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A real treasure chest for Petticoat Junction fans!
on March 12, 2013
Now here's a real treat: Over 3 hours of behind-the-scenes documentaries, interviews, archival footage, outtakes and more about the fondly-remembered series Petticoat Junction. MPI Home Video deserves some kind of an award for their efforts here. Just the main documentary, "The History of Hooterville" (approx. 50 min.) is worth the price of admission. It includes interviews with pretty much all the stars who are still alive (including the recently-deceased Frank Cady), and lots of great stories about the show's production. Linda Kaye Henning gets the most screen time, and has plenty to say about her famous father's show. Gunilla Hutton painfully admits that giving up the role of Billie Jo after only one season was a huge mistake. And the casts' praise of Bea Benaderet is unanimous and heartwarming.
But that's only the beginning of this fully-loaded tribute to the show. Linda and DVD producer Jim Pierson narrate about 20 minutes of unused footage, including some great shots of the Cannonball (both the real train and the miniature version. . .although you'll quickly tire of Henning proclaim them both "so cute!"). "The Girls of Petticoat Junction" music video offers a real slice of 60's nostalgia. There are plenty of cast commercials--how can you not love Kate Bradley advising her daughters on the best way to catch a man are by using Ivory soap and Tide detergent? Priceless! There are also what I assume are some rare t.v. appearances by Henning and Benedaret, including spots on various talk shows from the late 60's. And for you Higgins the dog lovers, there's a featurette on the canine who would (as Linda Henning candidly states) outshine all his human co-stars as Benji.
And if all that wasn't enough, there's also one of my personal favorite episodes in its entirety (with a new on-screen intro by Henning), "A Cannonball Christmas." Of course, the faithful fans already have it, as well as some of the sponsor spots, on Petticoat Junction - The Official First Season. Which brings me to another point worth mentioning. Although this excellent DVD was produced by MPI, the rights to the individual episodes still belong to CBS/Paramount. And as any true fan can tell you, they stopped releasing season sets after only 2 seasons, the last of which was way back in 2009. I hope this DVD well be a big seller, and either CBS/Paramount will take notice of that fact and get back on the ball, or maybe MPI can get the rights from them and give the seasons sets the same amount of care they put into this collection.
Until then, though, anyone with even a casual interest in Petticoat Junction must have this lovingly-prepared disc. Place your order now, and at such an attractive price, maybe buy an extra copy to give as a gift? Highly recommended.