Dallas: The Complete Fourth Season (DVD)
|Format||Box set, Color, NTSC|
|Contributor||Jim Davis, Steve Kanaly, Barbara Bel Geddes, Charlene Tilton, Leonard Katzman, Ken Kercheval, Larry Hagman, Victoria Principal, Philip Capice, Patrick Duffy, Linda Gray See more|
|Number Of Discs||5|
|Publication Date||March 27, 2018|
Dallas: The Complete Fourth Season (DVD) Power, wealth, sex ... and glorious extravagance. They all find a home in the sprawling saga of the Ewing clan in Dallas. Revel in the saga that held the world in thrall for more than a decade: Led by the man everyone loves to hate, J.R. Ewing (Larry Hagman), there is no limit to what members of this family will do in the pursuit of power, wealth and revenge in a feud that started 40 years ago over an empire in oil and the love of a woman.
Dallas: The Complete Fourth Season (DVD)
Power, wealth, sex ... and glorious extravagance. They all find a home in the sprawling saga of the Ewing clan in Dallas. Revel in the saga that held the world in thrall for more than a decade: Led by the man everyone loves to hate, J.R. Ewing (Larry Hagman), there is no limit to what members of this family will do in the pursuit of power, wealth and revenge in a feud that started 40 years ago over an empire in oil and the love of a woman.]]>
- MPAA rating : NR (Not Rated)
- Product Dimensions : 0.7 x 7.5 x 5.4 inches; 5.61 Ounces
- Media Format : Box set, Color, NTSC
- Release date : March 27, 2018
- Actors : Barbara Bel Geddes, Jim Davis, Patrick Duffy, Linda Gray, Larry Hagman
- Dubbed: : English
- Producers : Leonard Katzman, Philip Capice
- Studio : WarnerBrothers
- ASIN : B078952HZ5
- Number of discs : 5
- Customer Reviews:
Reviewed in the United States on January 31, 2009
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This set, as most Dallas fans surely realize, has within it the episode that resolves the "Who Shot J.R.?" story arc. It's episode #4 of this season ("Who Done It?"), which first aired on Friday night, November 21st, 1980. And it looks just great on this DVD (as do all the other episodes as well). The video quality here, like the earlier DVD sets of "Dallas" put out by Warner Home Video, looks A-OK to me.
Prior to the much-anticipated airing of "Who Done It?" in late November of 1980 (which was delayed in getting aired by about two months due to an actors' strike in Hollywood that shut down production of all TV series), it had been exactly eight months since TV viewers had seen the season-ending cliffhanger where we see J.R. Ewing being filled with hot lead from the gun of an unseen and unknown would-be murderer.
That meant eight long months of guesswork engaged in by fans of the series, trying to figure out who plugged John Ross Ewing II. I can vividly recall the media build-up to the "Who Done It?" episode in 1980. It was something else. Everyone was talking "Dallas" and speculating as to who might have been the gunman (or gunwoman). And there wasn't a shortage of "suspects" either, right on up to Miss Ellie Ewing, J.R.'s own mother! Several people thought Ellie had had enough of her eldest son's backstabbing shenanigans and had decided to take matters (and a murder weapon) into her own hands.
Anyway, those months leading up to the big cliffhanger-resolution 4th show of the year were truly something to behold. So it's no wonder that the "Who Done It?" episode managed to break all kinds of television records. 41,470,000 homes ("households") were tuned to "Dallas" that Friday night in 1980 to see who it was that tried to kill Mr. Ewing, shattering the previous television ratings' record (held at that time by the last episode of "The Fugitive" in 1967) for the highest-rated and most-watched single TV program in history.*
* = Total number of actual "viewers" watching "Dallas" on 11/21/1980, however, was much higher than the 41-Million-plus figure previously mentioned. From data I've gathered on the Internet, there were approximately 83,000,000 people watching "Dallas" that night in the United States. (Although some sources list this "Total Number Of People Watching" stat as greater than 90-Million.)
Another interesting statistic that surrounds the airing of the "Who Done It?" episode is the fact that commercial advertisements that were seen on CBS-TV that night cost those sponsors $500,000 per minute. And, remember, that was many, many years ago, in 1980. Whew! J.R. would no doubt be very proud of those monetary stats!
Of course, that half-a-million-dollars-per-minute TV ad cost, circa 1980, is dwarfed by some similar 21st-century stats....e.g., the average cost for a 30-second TV spot during the annual Super Bowl telecast reached a staggering $2.4-Million (as of 2005).
This fourth year of "Dallas", which is considered by many loyal "Dallas" fans to really be just the third (full) season of the show, in addition to containing some of the most-memorable episodes from the whole series, also marks the sad departure of Jim Davis (who played "Jock Ewing", the always-gruff and no-nonsense head of the Ewing family and Ewing Oil empire).
Jim Davis died at the age of 71 on April 26, 1981, which was just days before this fourth-season's cliffhanging finale ("Ewing-Gate") was aired on CBS. Jim's/Jock's presence was indeed missed by this writer during the subsequent seasons of "Dallas". And while the character of "Clayton Farlow" (played by the late Howard Keel) was a pretty good character in his own right, there was just no replacing Jock Ewing. Couldn't be done.
As fate would have it, Keel passed away on the exact day that the "Dallas Reunion" special originally aired on network TV in early November 2004. He was 85 years old. That very Reunion special is also included in its entirety in this DVD set.
This DVD aggregation contains four double-sided discs, which are held in two overlapping disc trays within a smaller and more-compact Digipak case than was used for the two earlier DVD collections. The footprint (spine width) of this 4th-season pack is a mere 3/4 of an inch.
When all four discs are removed from the two DVD-holding compartments, an impressive-looking underlying image emerges beneath the plastic trays -- a picture of a "smoking gun". A nice packaging touch.
There is no booklet included here in the Season-Four set. And the slimmer packaging reduces the amount of room for episode info...so there are no detailed (or even non-detailed) episode descriptions to be found on the innards of the box. The episode titles and airdates are listed however.
The outer slipcase box features photos of three of the main cast members (J.R., Pam, and Bobby), with the Dallas city skyline in the background. And while these three pics on the front cover are cut-and-paste jobs, I think the cover looks very nice.
And I just love the humorous blurb on the back of the outer box here too. A portion of it reads -- "Who shot J.R.? One of the men he cheated in business? One of the women he cheated in love? Or is the culprit closer to home: a member of the big, unhappy Ewing family who figured to reduce the weasel population of Texas by one?"
Excellent! That packaging verbiage deserves a big ol' "LOL" too! :-)
There are no Audio Commentaries included here, but the folks at Warner Home Video have included a really nice extra bonus item on Side B of Disc #4 of this set -- "Dallas Reunion: The Return To Southfork".
First seen on CBS on November 7th, 2004, this 2-hour Reunion special (87 minutes on the DVD, without the original commercials) was watched by more than 9-Million people during its initial airing. It ranked an impressive #20 in the Nielsen ratings for that week.
The Reunion Special is a very fun program to watch, with many original "Dallas" cast members (including Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy, Linda Gray, and Victoria Principal) getting together at the real "Southfork" Ranch in Texas to share their individual and collective remembrances of the TV series (which ended its remarkable 357-episode network run in 1991).
The "Reunion" is filled with cast-member anecdotes, bloopers, behind-the-scenes footage, and more good stuff too. A nifty little section of the Reunion program centers its attention on the "Best Dallas Cliffhangers". And there's some interesting unaired footage that was filmed during the "Who Shot J.R.?" frenzy, which includes scenes of various "suspects" firing the famous shot heard 'round the TV world.
Some of the outtake/blooper footage is hilarious. I especially like the outtake which has a frustrated Barbara Bel Geddes ("Miss Ellie") unleashing an unmentionable invective as she blows a line of dialogue. The curse word has been "bleeped out" by the CBS censors, but it's still funny anyhow, because you know Barbara uttered something naughty. :)
All-in-all, this Dallas Reunion is a very pleasant and enjoyable look back at one of TV's pioneering "nighttime soaps", a show that entered American living rooms for 14 consecutive years, spanning parts of three separate decades.
Some Season-Four DVD Specs:
VIDEO -- These 23 episodes are displayed in their native Full-Frame ratio (1.33:1), as first aired in 1980-1981. The 2004 Reunion special is also presented in 1.33:1 Full-Frame, as originally seen.
AUDIO -- Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono for all episodes (English only). The Retrospective Documentary includes a DD 2.0 Stereo soundtrack.
SUBTITLES -- In English, French, and Spanish. No subtitles are provided for the Reunion special though.
CHAPTERS? -- Yes. Each episode is divided into 6 chapters, and the originally-aired "previews" are intact prior to the main titles on all episodes. The "Next Week On Dallas" trailers at the end of each show are not included, however. (Note: The Reunion special is not broken up into individual chapters.)
MENUS -- The S.4 Menus are just like those from the earlier "Dallas" sets, featuring the main-title theme music playing on a continuous loop while the Main Menu is on screen. Sub-Menus can be accessed for "Episodes", "Languages", and "Special Features". Plus, there's a "Play" option on the Main Menu too. Selecting that item will "Play All" of the three episodes on that side of the disc without interruption. (There are just two episodes on the "B" side of the last disc, however -- plus the lengthy Reunion documentary.)
The Main Menu on each disc and side features a picture of the Ewing family....although Jock isn't in the picture. I can't figure out the reason for this blatant omission, because Jock was still in the cast during this season. Donna, Ray, and Cliff are shown on the Main Menu, but not Jock. That's a shame, too, because Jock should certainly be included in a "family" type portrait (circa Season 4; '80-'81).
This Season-Four DVD collection of "Dallas" is an essential purchase for those who already have Season #3. I cannot imagine having one without the other. Those two "Dallas" seasons go together like hand-and-glove.
To be able to own the forever-popular "Who Done It?" episode (and the eps. that lead up to it) in a beautiful, digitally-preserved format, as we see here, for a very reasonable price tag, is something that virtually all "Dallas" fans should be happy about.
And, on top of that, with a feature-length documentary program tacked on to this DVD set as a bonus, it makes "Dallas: The Complete Fourth Season" an even better 'steal of a deal'. I'm not too sure that even the scheming J.R. Ewing himself could have wangled a better deal for this DVD package. ;)
The shooter is revealed in the fourth episode of the season, and that episode ranked as one of the most watched episodes of any series in television history. I won't spoil the surprise if there are still one or two people who don't know and don't want to know who pulled the trigger, but the writers and actors and everyone did a great job of making sure that viewers were led down many paths and had many choices as to who it was that pulled the trigger.
The fourth season began immediately after JR was shot and continued through some tumultuos times for the oil-rich Ewing family. As the previous season ended, JR's brother Bobby (Patrick Duffy) and his wife Pamela (Victoria Principal) were leaving the family's ranch, Southfork, heading for a new life in California. They were tired of JR's shady dealings and packed up and left, much to the dismay of matriarch Miss Ellie (Barbara Bel Geddes).
JR's shooting brings Pamela and Bobby back to Southfork, where Bobby takes over as temporary boss at Ewing Oil. As JR recovers, he finds ways to sneak back into power, finally leading to Bobby stepping down and JR resuming his "rightful" spot at the head of the company. However, Bobby's leadership helped the company break new ground and for that, he earned his father Jock's (Jim Davis) respect. Of course running Ewing Oil quickly taxed Bobby's marriage and sent his wife towards the arms of another man. Pam, back at her former job at a department store, finds it hard to resist the urge to cheat on her husband with a magazine editor she works with.
JR and his wife Sue Ellen (Linda Gray) have more marital problems of their own, as she is a prime suspect in his shooting and eventually finds herself in the arms of a few different men, including her former college sweetheart Clint Ogden. While Sue Ellen finds herself dedicated to motherhood, she doesn't find herself dedicated to JR, as his continued relationships with other women drive her over the edge. JR's most prolific affairs in this season are with his niece Lucy's sister-in-law Afton Cooper (guest star Audrey Flanders) and with PR maven Leslie Stewart (Susan Flannery, now of The Bold and the Beautiful). As the season draws to a close, Sue Ellen is reunited with Dusty Farlow, (guest star Jared Martin) a man she fell in love with in an earlier season and was presumed dead in a helicopter crash. She makes plans to take her baby and leave JR for the Farlow's Southern Cross Ranch, with a little help from Pamela.
Miss Ellie and Jock go through a tough time when they are on opposing sides of a development deal. When it is revealed that ranch foreman Ray Krebbs (Steve Kanaly) is Jock's son from an affair he had during the war, Miss Ellie believes that her husband begins to favor Ray a little more. The Takapa development deal widens the gap between the heads of the Ewing family before Bobby, who was elected a state senator in a special election, works out a compromise that suits both. After Miss Ellie and Jock make up, they head to Paris for a second honeymoon.
Ray also reconnects with the love of his life, Donna Culver (guest star and future series regular Susan Howard). They get married, much to the dismay of Cliff Barnes (Ken Kercheval), the brother of Pamela, who is the arch-rival to the Ewing family. Cliff and Donna had been dating for a while as he ran her son's campaign.
Cliff and Pamela also track down their mother, or really, Pamela tracks her down and Cliff gets mad. Rebecca Barnes Wentworth (guest star Priscilla Pointer) moves to Dallas to try to get closer to the family she left many years earlier. Though Cliff rebuffs her attempts of reconciliation at first, he is later swayed to reconcile with his mother.
Young Lucy Ewing (Charlene Tilton) meets Mitch Cooper (guest star Leigh McCloskey) at college and the two get married, despite the fact that he is struggling to make ends meet. He resents the Ewing money and he and Lucy have many arguments over that. Lucy gets a modeling job thanks to Pamela's editor friend and that furthers the divide between the two and as the season ends, Lucy is heading back to Southfork.
The cliffhanger end to season four once again involved JR. Cliff showed up at Southfork for a meeting with Bobby, who he had been working with in the senate. He arrives and finds a body in the pool. He dives in, notices the (still unrevealed) body is dead. Looking up, he sees a broken railing and JR standing looking down over the pool.
The extra on this set was a pretty decent look into the show, a 2004 reunion entitled Return to Southfork, hosted by Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy, Linda Gray, Victoria Principal, Ken Kercheval, Steve Kanaly and Charlene Tilton. The original stars talk about life on the set, the famous cliffhangers and more. I found this an interesting piece, as I never watched the show when it was on the air and have yet to see many of the famous scenes.
Sadly, this season marked the last appearance of Jim Davis as Jock Ewing. Though his character would continue on in the next season (on a trip to South America), the actor died before the shooting began. Davis was fantastic as the family patriarch and it is hard to imagine the series carrying on without him, though it did for another 10 years.
All in all, if you're looking for soapy drama in a true 80s fashion, you really can't go wrong with Dallas: Season Four.
Top reviews from other countries
This is ofcourse the season we find out Who Shot JR ( I won't spoil it for the few remaining people on the planet who don't know!) All the classic ingredients of Dallas are in place, all the original cast ( for the last time ), JR scheming and sleeping around, Sue Ellen an emotional wreck with her mouth moving in several directions at once, the whole family gathered for breakfast and dinner in spite of everything they do to each other - priceless!
A special mention has to go to Jim Davis/Jock Ewing, his last series. Being a child when these early series were first on I barely remember him, what a great character and a towering performance by Jim Davis; he really brings the Ewing boys, even JR, to heel and in one great scene gives Bobby a tough talking to about power that really hits home.
I don't quite give this season 5 stars for a number of reasons, mainly due to the fact that this is still the very early 80s and some aspects of the show are a bit dated from today's perspective; not just the sets and fashions ( in particular the awful perm the otherwise beautiful Pam has for a few episodes ) but more seriously some of the characters are a bit thinly drawn ( Kristen for example ) and several characters behave strangely to make the plot work - Sue Ellen in particular is all over the place, going from hating to loving JR and back again with amazing ease ( although Linda Gray is superb at playing Sue Ellen and manages to carry it off ); also Jock and Miss Ellie's 45 year marriage nearly breaking up over something of nothing ( but again reconciling almost in the blink of an eye ).
But at the end of the day this is a soap opera, all of the above could be said of any soap, and this being Dallas its so enjoyable that if a few unlikely things have to happen to make the overall thing work, who cares? Any criticisms of Dallas are made in the cold light of day, whilst actually watching it you find yourself just swept along.
Also worthy of mention, the special feature, Dallas The Reunion, I quite liked this; yes it was a bit contrived in places but it was fun seeing the bloopers/out-takes ( Barbara Bel Geddes saying the f-word ) I just wish there'd been a few more of them.
I definitely recommend buying this season and to quote Sue Ellen in bed with JR ( in one of the out-takes Bobby is also in bed with them ) "it just keeps getting better and better."
J.R is truly the original nasty man in any soap, but i'm glad he didn't meet his end and survived to terrorise the people of Dallas for many a season again.
It's brilliant from the glamour to the backstabbing. I loved it!