The Patty Duke Show: Season 1
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From 1963 to 1966, American audiences were treated to the weekly comic hijinks of identical twin cousins, Patty Lane, a normal American teenager living in Brooklyn Heights, New York and Cathy Lane, her Scottish cousin freshly arrived in the United States to finish her secondary schooling. Patty Duke, already an Academy Award-Winner for her role in The Miracle Worker, played the roles of both girls. The Patty Duke Show immediately won over television audiences and ran for three fun-filled seasons, totaling 104 hilarious episodes. For the first time all 36 episodes are available on DVD in this 6-disc set!
* A Look Back At The Patty Duke Show With Brand-New Cast Interviews
As The Patty Duke Show demonstrates, from its very first episode in 1963, there's no teenager, then or now, who more personified early-'60s American Teen than Patty Duke. And the hit sitcom is still as funny and endearing as ever--and lots of fun to watch as a whole season. Plus there's something else that can be appreciated a few decades after the fact: as the double star of The Patty Duke Show, playing trendy wisenheimer American Patty Lane, and her "identical cousin," the cultivated Cathy, who grew up in Scotland, Duke pulled double acting duty throughout the show, and her performances as each teen are enthusiastic and impressive.
Duke's smiling, open persona, and her ease with her costars, is one reason for the show's appeal. When playing Patty, she's given the '60s standard-issue role of Young Alien in a Teenage Human Body--speaking an unfamiliar language (Patty: "Would you swing an X here?" Dad: "I assume in some unknown language that means you want my signature") and following peculiar tribal customs (Younger brother Ross: "So what happens at a slumber party, anyway?" Mom: ""Everything but slumbering!"). Yet Patty is lovable, and the audience is always rooting for her, even though it's always hoped that Cathy, the cultured, well-behaved cousin, will "rub off" on Patty.
Duke was already a Broadway veteran and an Oscar® winner for The Miracle Worker when she starred in the show at age 16. As the fantastic documentary included here informs, the show's producers chose to shoot in New York, whose child-labor laws were more lax than California's, so that young Duke could work 12 hours on set instead of 5. And the doc shows just how much acting Duke really had to do. As the present-day Duke recalls, "They had to bring in 'real' teenagers to teach me how to do the dances, the latest craze," she says. "I was too busy working to know about any of that stuff." Also standouts are the veteran character actor William Schallert, who played Patty's bemused dad, and Paul O'Keefe as the bespectacled pesky younger brother, Ross. The show was the brainchild of TV powerhouse Sidney Sheldon, who went on to create I Dream of Jeannie and Hart to Hart. Sheldon wrote nearly every episode in the first season himself, honing his craft in the still relatively new TV format of sitcom. This boxed set is a treasure trove for any fans of '60s TV, or of Patty Duke--and that should include pretty much everyone. --A.T. Hurley
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Top Customer Reviews
The series was one of the best and most beloved Classic TV comedies from the 1960's. Shout!Factory is continuing its string of great Classic TV releases (including Father Knows Best, My Three Sons and The Donna Reed Show) by presenting the complete first season of this iconic series on DVD for the first time.
The Patty Duke Show aired on ABC beginning Sept. 18, 1963. It lasted 105 episodes spanning three seasons - all in glorious black and white!
One year before, Ms. Duke had won an Academy Award® for her portrayal of the blind, deaf and mute Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker (at the time, she was the youngest person to have won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress). As a result, she was chosen for her own self-titled vehicle, which featured her in not one, but two prominent roles.
The series followed Patty Lane (Ms. Duke), a `normal' 60's teenager living in the Brooklyn Heights section of New York City, who loves boys, ice cream, and sleep-overs. Her father is the managing editor of the New York Chronicle. In the unaired Pilot, her "identical cousin" Cathy Lane (also portrayed by Duke), whose father also works for the Chronicle as a foreign correspondent, arrives in the U.S. from Scotland to live with Patty's family and attend secondary school.
The series was extremely popular with both teens and their parents, turning Ms. Duke into an early teenaged idol.
As an adult, Ms. Duke has documented her long struggle with mental illness. The brilliant star sadly disclosed that she also suffered abuse during the years this series was produced. As a result, there is a genuine darkness beneath the fictitious veneer of these sweetly, innocent episodes. It is a true testament to her talent and very hard work that none of that was conveyed on screen. In my opinion, this series should still be enjoyed to honor her performances, for which Ms. Duke rightly received an Emmy nomination. (She is also the former wife of wonderful actor John Astin. The couple's son, Sean Astin, is also an actor.)
All 36 half-hour episodes and the unaired pilot are expected to be included in this DVD boxed set, presented on six discs (to provide background material as needed, clips from the Pilot had been utilized through "flash-back" scenes describing Cathy's arrival in the U.S.).
Special features are expected to include interviews with cast members, plus a featurette on the series. The show was created by William Asher, who also created and produced Bewitched; and Sidney Sheldon, who created a host of thrillers but also I Dream of Jeannie in the 1960's and Hart to Hart in the 1990's.
In addition to Ms. Duke, the core cast included William Schallert, who played Patty's father, Martin Lane; Jean Byron as Patty's mother, Natalie Lane; Paul O'Keefe portrayed Patty's sister, Ross Lane; and Eddie Applegate, who portrayed Patty's boyfriend, Richard Harrison in 70 episodes.
Schallert has one of the longest careers in TV and also film, and remains active in his 80's. (Incredibly, there was almost no hit TV show - in all genres - from the 60s through the 80s that he did not appear.)
The dual role played by Ms. Duke presented special effects challenges for the low-tech 60's, as they were rarely ever used in sitcoms of the day. (A VERY notable exception was the daytime gothic soap opera, Dark Shadows.)
In each episode of this series, Ms. Duke appeared as both characters in the same frame through the use of a split screen effect. To complement these effects, child actress Rita McLaughlin was used as Ms. Duke's double (almost always seen only from behind).
First Season episodes are: The Pilot; The French Teacher; The Genius; The Elopement; House Guest; The Birds and the Bees Bit; The Slumber Party; The Babysitters; The Conquering Hero; The President; Double Date; The Actress; How to Be Popular; The Song Writers; The Princess Cathy; Christmas Present; Auld Lang Syne; Horoscope; The Tycoons; Author! Author!; The Continental; Let 'Em Eat Cake; Going Steady; Are Mothers People?; The Con Artist; The Perfect Teenager; Chip Off the Old Block; The Wedding Anniversary Caper; Pen Pals; A Slight Case of Disaster; The Friendship Bit; Patty, the Foster Mother; Drop Out; Leave it to Patty; The Little Dictator; The Working Girl; and The Cousins.
"Cousins," was the unforgettable series theme. The music was composed by Sid Ramin, while the lyrics that stayed in your head like a causality loop, was written by Robert Wells. For those not old enough to have the song still playing in their aged noggins, here it is:
Meet Cathy, who's lived most everywhere,
From Zanzibar to Barclay Square.
But Patty's only seen the sights
A girl can see from Brooklyn Heights--
What a crazy pair!
But they're cousins,
Identical cousins all the way.
One pair of matching bookends,
Different as night and day.
Where Cathy adores a minuet,
The Ballet Ruses, and crepe Suzette,
Our Patty loves to rock and roll,
A hot dog makes her lose control--
What a wild duet!
Still, they're cousins,
Identical cousins and you'll find,
They laugh alike, they walk alike,
At times they even talk alike--
You can lose your mind,
When cousins - are two of a kind!
Here's hoping the remaining two seasons are quickly released.
The youngest actress to win the "Best Supporting Actress" Academy Award for her remarkable turn in "The Miracle Worker", Patty Duke made another claim to fame in THE PATTY DUKE SHOW, becoming the youngest actress to receive her own self-titled TV series. THE PATTY DUKE SHOW was an instant ratings success for the ABC, and coupled with it's other strong performer "The Donna Reed Show", proved to be quite a powerful pull for family audiences especially.
THE PATTY DUKE SHOW's premise revolved around identical cousins Patty and Cathy Lane. Patty is the typical American teen, living in Brooklyn Heights with her parents (William Schallert and Jean Byron) and wiseacre younger brother Ross (Paul O'Keefe). Into this family arrives Patty's Scottish cousin Cathy, whose father's job as a Foreign Correspondant prevents Cathy from having a stable education. Cathy is cultured, refined, the perfect well-behaved young lady. She sings opera, speaks several languages fluently and always obliges when Patty doesn't want to do the dishes! Another plus for Patty is that the two can switch places (in classic "Parent Trap" fashion) when either gets into a sticky situation. What a crazy pair!
The first season of THE PATTY DUKE SHOW isn't my all-time favourite (the second year is where I personally think the show really took off), but the blueprint is laid out, and there's lots of fun to be had. Highlights include "Double Date", where Cathy is knocked flat from having two 'flu shots and Patty must take her place (as well as her own) in a dance contest. "The Actress" sees Patty cast in a highschool production of "Antony and Cleopatra", but serious stage jitters set in when she organises for several Hollywood producers to attend the show. "Let 'Em Eat Cake" is a real charmer where the girls accidentally slice into Natalie's prize cake entry and must attempt to bake a replacement. "The Princess Cathy" finds Cathy contemplating marrying into Indian royalty. Kaye Ballard is the owner of a charm and modeling school in "The Perfect Teenager"; whilst Kaye's "Mothers-in-Law" co-star Roger C. Carmel is a shady publisher when Patty attempts to write her own Francoise Sagan potboiler in "Author, Author".
The set comes complete with some recent interviews from the cast. It's lovely to hear how Patty regards her sitcom family as an extension of her own; and William Schallert speaks of Patty as being "the daughter of [his] heart". For fans old and new alike, THE PATTY DUKE SHOW is back.
* The French Teacher
* The Genius
* House Guest
* The Birds & the Bees Bit
* Slumber Party
* Baby Sitters
* The Conquering Hero
* The President
* Double Date
* The Actress
* How to Be Popular
* The Songwriters
* The Princess Cathy
* The Christmas Present
* Auld Lang Syne
* The Tycoons
* Author, Author
* The Continental
* Let 'Em Eat Cake
* Going Steady
* Are Mothers People?
* The Con Artists
* The Perfect Teenager
* Chip Off the Old Block
* Wedding Anniversary Caper
* Slight Case of Disaster
* Pen Pals
* The Friendship Bit
* Drop Out
* Leave It to Patty
* The Little Dictator
* The Working Girl
* The Cousins (original pilot concept)