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Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. - The Complete First Season
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Gomer Pyle, a naive country boy, leaves his home in Mayberry, NC to join the U.S. Marine corps. His perpetual wide-eyed innocence frequently gets on the nerves of his tough, loudmouthed sergeant. A successful spin-off from THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW.
Golll-eeeee! The '60s' favorite TV country bumpkin, Gomer Pyle, won the hearts of viewers on The Andy Griffith Show, and spun off in to his own wildly popular series, Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C.. As the eternally cheery and clueless Gomer, Jim Nabors gives a comic tour de force performance as a newbie Marine under the command of the short-tempered Sgt. Carter, played with demonic fervor by Frank Sutton. Are Pyle and Sgt. Carter bitter foes or comedic sidekicks? "Surprise, surprise, surprise"--the secret to their chemistry was that the actors and characters were both, inseparable and adorable in their signature ways. The scrapes Gomer gets into are fairly routine and never exactly threaten national security, but Nabors' guileless delivery makes viewers tune in for more; the belly laughs are real. The boxed set includes engaging audio commentary by Nabors, who clearly still holds a lot of affection for his hapless alter-ego, as well as all 30 first-season episodes, and the pilot, which actually aired on The Andy Griffith Show. Other gems from the archive treasure trove include appearances by Nabors on The Lucy Show, The David Frost Show, and Nabor's own variety show, which also showcased his accomplished singing. Shazam! --A.T. Hurley
- All 30 episodes from the 1964-65 season on five discs
- Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. pilot episode from The Andy Griffith Show
- Audio introductions by Jim Nabors on select episodes
- Jim Nabors interview on The David Frost Show
- The Jim Nabors Hour clip
- The Lucy Show episode "Lucy Gets Caught In The Draft"
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Top Customer Reviews
This first season of Gomer is fresh and funny. The writers had a new premise to play with and relationships between characters to establish, and the results will crack you up if your sense of humor has a wholesome side. The basic structure of the shows is, first, Gomer's backwoods "simple" nature leads to some monumental crisis. Next, Sgt. Carter uses his superior intelligence and city-slicker sophistication to either fix it or cover it up. Finally, either Gomer's country common sense or his almost supernatural good luck leads to an even happier ending for him than anyone thought possible, while at the same time dealing Sgt. Carter a gloomy conclusion and making him look somehow dumber than Gomer. Yet the writers offer a different take on that formula with every episode, and dig funny ideas out of the basic premise at every turn.
In addition, the Jim Nabors commentaries are charming. The character and the man are exactly alike in honesty and innocence, so it's just good, clean fun to hear Nabors discuss details about the early days of the show, or reminisce about being on the set of The Andy Griffith Show. I loved hearing him talk about Ron Howard's childhood and its influence on his later success. It was also touching to hear him talk about Don Knotts, who had recently passed when the commentaries were recorded. If you ever enjoyed this show, the Season 1 collection is affordable and will surely give you hours of enjoyable entertainment. It's easily one of my favorite DVD sets.
1. "Gomer the M.P."-features Robert Emhardt, the "Man In A Hurry" from the TAGS episode of the same name.
2. One of the early shows of this season, "A Date With The Colonel's Daughter" features Karl Swenson, who played "Mr. McBeevee" in the TAGS episode of the same name. In this episode he plays COL Harper, and his daughter's name is Jane, played by Suzanne Benoit.
3. Later in this season, the episode "Gomer Dates A Movie Star" is something of a continuation of "A Date With The Colonel's Daughter", except in this episode the COL is played by Forrest Compton (who later became a semi-regular playing the COL) and his name has been changed from COL Harper to COL Gray. Suzanne Benoit is still on hand as the COL's daughter, and also featured in this episode is Ruta Lee, who TAGS fans will recognize as the "college kid" reporter from the TAGS episode "Andy On Trial".
4. "Old Man Carter"-features Alvy Moore (Hank Kimball from Green Acres).
5. The award for the most TAGS alumni in a single episode of Gomer Pyle goes to "Love Letters To The Sarge". Keep your eyes open for no less than four Andy Griffith characters: Jean Carson ("Daphne", the sultrier half of "the fun girls" who likes to sidle up to Andy and purr "Hello doll" in his ear), Jackie Joseph (the object of Ernest T. Bass's affection, his darling "Romeena" in the TAGS episode "My Fair Ernest T. Bass"), Mary Lansing (who appeared in numerous TAGS episodes over the years including the saleslady who sells Opie the stockings for Helen in "Opie Loves Helen" and also played Emmet's wife in the last season), and Charles Thompson (who played Asa, the hotel clerk, bank guard, night watchman in Weaver's dept store, etc. in numerous TAGS episodes).
6. But the most bizarre connection between this first season of Gomer Pyle and TAGS is the episode "The Case Of The Marine Bandit". This episode is something of a mirror image of the TAGS episode "Barney's First Car" in that in both episodes the old lady "bad guy" is played by Ellen Corby (as running a car chop shop on TAGS and using Marines to rob liquor stores on GP), and the nice little old lady who shows up in the epilogs of both episodes is also played by the same actress, Hallene Hill. Watch "Barney's First Car" and then watch "The Case Of The Marine Bandit" and you'll see what I mean, it's interesting and makes you wonder how it could have happened by accident, or if the casting directors engineered it this way intentionally.
Long live The Andy Griffith Show and Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.!!!!!
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