Shout! Factory // 1964 // 660 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge P.S. Colbert // December 16th, 2012
"She's the one can make the sun begin to glow"
Cut your heating bills in half this winter with twenty six warm and cuddly episodes of Hazel: The Complete Fourth Season:
* "Never Trouble Trouble"
* "Luncheon With The Governor"
* "Ain't That A Knee Slapper?"
* "Marriage Trap"
* "The Flagpole"
* "Welcome Back, Kevin"
* "Mind Your Own Business"
* "High Finance Hits A New Low"
* "Just Me, Harold And The Universe"
* "Mix-Up On Marshal Road"
* "A Lesson In Diplomacy"
* "To Build Or Not To Build"
* "Better To Have Loved And Lost"
* "Hazel Squares The Triangle"
* "Just 86 Shopping Minutes To Christmas"
* "Champagne Tony"
* "It's A Dog's Life"
* "Love 'Em And Leave 'Em"
* "Temper, Temper"
* "Bonnie Boy"
* "Stop Rockin' Our Reception"
* "What's Buggin' Hazel?"
* "Hazel's Day In Court"
* "Hazel's Inquisitive Mind"
* "George's Man Friday"
* "The Investor"
Hazel Burke (Shirley Booth, The Matchmaker), that dear-hearted but domineering domestic engineer, is back on duty at Casa di Baxter, a cozy little love nest on Marshall Road in upper-middle class suburban New York. George Baxter (Don DeFore) is a handsome, prominent attorney, a bit on the blustery side, his wife Dorothy (Whitney Blake) suffers from a virulent case of loveliness, and their ten year old son Harold (Bobby Buntrock) is terminally cute, if perhaps a bit slower on the uptake than some of the other kids on his block (i.e. Eddie Munster, Ernie Douglas, Opie Taylor). Helpful hint: The Baxters also answer to their Hazel-only nicknames: Mr. B, Missy, and Sport, respectively.
1964 was an election year, which might explain the political components to several season four episodes. In "Luncheon With The Governor," what should be a breezy campaign stop at the Baxter household threatens to turn into a full-scale riot when a group of "picketers" from the local college (you know the type -- campus non-conformists) start protesting in the front yard. Cold war winds blow through the dining room when the family is appointed to host Commissar Josef Pozega (Oskar Homolka, War And Peace), from "the other side of the iron curtain," for a particularly strenuous Thanksgiving dinner in "A Lesson In Diplomacy," and before "Hazel's Day In Court," our heroine actually spends time behind bars for committing civil disobedience -- Don't look now, but the '60s have arrived!
"Hazel, you've got a scheme cooking, haven't you?" -- Harold Baxter
Atta boy, Sport: you're starting to catch on.
Of course, this is still Hazel, where happily married folks sleep in separate beds, and "Applesauce!" is as close as anyone comes to uttering a four-letter word.
Unfortunately, anybody looking for turbulence will surely find it in the full-frame, standard-definition transfers and mono soundtrack, both of which betray quite a bit of abuse in the form of scratches, pops, clicks, and mutant shades that no self-respecting Crayola box would allow. Shout! Family has dutifully applied "the following episodes were mastered from the best available video sources." You've been warned.
Hazel: The Complete Fourth Season does boast the distinction of being the first of the series' sets to feature an extra, and it's a doozy! Appended to the fourth and final disc is an extremely rare seventeen page promotional booklet, distributed by Screen Gems to lure potential sponsors to what was then merely a proposed television adaptation of the popular Ted Key cartoon, as seen regularly in the Saturday Evening Post. Several witty Key illustrations (all TV-related) are included, making this one of the oddest and most interesting bonus additions I've ever encountered.
Not that I need such inducement -- I've loved Hazel since my childhood many moons ago, and (technical) warts and all, these episodes -- which admittedly tend to resemble each other more often than not four seasons in -- still manage to deliver their magic, creating a neighborhood I'd move into tomorrow, if only I could. Do you know the difference between housekeeping and home making? Well, Hazel does, and it makes all the difference in the world.
Review content copyright © 2012 P.S. Colbert; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Shout! Factory
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (English)
Running Time: 660 Minutes
Release Year: 1964
MPAA Rating: Not Rated