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The Beverly Hillbillies/Petticoat Junction Christmas Collection



DVD Release Date: October 25, 2005 (MPI Home Video)
B&W 1962-1963
MSRP: $14.98
Number of Discs: 1
Number of Episodes: 3
Running Time: 120 minutes
Total Run Time of Special Features: approximately 35 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English subtitles
Special Features: Introduction from Linda Kaye Henning on every episode; Holiday Greeting from Frank Cady and Linda Kaye Henning; Original Cast Sponsor Commercials; Christmas Surprise


Ho ho ho! It's time to spend your Christmas (well, okay, it is October...) with the gang from The Beverly Hillbillies and Petticoat Junction! It's The Beverly Hillbillies and Petticoat Junction Ultimate Christmas Collection, a DVD that contains two Christmas episodes of The Beverly Hillbillies and one Christmas episode of Petticoat Junction, two of the dominant rural sitcoms of the 1960s, and even a small sampling of special features.

Episodes Included:

The Beverly Hillbillies: "Home for Christmas"--this is one of my favorite episodes of the show, and I was a little disappointed that it wasn't included in the Volume 1 set that MPI released last month--but now, here it is, in its full and uncut glory. This is the famous episode where the Clampetts decide to go back to the country to visit Aunt Pearl for the holidays, and they get to go back to the country in a jet--which they believe is a flying bus! Meanwhile, unaware that the Clampetts are on their way, Aunt Pearl and Jethrine have their plans to go visit the Clampetts in Beverly Hills.

The Beverly Hillbillies: "Christmas at the Clampetts"--yet another great Christmas episode with the Clampett clan, this one from the second season. The Clampetts are surprised to find a tree covered with snow in their living room, with several presents underneath it, all gifts from Mr. Drysdale. And when they open their presents, they have no clue what the presents are and what they are supposed to be used for. And they get even more confused when they find a boat in the driveway with a chimpanzee in it--they mistakenly believe that the chimpanzee is a man that somehow got shipwrecked on their driveway! And then Elly May gets Mrs. Drysdale the present she has always wanted: a mink!

Petticoat Junction: "Cannonball Christmas"--in this Christmas episode, Homer Bedloe from the railroad company (played by Charles Lane, who seems to show up EVERYWHERE in EVERY 1960s television show) comes into Hooterville at Christmas time to inspect the Hooterville Cannonball. But when he gets to Hooterville, he is dismayed at the things that he sees there, as he isn't used to the simple nature of the people of Hooterville, and threatens to shut down the Cannonball once and for all!


The packaging is just a simple Amaray style case, as one would expect with a single-disc release. It has a nice, festive Christmas theme on the outside, and contains episode descriptions on the packaging (although they have already been provided in this review...). There really isn't much more to say about the packaging, except that it is very typical and also professional-looking.

Menu Design and Navigation:

I must say, I really like the menus on this DVD. When you first put the disc in, you are greeted with a Christmas wreath that rotates around the screen, while an instrumental version of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" plays in the background and various video clips from the show pops up. The options on the main menu are Episodes, Bonus Features, and Subtitles--all of which are self-explanatory. There is no Play All Option on this set, but with three episodes, do you REALLY need it? And there is no scene selection menu either, nor are there any chapters placed within the episodes.

Video and Audio Quality:

The audio and video quality on the disc is basically fine--about the same as the Petticoat Junction and Beverly Hillbillies sets that were previously released by MPI. Grain on the picture is still the primary issue, and the buzzing sound in the audio is another issue, but everything is basically fine for shows that are over 40 years old. The audio, of course, is presented in mono, and for the hearing-impaired, English subtitles are available. Each episode is fully intact, running around 26 minutes per episode.

Special Features:

Considering that this is just a one disc set with three episodes, you'd think there'd be absolutely no special features on this set.

And you'd also be DEAD WRONG. The special features are a little thin by MPI standards, but of course, this set has very few episodes as well. Each episode has an introduction by Linda Kaye Henning that runs about 1:00 for each episode. Additionally, there is a Holiday Greeting from Frank Cady and Linda Kaye Henning (0:30), which is essentially just them telling you "Merry Christmas" (it is nice to see Frank Cady though). There are Cast Commercials that are product endorsements from the episodes of the shows that are on the DVD (3:44). But perhaps the GREATEST special feature on this set is a special feature that is advertised as a "Christmas Surprise" on the case--what the "Christmas Surprise" actually is, is an episode of another Paul Henning sitcom--The Bob Cummings Show! The episode is (in the spirit of the set) a Christmas episode entitled "Grandpa's Christmas Visit" that runs at 26:00. This marks the first time that I've ever seen the show, and personally, I can't really say it is the greatest show I've ever seen (maybe I need to see more episodes before I can fully judge), but it is a VERY nice Christmas surprise indeed. Look for Ann B. Davis on this show as well--she played the secretary on here!

Final Comments:

Personally, I would have preferred if these episodes would have been included in the volumes that were previously released for both of these shows. I'm generally not a fan of Christmas episodes, but the episodes presented on this DVD, particularly the Beverly Hillbillies ones, are some of the greatest episodes of each series. This is a great DVD with great episodes, and if you like either show, or just love Christmas episodes in general.

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

Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 2.5/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4.5/5
Overall: 4/5

-- Reviewed by skees53 on 10/04/05

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