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American Family: Anniversary Edition

3.4 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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$15.28 & FREE Shipping on orders over $49. Details Only 12 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • American Family: Anniversary Edition
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Editorial Reviews

In 1973, television viewers watched dramatic life events unfold in the home of an American family in Santa Barbara, California. An American Family: Anniversary Edition is a 2-hour feature-length special capturing the most memorable and compelling moments of the original 12-hour public television series that made TV history.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: .
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: PBS
  • DVD Release Date: August 30, 2011
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0057CONVS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #92,261 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
This DVD presents highlights of the 12-part series that became one of the most talked about television programs in America in 1973 -- perhaps in the entire decade. "An American Family" moved cameras into the California home of Bill and Pat Loud and their five children. (Lance, the oldest child, lived for a time at the legendary Chelsea Hotel in New York; Pat's visit to him there is one of the most memorable sequences of the series.) Eventually Bill and Pat separated -- an event shown on camera -- but remained friends (difficult, but, as these people proved, not impossible). They continued to care for each other and for their children.

It's often erroneously stated that Lance was the first openly gay person on nationwide TV. Although that was never made explicit, it's not difficult to read between the lines. And his family was completely accepting of him -- including his father, who was something of a macho type (he owned a company that sold replacement parts for heavy machinery). Bill's obvious affection for Lance is, to use an old-fashioned word, heartwarming.

This is often considered the first reality show. The difference is that it's real reality, unlike the scripted, manipulated kind all too common in today's shows of that description. Viewing it today, I find it just as engrossing as it was way back when. Highly recommended.
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Format: DVD
I just wish they could just get the music licensing issues handled so that they could release the series in it's entirety. All the highlights and commentary can't express the impact of actually seeing the full programs.

I'll skip this and wait for the real thing.
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Format: DVD
In 1971 - for 13 weeks many folks in America - including me - watched the first "reality TV" show (though there wasn't a word for it then.) There was also no PBS. It was NET (for National Educational Television). The New York affiliate of NET (ironically called WNET) produced a 12 hour documentary on "an American family". As the original WNET Producer reminds us in the bonus feature interview, this was not a "typical American family", or an average one. But it was truly American. The Louds (Bill and Pat) had 5 teenage children. They allowed the cameras of Alan and Susan Raymond to follow them for seven months from May to December 1971. The cameras were at their home in Santa Barbara,CA and in New York where openly gay son Lance moved. They follow them as they go to Europe. During this 7 months Pat and Bill separate and divorce.

For the 40th anniversary of the show, WNET worked with the Raymonds to re-edit the 12 hours of film down to 1 hour and 50 minutes. The show aired earlier this year on PBS and is now on this DVD. 53 minutes of Bonus features are here too including an archival panel discussion from 1973 lead by Margaret Mead and new interviews with NET and WNET personnel - including the Raymonds.

It's a fascinating story , though, like a previous reviewer, I felt that it worked best in the longer chapter-ized version, which allowed things to be revealed at closer to real time. But this is still better than nothing. And the additional interviews add more perspective to the story. After all, this was a FIRST for NET - a real series.

The show was shot on film and it shows some age. Those used to the crisp images on TV today will have to settle for some graniness.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Awhile ago I reviewed a VHS recorded edition of "An American Family," the first true reality TV show featuring the Loud family of Santa Barbara, CA circa 1971. A remarkable documentary, but those who think they are getting the entire series on one DVD are sorely mistaken; bear in mind this is strictly a documentary on the series and the work of Craig Gilbert, the series director, and an overview with highlights from the show running approximately 95 minutes.

Nonetheless, for the uninitiated to the series, it is still a worthy foray into the show with some engaging interviews and background into the show, its historical significance, and its impact on reality television to this day. For more information about the series itself, please check my review on "An American Family"--a plea to the powers that be at PBS or elsewhere to transfer this seminal television artifact to DVD for all to enjoy.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I was disappointed in this DVD as I expected the original series, not snippets and "after the fact" scenes. Apparently the original mini-series was never recorded and this is all that was ever taped.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is like a long preview for the real series. I would prefer the whole series if ever available.
Reality TV in the seventies... This is the family reality program from PBS that inspired the movie Cinema Verite.
The people are sympathetic and one is left wondering how they are getting along today.
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