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The Doris Day Special


TITLE: THE DORIS DAY SPECIAL


Info:

DVD Release Date: May 30, 2006 (MPI Home Video)
Color/1971
MSRP: $14.98
Number of Discs: 1
Running Time: 110 minutes
Total Run Time of Special Features: approx. 60 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; English Subtitles
Special Features: Extended Footage; Doris on Bicycle Footage; Executive Producer Interview


Introduction:

Before Doris Day's third husband, Marty Melcher, had died, he had (without her knowing) committed her to doing a sitcom and some specials for CBS--what came out of this was The Doris Day Show, and also this, The Doris Day Special (which was technically called "The Doris Mary Anne Kappelhoff Special"). So what exactly IS The Doris Day Special? Basically, it is just a musical with Doris Day. This particular one is her first television musical special, and it features various types of songs from her own songs (such as "It's Magic"), show tunes ("Hurry, It's Lovely Up Here") and even some pop classics, such as the Beatles' "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da." Of course, there are many other songs included in the special too--you couldn't call it a musical if there wasn't plenty of music in it. And complementing these songs is the special appearances from Perry Como (who performs along with Doris for a large portion of the program) and one of Doris' best friends, Rock Hudson. The program ran for one hour when it originally aired, but of course, the DVD lacks the original commercials, meaning that the special actually runs for 51:30.


Packaging:

There is only one disc, so as one would expect, the packaging is just a simple Amaray style case, with several pictures of Doris on the front and back, as well as information about the special on the back of the case. The DVD itself doesn't have anything spectacular for the artwork either--it just has the picture of Doris that appears on the front of the case.


Menu Design and Navigation:

Again, we are talking about one special and one disc, so this is all very simplistic. From the main menu (some music plays in the background from the special, I'm not exactly sure what the song is though), you have the choice of Play, Scene Selection, Special Features, and Subtitles (available in English only). All of those choices take you to the respective menus. There are plenty of chapters placed within the special, 14 of them in fact.


Video and Audio Quality:

This is a pretty old special and I was expecting this to all be pretty bad--but much to my surprise, it was pretty decent. They could have done a better job if they wanted to I suppose, but everything looked good and sounded good. The audio is presented in mono, but on the special features, you can listen to certain songs from the special with stereo audio, although personally, I couldn't tell much of a difference. It would be completely wrong to release a musical and have replaced music, so of course, all of the original music is intact, as it should be, even "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da," which Warner wasn't even willing license for the Life Goes On set. And at 51:30, there is no reason to believe anything is missing in the special--in fact, there is even a bumper about halfway into the special welcoming you back to the second half of the special.


Special Features:

This set does a decent job with special features, primarily in regards to extended footage. In fact, there is a total of 40 minutes worth of extended footage in this special--almost enough to make the special twice as long! This is all a mixed bag though. Some of it is stereo versions of songs already in the special, some is footage that was cut out to bring down the run time for the original broadcast, and some is there for other reasons. There is also extended footage of Doris riding a bicycle (7:49), which was what was used for the opening sequence--a nice touch but not really that interesting. Next, there is an interview with the executive producer of the special, Don Gerson (also 7:49), who (what else?) talks about producing the special. There is a lot of information in here that most people may not already know, but then again, a lot of people don't even know that this special ever existed. Finally, there are two promos, one for The Doris Day Animal League (0:53) and a promo for The Doris Day Show DVDs (1:25).


Final Comments:

If you really like Doris Day or musicals, you'll like this set. But if you (like me...) don't like musicals, this thing will bore you to death. I think that this was put together very well, and I think a true Doris Day fan would really appreciate the great job that MPI did in putting this together. But if you don't like musicals, I don't see why you would like this. Fortunately, MPI is still releasing the sitcom, The Doris Day Show, at a nice and steady pace and still doing a great job with those releases, so if you like sitcoms, that is the way to go. But it is still nice to see that MPI has released this (it is such a rare thing to see), and did such a good job with it.

See also The Doris Day Show - Season 3 Review.


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

Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 2/5
Menu Navigation/Design: 4.5/5
Overall: 4/5

-- Reviewed by skees53 on 04/29/06

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

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000E991SY/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20

Questions or comments about this set? Post on our message board:

http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=171690


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