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The Munsters - The Complete First Season

4.8 out of 5 stars 227 customer reviews

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(Aug 24, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Get ready to be entertained by America's first family of fright. In this timeless, one-of-a-kind comedy series, the unforgettable family of The Munsters casts a hilarious spell that will keep you laughing through every new episode.


It has its own stormy weather and fire-breathing housepet named Spot, but the mansion at 1313 Mockingbird Heights is otherwise like any other American sitcom home. This is the address of the Munsters, the family that for two seasons, 1964-66, found a permanent place in pop culture--if not "monster" success. Developed by Leave It to Beaver team Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher, the series was a standard sitcom (complete with the same awful canned laughter), except that the Ward Cleaver character was a reanimated corpse.

Dad Herman (Fred Gwynne) was a Frankenstein's monster, mom Lily (Yvonne DeCarlo) and Grandpa (Al Lewis) were vampires, and son Eddie (Butch Patrick) a little wolf-boy. Munster niece Marilyn was inexplicably normal, which prompted much worry from the other members of the family (she was played in early episodes by Beverly Owen, who left to get married, and then by Pat Priest). The plots revolve around typically tortured sitcom situations: Herman must lose weight to fit into his old Army uniform, Herman has insomnia, Herman takes dance lessons from a crooked instructor. (As that list would suggest, 6'5" Fred Gwynne's wonderfully agile slapstick and Borscht Belt comedy made him the center of the show.)

What distinguished The Munsters from Father Knows Best was the Universal horror-movie lineage and the ghoulish one-liners (the latter growing a bit tedious after a while). The three-disc DVD has all 38 first-season episodes in excellent transfers, a 15-minute pilot with different actors as Lily and Eddie, and no extras or commentaries. High points include "Hot Rod Herman," which features the tricked-out Munster Koach and Drag-u-la (boss wagons both), and "Eddie's Nickname," the one where Grandpa gives Eddie a potion that causes the boy's beard to grow (a weirdly memorable image, if you're a kid). The show was either pure kiddie farce or a radical comment on the absurdly unreal world of sitcoms. Either way, if you grew up with them as an alternate TV family, you can't help but have warm feelings for the Munsters, as clammy as they are. --Robert Horton

Special Features

Disc 1:
  • Unaired Pilot Episode

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Fred Gwynne, Yvonne De Carlo, Al Lewis, Butch Patrick, Beverley Owen
    • Producers: Bob Mosher
    • Format: Color, Dolby, Full Screen
    • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
    • Subtitles: Spanish, French
    • 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: Universal Studios
    • DVD Release Date: August 24, 2004
    • Run Time: 1932 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (227 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B0002CX1LG
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,887 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "The Munsters - The Complete First Season" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    Top Customer Reviews

    Format: DVD
    I grew up on both the Munsters and the Addams Family, so I've always had much love for both shows, but when it came down to it, the Munsters was always my top pick. Maybe it was the collection of "monsters" within the family, or Marilyn, or the family's crazy hot rods the Munster Koach & the Dragula from legendary customizer George Barris, or just the comfort zone of the corny one-liners and family-oriented atmosphere. In any case, The Munsters is definitely classic in every sense and now it's here on DVD!

    The set's package design is somewhat inspired. The outer box opens "coffin-style" to reveal the disc-holding "digipack" inside, as the flipped-open box top has the table of contents on it with only the episodes plus the unaired pilot listed. The episodes are spread across 3 double-sided discs. Here's a list of the season 1 episodes:

    The Munsters Unaired Pilot
    Munster Masquerade
    My Fair Munster
    A Walk on the Mild Side
    Rock-a-Bye Munster
    Pike's Pique
    Lo-Cal Munster
    Tin Can Man
    Herman the Great
    Knock Wood, Here Comes Charlie
    Autumn Croakus
    The Midnight Ride of Herman Munster
    The Sleeping Cutie
    The Munsters' Family Portrait
    Grandpa Leaves Home
    Herman's Rival
    Grandpa's Call of the Wild
    All-Star Munster
    If a Martian Answers, Hang Up
    Eddie's Nickname
    Bats of a Feather
    Don't Bank on Herman
    Dance With Me, Herman
    Follow That Munster
    Love Locked Out
    Come Back, Little Googie
    Far Out Munsters
    Munsters on the Move
    Movie Star Munster
    Herman the Rookie
    Country Club Munsters
    Love Comes to Mockingbird Heights
    Mummy Munster
    Lily Munster, Girl Model
    Munster the Magnificent
    Herman's Happy Valley
    Hot Rod Herman
    Herman's Raise
    Yes, Galen, There Is a Herman (aka My Friend Herman)

    38 episodes plus the unaired pilot, that's ALOT of Munsters!
    3 Comments 117 of 124 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    I am overjoyed at the prospect of owning The Munsters - The Complete First Season. This series has been and probably always will be one of my all-time favorite television shows. I can still remember growing up watching the afternoon reruns on WPIX from New York.

    The Munsters was created by Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher, the same team that brought Leave It To Beaver to television. Beaver was the quintessential American family sitcom of the late 50's - early 60's. Connelly and Mosher helped to establish all those nostalgic family sitcom cliches we've all come to love (or hate) in Leave It To Beaver then they went on to totally parody them in The Munsters. The first season opening credit sequence of The Munsters is a great example of the way they parodied the typical family sitcoms of the time. You see Lily Munster, housewife and mother, sending her brood off for the day in the same manner June Cleaver and Donna Reed did. Lily hands each of her loved ones their packed lunches or school books as she pinches their cheeks or gives them a little motherly kiss.

    Although The Munsters was considered much less sophisticated than its 60s creepy TV rival, The Addams Family, it is overall a much more entertaining series to me. Although the subversive quality of The Addams Family continues to make it an entertaining series to watch as an adult, I have to admit I didn't enjoy it as a child. The Munsters with its broad comedy and more obvious monster characters was much more fun to watch as a kid. It's worth pointing out that even though Morticia and Gomez Addams had a fiery sexual relationship on screen, Lily and Herman Munster may have been one of the only 60s TV couples to have been seen sharing the same bed (rather than the customary twin beds).
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    2 Comments 64 of 67 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    I have purchased this set as a gift for a friend who was mentioning for the past several months how much he'd like seeing these episodes again. As I read some of the reviews posted here, I was concerned whether these DVDs will play properly and was delighted that the set I purchased through amazon.com played perfectly.

    Having seen these episodes for the first time now (with my friend) I found the series both entertaining and heartwarming and was happy that the episodes are also geared toward instilling ethics and moral values. Whatever challenges the heroes of these episodes may be facing, they always act with integrity, and even though the main character - Herman Munster looks like Frankenstein and is rather clumsy, his good nature makes him a very lovable character. He is a wonderful example of what makes a human being worthy of love and respect, regardless of the physical appearance and whatever quirks one might have.
    Comment 67 of 74 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: DVD
    The Munsters are an ageless classic. Though they only lasted 2 seasons on CBS, The Munsters are still around 41 years later to please their fans!

    This complete first season set, features all 38 episodes from The Munsters first season on CBS. Also featured is the color pilot episode, "My Fair Munster", which features different people playing the characters of Lily and Eddie.

    Some VHS tapes have been released in the past featuring this color pilot, but only the first 5 minutes of it. Well, rest assured, this color pilot episode is fully intact. It is the original first pilot of The Munsters, in all it's colorful glory.

    Here's one thing you should look for, as you watch this set, take a look at the make-up change from the first 13 episodes. The Munsters are not as dark, and the sandy look in their faces, disappears. Not to return again, until the very beginning of the second season, because episodes from the early first season re-ran during the summer of 1965, so they had to had some extra darkness to the Munster's faces, until about 10 weeks into the second season.

    Another thing to watch for in this Season 1 set, is that the first 13 episodes, were almost filmed in the dark. There is almost no light or contrast in the very early episodes like "Autumn Croakus," "Munster Masquerade," "My Fair Munster," and "A Walk on the Mild Side." It is not a DVD problem, it's just how the original early episodes were filmed, as to establish a light tone, and not have children scared away.

    Also, take a look at Al lewis' widows-peak. It changes from episode to episode, and eventually is no longer drawn in with a pencil. They finally get him a widows-peak wig to wear in "Munsters on the Move.
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