Shout! Factory // 1952 // 90 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Clark Douglas // November 13th, 2008
Spend the holidays with America's best-loved family.
The holiday season is upon us, and you know what that means: Time for a whole host of Christmas-themed releases. The subject of today's review is a repackaging of four episodes of The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, each one offering a holiday-themed plot.
First up is "The Boys' Christmas Money," from Season One. Ricky
(Ricky Nelson) and David (David Nelson) are keen to get started on their
Christmas shopping just a little bit early. However, they don't have any money.
This presents a bit of a problem, obviously. They ask dear old dad (Ozzie
Nelson) if they could attempt to get a part-time job somewhere in town, just
long enough to earn a few bucks. Ozzie agrees, but the plan doesn't work out as
well as Ricky and David had hoped. Attempting to give his boys some sort of
encouragement, Ozzie calls the local grocery store manager and makes a deal with
him. The grocery store manager will hire the boys, and then Ozzie will reimburse
the grocery store manager after the boys are paid. It seems like a neat
arrangement, but Ozzie starts to get nervous when he realizes that the boys are
going to have to make deliveries in the rain -- and they haven't got their
raincoats! This episode is pleasant enough (as most episodes of The
Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet are), but relies a bit too much on
Next up is another Season One episode, "Late Christmas Gift."
Christmas Day has come and gone, and all of the Nelsons are now enjoying all of
their wonderful gifts. Ozzie has a tie, Harriet has a dress, and the boys have
their toys. Yes, everyone is happy. However, presents from Grandma Nelson have
only just arrived. That Grandma Nelson, shucks, she always seems to be sending
those presents in late. However, a little debate begins about which gift belongs
to which person. David gets a thick book full of dull information, while Ozzie
gets a snazzy sports coat. David is convinced that the sports coat was actually
intended for him, but Ozzie is having a bit too much fun with it. Meanwhile,
Ozzie worries about his health when an insurance agent comes by offering words
of caution about the future. This is an improvement from the previous episode,
if a bit on the obvious side.
For our next episode we move forward to Season Three, for a little tale
called "The Fruitcake." The Nelsons have received all of their
Christmas gifts, and now it's time to start writing thank you notes. David and
Ricky ponder over what is appropriate to include in a thank you note, and Ozzie
isn't really being any help. He keeps changing his mind on what an appropriate
thank you note should be. Ozzie is also having a great deal of difficulty
writing his own thank you notes. He has received some nasty fruitcake three
years in a row from his best friend, and he's fed up with it. He doesn't want to
say thank you for that fruitcake any more, and determines to give his old pal a
piece of his mind. Another somewhat mediocre entry that gets a bit tiresome by
the time it reaches it's final third.
The final episode is a selection from Season Six, entitled "The
Christmas Tree Lot." David and Ricky need to find a present for their
father, but they just don't have any money. They have a plan, though. They want
to rent a vacant lot and sell Christmas trees. Ozzie is skeptical about the
idea, but begrudgingly agrees to loan the boys money to buy Christmas trees.
This whole scheme turns out to be considerably more complicated than anyone
anticipated. Is it possible that the boys could still make a profit by the time
the dust settles? Unfortunately, "The Christmas Tree Lot" is a pretty
dull episode without much in the way of humor or wit.
The transfer is pretty crummy for all four episodes, which suffer from lots of damage. Jarring edits, flecks, scratches, and smudged images prevent this from being a very satisfactory viewing experience. The mono audio contains a bit of hiss, and the music has been rather abruptly edited at times. There are no supplements included. These episodes don't really represent the best attributes of The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, so casual fans are better off avoiding this disc. Meanwhile, those who actually care about the show will undoubtedly just want to purchase the full seasons rather than a sampler like this.
Review content copyright © 2008 Clark Douglas; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Shout! Factory
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (English)
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Release Year: 1952
MPAA Rating: Not Rated