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Leave It to Beaver - Season 1

Leave It to Beaver - Season 1

5.0 3
Director: James Neilson, Norman Tokar

Cast: James Neilson, Jerry Mathers, Norman Tokar, Anne Dore

Leave It To Beaver: The Complete First Season marked the first full-season DVD release of a classic 1950's children's television series -- an ambitious undertaking in itself, as a full season in 1957-58 meant 39 episodes. Spread across three double-sided platters, the shows are all in an excellent state of preservation, in crisp black-and-white (full-screen:


Leave It To Beaver: The Complete First Season marked the first full-season DVD release of a classic 1950's children's television series -- an ambitious undertaking in itself, as a full season in 1957-58 meant 39 episodes. Spread across three double-sided platters, the shows are all in an excellent state of preservation, in crisp black-and-white (full-screen: 1.33-to-1) with a healthy volume and detail to the audio as well. Each disc opens to a simple, easy-to-use menu with a "play-all" option for the truly ambitious. The fact is that the writing on these programs is nothing less than brilliant -- watching a few of them at random in his 50's, this reviewer realized that no series ever captured the day-to-day anxieties and joys of childhood better than Leave It To Beaver; but that said, the shows are best absorbed one or two at a time, so that they can be savored properly, because there is a lot here to appreciate. The one bonus feature on the set is a real treat for any fan of the show, the unaired pilot for the series, titled It's A Small World, which featured Jerry Mathers and Barbara Billingsley as Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver and his mother, June, but had Casey Adams as Beaver's father and Paul Sullivan as his older brother Wally -- Adams was entirely wrong as the father figure, too flinty and neurotic, with a smiling visage that made him look like a serial killer; Sullivan was acceptable as the brother, but a little too bland, and he lacked the easygoing warmth that Tony Dow brought to the part. But even the pilot episode looks great -- one just wishes that the producers hadn't buried it on the second side of the third disc (the show also features future series regulars Richard Deacon and Diane Brewster in guest roles, plus a guest appearance by future Dennis The Menace co-star Joseph Kearns). There is inevitably a tiny bit of grain in some shots, but that can be forgiven, considering we're dealing with 50-year-old film material that was never even conceived of as having an extended shelf-life. The episodes have only a pair of chapters each, but each one also comes with the Universal logo running ahead of it, which one will want to skip past -- and the text introductions on the menu, containing detailed plot summaries and trivia, are superfluous, and only slow down the transition from episode-to-episode.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Bill Pearis
Life in the '50s was simpler and more wholesome, at least as depicted in the period’s television programs. Some might contend that those shows whitewashed any underlying social issues of the day (Red Scare, anyone?), but it would be churlish to chide Leave It to Beaver for failing to delve into, say, the burgeoning civil rights movement. When seen from the perspective of an eight-year-old boy, the world barely exists beyond the streets of his neighborhood. The youngster in this case is Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver (Jerry Mathers), a cute if not particularly bright kid who lives with his older brother, Wally (Tony Dow), and loving parents (Hugh Beaumont and Barbara Billingsley) in the anytown of Mayfield. Unfortunately, Wally and the Beav didn't have the best of influences for friends, especially Eddie Haskell (Ken Osmond), a teenage huckster who had an angle on everything. Beaver's best friend, Larry Mondello (Rusty Stevens), got him into a fair bit of trouble, too. Creators Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher drew on real-life experiences with their own kids for many of the story lines, and the situations Beaver and Larry found themselves in -- confronted by bullies, losing money for a haircut, forced to wear short pants by a visiting aunt -- still resonate today, which is certainly the key to show's continued appeal.

Product Details

Release Date:
Universal Studios
Region Code:
[Full Frame]
Sales rank:

Special Features

The original pilot: "It's a Small World"; With different actors portraying Ward and Wally

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jerry Mathers Theodore 'Beaver' Cleaver
Anne Dore Mrs. Wentworth
Barry Curtis Johnny Franklin
Ben Baker Stanley the Barber
Carol Sydes Penny Jamison
Charles Gray Harry Donaldson
Dennis Holmes Friend #1
Diane Brewster Miss Canfield
Doris Packer Mrs. Rayburn
Edgar Buchanan Captain Jack
Eric Snowden Salesman,Clothier
Francis de Sales Mr. Anderson
Frank Wilcox District Court Judge
Herb Vigran Barber
Jackie Kelk Mr. Merkel
James Gleason Pete
John Hart Troop #21 Scoutmaster
Karl Swenson George Haskell
Ken Osmond Eddie Haskell
Lyle Talbot Charles Dennison,Mr. Dennison
Madge Blake Mrs. Mondello
Madge Kennedy Aunt Martha Bronson
Pamela Baird Mary Ellen Rogers
Ray Kellogg Mr. Donaldson
Ray Montgomery Herb Wilson
Richard Deacon Fred Rutherford
Rusty Stevens Larry Mondello,Larry Mondelo
Stuart Wade Dr. Bradley
Tony Dow Wally Cleaver
Wendell Holmes J.J. Willit
Alan Reynolds Newspaper Delivery Man,Man in Train Station
Ann Doran Agnes Haskell
Barbara Dodd Librarian
Buddy Hart Chester Anderson
Burt Mustin Gus
Claudia Bryar Mrs. Dennison
David Halper Friend #2
Douglas Wade Thomas
Gilbert Frye Mr. Tyne,Newspaper Customer
Helen Jay Perfume Customer
Helen Parrish Geraldine Rutherford
Hugh Beaumont Ward Cleaver
Irving Bacon Postal Clerk
James Parnell Johnny
John Hoyt Dr. Compton
Katherine Warren Mrs. Brown
Lillilan O'Malley Mrs. Whitney
Maudie Prickett Mrs. Bennett
Phyllis Coates Betty Donaldson
Ralph Sanford Fats Flannaghan
Raymond Hatton Charlie the Fireman
Richard Smiley Willie Dennison
Shirley Mitchell Janet Wilson
Wendy Winkelman Violet Rutherford
William Kendis Charlie
William Schallert Mr. Bloomgarden
Allen Windsor Ice Cream Man
Barbara Billingsley June Cleaver
Charles Davis Willis Cornelius
Connie Gilchrist Minerva
Frank Bank Clarence "Lumpy" Rutherford
Frank Sully Cab Driver
Jan Gillum Kathleen
Julie Bennett Waitress
Louise Fitch Miss Higgins
Stanley "Tiger" Fafara Tooey,Whitey Whitney
Will Wright Pete at Firehouse #7
William Fawcett Mr. Johnson
Charles Wagenheim Painter
Erik Nielsen Boy #1
Joey Scott Bengie Bellamy
Joseph Crehan Train Conductor
Linda Lowell Frances
Norman Alden Water Dept. Worker
Patty Turner Linda Dennison
Penny Carpenter Girl
Philip Greisman Boy #1
William Hunt Grocer
Yolanda White Julie
Yvonne White Newspaper Customer
Eddie Marr Water Dept. Worker
Jeri Weil Judy Hensler
Jo Anna Lee Classified Ad Lady at Courier Sun
Johnny Silver Man
Lonnie Thomas Boy #2
Paul Engle Boy #2
Raymond Karr Boy

Technical Credits
James Neilson Director
Norman Tokar Director

Customer Reviews

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Leave It to Beaver - Season 1 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
MOMOF6TM More than 1 year ago
After raising 6 children (5 of them boys) in the 80's and 90's, this brought back memories of the fun we had!!! Boys will be boys no matter what decade they are raised! I watched it as a child myself, and can definitely relate to the parents now too!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great wholesome show. We watch an episode to wind down at night. It is funny and heartwarming.
Boomer48 More than 1 year ago
LEAVE IT TO BEAVER was not one of my favorite shows when I was growing up but it has become so now. This DVD set is well worth its purchase price. It is so much fun to watch an idealized, but very heartwarming, family dynamic. The kids have flaws and so do their parents which add to the appeal. Who cares if Mom June is overdressed for housework? Or if Dad Ward seems to make most of the decisions in rearing the boys? Growing up with loving parents like Ward and June, it's no wonder Wally and the Beaver were so likable. The show provides plenty of laughs. I only hope Season Three will be released soon.