Leave It to Beaver - Season 1

( 3 )

Overview

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 ...
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DVD (Slip Sleeve)
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Overview

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.
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Special Features

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

  • Release Date: 11/22/2005
  • UPC: 025192911323
  • Rating:

  • Source: Universal Studios
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Slip Sleeve
  • Language: English
  • Time: 17:20:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 15,472

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jerry Mathers Theodore 'Beaver' Cleaver
Tony Dow Wally Cleaver
Hugh Beaumont Ward Cleaver
Barbara Billingsley June Cleaver
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Menu

Disc #1, Side A -- Leave it to Beaver: The Complete First Season
   Episode Index
      Beaver Gets "Spelled"
         Play
      Captain Jack
         Play
      The Black Eye
         Play
      The Haircut
         Play
      New Neighbors
         Play
      Brotherly Love
         Play
      Water, Anyone?
         Play
   Languages
      Spoken Language: English
      Subtitles: English SDH*
      Subtitles: Español
      Subtitles: Off
   Play All
Disc #1, Side B -- Leave it to Beaver: The Complete First Season
   Episode Index
      Beaver's Crush
         Play
      The Clubhouse
         Play
      Wally's Girl Trouble
         Play
      Beaver's Short Pants
         Play
      The Perfume Salesmen
         Play
      Voodoo Magic
         Play
      Part-Time Genius
         Play
   Languages
      Spoken Language: English
      Subtitles: English SDH*
      Subtitles: Español
      Subtitles: Off
   Play All
Disc #2, Side A -- Leave it to Beaver: The Complete First Season
   Episode Index
      Party Invitation
         Play
      Lumpy Rutherford
         Play
      The Paper Route
         Play
      Child Care
         Play
      The Bank Account
         Play
      Lonesome Beaver
         Play
      Cleaning Up Beaver
         Play
   Languages
      Spoken Language: English
      Subtitles: English SDH*
      Subtitles: Español
      Subtitles: Off
   Play All
Disc #2, Side B -- Leave it to Beaver: The Complete First Season
   Episode Index
      The Perfect Father
         Play
      Beaver and Poncho
         Play
      The State vs. Beaver
         Play
      The Broken Window
         Play
      Train Trip
         Play
      My Brother's Girl
         Play
      Next-Door Indians
         Play
   Languages
      Spoken Language: English
      Subtitles: English SDH*
      Subtitles: Español
      Subtitles: Off
   Play All
Disc #3, Side A -- Leave it to Beaver: The Complete First Season
   Episode Index
      Tenting Tonight
         Play
      Music Lesson
         Play
      New Doctor
         Play
      Beaver's Old Friend
         Play
      Wally's Job
         Play
      Beaver's Bad Day
         Play
      Boarding School
         Play
   Languages
      Spoken Language: English
      Subtitles: English SDH*
      Subtitles: Español
      Subtitles: Off
   Play All
Disc #3, Side B -- Leave it to Beaver: The Complete First Season
   Episode Index
      Beaver and Henry
         Play
      Beaver Runs Away
         Play
      Beaver's Guest
         Play
      Cat Out of the Bag
         Play
      It's a Small World
         Play
   Languages
      Spoken Language: English
      Subtitles: English SDH*
      Subtitles: Español
      Subtitles: Off
   Play All
   Bonus Episode
      It's a Small World
         Play
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

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3 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    LOVED IT!!!

    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!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Feel-Good Blast to the Past

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Got to love the Beaver

    Great wholesome show. We watch an episode to wind down at night. It is funny and heartwarming.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews