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VINE VOICEon 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.
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on February 27, 2013
To all PETTICOAT JUNCTION fans,

What a treat to learn that a new PETTICOAT JUNCTION DVD is being released!!!! RETURN TO HOOTERVILLE is a 50th Anniversary tribute to one of the most beloved and well acted sitcoms from what I consider the true golden age of television, the 1960s. There promises to be behind-the-scenes materials, cast interviews, and promotional appearance video. This is a 50 year anniversary gift to all PETTICOAT JUNCTION fans!

Let's hope the fabulous Linda Kaye Henning, who played Betty Jo for the entire 7 season run, adds her informative and interesting commentary to this new release like she did with the OFFICIAL SEASON 1 and 2 DVDs.

Ever since the OFFICIAL SEASON 2 PETTICOAT JUNCTION DVD was released in 2009 I have been checking frequently for the release dates of SEASONS 3-7. Let's all write CBS / VIACOM and demand that they release the other seasons of one of the greatest television programs from the 1960s!!!

There is no place like the good ole Shady Rest!

Tennessee Dave
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on March 12, 2013
Wow - this is an amazing disc. Warning: if you want actual episodes, it only contains one (the first year Christmas Show). This disc is a kind of "extra" disc. It has over about 15 different things ranging from Bea on The Danny Kaye Show to a film tribute to Higgins (later known as Bengi). Included are a radio show with Lucille Ball interviewing Bea Benaderet (!), a 20 min doc with Linda Kay Henning commenting on archival backstage shot footage, Linda & Mike Minor on an interview TV Show. A few of the extras I had seen on the Season one or two packs, but gotta say that this disc was just loaded with so many interesting things it is for sure worth getting, especially you loved the show.
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on March 18, 2013
People who remember Petticoat Junction or have never sampled the show may be disappointed by the contents as their is only one complete episode and few (if any) clips outside the first two seasons. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed the DVD mainly because I grew up with a crush on Linda Henning who still looks great after all these years. In addition to fondly recalling the program and her career with it, she is represented by appearances on three other shows, including a dance number celebrating famous Hollywood musicals. Bea Benedaret, Edgar Buchanan, Charles Lane, etc. are all justifiably praised for their comedic timing, friendship, and professionalism. The various interviews also explain a few questions I've always had about the show: was Steve Elliott originally intended to wed oldest daughter (Billie Jo) rather than youngest, why were the settings of Petticoat Junction and Green Acres so different despite both taking place in Hooterville, why Guinilla Hutton quit so suddenly, etc.

In fact, the only REAL disappointment I had was the advertisement for a companion RETURN TO HOOTERVILLE book published by Bearmanor Media. Unfortunately there's no mention of the book on the company's website, not even in blog for forthcoming titles. :(

So I'd say this DVD is really for fans of PJ (and Linda Henning and Bea Benedaret) who already have episodes in their collection to watch. Hopefully the remastered official seasons, too. :)
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on April 24, 2013
This DVD was a very nice tribute for the 50th Anniversary of its premiere in 1963. I enjoyed the interviews with the surviving cast members. Some of the other features (the cast commercials, etc) I had already viewed on previously released DVDs but it was nice to see them again. The most heart-touching part for me was the segment with Jack Bannon. The lovely pictures of the matriarch and star of Petticoat Junction and his high-praise comments and memories of his very talented mother Bea Benaderet were totally priceless. I also enjoyed the outtakes & stock outdoor footage-you would have NEVER thought those scenes were shot in California. They look as if it could be from Anywhere Rural USA-this and much more is why this rural gem is so endeared by all who watch it. I am hoping that as the first two seasons in B&W have been properly released that all the color seasons will be officially released with the permission from the Estate of Mr. Henning. I also enjoyed the segments with Higgins the dog and the radio interviews by dear friends Lucille Ball and Bea and I quote, “Bena-dera-dera-dera-ret!”
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on January 5, 2014
If you love back stories on old TV shows, this DVD is a must. Not only does it tell the Petticoat Jucntion story, but it touches on The Beverly Hillbillies and Green Acres as well. Also, Lucille Ball gets a back story as well as her radio show features two segments with Bea Benedaret. Plus there's an episode of The Danny Kaye Show, that features Bea, as well as other rural comedy stars Jim Nabors and Andy Griffith. And there's a nice documentary about Higgins the dog, who played Benji in feature films. All in all, this retrospective was definately worth the money!
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on August 21, 2013
Petticoat Junction was a great show for its time and was less zany than Green Acres. Watched them both as a kid and would in my retirement like to find a spot on the map about half-way between Hooterville and Pixley. For those of us who can relate to a previous time in America, it is charming.
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on March 4, 2015
This DVD is a must for fans of this show. You really get a sense of how much this show meant to the performers and their appreciation for their fans. Also...fans of Danny Kaye and Andy Griffith will want to own this DVD for the 30 min clip from the Danny Kaye Show. I wish MPI video would release the Kaye shows, their transfer of video to digital is perfect!
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I enjoyed this compilation of tidbits; nice-to-knows; vintage clips; "Where are they now?"
trivia; and how they feel about living between Pixley and Hooterville. Image living in a town
with THOSE names without laughing! I REALLY, really, REALLY recommend this item and all
three O-F-F-I-CI-A-L seasons [so they're complete, unedited, and have the original music]!

Really nice bits 'n' pieces, nice to see clips about the dog that later became BENJI, but...
where's seasons 4-7?
Yeah, I've read ALL about it:
1.) = Linda Kaye Henning (Betty Jo), who was married to her TV-husband and---in REAL-life
---owns The Henning Family Estate copyrights, hates HER ex-spouse [more than I hate MINE]
doesn't want to have to pay H-I-M any residual-fees for being reminded about the REEL-life
story-line of their dating, marriage, and the birth of their reel/real-life child.
2.) = Story-lines are depressing in seasons 4 and 5 because the older folks on the series be-
gin dying one-by-one ([heck!]"Betty Jo" was played by the youngest, regular cast, actress...
and, Linda Kaye Henning'll be 71 in just a few weeks [seventy-one!]) OMG! I had a crush on
"Betty-Jo" when I was in highschool, and I'LL be 67 next year.
3.) Bea Benaderet (1906-1968) died from a 5-pack-a-day habit, and, literally, phoned-in a few
appearances via a letter-reading; and as-spoken from the perspective of the back of a stand-in.
4.) The Cannonball conductor and engineer fade into the sunset...
-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-/-
It doesn't work with T=H=I=S military-retiree! I went to a Jimi Hendrix concert in 1968; Vietnam
in 1969; Hendrix died in '70; I DON'T remember season 5; and've NEVER SEEN seasons 6 and 7.
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The people that are MOST interested in the release of further seasons are dying everyday! Most
of the World War II & Korean War veterans're dead; and I am NOT gettin' any YOUNGER myself.
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CBS/Paramount Studios; Linda Kay[e] Henning: Please! At least release the Seasons 4 and 5 ep-
isodes before "the mom on Lost in Space - Seasons 1 - 3" takes over Kate Bradley's place in THE SHADY REST!

HIGHLY recommended!

Sincerely Yours,
Michael John Groesch-McCluskey
U.S.Navy and U.S.Army, Retired
(Live in GERMANY buying DVDs)
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on March 17, 2013
Come ride the little train that is rolling down the tracks to the Junction! If you are a fan of Petticoat Junction, this disc is a must have. It contains material you would be hard pressed to find or learn about on the internet and many rarities about the show that will definitely pique your interest. It starts off with a detailed documentary giving you a good history of the show, with insight from Linda Kaye Henning, Lori Saunders, Gunilla Hutton, Frank Cady, Mike Minor and others. It runs about an hour and its very entertaining and informative. Then there are the Bonus Features. They have a commercial collection showing cast members pitching products like Tide Detergent and Ivory Soap which probably haven't been seen by the public for 50 years and are not available to view on Youtube or other online video sites. Then they have a production/stock footage collection which shows you different footage they shot when filming the show and if you a fan of the show, you must see it to believe it. They show stock footage of the Hooterville Cannonball and talk about historical elements it has, they have footage of Higgins the Dog and what he did behind the scenes and different footage of the Bradley Sisters from the Opening Credits in the Watertower to the Ending Credits behind the Train Bench. They show extended images of the Shady Rest Set and miniature models they used to transition scenes. It is very cool and worth the purchase alone. They also included the original CBS Promo Spots and much much more. There is only one episode of the Show itself, which is the Rare Cannonball Christmas Episode, which is most likely going to become a tradition to watch at my house at the holidays along with White Christmas and It's a Wonderful Life. In summary, it is a desirable collection for a fan of Petticoat Junction and anybody who is a fan of Classic Television, I can highly recommend it and say you will enjoy it.
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