the lead stars -- Bonanza had the absolute luxury of dipping into the well of every one of the greatest character, bit, and journeymen actors in the HISTORY of television.. you heard right, in the HISTORY of the medium. After all, great 'guest stars' are what separates the good shows and the classic shows. I dare you to watch even ONE episode and not think to yourself -- wait, wasn't he/she from.... and chances are they were and they were amazing in it too!

On a technical level I found the packaging to be handsome, the transfer to be nice, the extras competent (since most shows of this age have NO extras), the price though high is well worth it. A definite buy.

In light of today it's hard to even comprehend a nightly line up such as Bonanza, the Twilight Zone, and the Andy Griffith Show.. It's also hard to imagine a cast in which it is quite possible that a Michael Landon is the weakest link in the chain.. all I can say is never again. The beauty of true drama has been drained completely out of modern tv and I thank Paramount for helping us all remember when there was a right and a wrong, there was a time to fight, and a time to give thanks.. this show truly is a Bonanza in every sense of the word.

PS.. Where on Earth is Season 2 Vol 2 of the Big Valley.......????
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on October 29, 2009
The first volume has the lion's share of the special features, and the second volume has the lion's share of the excellent episodes. I advise anyone to buy this two volume set rather than settling for one or the other.

The picture, sound, music--all of that is excellent. The menus are easy to navigate, and the photo galleries and interviews are interesting and informative.

I found the first half of season 1 to be a bit uneven, but the second half makes up for it with excellent stories and guest stars, and was enough to make me think seriously about purchasing season 2 when it appears.

I don't like seeing classic shows with 2-volume seasons released--but we're talking about 8 discs here, loaded with goodies, and 32 fifty-minute episodes of an iconic American television show. It's well worth the money.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 2009
...well, to my home anyway! And it is about time.

I love Bonanza and the quality of these DVDs make me more than glad that I bought them. To finally have these shows available at my command is a dream come true. The quality is fantastic; the episodes are so much better than any Bonanza shown on t.v., youtube, etc. The handsome Cartwrights in living color! Whether you prefer mysteriously handsome Adam, devilishly cute Little Joe, sweetly lovable Hoss, or strongly distinguished Ben you want to see them as clearly as possible! The only way to do that is on these dvds.

Granted there are not a lot of your usual special features, but the photo galleries make up for that. And the features that are there are well worth watching.

If you even want to call yourself a Bonanza fan, you have no excuse for not buying these DVDs. None! Now come on, know you want to.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2009
I've held off buying any Bonanza episodes for years, waiting until they got it right--picture, sound, music, and other aspects pertaining to remastering. As far as I can tell, this is what we've all been waiting for. And yes, the scoring is the original music. Although the packaging does seem substantial, I do wish it was not designed so that a disc often has to be removed in order to read some episode descriptions. However, we rarely get everything we want, and the all important content is superb! I can hardly wait for the offering of season 2!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on October 14, 2009
After years of waiting and wondering if it ever would happen, Bonanza fans can rejoice! The first full set of uncut episodes from the original series with the original music has been released and it is terrific! Included are some enticing extras such as behind the scenes photos, original NBC peacock logo and bumpers, promos for the show, interviews with people associated with the series and the infamous clip of the Cartwrights actually singing (well, sort of) the words from the theme. For those of us who are true fans, however, just having the episodes uncut as they were meant to be is more than enough.

The only thing that could top this would be for the powers that be to continue to release additional seasons on a regular basis (quickly!) of the same high quality until diehard fans are able to own the entire 14 seasons of this classic family western. We have waited far too long already!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 2010
R.I.P. Pernell Robert you were great as Adam Cartwright, the eldest son.
My favorite Adam episode in Season One is the "The Annie O'Toole Story" with Ida Lupino.
Adam ends up as a partner in a Mine Camp restuarant with Annie.
Good Humor throughtout.

Also check out Roberts on the 3rd season GUNSMOKE episode called "How to Kill a Woman".

Overall the first season of BONANZA was strong.
Lots of well-known guest stars.
Good writting and after first few episodes, there was fine acting by the four guys.

Overall a solid 'B+'.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on September 18, 2009
Back in the late 50's and 60's when I was a kid growing up, all the major networks had at least 1 quality western and many had multiple such shows. Introduced by NBC in 1959, Bonanza was one of the longest running westerns and was eclipsed in longevity only by CBS's Gunsmoke. Bonanza was something of a watershed event for NBC. Billed as the first Western in living color, this was something it's direct competitor Gunsmoke did not have until around 1966.

Bonanza was the story of the Cartwright family and their Nevada ranch the Ponderosa. Originally starring Loren Greene as Ben Cartwright, the patriarch of the family, and actors Pernell Roberts, Dan Blocker, and Michael Landon as sons Adam, Hoss and Little Joe. Each week would provide a new adventure with a cast of notable guests, some of which went on to be stars on the big screen.

While a number of shows from the golden age of TV were offered on DVD in complete season editions, for some reason Bonanza was long left out. Often you could get some compilation of the best shows of the series, but never a complete season on DVD. That is until now.

As others have pointed out, the packaging for the first season is nothing to get excited about, but within each DVD are some really nice extras, such as photo galleries, the pilot with alternate endings and original bumpers used to signify commercial breaks. The quality of the audio and video transfers is also excellent.

Considering the age of the material, video transfers are clean and colors quite beautiful. As good as the video is, I was probably equally, if not more impressed with sound. The process of cleaning up sound can be quite difficult with such old material. To really appreciate what a job Paramount did, look and listen carefully when the commercial bumpers come up. The bumper and Loren Greene's closing lines on the pilot show were left original and there is an order of magnitude difference in the quality between original material and the DVD transfer. Paramount deserves kudos for their effort on this one.

That said, i was pleased with this offering. Now I wish Paramount would offer the The High Chaparral and Cimarron Strip on complete season and complete series DVD. These shows along with Gunsmoke, Have Gun Will Travel, and Wild Wild West were my favorite shows growing up.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on September 18, 2009
I would highly recommend this release to any Bonanza fan. The quality of the DVDs is excellent. At the end of each episode there are many photos that have not been published before. Other extras add to the appeal of the DVD. Hopefully people who have only seen the shows on TV will purchase these DVDs as they are uncut and contain scenes not ever seen by some viewers.
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