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I Love Lucy - The Complete Fourth Season


TITLE: I LOVE LUCY - THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON


Info:

DVD Release Date: May 3, 2005 (Paramount Home Video)
Color
MSRP: $69.99
Number of Discs: 5
Number of Episodes: 30
Running Time: 787 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English Spanish languages; Spanish subtitles; Closed captioned.
Special Features: Lost scenes, flubs, original openings, production notes, script excerpts, five complete episodes of the radio show, "My Favorite Husband," and more!


Introduction:

LUCY!!! Once again, that zany, crazy redhead is back on DVD in the fourth season release of I LOVE LUCY. Ride along with the Ricardo's and Mertzes as they head out to California in this five disc set. Relive memorable season four moments such as when Lucy sets fire to her nose, struggles in a big movie scene, dangles from a movie star's penthouse balcony, and even goes one-on-one with one of the Marx brothers! Included on this set are all 30 original season three episodes with loads of special features, ranging from flubs, lost scenes, script excerpts, to five complete episodes of Lucy's radio show: MY FAVORITE HUSBAND.


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

The fourth season, like nearly all seasons of I LOVE LUCY contains quite a few memorable episodes, and they include "Ricky's Movie Offer," "Mr. & Mrs. TV Show," "L.A. At Last," "Lucy Gets in Pictures," "The Star Upstairs," "Harpo Marx," and more! The more memorable guest appearances in the fourth season include such big name stars as William Holden, Van Johnson, Rock Hudson, Richard Windmark, Harpo Marx, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Teensy & Weensy - and more!


Packaging:

The packaging for this set follows the same design as season's one through three, but its purple (or a version of it) in color. Inside the box, there are five individual cases, one for each disc. Each case has a spliced shot of Lucy from one of the episodes from that disc. On the discs they have spliced screenshots from one of the more memorable episodes on that disc. On the back of each case, there is a list of each episode that is included on that disc (inside the case are episode descriptions). The descriptions themselves are a couple of sentences and include the episode title, the original airdate and the production number. The episodes are presented in original production number order instead of the airdate order and chapter skips are available. There are five discs in the set, each one in its own individual case. There are six episodes per disc.


Menu Design and Navigation:

The menu screen is simple and is exactly the same format as seasons 1, 2 and 3. It features a spliced shot of Lucy from one of her memorable scenes (Harpo Marx for the main menu, or the chocolate factory on the bonus features menu) on a red background that has screenshots from various episodes of the series. The main menu has a list of the episodes that take you to scene selections and it has the opening theme song playing in the background, although it doesn't loop. It has the popular "Play All" feature as well as "Setup." The bonus menu is the same design as the main menu and lists all the bonuses for that disc. The "Setup" menu allows you to choose if you want Spanish subtitles or a Spanish language track.


Video and Audio Quality:

The video is very good, but the audio needs work. The picture is crystal clear but the audio is still very, very low, which is common for releases of older series. The audio is presented in Dolby Surround Sound. Each episode runs about 26 minutes (or more), which means you get almost five minutes of extra footage you can't see in syndication.


Special Features:

Special Features on all of the five discs, which are explained in more detail further down, include "Special Footage." Guest Cast Information is the list of the special guests that are featured on the episodes on that disc. "Original Opening" is the original animated opening that was originally aired along with the episodes on each disc. Now on to the special features--hang on folks, this is a long read!

DISC ONE - “Special Footage" consists of bonus footage from the end of "Mertz and Kurtz's" original 1954 broadcast. It was a special message from Lucy & Desi on behalf of Community Chest, and featured the world's biggest baby; The first of two "Flubs" consists of Lucille accidentally switching a few words around during a scene from "Mr. and Mrs. TV Show" the second flub is from "Mertz and Kurtz" and mentions the fact that when Kurtz was first brought up in season one, he was named Ted Kurtz, so why, in the fourth season, is his name BARNEY Kurtz? Finally the "Lucy on the Radio" is a full-length broadcast of Lucy's radio show "My Favorite Husband" and the episode is "George is Drafted/Liz's Baby" and was originally broadcast on January 27, 1951 and it would go on to be the basis for the I LOVE LUCY episode, "Drafted."

DISC TWO - "Special Footage" on this disc consists of a "flashback" scene that was inserted into a rebroadcast of "The Camping Trip" in order to maintain continuity while the Ricardo's planned their trip to California; the second bonus footage is from "Ricky's Contract" and when that episode was edited for syndication, CBS cut short the closing music cue, so for this release, they've remastered it; In the first "Flub" Desi forgets a line in "Lucy's Mother-In-Law" so he ad-libs; In the second Flub, from the same episode, Desi messes up again but this time, Lucille, as Lucy, points out his mistake; The third Flub is from the episode in which Ricky's screen test takes place. But because the scene took place in Hollywood, unbeknownst to the camera crew, the Ricardo's kitchen is clearly visible during the scene! In the final Flub, from "Lucy Learns to Drive" Ethel supposedly has her first driving lesson, but eighteen months earlier, in "The Camping Trip" Ethel had no problem driving! "Lucy on The Radio" features a full-length broadcast of another episode from Lucy's radio show "My Favorite Husband." The episode is titled "Reminiscing" and originally aired on CBS Radio on July 1, 1949 and features guest appearances by Gale Gordon, Bea Benaderet, Hans Conried, and Frank Nelson. And a special feature is included. In the final scene of "Ethel's Birthday" Lucy and Ethel made such a ruckus that some of the dialogue in the play they were watching (OVER THE TEACUPS) couldn't be heard. For any viewers who may be wondering what was being said onstage, the script for the plays first scene is included!

DISC THREE - In the first of four "Flubs" this one is from the episode "First Stop" and it points out that throughout the episode, Lucy wore a light-colored coat over a dark pantsuit, but when she gets out of the car to check the Aunt Sally's sign, she's wearing a dress without a coat, then as soon as she climbs back into the car, her original outfit reappears! In the second flub, from the episode "Ethel's Home Town," Ethel's hands are clasped together when Billy Hackett snaps her photo for the paper but when the picture appears in print; her hands have magically changed positions! The third flub is from several episodes and points out the lack of continuity in regards to Ethel's middle name: it goes from Louise (which was William Frawley's first wife's name) to Roberta (Vivian Vance's middle name) and finally to Mae (Vivian's mother's name). In the last flub, from "LA at Last" a cameraman is visible when Lucy knocks the dessert tray onto William Holden. In the "Special Footage" it's another restored ending for the episode "California Here We Come". THe "My Favorite Husband" episode for this disc is titled "Giveaway Program" and was originally broadcast on CBS Radio on March 18, 1949 and inspired the second season I LOVE LUCY episode "Redecorating." In the "Behind the Scenes" featurette, it's an audio recording of a snippett from "Laughs Luck... and Lucy" the book by Jess Oppenheimer (Series Producer and Head Writer).

DISC FOUR - In the first of four "Flubs" it's from the episode "Don Juan is Shelved" and points out the oddity of the episode being that Mrs. McGillicuddy never heard of Dore Schary (head of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio) but earlier before, she seemed well aware of the man and was eager to meet him! In the second flub, it points out the fact that Lucy and Ricky's anniversary changed from the 19th of the month to the 7th of the month. In the third flub, we are reminded that Doris Singleton first appears as Lucy's friend "Lillian Appleby" in "The Club Election" but for all the subsequent episodes, she is called Caroline. But in "Lucy Gets in the Pictures" Desi goofs and changes the name back to Lillian. In the final flub, they point out something during the final scene of "Don Juan is Shelved" and it shows a Desilu handyman carrying a pole that is very visible on-screen. The first of two Special Footage features is from the episode "Hollywood Anniversary". At the end of the filming of the episode, Lucy and Desi did a promo spot for the Olympic Fund that aired during the end of "The Hedda Hopper Story" but for this release, it was restored; In the second bonus footage, it's a restored ending from "Bull Fight Dance". The episode of "My Favorite Husband" for this disc is titled "Liz Substitutes in Club Play" and featured guests Gale Gordon, Bea Benederet, Mary Shipp, and Herb Vigran, and was originally broadcast on January 6, 1951.

DISC FIVE - In the first of three "Flubs" this one is from "The Dancing Star" episode and Lucille mistakenly says vanced instead of danced and starts to chuckle. Desi sees this and playfully starts to egg her on. The second flub, starts off explaining that Lucille almost never ad-libbed, in which she is forced to during "The Dancing Star." The final flub is from “The Tour" and Desi's unique pronunciation of the word "badger" is unscripted - and so is Lucy's reaction! The four special bonus footage starts off with a restored ending from the episode "The Star Upstairs". The second is from "The Tour" episode in which Jesse Oppenheimer and William Asher have cameos. The third is restored music from the episode "The Tour," and the last bonus footage tells us how, in "The Tour" Richard Windmark's house is actually the house Lucy and Desi had just purchased in Beverly Hills. And the "My Favorite Husband" episode is titled "George Attends a Teenage Dance" was originally broadcast on November 20, 1948. And finally, a "Behind the Scenes" featurette is included and it is a slideshow of still pictures from the show's fourth season.


Final Comments:

Once again, another fantastic I LOVE LUCY release from Paramount! They continue to really go all out with I LOVE LUCY. The special features are amazing because you can see footage that hasn't been seen in over fifty years! Overall, there really is nothing I would change about these releases and I encourage Paramount to continue doing what they are to bring us all of these amazing treasures. As a life-long Lucy fan, I’m thrilled to own this great set and you will be too!


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 5/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4/5
Overall: 4.5/5

-- Reviewed by TVJunkie101 on 04/23/05

To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0007TKHF2/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20


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