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The Best of the Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet

61 customer reviews

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(May 01, 2007)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

It was somethin' all right: the televised adventures of bandleader Ozzie Nelson, his wife Harriet and their sons Ricky and David-with all of the above playing themselves and all of America watching for 14 seasons. 24 unforgettable episodes on 4 DVDs. 1952-1966/color-b&w/9 hrs., 30 min/NR/fullscreen.

The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet? The title alone is amusingly absurd. Unless your idea of adventure includes picnics, hay rides, recreational horseback riding, and square dances, the word hardly applies. As revealed in this four-disc, 24-episode boxed set (the first official Ozzie and Harriet release on DVD) that cherry-picks some of the best moments from the entire 1952-66 run, this was a show so mild it made Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood look like The Wire--and that was a big part of its considerable charm.

Bandleader Ozzie, singer Harriet (nee Hilliard), and sons David and Ricky had already been on the radio for several years before the television show appeared; there had also been a feature film, Here Come the Nelsons (with Rock Hudson). The TV series, likely the only one ever to feature an entire family portraying themselves, continued where the radio show had left off, with Ozzie (who directed, produced, and co-wrote the vast majority of the episodes) as the well-meaning but sometimes confused, bumbling patriarch, Harriet his sensible but gentle foil, David the dutiful, self-effacing older son, and Ricky the mischievous youngster. Things naturally changed over the next decade and a half, as the boys grew up, went to college, and got married, but the dynamic remained essentially the same. Ozzie and Harriet was nothing if not wholesome. The parents were decent, honest folks; never dictatorial or authoritarian, they guided their sons but gave them enough space to make their own decisions, and David and Ricky were as clean-cut as they come. Of course, there was also Ricky's emergence as a singing star. Broadcast in 1957, "Ricky, the Drummer" was his musical debut (he sings and plays the skins with surprising skill), and the boxed set does a decent job of charting his growth from a somewhat wooden 16-year-old into a legitimate musician with a great band (featuring James Burton on guitar) and undeniable charisma; Rick Nelson was no Elvis Presley, but he had far more substance than other teen idols of the era.

Fourteen years is a long run for any TV show (only The Simpsons has surpassed it in the sitcom category), and by the time The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet started airing episodes in color in the '65-66 season, it had run out steam. Still, this is a classic bit of Americana that will find favor with old and new viewers alike. Bonus features include commentary on four episodes by David (the only living member from the original show) and Sam (son of Rick) Nelson, along with a 1949 radio broadcast, home movies, and more. --Sam Graham

Special Features

  • The story of Ozzie & Harriet
  • Nelson Family Home Movies
  • Commentaries with David Nelson and Ricky's son, Sam Nelson
  • Original radio episode (1949)
  • Nelson family trivia quiz

Product Details

  • Actors: Ozzie Nelson, Harriet Hilliard, David Nelson, Ricky Nelson, Don DeFore
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Shout Factory
  • DVD Release Date: May 1, 2007
  • Run Time: 570 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #91,351 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Best of the Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

103 of 108 people found the following review helpful By kitty C on March 3, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A lot of the shows I have seen on bootleg copies. Here is the line up


The Fall Guy - Season One, 10/24/1952

Oz advises David to stand up for his rights and not to let people take advantage of him, but the advice backfires.

David's Birthday - Season Two, 10/23/1953

David Nelson has an unexpected visitor at his seventeenth birthday party.

Optional Audio Commentary with David & Sam Nelson

David's Engagement - Season Three, 9/23/1955

David has matrimonial plans with his steady. Ozzie and Harriet realize that David will get married someday, but think that he is too young to tie the knot.

A Ball Of Tinfoil - Season Four, 11/25/1955

Harriet decides there is too much junk accumulated in the Nelson garage, attic and cellar. Ozzie rents a trailer to haul the stuff away to the junkyard but discovers this is only the beginning of his problem.

Captain Salty And The Submarine - Season Five, 10/10/1956

Ozzie finds out that a kiddie program, Captain Salty and the Submarine, holds a great deal of interest for adults as well. It is not at all surprising that several other fathers in the neighborhood share his enthusiasm.

Ricky, The Drummer - Season Five, 4/10/1957

This is Ricky's night. He gets to play drums in a name band, do a bop dance with a party girl, and sing a rhythm and blues recording to an enthusiastic audience. Ricky performs for his first time on the show.
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64 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Richardson TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 12, 2007
Format: DVD
What a mess....truncated episodes...I can't believe we've waited all this time for the "official" release to get these chopped up episodes with the same syndication opening instead of the correct one per season/show. That was the first clue that there was something wrong...the next one was that the classic Tutti Frutti episode wasn't as long as the bloody VHS available decades ago...they even cut Ricky's singing on that one...ridiculous.

Perhaps this is why Gunnar and Matthew and Tracy aren't involved? A huge disappointment and from a company that normally does better. Still worth owning (at half the price) for what's there...but a shame to represent such a legendary series with such a half *@#sed production.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Ian Cooke on May 2, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
After numerous poor quality released public domain copies of Ozzie and Harriet we have an authorized release from Shout!Factory. The picture and sound quality are excellent! Providing a compilation of episodes from all 14 years the show excelled in good family entertainment. Ozzie and Harriet never really gave "big belly laughs" but good gentle chuckles and smiles.

The 4 DVD's in this compiliation provide some nice features including "The Story Of Ozzie and Harriet, plus home movies of David and Rick on the trapeze. At the time Rick was second only to Elvis and was "Flying Through The Air With The Greatest Of Ease." I don't think you'll see Justin Timberlake doing that today. Also commentaries by David and Sam Nelson on selected episodes.

The reason for a Four Star and not a Five Star is simple. Songs that Rick performed on several of these episodes have been eliminated. We are getting the syndicated versions of the show. Especially missing is "My Bucket's Got A Hole In It" (My favorite Rick Nelson song)from the "Closed Circuit" episode.

Goldmine magazine had it right in their current issue announcing this release. When will we get a Two Hour DVD of Rick performing with James Burton from the show on DVD?
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By baron67 on June 3, 2007
Format: DVD
The "Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet." Even now - a full 41 years after the last episode aired on national television, people know at least a little something about the show. Some see it as pure pabulum - an unattainable fantasy all-American family that never had problems that couldn't be solved in 30 minutes (including commercials!) Others will say " . . . that's the way it used to be in America - slow and easy - and kids respected their elders!" While the rational people (like me and probably you) will say it was both of the above - plus something more. To praise or blame this show for the success or failure of the generation that followed is akin to suggesting that all families were like the Brady's in the 1970's, the Cosby's in the 1980's, the Tanner's in the 1990's, or the family in "7th Heaven" of this decade.

What "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" represent is simple. Entertainment. That's it. Were there lessons to be learned? Sure. Were times simpler "back then?" Maybe. But how many people reading this held a potato sack race to settle an argument in the family after watching the Brady's doing it and successfully thwarting a problem while having mindless fun? I'm betting not many.

Ozzie (Oswald), Harriet (Peggy), David, and Ricky (Eric) were characters on a television show that were also real people with problems just like the rest of us. Sometimes a sitcom is just a sitcom. I don't watch O&H to learn about what it was like to grow up in a big house in California or how it was to raise a family in the 1950's any more than I'd watch an episode of 7th Heaven to get advice on how to talk to my children today. Just sit back and allow yourself to be a friend of the Nelson's. What's the matter with that? Simplistic?
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