Customer Reviews: Lassie - 50th Anniversary TV Collection
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on December 29, 2005
Here is a list of the episodes of this DVD collection for those who might want to get the single disc editions that contain other episodes. Unfortunately, a number of the shows in this collection are edited. The episode numbers below follow the production/syndication order; the DVD booklet numbers them by the order they were aired, although they must be skipping "The Frog" from 1956 (which was not aired by CBS but is in syndication) as the episodes starting with "The Runaway" are off by 1. What's funny is the discs follow the production order.

---------- Jeff years ----------

1) #1 - The Inheritance (ALERT: this version is edited, missing segement where Lassie unties her rope to Jeff's bed)

2) #5 - Lassie's Pups

3) #10 - The Lion (the DVD book incorrectly puts this episode after "The Inheritance")

4) #53 - The Journey (the Jeff episode, not the Timmy episode with the balloon)

5) #104 - The Runaway (introducing Timmy)

6) #116 - Transition (the Martins take over the farm)

---------- Timmy years ----------

7) #173 - The Camera

8) #180 - Peace Patrol (the Lone Ranger)

9) #184 - The New Refrigerator (not "The Refrigerator" as named in the DVD booklet)

10) #202 - The Space Traveler (not "Space Invader" as named in the DVD booklet)

11) #269 - Lassie and the Eagle (the DVD book incorrectly puts this episode after "The Odyssey")

12) #275 - Lassie's Protege

13) thru 15) #277-279 "Lassie's Odyssey" (Part 1 thru 3)

(note: episodes are missing re-caps of previous episode plus previews for the next one, so they run shorter than the normal 25.5 minutes)

16) #290 - Lassie and the Tiger

17) thru 18) #330-331 - The Treasure (Parts 1 and 2)

---------- Ranger years ----------

19) thru 20) #476-477 "Holocaust" (Parts 1 and 2) edited down to 22.5 minutes each

---------- alone years -----------

21) thru 22) "For the Love of Lassie" (Parts 1 and 2)

severly edited down to 20.5 minutes each

---------- Holden years ----------

23) thru 24) "Run to Nowhere" (Parts 1 and 2) edited down to 22.5 minutes each

It's still a great collection to have. "The Odyssey" itself makes it worthwhile. And seeing Jan Clayton, Tom Rettig, June Lockhart and Jon Provost together on stage is one of the greatest TV moments!
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on October 3, 2004
I had high hopes for this DVD collection and seeing it was created and released by two well known companies (Classic Media & Sony) it should have been better. This collection contains several "Lassie shows" starting with "Jeff's Collie" in 1954 all the way up to the "Holden Ranch" episodes in 1974.
Classic Media & Sony apparently had the blessing of the "Lassie Organization" so why couldn't they have acquired the original negatives and struck new prints ?? While the episodes included are watchable, many have visual artifacts (scratches) and a grainy quality. Fresh prints would have been more in order with a release such as a 50th Anniversary DVD collection. For example, every "Timmy and Lassie" episode in this collection opens with the 1959 opening, even if it was a 1960 or 1962 episode. Did they think diehard babyboomer fans of this show wouldn't notice ?? Also, the opening of one particular "Jeff's Collie" episode, looked very rough. The closing music on many episodes of Jeff's Collie" had a wavy or unbalanced sound. The color episodes which were the newest and should have looked the best, were of poor quality. Again with mismatched opening titles and actual episode years. They looked to be second or third generation copies...even the older B/W episodes looked better.
It would have been nice if surviving cast members could have done some narration discussing behind the scenes shooting or favorite episodes.
There ARE some good things to say about this DVD collection. The episodes chosen were some of the best. The booklet by Ace Collins describing the Lassie story is very informative and this set is packaged very nicely. The extras such as the recent "ninja" Lassie G.E. commercial and other noteable Lassie appearances are fun to watch although again, the quality of some of these clips varies.
This DVD collection had such great potential and although I'm glad I bought it, I expected so much more...Lassie fans deserved it and so did Lassie.
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on September 26, 2004
If you're a fan of "Jeff's Collie" and "Timmy & Lassie," stay away from this DVD collection. Most of the Jeff/Timmy episodes included here were released in single disc sets earlier this year and you may have already purchased them (I did). This is a pretty skimpy collection (20 episodes) when you consider how long each of the Lassie series ran. They need to fast forward to "Complete First Seasons" of both Jeff and Timmy.
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on September 17, 2004
I was really sorry to see that one of the best Lassie episodes ever, the 5-parter known as "The Journey," was not included here. This is not to be confused with an episode of the same title from the "Jeff Miller" (Tommy Rettig) years.

This was the one where "Timmy Martin" (Jon Provost) and Lassie end up stranded in the Canadian wilderness courtesy of a hot air balloon gone astray. Along the way Timmy becomes ill, as I recall, and was cared for by an Eskimo or Indian. The cinematography was beautiful, and as a kid I have wonderful memories of the balloon sequences. The series' associate producer, Bonita Granville Wrather, had done special voiceover intros, and special color title and credit sequences were also done for this special episode, I believe. This episode was re-cut for theatrical release as "Lassie's Great Adventure," but was still missing some footage from the TV showing.

Another multi-part episode missing is the 3-part one in which The Martins (Ruth, Paul & Timmy) leave the farm for Australia, and Lassie in the care of their elderly farmer friend, "Cully Wilson" (portrayed by the terrific Andy Clyde, who was also "Hopalong Cassidy"'s original sidekick, as well as "George McMichael," the foil to Walter Brennan's "Grandpa McCoy" on TV's "The Real McCoys"). Cully eventually becomes too ill to care for the collie and so Lassie winds up with her new master, forest ranger Corey Stuart. This transition episode would have been a nice addition to this golden anniversary edition as well.

Another missing element, of which I've never seen any episodes but which I've heard positive things is "The New Lassie," which featured a young Will Estes aka "Will Nipper" (now on NBC's "American Dreams" as a Vietnam soldier) as Lassie's boy master, as well as the re-appearance of Jon Provost as his "Uncle Steve" (in the show it is revealed that was his birth name before The Martins adopted him as "Timmy") for a few episodes. This series also re-introduced Tommy Rettig as "Jeff" and June Lockhart, as a remarried "Ruth" after Paul Martin's death, in single episodes. It's never been re-aired in the U.S. since its syndicated run, to my knowledge, and no episodes on home video have ever been released.

There was also a Lassie tribute special shown back in the 1990s, which would make a nice bonus in a set of this type. That documentary included comments from the then-still-alive Clayton and Rettig, as well as Lockhart and Provost, among other players in the "Lassie" series.

I agree with some others' comments here that a release by a major home video company should have state-of-the-art technology in re-mastered prints of episodes, and in this digital age there is just no good excuse for not having the best audio/video possible.

Maybe what's really needed is a Lassie DVD box set, which would include the material on this 50th anniversary DVD set in enhanced format, and could also include the aforementioned omissions, and then some? Still, this golden anniversary DVD, along with the others already released on SonyWonder, is a good start for anyone looking to build a "Lassie" TV collection. In the absence of anything, something is always better than nothing.
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on September 26, 2004
It is a delightful package of Lassie tv from the past. I was a bit disappointed that some of the quality was not up to what it could be---especially the clip with Dinah Shore--the numbers are unexcusable. But, for Lassie fans, and there are a lot of us, it is an enjoyable time to be had and to be cherished.
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VINE VOICEon September 6, 2004
I've been looking forward to this box set since I heard about it. LASSIE is my all-time favorite television series. I could have hoped for some other episodes rather than some of the ones they picked out, or, even better, boxed season sets!, but hey, I'll take what I can get, especially since this set has one of my DVD dreams, all three parts of "Lassie's Odyssey" (this is the story M.J. Krankka mentions in his review)! This was the best LASSIE story ever done. Oh, a note to M.J.--you should still get the single DVDs you saw here at Amazon...THOSE episodes are not in the box set and they include all four Christmas stories with Timmy, which are wonderful.
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on September 14, 2004
Seeing that this was a Sony release, I had high expectations concerning quality. Sadly, I was greatly disappointed.

For starters, the opening credits before each episode do not necessarily reflect the credits ORIGINALLY shown with the episode. A 1968 episode, for example, has an opening scene with a 1974 copyright!!! Given that this is a mainstream release, and not a public domain release, this is pretty unforgiveable!

Secondly, the pictures have obviously not gone through any kind of restoration. The color episodes are particularly rough looking. The black and white are okay, though nothing great.

I might also add that I am disappointed in the small number of later episodes included in the set. (Not near as much as not having the episodes in their original form, however.)
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on November 30, 2007
This is a great collection of the earlier lassie series aired from 1954 to 1974 but it's just that.
In 1954 lassie aired for 20 seasons up to 1974 and had more than...600 episodes and in this set we only get...25 of them ?
What we need is A MEGA DVD LASSIE BOX SET which will have:


This is the box set lassie wants, we want.
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on May 13, 2012
I grew up with JEFF and Lassie, frankl;y, never got over Timmy replacing Jeff...Timmy was a goodie 2 shoes, unreal kid...I bought the video only to see jeff aND ITS DISSAPOINTING TO HAVE SUCH LIMITED SHOWS OF jEFF...Jeff was real and advnturous, I hope someday someone releases the entire original JEFF and Lassie series...I am 63 years old, they need to hurry up!!!
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on September 4, 2004
Finaly A Lassie Box set.I glad I held out from buying the single DVD's that Wal-Mart and Amazon has been selling.I hope my favorite Lassie episode will be in this set,dont remember the name of episode?It was the one where Lassie Got trapped in the back of a Truck,then when Lassie got free from truck,she had to Hike all the way back to the Martins and she had some amazing adventures on her way home and meeting Alan Hale who went on to play the Skiper in Gilligan's Island.That was a great episode well 3 part episode.Hope it's in the set?If not,thats ok.It's still will be a great set to have!
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