I liked this show when I was young and watched it in its original run. But most sitcoms that I saw back then would no longer interest me. Why do I still care about this one? The acting of Patty Duke is exceptional. I've seen actresses play dual roles like this before, but I've never seen it done this well. The differentiation between the Cathy and Patty characters is amazingly well done, and each character will have you react differently to them. I admit I really like the Cathy character. I've seen both season one and season two. If you buy only one season, I believe season one has more good episodes, although I think it must be said both seasons have quite a few episodes that I regard as weak.
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74 of 79 people found the following review helpful
You Can Lose Your Mind -- When Cousins are Two of a Kind!June 25 2009
- Published on Amazon.com
Celebrations should be thrown at local `shake shops' with rock 'n roll blasting on the juke box for the first-ever DVD release of The Patty Duke Show!
The series was one of the best and most beloved Classic TV comedies from the 1960's. Shout!Factory is continuing its string of great Classic TV releases (including Father Knows Best, My Three Sons and The Donna Reed Show) by presenting the complete first season of this iconic series on DVD for the first time.
The Patty Duke Show aired on ABC beginning Sept. 18, 1963. It lasted 105 episodes spanning three seasons - all in glorious black and white!
One year before, Ms. Duke had won an Academy Award® for her portrayal of the blind, deaf and mute Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker (at the time, she was the youngest person to have won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress). As a result, she was chosen for her own self-titled vehicle, which featured her in not one, but two prominent roles.
The series followed Patty Lane (Ms. Duke), a `normal' 60's teenager living in the Brooklyn Heights section of New York City, who loves boys, ice cream, and sleep-overs. Her father is the managing editor of the New York Chronicle. In the unaired Pilot, her "identical cousin" Cathy Lane (also portrayed by Duke), whose father also works for the Chronicle as a foreign correspondent, arrives in the U.S. from Scotland to live with Patty's family and attend secondary school.
The series was extremely popular with both teens and their parents, turning Ms. Duke into an early teenaged idol.
As an adult, Ms. Duke has documented her long struggle with mental illness. The brilliant star sadly disclosed that she also suffered abuse during the years this series was produced. As a result, there is a genuine darkness beneath the fictitious veneer of these sweetly, innocent episodes. It is a true testament to her talent and very hard work that none of that was conveyed on screen. In my opinion, this series should still be enjoyed to honor her performances, for which Ms. Duke rightly received an Emmy nomination. (She is also the former wife of wonderful actor John Astin. The couple's son, Sean Astin, is also an actor.)
All 36 half-hour episodes and the unaired pilot are expected to be included in this DVD boxed set, presented on six discs (to provide background material as needed, clips from the Pilot had been utilized through "flash-back" scenes describing Cathy's arrival in the U.S.).
Special features are expected to include interviews with cast members, plus a featurette on the series. The show was created by William Asher, who also created and produced Bewitched; and Sidney Sheldon, who created a host of thrillers but also I Dream of Jeannie in the 1960's and Hart to Hart in the 1990's.
In addition to Ms. Duke, the core cast included William Schallert, who played Patty's father, Martin Lane; Jean Byron as Patty's mother, Natalie Lane; Paul O'Keefe portrayed Patty's sister, Ross Lane; and Eddie Applegate, who portrayed Patty's boyfriend, Richard Harrison in 70 episodes.
Schallert has one of the longest careers in TV and also film, and remains active in his 80's. (Incredibly, there was almost no hit TV show - in all genres - from the 60s through the 80s that he did not appear.)
The dual role played by Ms. Duke presented special effects challenges for the low-tech 60's, as they were rarely ever used in sitcoms of the day. (A VERY notable exception was the daytime gothic soap opera, Dark Shadows.)
In each episode of this series, Ms. Duke appeared as both characters in the same frame through the use of a split screen effect. To complement these effects, child actress Rita McLaughlin was used as Ms. Duke's double (almost always seen only from behind).
First Season episodes are: The Pilot; The French Teacher; The Genius; The Elopement; House Guest; The Birds and the Bees Bit; The Slumber Party; The Babysitters; The Conquering Hero; The President; Double Date; The Actress; How to Be Popular; The Song Writers; The Princess Cathy; Christmas Present; Auld Lang Syne; Horoscope; The Tycoons; Author! Author!; The Continental; Let 'Em Eat Cake; Going Steady; Are Mothers People?; The Con Artist; The Perfect Teenager; Chip Off the Old Block; The Wedding Anniversary Caper; Pen Pals; A Slight Case of Disaster; The Friendship Bit; Patty, the Foster Mother; Drop Out; Leave it to Patty; The Little Dictator; The Working Girl; and The Cousins.
"Cousins," was the unforgettable series theme. The music was composed by Sid Ramin, while the lyrics that stayed in your head like a causality loop, was written by Robert Wells. For those not old enough to have the song still playing in their aged noggins, here it is:
Meet Cathy, who's lived most everywhere, From Zanzibar to Barclay Square.
But Patty's only seen the sights A girl can see from Brooklyn Heights-- What a crazy pair!
But they're cousins, Identical cousins all the way. One pair of matching bookends, Different as night and day.
Where Cathy adores a minuet, The Ballet Ruses, and crepe Suzette, Our Patty loves to rock and roll, A hot dog makes her lose control-- What a wild duet!
Still, they're cousins, Identical cousins and you'll find, They laugh alike, they walk alike, At times they even talk alike--
You can lose your mind, When cousins - are two of a kind!
Here's hoping the remaining two seasons are quickly released.
43 of 48 people found the following review helpful
The Patty Duke Show Season One Is Finally Here!July 2 2009
- Published on Amazon.com
What an unbelievable year 2009 has been for putting THE BEST 1960's television shows on dvd sets, and now added to this list FINALLY is "The Patty Duke Show"! Previously this year, Shout!Factory released "Peyton Place" and "Room 222", and the quality of the film on these two sets is like night and day. I contacted Shout! to find out if this "Patty Duke Show" dvd set will be beautifully restored and clean like "Peyton Place" or if it will be fuzzy and grainy like "Room 222". Shout! said they are putting out a good print of "The Patty Duke Show", and I hope "good" means really good like in Peyton Place good! They would not be more specific about the quality, so we will see when it's released on September 29, 2009.
"The Patty Duke Show" was tailor made for oscar-winning Patty Duke to play two teenage identical cousins going through High School together in Brooklyn Heights, New York. Patty Duke plays Patty Lane, who lives with her newspaper editor father, Martin Lane (William Schallert), her mother Natalie Lane (Jean Byron) and her younger brother Ross Lane (Paul O'Keefe). Patty has a steady boyfriend Richard Harrison (Eddie Applegate). Patty's father Martin, has a brother Kenneth Lane, who is a globe-trotting journalist, who happens to have a daughter named Cathy Lane (Patty Duke) who not only looks exactly like Patty , but is Patty's exact age. Cathy comes from Scotland to live with her Uncle Martin's family in Brooklyn Heights, New York. Even though Cathy and Patty look alike, sophisticated Cathy is nothing like her cousin Patty, who is the typical American teenager in 1963.
"The Patty Duke Show" ran for only 3 seasons from 1963 to 1966. The show featured some great guest stars over these years, some of my favorites being Frankie Avalon (in this first season), Chad and Jeremy, Sammy Davis Jr., Sal Mineo, Robert Goulet, Troy Donahue and Paul Lynde (also in this first season). Patty Duke played both cousins Patty and Cathy Lane and the technology used for Patty Duke to play 2 people on the screen at the same time, was quite primitive in 1963. They would shoot in split screen when the cousins were together facing the camera, and you can see the "line" where the two films are spliced together in almost every shot like this. A double was used when the cousins were talking face to face, so you would see Patty Duke's face and the double's back of her head. In a few of these first seasons episodes, the face of the double was accidentally briefly glimpsed! Martin Lane, Patty's father played by William Schallert, was such a well liked tv father, he was voted #39 in TV Guide's 50 Greatest Dad's of All Time. The show's unaired Pilot premiered in 1963 and was set in San Francisco, instead of Brooklyn Heights, New York, and father Martin Lane and brother Ross Lane were played by different actors. In this unaired pilot, Mark Miller played Martin and Charles Herbert played Ross. Sadly, even though Shout!Factory advertised everywhere that this first season would include the rare Pilot, they did not include it, and I hope this was a bad oversight and that they keep to their word and include it in Season 2!
Here are the First Season's Pilot and 36 Episodes: 0. (1963) PILOT-Cathy moves in with her Uncle's family. 1. (9-18-1963) THE FRENCH TEACHER-Patty has a teacher crush. 2. (9-25-1963) THE GENIUS-Patty alters a test (Paul Lynde guest stars). 3. (10-2-1963) THE ELOPEMENT-Martin thinks Patty is marrying Richard. 4. (10-9-1963) THE HOUSE GUEST-Aunt Pauline's visit bothers Cathy. 5. (10-16-1963) THE BIRDS AND THE BEES BIT-Ross gets a girl's invitation. 6. (10-23-1963) THE SLUMBER PARTY-Spy Ross tapes and blackmails Patty. 7. (10-30-1963) THE BABYSITTERS-Patty babysits to make money. 8. (11-6-1963) THE CONQUERING HERO-Cathy tutors a basketball player (Charles Nelson Reilly guest stars). 9. (11-13-1963) THE PRESIDENT-Patty and Cathy compete for President. 10.(11-20-1963) DOUBLE DATE-Patty doubles for Cathy (Margaret Hamilton guest stars). 11.(11-27-1963) THE ACTRESS-Patty and Cathy both want to be Cleopatra. 12.(12-4-1963) HOW TO BE POPULAR-Cathy doesn't want to be a wallflower (Frankie Avalon guest stars). 13.(12-11-1963) THE SONGWRITERS-Patty plagiarizes a poem to Richard (Jimmy Dean guest stars). 14.(12-18-1963) THE PRINCESS CATHY-Cathy gets a proposal. 15.(12-25-1963) THE CHRISTMAS PRESENT-Patty has a wonderful surprise. 16.(1-1-1964) AULD LANG SYNE-Cathy's father Kenneth Lane gets fired. 17.(1-8-1964) HOROSCOPE-Patty and Cathy make double money in astrology. 18.(1-15-1964) THE TYCOONS-Patty and Cathy become dress makers. 19.(1-22-1964) AUTHOR!AUTHOR!-Patty gets a book published. 20.(1-29-1964) THE CONTINENTAL-Martin gets transferred to Paris. 21.(2-5-1964) LET 'EM EAT CAKE-Patty and Cathy re-bake Natalie's contest cake which they ate (Margaret Hamilton guest stars). 22.(2-12-1964) GOING STEADY-Patty accepts Richard's ring to go steady. 23.(2-19-1964) ARE MOTHER'S PEOPLE?-Natalie feels unappreciated. 24.(2-26-1964) THE CON ARTIST-Cathy purchases a vacuum cleaner (Estelle Parsons guest stars). 25.(3-4-1964) THE PERFECT TEENAGER-Patty takes a modeling class (Kaye Ballard guest stars). 26.(3-11-1964) CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK-Patty's editor job turns tabloid. 27.(3-18-1964) THE WEDDING ANNIVERSARY CAPER-Ross enters Patty in a Beautiful Teens Contest in order to win a prize for their parents anniversary. 28.(3-25-1964) PEN PALS-Patty's penpal is superior to Richard. 29.(4-1-1964) THE FRIENDSHIP BIT-Patty may be jealous of Cathy. 30.(4-8-1964) A SLIGHT CASE OF DISASTER-Cathy borrows Patty's dress. 31.(4-15-1964) PATTY,THE FOSTER MOTHER-Patty adopts a Korean boy. 32.(4-22-1964) THE DROP OUT-Patty drops "dropout" Richard. 33.(4-29-1964) LEAVE IT TO PATTY-Patty poses as Cathy to get Cathy's pop star friend to perform at their dance. 34.(5-6-1964) THE LITTLE DICTATOR-Cathy is student principal and has to discipline Patty in class. 35.(5-13-1964) THE WORKING GIRL-Patty works at the Shake Shop. 36.(5-20-1964) THE COUSINS-Patty and Cathy reminisce.
BONUS MATERIAL INCLUDED: Shout! Factory has confirmed that they are including a nice retrospective featurette on this First Season, which is based on the brand new interviews they just finished with the entire cast, all except for "Mom" Natalie Lane played by the late Jean Byron.
Shout! Factory also confirmed that the episodes are not cut up or shortened, as they are running the original full 25 minutes per episode. I originally watched "The Patty Duke Show" when it premiered in 1963, and I enjoy it just as much now as I did back then! Even with the primitive 1963 special effects of seeing Patty's double's back of her head (and a glimpse of her face in this first season), and the splicing lines on the middle of the film, the show still holds up today with it's family warmth and charm. A huge thank you Shout!Factory for finally putting the long-awaited and wonderful Patty Duke Show on dvd!
31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
An incredbilbe show on many levelsJuly 8 2009
- Published on Amazon.com
Like everyone else here (and elsewhere!) I'm absolutely OVER the moon about the news of this release! If any show deserves to be made available to the masses, this is certainly one at the top of the list.
Tuning in, you'll see a very well-crafted show that focused on situations and people as opposed to jokes. I once read somewhere that The Patty Duke Show did for teenagers what the Dick Van Dyke Show did for sitcoms in general and I can see what the writer meant. The comedy and characters are genuine, the performances are grounded in reality, meaning you'll view the characters acting and reacting in believeable ways that aren't racheted up in the usual sitcom styles.
One thing that is quite amazing about the character of Patty is that she is not at all a 2 dimentional cut-out. Amazingly, the writers had Patty as a person who could be at various turns, kind, manipulative, sweet, egotistical, nice, a fire storm, caring, fierce, vulnerable...in other words, Patty was played like a human being with faults galore but virtuous to the core. Cathy too (especially during the first 2 seasons) could be someone to contend with. For the most part, she was the sweet one for sure, but she was also the practical realist who was the one who kept Patty grounded with loving reprimands when needed. On rare occasions, she could take a rather unexpected turn and outmaneuver Patty when the situation called for it with astonishing results! Above all, neither girl was a wallflower- each was resourceful and never ever played to the idea of a girl being helpless without a guy around, in fact, they often were the ones to take charge of situations and if all else failed, well, Mom and Dad were there to step in- and isnt't that what family is all about?
What I found amazing is despite the comments I read in Ms. Duke's autobiography about her acting on the show, the young actress does a incredible job of creating two distinct characters. Even in the smallest details- such as how each one expresses gladness or anger, Ms. Duke never allows one trait of one character to cary across to the other. Watching movies or other shows featuring one actor playing two characters, many times the performances come across more of as a gimmick than anything, but you never get the impression when watching Ms. Duke switching between playing Cathy and Patty.
A note about the split-screen effects. Too many times people will comment on how limited or "pre-historic" the technology was then and how you can easily detect the effects of the split screen. Well, the split screen effect wasn't anything new by the time The Patty Duke Show aired. In fact, the whole double exposure method which allowed one person to play multiple parts had been in existence for quite some time, being used in movies a good 20 or so years before this show.
If anything, the effect is even more impressive now when you consider all the planning it took to ensure shadows from one characters movements didn't cross the "barrier" of the shot. Notice also in many of those scenes, Patty and Cathy are sitting at the same table, or on the same bench and in one shot from the 2nd season, there is an incredible set up that had Cathy sitting on a chair and Patty, at one point places a hand on the back of the same chair- it makes you wonder if they had to bolt those pieces of furniture down somehow- if anything moved even one fraction, the viewer would easily note the chair being higher on one side of the frame than the other!
I hope the release of the DVD will bring a whole new shipload of fans to this stellar show!
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
You'll be pleased with your purchase but it's not all as advertisedSept. 30 2009
- Published on Amazon.com
I am so tired of and annoyed with all the pre-release "reviews" Amazon permits. Most of us know what the show was all about or we wouldn't have looked up this item in the first place. What we want to know is, how is this DVD presentation and is it worth purchasing? I have the DVD set in my possession right now, and there are 36 epsiodes in this complete first season set, not 26 (presumably just a typo on Amazon's part), but there is no pilot episode included as advertised. There are bits of the pilot interspersed in the last episode of the season as flashbacks, but that hardly counts. Great show, nice transfer, nice episode notes and (limited) trvia, interesting cast reminiscences. I'm glad to own it.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A Hot Dog Makes Her Lose Control ...Oct. 6 2009
- Published on Amazon.com
I used to love watching The Patty Duke Show on "Nick At Nite" back in the day. That being said I was excited to learn that this series was being released on DVD. I was also excited to learn that it was being issued by Shout Factory, since they do a superior job re-issuing classic TV on DVD. Shout Factory did a really good job with both the audio and video transfers. The black and white picture seems balanced and looks restored to eliminate any dirt or spots on the film. Though I cannot be 100% sure, all of the episodes appear to be uncut and open and close with the theme song. The ending always closes with the original United Artists Television vintage logo. Though I have not gotten to view it yet, the bonus features include "All New Interviews With The Cast" on disc 6 (I have only watched up until disc 2 so far).
The packaging is nice. the box shows Patty and Cathy against a green vintage patterned background. The one thing that irks me though is that on the front and back of the box it refers to the set as "The Complete First Season", while on the side of the box it says "Season One" as it does on all six discs, all three cases, and the enclosed booklet. I just think it should have been consistent as either "Season One" or "The Complete First Season".
The booklet is a nice addition too. These days you don't seem to get a booklet included anymore unless it is promoting other releases from the same company. The booklet provides a brief synopsis for each show, production number, airdates, guest stars (if any), starring, writing, music, producer and director credits as well as any trivia for that episode. There are also a bunch of pictures scattered throughout. Each slim case holds two discs in it and on the back show the episode title as well as the original airdate. The three cases are color coded as either purple, blue or pinkish, as are the discs that go in them. The front of each case has the exact same color picture of Patty Duke wearing a blue and green dress against a gold background. It's a good picture, but I wish they put a different picture on each case if for nothing more than variety. One thing that I was disappointed in was that Shout Factory did not include the original unaired pilot episode, which is mentioned in the booklet as trivia for the episode "Cousins" which used parts of it for flashback footage.
I hope Shout Factory continues to release all three seasons of The Patty Duke Show, but for now you get +/- 15 hours of enjoyable Patty Duke to make you lose your mind!