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Father Knows Best: Season 1
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Copy: Maybe he didn't always know best, but insurance salesman Jim Anderson (Robert Young) of Springfield, Ohio, was America's favorite head of household. Father Knows Best premiered on CBS in October 1954 and has been part of the American cultural fabric ever since. Every week families gathered around the television set to join Jim, Margaret, "Princess", "Bud" and "Kitten" in their very first year as everyone's favorite 50's family. On DVD for the first time ever, this 4-disc set contains the Complete first season. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
*New cast interviews
*Robert Young's home movies
*Rare behind the scenes color footage
*24 Hours In Tyrantland - special episode created for the U.S. government.
*Window On Main Street pilot episode - Robert Young's very next TV series.
It's telling that this family favorite began on radio as Father Knows Best? When the show came to CBS in 1954, the question mark disappeared. Contrary to popular opinion, however, Springfield, Ohio, insurance agent Jim Anderson (Emmy winner Robert Young) doesn't have all the answers. He and his wife, Margaret (fellow Emmy winner Jane Wyatt), come close, though. Were the show in production now, Anderson wouldn't smoke, but Father Knows Best reflects the standards of its time--separate beds and all. The sweet-natured pilot sets the tone when 14-year-old Bud (Billy Gray) frets about the school dance until Jim arranges for his 17-year-old sister, Betty (Elinor Donahue), to show him some steps. Other storylines revolve around community service and feeling needed, while "Thanksgiving Day" offers a glimpse of Jim's imperfect side when he dismisses a poem written by nine-year-old Kathy (Laurin Chapin), who overhears him; he realizes he was holding Kitten to impossible standards. As Chapin notes in the bonus interview (in which Donahue also features), the primary themes were cooperation and forgiveness. Naysayers can knock Father Knows Best for being square, but it espouses timeless values. And who's to say the lingo wasn't hip for the 1950s? Colorful examples include "goobers," "criminy," "creepers," "knot-head," and "simply utterly."
On the downside, these 26 episodes appear in unrestored, syndicated condition. Fortunately, the show doesn't look too bad for its age and abundant extras compensate, like special 1959 savings bond episode 24 Hours in Tyrantland and Young's home movies and behind-the-scenes footage, both with low-key narration by grandson Bill Proffitt. After Young put Father Knows Best to rest, he segued to 1960's Window on Main Street (this set includes the pilot) before scoring another hit with Marcus Welby, M.D.. Donahue followed suit with The Andy Griffith Show and Wyatt with Star Trek. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
- New cast interviews
- Robert Young's home movies
- Rare behind the scenes color footage
- 24 Hours In Tyrantland, special episode created for the U.S. government
- Window On Main Street pilot episode, Robert Young's very next TV series
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Top customer reviews
I would highly recommend this series to our young families of the world. The older ones know what I am talking about. Thank you.
I watched Bachelor Father, Dobie Gillis & Father Knows Best everyday & had my video machine going to put 'em all on tape. As a result I've got loads of Father Knows Best episodes & have even transferred some to DVD as the show hadn't been yet made available on DVD, so my homemade DVDs were something to tide me over anyway.
I'm very pleased to see the series finally get the DVD treatment. I, like some of the others am displeased & think it unfortunate that some of these are syndicated prints. However, as this is a true rarity & has been scarce in rerun markets over the years, I'll gladly take the first & second season & every & any additional seasons that become available in the future. Episodes of Father Knows Best in any DVD offering, syndicated and/or otherwise is better than not having it in any form at all. Sure, I'd love having the completely unedited prints same as many others who have griped about this, but if the syndicated are the majority of prints available in this set, then so be it. They will due until some distributor makes the unedited ones available. For the time being, I'm satisfied.
Some of my favorite episodes were the one where Kathy played a sleuth to unravel a mystery, the one where Kathy is a real tomboy & in the closing scene she makes a grand entrance to her date in a lovely dress. The one where Kathy takes a friend's baby sister & wants to be her mother which had been in one of the earlier shows.
Betty awaiting word on her boyfriend, the jet pilot, Betty being a snob to Bud around her friends, the christmas show which featured Wallace Ford as Santy. Great, great episodes. These plots had morals & The Andersons are a staple of 1950s middle class wholesome americana.
I also LOVED Father Knows Best: Home For Christmas, one of the two reunion movies of 1977 (hadn't seen the previous one, Father Knows Best Reunion).
I thought Billy Gray (Bud) was so cute & endearing as he had gotten into his upper teens!
Elinor Donahue (Betty) was so down-to-earth & upbeat & had some of the most comical one-liners in some of the earlier episodes where she'd make a sharp-witted remark about Bud to Father! She also had a warm & bright smile that was remarkable.
Lauren Chapin (Kathy) was everyone's favorite half-pint tomboyish kid sister who at times felt neglected & was always there with a shoulder. I bought Lauren Chapin's Father Does Know Best autobiography back when it was first released & am proud to have it in my library of favorite publications/memorabilia. I empathize with all she's overcome & the inner strength & determination that got her through it in the long run. We LOVE you, Lauren!
Jim & Margaret were there with words of wisdom & instilled values in their children which is timeless & makes this show appropriate for kids of all ages. It's also clean & inoffensive & makes the grade as a classic worth having in your DVD library of really good 1950s family sitcoms. I'm an avid fan of the vintage radio series as well!