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Sanford and Son - The Fifth Season



DVD Release Date: September 14, 2004 (Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment)
color, approx. 623 minutes
MSRP: $29.95
Number of discs: 3
Number of episodes: 25
Languages and subtitles: English, close captioned
Special Features: 3 Bonus Trailers for Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment DVD Releases


Redd Foxx and Demond Wilson return for another twenty-five hysterical episodes of Sanford and Son, the comic misadventures of a cantankerous 65-year-old junk dealer and his outrageous circle of family and friends. Sanford and Son produced by Norman Lear, was nominated for seven Emmy Awards and six Golden Globes during its six-year run and was the highest-rated half-hour series in NBC history. And here are twenty five enormously funny examples as to why - uncut, uncennsored and commercial free.

Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

Some fans think Sanford and Son was on its last leg and the show was getting tired, but there were still some memorable episodes in season 5. In "Earthquake II," Russian seismologists tell Fred it's only a matter of time until the "big one" hits, and a panicked Fred puts up his house up for sale, complete with junkyard and junk, and prepares to move to Las Vegas. Fred and Lamont are outraged when they see a new television series about a man, his son and their junk business in "Steinberg and Son." Fred attempts to transform the lowly Esther into an elegant lady in order to collect $500 from her husband, and she enters a beauty contest in "My Fair Esther." Fred turns his living room into a Japanese restaurant in "Sanford and Son Rising." In "The TV Addict," Lamont tries to cure Fred of being a "teleholic" and hypnotizes him. Everyone gets into the act when Fred and Lamont join the community activities and put on a play in "The Director."

This season introduces Janet Lawson, Lamont's fiancee, played by Marlene Clark; Hutch who is a resident of the new Sanford Arms played by Arnold Johnson; and Mrs. Hopkins, Officer Hopkins' mother, played by Nancy Kulp. Merv Griffin appeared as himself in "Earthquake II." Two well-known sitcom stars, Robert Guillaume and John Larroquette, appeared in "Steinberg and Son." Della Reese appeared as herself in "Della, Della, Della." Graham Jarvis appeared in "The TV Addict" as Dr. Simmons. George Foreman guest starred as himself in "The Director."


This 3 disc set contains all 25 episodes from the fifth season - 1975-1976. The DVD cover art (pictured above) features a photo of Lamont and Fred. The back of the box features a small photo of Fred and another photo of Fred and Aunt Esther and has a short summary of the show along with the dvd specs. The spine of the box is red with a small photo of Fred on it. The first 2 season boxes were red with seasons 3-4 being black, so season 6 will likely continue the pattern. The inner four-fold digipak case has the same photo as the cover art and folds out. It has a brown junkyard theme. The back of the dvd holder has photos of Fred and Lamont in small frames and the "Watch it, sucka!" quote by Aunt Esther in a tv set. There is a pocket folder that contains a small booklet with details of the episodes including a short summary and writer/director credits. There is also a brochure promoting other Columbia Tri-Star DVD releases. The actual discs are red and brown in color with the first disc having an arrow pointing left, and the 3rd disc has a disc pointing to the right. Disc 1 contains episodes 1-9, Disc 2 has episodes 10-18, and Disc 3 offers episodes 19-25.

Sanford and Son - Season 5 DVD Menu

Menu Design and Navigation:

The menus continue the junkyard theme with brown coloring. There is the Sanford and Son title in bold red with a photo of Fred and Lamont. There are Play All Episodes, Episode Selections, and Previews (only on disc 1) options. When you select 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. The previews menu has yet another photo of Lamont and Fred.

Video and Audio Quality:

The video and audio quality of is similar to the first 4 season releases. For these episodes being almost 30 years old, they still look and sound very good. As the box notes, original video elements may contain digital anomalies or artifacts. The dvds are much improved over the VHS tapes that Columbia House has released over the years.

All episodes appear to be unedited with them running around 24-25 minutes. They are presented in their original production order, so I believe there is one episode that originally aired in season 4 (The Over the Hill Gang) but was produced for season 5 (according to an episode guide I viewed online) that is included in this set.

Special Features:

Like the previous Sanford and Son releases, there are no extras on this set other then the 3 previews for Columbia Tri-Star TV DVD releases. I don't know if the fans really mind this as Sanford and Son seems to be one of the most popular classic sitcoms on DVD.

Final Comments:

Sanford and Son has been released at a rate of one season about every 6 months. If you own the first 4 seasons, I'm sure you'll want to pick up this set also even though the series was starting to lose some of its steam. It still had some very funny episodes and moments. Look for the final 25 episodes of the series from the sixth season on January 25, 2005.

Review (out of 5 stars):

Video quality: 4.4/5
Audio quality: 4.6/5
Special Features: none
Menu Navigation: 5/5
Overall: 4.4/5

-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller on 09/04/04

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