TITLE: SANFORD AND SON - THE SIXTH SEASON
DVD Release Date: June 7, 2005 (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 24
Running Time: Approx. 616 Minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English, Closed Captioning
Special Features: 4 Previews for some other Sony DVD Releases
Redd Foxx and Demond Wilson return for their sixth - and last -
hilarious season as "SANFORD AND SON." Join Fred, a cantankerous but loveable sexagenarian,
and Lamont, his loving but long suffering son, as they welcome guest stars
B.B. King, Chuck Barris, Ross Martin, Pat Paulsen, and Sheldon Leonard to
their South Central neighborhood junkyard, as one of TV's funniest sitcoms
comes to an uproarious conclusion. This three-disc DVD collection features
producers Norman Lear's and Bud Yorkin's legendary comedy series' final 24 sidesplitting
Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:
Some Sanford and Son fans feel that the show had slipped in the fifth season, but
rebounded a bit for the final season. There were still a number of episodes
that had a good amount of laughs. The season began with the 2 part episode
"The Hawaiian Connection," in which three professional jewel thieves are faced
with the problem of finding someone to smuggle gems out of Hawaii and into
Los Angeles. Fred can't wait to try out the new promotion idea that he just bought from
two "salesmen" in "The Winning Ticket." Grady tries an ancient Oriental
magic trick and shackles Fred to Esther - without realizing the directions for releasing
the locks are written in Chinese in "The Defiant One." Fred invites B.B. King
to dinner at the Sanford home and may give the famous singer another reason to sing the
blues in "Fred Sings the Blues."
Notable guest stars included Ross Martin as Aram in "California Crude."
Hal Williams appeared as Officer Smith "Smitty" in "Here Today, Gone Today."
Eric Laneuville (Luther on "St. Elsewhere") guest starred as Daniel and
Helen Martin as Church Sister #1 in "Aust Esther Meets Her Son." Eric makes
another appearance as Daniel in "The Will" and Helen appeared in several
other episodes as well. Chuck Barris appeared as himself in "Sanford and Gong."
Debraca Foxx, Redd Fox's real-life daughter, played Doris Martin in
"Fred Meets Redd." B.B. King appeared as himself in "Fred Sings the Blues" and performs
his "How Blue Can You Get."
This three-disc set contains all 24 episodes from the sixth season - 1976-1977.
The DVD cover art features a photo of Fred on a tricycle with Lamont standing
behind him. The back of the box features 2 small photos in picture frames and gives
a short summary of the show along with the specs of the DVD set.
One is an outdoor shot of Fred and Lamont. The other photo is of Aunt Esther
and Fred. The spine of the box is black with a small photo of Fred on it.
That color choice is a bit puzzling since the first 2 seasons were red,
seasons 3-4 were black, and season 5 was red. Still, I like the fact that
all 6 sets have a similar look even though they've used slightly different packaging
for all of them. The main digipak case has the same photo as the cover art and slides
out from the left of the main box. The inner four-fold digipak case
has a brick background and offers various bits of trivia and photos from
the show. There is a pocket folder inside the case that contains a small 6-page
booklet with details of the episodes including a short summary and writer/director credits.
There is also a brochure promoting some of Sony's other TV DVD releases. All
of the discs have a red background and feature a different item - keys, spark plug,
and another car part. Disc 1 contains episodes 1-8, Disc 2 has episodes 9-16,
and Disc 3 concludes the season with episodes 17-24.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The menus look very similar to what they used on the season 5 set. There is
the Sanford and Son title in bold white with a photo of Fred and Lamont on the main
menu. The menus have a junkyard background theme. There are options for Play All Episodes,
Episode Selections, and Previews (only on disc 1).
When you choose episode selections, there are photos from the episodes in a tire.
You select an episode and it highlights the scene in yellow and then turns
green when you are ready to view the episode. The episode selections sub-menu
has a photo of Fred in a yellow and black warmup jacket with medals
from The Olympics episode from season five. There are chapter stops within the
episodes, but no scene selection menus.
Video and Audio Quality:
The video and audio quality is certainly better than what you see on tv.
All these episodes are almost 30 years old, so they look as good as can be
expected. The colors are generally vibrant and sharp.
There are only 8 episodes per disc, so there are no compression problems.
Sanford and Son was shot on videotape, and there are no dust or grain
that you often see on things shot on film. The audio is in mono and is typical
of sitcoms from the 1970's. It can be a little muffled
at various points. Closed captioning is available on all episodes.
Now for some bad news. Atleast one of the episodes on this set appears
to be edited and from syndication. The 8th episode on disc 2, "A Matter of Silence,"
runs only 22 minutes, 16 seconds. All other episodes run atleast 24-25 minutes,
so there is a good chance there is a lot of missing footage from this particular
episode. The first part of "The Hawaiian Connection" originally aired as an
one hour broadcast so it runs unedited as 48 minutes, 48 seconds on this set.
The episodes are presented in their original production order (the order in
which they were made), so the order will differ from what you see on most online
episode guides which list them in their original airdate order.
It is no real surprise that there are no real special features included on this set as
none of the previous releases have had them. There are 4 previews for
some other Sony DVD releases: The Partridge Family, Hitch, Are We There Yet?,
and Classic Urban TV.
Some of these sets will include a limited edition collectible scrapbook with a foreword
by Norman Lear. The scrapbook is shrink-wrapped to the box set either side-by-side
or stacked. Unfortunately, it was not included with the review copy so
I can't really give any comments about it. It looks to be a nice bonus for fans
of the show.
It's a wrap! All six seasons are now available on DVD. It took nearly 3 years,
but it was well worth the wait. Sanford and Son was released at a pretty good
rate. I am pleased to say this is the longest running series that I now
have complete on DVD. I remember reading awhile back that NBA player Steve
Smith was a huge fan of the show and had all of the episodes on tape. I'm
sure he now has them all on DVD. Pick up this season and complete your set today.
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 3.5/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Navigation/Design: 4.5/5
-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller on 06/07/05
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