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Mr. Belvedere: Seasons One & Two

4.8 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

When Pittsburgh sports columnist George Owens (Bob Uecker) and wife Marsha (Ilene Graff), a new law school student, find themselves with little time to spend with their three rambunctious kids, Marsha places an ad for some household help. Enter Mr. Belvedere (Christopher Hewett), a quick-witted, refined, portly English housekeeper. Despite the objections of George, Mr. Belvedere is hired and quickly sets about whipping the Owens family into shape.

Mr. Belvedere premiered in 1985 and enjoyed a six season run, but has endured ever since as a symbol of its time. The story of one family trying to have it all, with some unlikely help, the show was not afraid to deal with real issues and still make us laugh. Affectionately remembered, Mr. Belvedere lives on as a cult favorite and an icon of 80s suburbia.
Bonus Features:

* New Interviews With the Cast

* Saturday Night Live Mr. Belvedere Fan Club Sketch

The Owens household faces potential chaos: Two working parents and three unsupervised children! In sweeps Mr. Belvedere, British nanny/housekeeper, imposing order on America's suburban anarchy. From this simple yet preposterous premise, a classic sitcom was born. Though popular sportscaster Bob Uecker (Major League) was the first actor cast (as hapless father George), the success of Mr. Belvedere rests on two sets of shoulders: Christopher Hewett, as the snippy but affectionate Lynn Belvedere, and Brice Beckham, as Wesley, the smallest, smartest, and wiliest of the Owens children. The rest of the family--George, mother Marsha (Ilene Graff), teenage brother and sister Kevin and Heather (Rob Stone and Tracy Wells)--get to have their moments, but Hewett and Beckham dominate the show, and deservedly so. Though ostensibly a fish-out-of-water/culture-clash comedy, Mr. Belvedere is secretly about the amoral drives of childhood slowly being shaped into the civilized consciousness of adult life. Or, to put it another way, Wesley is a cunning, self-serving brat being taught compassion and thoughtfulness by the effective one-two punch of Mr. Belvedere's barbed comments and gentle wisdom. What makes the show delightful (and delightfully subversive) is that Mr. Belvedere doesn't teach Wesley rigid notions of right and wrong, as might happen in a more conventional sitcom. Instead of laying down rules, Mr. Belvedere seeks to awaken Wesley's conscience; he inspires the pint-sized schemer to look at the world, recognize injustice, and make up his own mind what to do about it. This may take the form of being nice to guests at a party or standing up for a friend who's ostracized because he has AIDS. The AIDS episode, which came out during the Reagan era, may have been a cultural landmark, but Mr. Belvedere treated everyday social conflicts with the same mixture of gravity and wit. Don't get the wrong idea: This is a formulaic sitcom, with all the slapstick and gags-per-minute that requires. But what keeps Mr. Belvedere from being Alf with a plump Brit instead of a second-rate muppet was this surprising sense of humane purpose. This, combined with the great rapport of Hewett and Beckham, resulted in surprisingly good television. Extras include some sweet reminiscences by the cast and a sour Saturday Night Live sketch about a Mr. Belvedere fan club. --Bret Fetzer

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Christopher Hewett, Ilene Graff, Brice Beckham, Bob Uecker, Rob Stone
  • Directors: Don Corvan, Noam Pitlik, Tony Sheehan
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated:
    General Audience
  • Studio: Shout! Factory
  • DVD Release Date: March 17, 2009
  • Run Time: 690 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001NPK5BU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,541 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Mr. Belvedere: Seasons One & Two" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Christopher R. Hernandez on March 28, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Shout! has done another excellent job with their release of Mr Belvedere seasons one & two. The episodes are all the original network episodes, not syndicated cuts. The original opening credits have been restored, inculding the original pilot opening. No music is replaced. The video is for the most part fine. Occasionally there is a blurry spot but the show is over 20 years old. The audio sounds fine also, but occasionally the sound is slightly lower in some spots.

Now for the show itself. I watched this show when it originally aired and haven't seen it much in syndication since. My memory of the show is mostly from it's original network run. I loved the show then but wasn't mature enough to fully appreciate it's humor. After watching this set I enjoyed the show even more than I remembered. As an adult I can catch the adult jokes that I missed when I was a kid. This show is as entertaining to adults as it is to a younger audience. It holds up well. I watched episode after episode not wanting to come to the end and enjoying every second of it.

The set does have special features. There are interviews with the surviving cast members (minus Tracy Wells). They talk about how much fun they had on the show, including the pranks they played on each other. They talk of their fond memories and how they are still rmeembered to this day for their Mr Belvedere roles. Hopefully future sets will have an interview with Tracy Wells. The other special feature is the SNL Mr Belvedere fan club skit. That has nothing to do with the show, but it is hysterically funny. Tom Hanks is in it. The set also features two clips Family Guy in which Stewie sings the Mr Belvedere theme song. This is also mentioned in the interviews.
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Format: DVD
If you're sick and tired of today's un-funny and truly mean comedies that are billed as "family sitcoms," then this DVD release of Mr. Belvedere from the mid-1980s is for you.

Mr. Belvedere had heart. A Classic TV Family Sitcom that remains vastly underrated, it was based on the Gwen Davenport novel, "Belvedere," which also had spawned two much earlier movie adaptations. The TV series brought a high-brow Englishman to work as a live-in nanny for a middle-class American family. It ran Friday night's on ABC from 1985 to 1990.

It starred Christopher Hewitt, who portrayed Lynn Aloysis Belvedere, a very proper Englishman who had worked for the British gentry, including Winston Churchill and English royalty. The series begins when Belvedere shows up at doorstep of the American residence of George Owens on a very cold and snowy December night. Ownes, played surprisingly well by George Uecker, portrayed exactly what he was in real-life: a former Major League Baseball player and sportscaster.

George's wife on the series, Marsha Cameron Owens, played by Ilene Graff, as well as their three children, immediately fall under the charm of Mr. Belvedere. The same cannot be said of George, who has the exact opposite response to Belvedere, and the feeling is decidedly mutual. Nonetheless, Mr. Belvedere is hired and the rest is Classic TV history.

Much of the series involves the conflict between George and Mr. Belvedere, but also the interaction of the "stuffy" British servant with Marsha, who is also a law student, and the children: Wesley T. Owens, played by Brice Beckham; Kevin Owens, played by Rob Stone; and Heather Owens, played by Tracy Wells. Especially compelling is the relationship that evolves between Belvedere and the spirited and wise-cracking Wesley.
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Format: DVD
1985. What a wonderful year it was. It was definitley a joy and a treat to be a little kid in this era. 1985 was no exception. This was the year that brought us "Back To The Future", "The Goonies", "The Breakfast Club", and so much more. Tears For Fears, Wham!, Madonna, and others were ruling the music charts. And on TV, "The Cosby Show", "Family Ties", "Cheers" and many more were taking over your living room. 1985 also brought us another family sitcom, a type of sitcom prevalent in the 1980's, and this one featured a prim and proper english butler. A butler named Mr. Belvedere. Lynn Belvedere, to be exact.

"Mr. Belvedere" premiered as a mid season replacement on ABC on March 15, 1985. Here is the set up : The Owens family are a typical family household, five members, and living in the suburbs of Pittsburgh. Dad George Owens(Bob Uecker, "Major League")is a sports columnist. Mom is Marsha Ownes(Ilene Graff), a mother and wife who is going to school to become a lawyer. And what is a family sitcoms without the kids?. The Owens family has three kids. Teenagers Kevin(Rob Stone)and Heather(Tracy Wells), and little Wesley(Brice Beckham). The parents have their hands full, and need a little help. Mr. Belvedere(Christopher Hewitt)lands on their doorstep just in time and, with some shoving by the others to George, becomes the new Owens housekeeper.

"Mr. Belvedere" was not a major hit, and from what I hear, struggled to stay on the air for it's six seasons. It is a fondly remembered series from my youth, and it is wonderful to see that it has held up surprisingly well. The first episode, "Stranger In The Night", sets things up and gets it going. Belvedere makes an impression on the family members, mainly Marsha and the kids, but tough 'ol George hasn't been swayed.
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