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On the Road with Charles Kuralt: Set 1

34 customer reviews

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(Oct 27, 2009)
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Product Description

The beloved Emmy winning series that began on the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite

For 20 years beginning in 1967, Charles Kuralt wandered America’s byways in search of the unusual and the overlooked. He and his small crew logged more than a million miles and wore out six motor homes. For his homespun vignettes of everyday life, Kuralt won an Emmy® and became a household name.

He traveled through all 50 states, talking with horse traders, worm hunters, singing mailmen, and sharecroppers who put nine children through college. He reported on an elderly man who fixed bicycles for local children, and a woman who talked to Canadian geese. No topic was too small, no person too insignificant.

Kuralt once said, "There are sights in this country and people in this country to banish any gloom you ever may feel and to fill you instead with wonder." By noticing the ordinary and celebrating originality, he exalted us all.

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES INCLUDE About On the Road, Road Updates, and biography of Charles Kuralt.

In divisively partisan times, it is easy to feel disillusioned, pessimistic, or gloomy about the state of the union. Let Charles Kuralt drive your blues away. In 1967, the CBS broadcaster set out in a mobile home and went looking for America. Unlike Wyatt and Billy in Easy Rider, he found it. Along backroads and in small towns, he met ordinary people doing extraordinary things, such as an elderly woman who kept her privately-owned library open 24 hours, a man dedicated to fixing and lending bicycles to local children, and men who built the Golden Gate Bridge. On the Road became a popular feature on The CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite. Compiled by the Travel Channel, this 18-episode collection contains more than six hours of this Peabody and Emmy Award-winning series' most storied moments, and it never runs out of gas. This is reality television at its best and a celebration of the American character and "Yankee ingenuity" when we need it most.

If you're looking for irony or snark, you are definitely on the wrong road. If you want to see strip malls, chain restaurants, and subdivisions, best head out to the interstate. Above all, On the Road is a celebration of individuality and people who, while not wealthy or famous, embody the best of the American ideal. "Americans are up to all sorts of surprising things," Kuralt observes at one point. "You never know what until you go out and take a look." Each seven-minute segment rolls along at a leisurely pace. Kuralt, who was called "the Norman Rockwell of broadcasters," is folksy without being too corny. The lyrical writing gets to the heart of each of his subjects, whether it be a Pennsylvania shoe salesperson, a soap bubble virtuoso, or a man who offers cheerful waves and "good day" greetings to passing motorists. While these segments date back decades, don't think this is a vanished America. For example, according to one of the "Road Updates" included as a bonus feature, the more than century-old Blenheim Ginger Ale Company is still bottling its uniquely kicky beverage. Here's hoping that Set 2 is not far behind. We can't wait to get On the Road again. --Donald Liebenson

Special Features


Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Acorn Media
  • DVD Release Date: October 27, 2009
  • Run Time: 378 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001V7YZDO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,455 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Harold Wolf TOP 50 REVIEWER on September 14, 2009
CHARLES KURALT and his ON THE ROAD "lifetime achievement" is, simply put, pure fun. The best way to describe "ON THE ROAD WITH CHARLES KURALT" is repeating the title. For those who remember watching the segments on CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite, this is nostalgia at its peak. For those too young or anyone who somehow missed all of the weekly segments over the 20 years, this is a slice of perhaps the best reporting ever broadcast on TV. It is nostalgic in segments from early days because of the dress of the Americans interviewed. Never, however, out of date. Kuralt, amazingly, shows some sign of aging from one to another story, but not what you'd expect over the 20 year span. He was as timeless as the stories he found along the by-ways of Americana. The common man's poet.

Kuralt and team wore out six motor homes over the years beginning in 1967, when CBS gave Kuralt a 3-month "trial" of his "On the Road" journalism idea. Only the reporter's death would end the famous and enjoyable good-news segment weekly awaited upon by millions of Americans. It helps one forget troubles and simply enjoy moments in America that are centered around ordinary people. Why was it not duplicated? It is so perfect, who would dare try mimicking Kuralt's award winning achievement?

It is funny at times because of the oddity that is being reported or the way Kuralt has of presenting it. It is often quite heart-warming, touching, and home-spun. It is, upon occasion, patriotic, not political--there is a huge difference and Kuralt knew it. Sometimes it shares a life-time achievement of an individual that made a difference only in his/her own neighborhood, never flashy stars.
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On the Road with Charles Kuralt is a three-DVD thinpack collection the wonderful, Emmy-winning series following Charles Kuralt down America's byways, in a quest for the oft-overlooked moments, aspects, and unique individuals. From horse traders to worm hunters, mailmen who carry a tune to sharecroppers who put their families through college, On the Road with Charles Kuralt reveals up close and personal portraits of salt-of-the-earth Americans with unique talents, aspirations, and dreams. A wonderful, family-friendly documentary collection, On the Road with Charles Kuralt is an excellent DVD gift set and also recommended for public library DVD shelves. 3 DVDs, 18 episodes, 378 min.,4:3 full screen, subtitled.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By fuzz on November 5, 2009
I am so glad someone is finally giving us chance to watch Mr Kuralt again, it is long overdue. We are awash in a dvd sea of F Troop, Sex In The City and their like and Heaven help us- we need Charles. A colleague of his once said "Charlie sees things most of us don't see". That is possibly the best way of summing up his enormous gifts. These are the stories most of us walk by everyday and barely notice but they say more about America, its history and its people than a million hours of contemporary reporting or roomful of history books. Charles Kuralt's way of telling the stories draws you in and seals the deal... NO ONE ever did this as well. I could bore you endlessly bragging on Kuralt but it wouldn't add anything, you just need to watch what he does.
I hope this has been encouraging. Please get the set and encourage them to release more. One last note to the producers- There is a story Kuralt did on a Russian dentist that was in a Nazi prison camp with Americans and his own countrymen -please include this... PLEASE! It is a fantastic piece and it's just the sort of thing most journalists pass by as less significant.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Kersi Von Zerububbel VINE VOICE on January 21, 2010
Verified Purchase
It was great watching a bunch of Charles Kuralt's "On The Road" segments again. For those who are too young to remember, in the 1970s (and 1980s?) CBS news used to end one of their evening news shows with vignettes of America called "On The Road with Charles Kuralt". For many of us that was the best part of the news. We loved the stuff. The material is still very good and not dated by a long shot. Every segment will put a smile upon your face and make you feel good about America and it's basic strength and yes, goodness.

There is one issue I have with this set and that is how the "episodes" are organized. Since these were part of a half hour news program each segment is only about five to ten minutes long. However the DVD repeats the "goodbye" that used to end the segment. Consequently after every five to ten minutes one has to view the same goodbye over and over again. If one fast forwards to the next group then more often than not you miss the very first segment in that group. This may be nitpicking but having the goodbye portion just once after the last segment would have been great and would save folks the annoyance of having to watch the same thing over and over again. Also let the buyer be aware that the repeated goodbyes are included in the total run time of the DVDs.

But please don't let this quibble stop you from watching this series. It is just plain great because of its simplicity, honesty and the joy of watching America and Americans go about life.
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On the Road with Charles Kuralt: Set 1
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