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The Andy Griffith Show - The Complete Fifth Season


TITLE: THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW - THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON


Info:

DVD Release Date: February 14, 2006 (Paramount Home Video)
Black & White/1964-65
MSRP: $38.99
Number of Discs: 5
Number of Episodes: 32
Running time: approx. 13 hours, 34 minutes
Language and Subtitles: English, closed captioning available
Special Features: None


Introduction:

Hailed as "one of the greatest television shows of all time" by TV Guide, The Andy Griffith Show delighted audiences with its simple values and down-home humor. Now all 32 episodes of its landmark 5th season are available on DVD!

Catch up with Sheriff Andy Taylor (Andy Griffith), his son Opie (Ron Howard), his bumbling deputy Barney (Don Knotts), Aunt Bee (Frances Bavier) and the rest of the gang in this classic collection that includes many fan-favorite episodes.


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

The Andy Griffith Show finished in 4th place with a 28.3 rating for Season 5 (1964-65). It finished behind the spin-off series, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., which ended up in 3rd place. This season is notable for two things. It was the final season broadcast in black and white. The final three seasons were broadcast in color. Don Knotts departed the show after this season as a regular character after winning 5 Emmy Awards. Barney would leave Mayberry to move to Raleigh, NC to join their police department. Returning this season are the Fun Girls, The Darlings, and Ernest T. Bass.

There was a good mix of episodes this season that focused on different characters. Memorable episodes included "Family Visit," in which Aunt Bee's sister Nora and her family come to visit and drive everybody crazy. In "Man in the Middle," a lover's spat between Barney and Thelma Lou blows out of proportion and ends up involving Andy and Helen. Barney angers a local businessman who threatens to break every bone in his body if he sees him out of uniform in "Barney's Uniform." While Andy is away in Raleigh considering a job offer, Barney is left as acting sheriff and dreams of the day he'll have the job in "Goodbye Sheriff Taylor." Andy and Helen end up before a justice of the peace when Andy forgets his fishing license during their picnic in "Andy and Helen Have Their Day." In "The Lucky Letter," Barney feels he's become "hexed" after Andy persuades him to throw away a chain letter. Barney uncovers an old assault case between Floyd the barber and his friend Charlie that never went to trial and ends up re-igniting an old feud that spreads to the whole town in "The Case of The Punch In The Nose."

Notable guest stars included Keith Thibodeaux (Little Ricky on "I Love Lucy") as Johnny Paul Jason in multiple episodes. Allan Melvin appeared as Fred Plummer in "Barney's Uniform." Legendary character actor Burt Mustin played Judd in "Goodbye, Sheriff Taylor" and "Three Wishes For Opie" and Sam Benson in "Opie's Newspaper." Denver Pyle, Doug Dillard, and Maggie Peterson returned as the Darlings in "The Darling Baby." Dabbs Geer played Harry Sims in "Barney Fife, Realtor." Frank Cady guest starred as Luke in "The Rehabilitation of Otis." Gavin MacLeod appeared as Gilbert Jamel in "TV or Not TV." Don Rickles played a traveling salesman, Newton Monroe, in "The Luck of Newton Monroe." Jerry Van Dyke guest starred as Jerry Miller in "Banjo Playing Deputy." It's interesting to note that Jerry Van Dyke reportedly turned down an offer to replace Barney Fife as a deputy the following season.


Packaging:

All 32 episodes from the fifth season (1964-65) are included in this 5-disc set. The DVD cover art features color photos of Opie, Andy, Barney, and Goober. There is a nice background with trees and clouds. Photos of Aunt Bee and Floyd the barber cutting Andy's hair are on the back of the box. There is a synopsis of the set listed, as well as the episodes titles by disc. The spine of the box is light blue and has a photo of Barney. There are 3 slim cases that slide out from the main outer box. Various sepia-colored photos are featured on the front, with the Sheriff's department building in a blue tint. On the back of the slim case, there is a parking meter and parking citation clipboard. The episode titles are listed by disc on a parking citation sheet. The sheriff's department and police car can be seen in the background. Inside the cases, there are various sepia-color photos from the episodes. Some pretty detailed episode summaries are listed when you lift up the discs, and the original airdates are given, also. The discs feature The Andy Griffith Show logo with the disc number in a badge. Disc 1 has some fishing bobbers and has episodes 128-134. Disc 2 has a fishing reel and includes episodes 135-141. Disc 3 has a barber's item and contains episodes 142-147. Disc 4 has a pocket knife and holds episodes 148-153. Disc 5 has a donut (or bagel) on it and wraps up the season with episodes 154-159. Like all of the other releases, the discs seem to pop out of the holders way too easily.


Menu Design and Navigation:

The menus on the other season sets have been very simple and easy to navigate. That pattern is continued here. There is only one main menu on each disc that has a different photo of a cast member. The title logo is listed at the top. The cast photo is on left-hand side, and the episode titles are listed vertically on the right-hand side. When you highlight an episode, the episode title is bracketed by blue arrows. When you select an episode, the arrow turns red. There is a Play All button and chapter stops within the episodes but no separate menus for scene selections. Disc 1 pictures Andy with a blue tinted background, Disc 2 has Barney with a green background, Disc 3 features Goober with a light green background, Disc 4 has Opie and a red background, and Disc 5 rounds out the set with an Aunt Bee photo and a light brown background. When you first play disc 1, there are previews for some other Paramount DVD releases including MacGyver, Charmed, and The Brady Bunch.


Video and Audio Quality:

The video quality has improved slightly from season to season. When you think about the fact these episodes are over 40 years old now, these episodes really look as good as can be expected. The picture is in its original 1.33:1 ratio full frame and in black and white. These episodes have been remastered for the best possible picture, and they certainly look better and cleaner than what you see on cable. As the show was shot on film, there is a bit of grain in the episodes. There are no more than 7 episodes per disc, so there are no compreession issues. The audio track is a Dolby Digital mono track, which you find on sitcoms of the 1960's. The volume is at a good level, and there isn't a lot of hiss or background noise. These episodes include the original opening theme credits as you would expect. Closed captioning is available for all of the episodes.

Episodes appear in their original airdate order. There is nothing on the back of the box to indicate that any of the episodes are edited. On the Season 3 set, there was a notice that "Some episodes may be edited from their original network versions." You would think that same notice would be found on this set if it was the same case. The episodes run from around 24 minutes to almost 26 minutes in length. I've read that four episodes on the season four set had the laugh tracks missing. I haven't had a chance to go through all the episodes, yet, to check if any are missing this time.

Here is a breakdown of the episodes, and their running times and original airdates:

Disc 1
---------
128. Opie Loves Helen (09/21/64) (25:54)
129. Barney's Physical (09/28/64) (24:44)
130. Family Visit (10/05/64) (25:36)
131. The Education of Ernest T. Bass (10/13/64) (25:48)
132. Aunt Bee's Romance (10/19/64) (25:31)
133. Barney's Bloodhound (10/26/64) (25:31)
134. Man in the Middle (11/02/64) (24:42)

Disc 2
---------
135. Barney's Uniform (11/09/64) (25:43)
136. Opie's Fortune (11/16/64) (25:44)
137. Goodbye Sheriff Taylor (11/23/64) (25:42)
138. The Pageant (11/30/64) (25:36)
139. The Darling Baby (12/07/64) (25:51)
140. Andy and Helen Have Their Day (12/14/64) (25:22)
141. Three Wishes For Opie (12/21/64) (25:48)

Disc 3
---------
142. Otis Sues the County (12/28/64) (25:18)
143. Barney Fife, Realtor (01/04/65) (25:44)
144. Goober Takes a Car Apart (01/11/65) (24:42)
145. The Rehabiliation of Otis (01/18/65) (25:03)
146. The Lucky Letter (01/25/65) (25:45)
147. Goober and The Art of Love (02/01/65) (25:45)

Disc 4
---------
148. Barney Runs For Sheriff (02/08/65) (25:45)
149. If I Had A 1/4 Million (02/15/65) (25:40)
150. TV or Not TV (03/01/65) (25:45)
151. Guest in the House (03/08/65) (25:33)
152. The Case of the Punch in the Nose (03/15/65) (25:46)
153. Opie's Newspaper (03/22/65) (25:40)

Disc 5
---------
154. Aunt Bee's Invisible Beau (03/29/65) (25:40)
155. The Arrest of The Fun Girls (04/05/65) (24:51)
156. The Luck of Newton Monroe (04/12/65) (25:26)
157. Opie Flunks Arithmetic (04/19/65) (25:29)
158. Opie and The Carnival (04/26/65) (24:42)
159. Banjo Playing Deputy (05/03/65) (25:16)


Special Features:

Once again, there are no special features included. These sets are priced affordably, and the episodes are the most important thing for most fans. I was reading an article recently that said there are lots of fees involved with producing special features. This is an additional cost on top of the portions that the actors get from all of the DVD sales.


Final Comments:

This was the end of an era for The Andy Griffith Show. This was the final season in black and white and Don Knotts' last year as a regular character. There were still some memorable episodes after this season, but somehow the show was never quite the same. I love how fast Paramount has released this series. Season 6 will be released in less than 3 months on May 9th. There's an excellent chance the complete series will be released by the end of the year. We expect to see the start of Gomer, Pyle U.S.M.C. season sets this year, also. Will we also see more seasons of Ron Howard's Happy Days? We can only hope.


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)

Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Navigation/Design: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller on 02/10/06

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

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000BYRCF6/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20


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