The Andy Griffith Show: Season 4
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Goober fans, rejoice--the arrival of George Lindsay's popular character is just one of the homespun joys of The Andy Griffith Show's fourth season, which has been compiled on this five-disc set. Lindsay as Goober Pyle, cousin to Jim Nabors's Gomer, makes his debut in one of the season's funniest episodes, "Fun Girls," which is also the only time Gomer and Goober appeared together on screen. By season's end, Gomer would depart for his own series (season 4's final episode, "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.," would serve as the pilot for that program), but before then, he enjoyed some fine episodes, including "Andy Saves Gomer" (from a fire at the filing station) and "Citizen's Arrest" (a knockout showcase for Nabors and Don Knotts, who is topnotch, as always, as Barney Fife). Other supporting characters get a spotlight or two in season 4, including Howard Morris's Ernest T. Bass ("Hot Rod Otis, "Otis T. Bass Joins the Army") and Denver Pyle and Maggie Peterson's Briscoe and Charlene Darling ("Briscoe Declares for Aunt Bee"), but of course, the crux of the show remains Andy and son Opie (Ron Howard), who do stand-out work in the well-loved "Opie the Birdman," which addresses serious topics--death and responsibility--in the series' typically warm and humane manner. No supplemental features accompany the 32 black-and-white episodes, but that won't detract one bit from spending some quality time with the good people of Mayberry. --Paul Gaita
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This season includes two of the official top ten favorite TAGS episodes, but I have several favorites among the others. Citizen's Arrest is probably the biggest fan favorite episode of them all, although Opie the Birdman can also claim a spot among TV Guide's list of the top ten episodes in television history. The latter is a quintessential coming of age story in which Opie learns that his actions can have huge consequences and that he must take responsibility for the mistakes he makes. I would have to put The Haunted House among my own personal favorites, though - as Barney's and Gomer's adventures inside that spooky old house are hilarious (and if you want more of the same kind of side-splitting comedy, just check out Don Knotts in The Ghost and Mr. Chicken). Ernest T. Bass fans will be happy to know that he comes down from the mountains in two Season Four episodes. First, he tries to join the army because he wants a uniform to impress the ladies - that doesn't work, and Andy ends up trying to reform him and pass him off as a gentleman at one of Mrs. Wiley's socials. Barney delivers what I consider the funniest line in television history in this particular episode. You also get two episodes featuring the Darlings.Read more ›
For those people who are buying the fourth season (1963-64), before viewing the first, the Andy Griffith Show is unique in a sense that it started out fun and had all the standard encounters and stories that most TV programs had but it never deteriorate or got so left field as to lose its appeal. Every show is entertaining and usually carries a message.
A lot of other programs spun off form the characters that played in this series. And you always think that Opie Taylor (Ronny Howard) is always young. Everyone knows that they issued Deputy Barney fife "1960-1965" (Don Knotts) one bullet that has seen a lot of action in his pocket. Too many people to name here.
This series will bring back old memories or can also create some now ones.
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Opie the Birdman: All TAGS seasons opened with a story about Opie, and this one may be the most famous one (and usually a top 10 fan fave). Opie tries to raise three baby birds (Winkin, Blinkin, and Nod) after inadvertently killing their mother with a sling-shot.
The Haunted House: This episode inspired Don Knotts' film The Ghost and Mr. Chicken. Is it just the moonshine or is there a haunted house in Mayberry?
Ernest T. Bass Joins The Army: I'm not a fan of Ernest T. but for those who are, this set offers two of his episodes. This one has him trying to join the Army so he can get a uniform.
The Sermon For Today: A visiting preacher comes to Mayberry and preaches a sermon of taking it easy (probably the last thing that needed to be preached in Mayberry). The folks take this sermon in an entirely different direction. Usually a top 5 episode.
Briscoe Declares For Aunt Bee: The Darlings are back and Briscoe decides to court Aunt Bee. Bee is not so keen on the idea.
Gomer the House Guest: Gomer loses his job at the filling station and moves in with the Taylors.
A Black Day For Mayberry: This is one of the funniest TAGS episodes ever (in my personal top 20 list). An armored truck filled with gold is expected to arrive in Mayberry. It's supposed to be a guarded secret but, when it arrives, a crowd of people with a banner "Welcome Gold Truck" is there to greet it.
Opie's Ill-Gotten Gain: I could never understand how Helen could make such an error but, she gives mediocre student Opie straight A's by mistake. Andy is so proud of Opie's report card that, when Opie finds out his real grades, he's afraid to let his pa down.
A Date For Gomer: Thelma Lou wants to find a date for her plain cousin. Andy and Barney decide on Gomer and they each explain to the other how "nice" their blind dates will be.
Up In Barney's Room: Barney is caught cooking in his room and his landlady, Mrs. Mendelbright, evicts him. Barney becomes further agitated when he learns "Mrs. Bendelmright" is about to marry an old codger who just arrived in town.
Citizen's Arrest: This ep. is usually listed among TAGS best. I don't really like it that much. Gomer makes a "citizen's arrest" on Barney for making an illegal u-turn. For PR reasons, Andy insists Barney write himself a ticket. Barney becomes so angry he resigns. Barney acts like a real jerk in this one.
Opie And His Merry Men: Opie and his friends get some bad ideas about law enforcement from a hobo.
Barney And The Cave Rescue: Thinking Andy and Helen are trapped in a cave, Barney organizes a rescue mission. A good example of Andy doing whatever he can to help his deputy save face.
Andy & Opie's Pal: Opie is jealous when Andy pays special attention to Opie's new friend.
Aunt Bee The Crusader: A local farmer is about to be evicted and Aunt Bee organizes a protest: "Just like the tree that's standing by the water, we shall not be moved." This one is one of my favorites.
Barney's Sidecar: Barney gets a motorcycle and sidecar and endangers the lives and sanity of the Mayberry residents. A top 5 episode on most TAGS fan favorite lists.
My Fair Ernest T. Bass: Andy tries to pass off Ernest T. as a sophisticated fellow at a high society party. Includes the famous line "How do you do Mrs. Wiiiiley" and Barney's observation of the women at the party: "Fly a quail through here and every one of `em would point." A top 10 episode on most fan favorite lists.
Prisoner Of Love: A female jewel thief pulls at Andy and Barney's heart strings while she's incarcerated in the Mayberry jail.
Hot Rod Otis: Otis and wheels do not mix.
The Song Festers: The revelation that Gomer has a beautiful singing voice jeopardizes Barney's solo.
The Shoplifters: Weaver's department store is being robbed blind and Barney spends the night there and works under cover as a mannequin to crack the case.
Andy's Vacation: Andy is supposed to be relaxing reading the National Geographic but, with Barney and Gomer in charge, there is no rest for the weary, even when Andy camps out in the woods.
Andy Saves Gomer: Andy saves Gomer from a little fire in the filling station and Gomer is so appreciative, Andy can't get rid of him.
Bargain Day: Clara convinces Aunt Bee to buy tons of beef from a meat wholesaler, bypassing her friendly butcher. When her freezer breaks down, she panics over the cost of repairing it causing Andy's famous advice: "Call the man!"
Divorce, Mountain Style: Charlene Darling Wash divorces husband Dud and comes into town hoping to snag Andy as her new hubby.
A Deal Is A Deal: Opie and his friends get stuck selling worthless salve, but Barney and Gomer have a plan.
Fun Girls: The Fun Girls are back and Helen and Thelma Lou are jealous. Goober makes his debut and this marks the only episode where Gomer and his cousin Goober appear together. Goober also shows off his impersonation of Cary Grant: "Judy, Judy, Judy"
The Return Of Malcolm Merriweather: The Brit on the bike is back and tries to make Aunt Bee's life easier...maybe too easy.
The Rumor: Another episode where Barney starts the Andy getting married rumors; this time to Helen.
Barney and Thelma Lou, Phfftt: Barney makes a remark that he has Thelma Lou in his hip pocket. When she hears about his, Thel dates Gomer to make Barney jealous. The kiss a girl you have to get married thing is really silly. Not one of my favorites.
Back to Nature: Barney brags to Opie's camping buddies about what an expert man of nature he is and then gets lost in the woods with Gomer.
Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. Where Gomer leaves Masyberry and Jim Nabors' new sitcom begins.
"Opie The Birdman" and "A Black Day For Mayberry"
"Opie's Ill-Gotten Gain" and "Up In Barney's Room."
If you purchased the set without laugh tracks, you can get corrected replacement discs from Paramount Home Video free of charge.
Just send your name, address, telephone number, and the proof of purchase tab (found on the inside flap of the box) to:
Paramount Pictures Home Video
5555 Melrose Avenue
Hollywood, CA 90038
You do not need to send your discs to them. Only the proof of purchase tab from the box is required.
Allow 4 to 6 weeks for delivery (but I got mine within 2).
This is a major deal. Kudos to Paramount for taking care of this quickly. I won't hold my breath for the few minor corrections needed in the Season 3 set, though.
It's actually sad that Paramount has the rights to The Andy Griffith Show, and released it like this. Of course, I'm complaining about the sloppy production of the DVD box set with missing laugh tracks and strange editing.
The missing laugh tracks give the episodes an eerie atmosphere, and the sloppy editing is just plain annoying.
Viewers should and will be outraged at the chipping away of pieces of what is the equivalent Hope Diamond of vintage television.
If the executives quell their thirst for short-term corporate profits, a real attempt can be made to restore the episodes and release them in their pristine original condition. C'mon Paramount, with this release you've proved that you're greedy pigs at the money trough. Can't you see if you did this properly your sales will be higher over the long term.
Paramount, if you don't want to do it correctly, let someone else do it who will.
Of course, you can call me a sheep because I like the show so well that I would have bought it anyway even if I didn't receive it as a gift.
Rated: 5 stars for the show, 1 star for the feeble DVD attempt.
But the show stealer is Barney Fife (Don Knotts) who plays the role of a sometimes incompetent, kooky deputy always in over his head. The onscreen dynamic between Griffith and Knotts is truly magical. Both men would go on to heralded careers in show business with Knotts starring in numerous roles, such as Mr. Furley on Three's Company, and Griffith as the title star of Matlock. And Ron Howard (Opie) would go on to establish himself as one of Hollywood's most well-known directors...
The Andy Griffith Show (Season 4) DVD features a number of hilarious episodes including the season premiere "Opie the Birdman" in which Opie becomes the adoptive father of several orphaned baby birds after he inadvertently kills their mother with his slingshot. Developing a personal attachment to the birds, Opie struggles with the notion that once they're grown, he'll have to set them free... Other notable episodes include "Barney's Sidecar" in which Barney acquires a sidecar for his motorcycle a local auction, but his daily antics quickly have all of Mayberry up in arms, and "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C." in which Gomer Pyle joins the Marine Corps in order to become a man, but he's failing miserably until Andy convinces the drill instructor to take Gomer under his wing...
Below is a list of episodes included on The Andy Griffith Show (Season 4) DVD:
Episode 96 (Opie the Birdman) Air Date: 09-30-1963
Episode 97 (The Haunted House) Air Date: 10-07-1963
Episode 98 (Ernest T. Bass Joins the Army) Air Date: 10-14-1963
Episode 99 (The Sermon for Today) Air Date: 10-21-1963
Episode 100 (Briscoe Declares for Aunt Bee) Air Date: 10-28-1963
Episode 101 (Gomer the House Guest) Air Date: 11-04-1963
Episode 102 (A Black Day for Mayberry) Air Date: 11-11-1963
Episode 103 (Opie's Ill-Gotten Gain) Air Date: 11-18-1963
Episode 104 (A Date for Gomer) Air Date: 11-25-1963
Episode 105 (Up in Barney's Room) Air Date: 12-02-1963
Episode 106 (Citizen's Arrest) Air Date: 12-16-1963
Episode 107 (Opie and His Merry Men) Air Date: 12-30-1963
Episode 108 (Barney and the Cave Rescue) Air Date: 01-06-1964
Episode 109 (Andy and Opie's Pal) Air Date: 01-13-1964
Episode 110 (Aunt Bee the Crusader) Air Date: 01-20-1964
Episode 111 (Barney's Sidecar) Air Date: 01-27-1964
Episode 112 (My Fair Ernest T. Bass) Air Date: 02-03-1964
Episode 113 (Prisoner of Love) Air Date: 02-10-1964
Episode 114 (Hot Rod Otis) Air Date: 02-17-1964
Episode 115 (The Song Festers) Air Date: 02-24-1964
Episode 116 (The Shoplifters) Air Date: 03-02-1964
Episode 117 (Andy's Vacation) Air Date: 03-09-1964
Episode 118 (Andy Saves Gomer) Air Date: 03-16-1964
Episode 119 (Bargain Day) Air Date: 03-23-1964
Episode 120 (Divorce, Mountain Style) Air Date: 03-30-1964
Episode 121 (A Deal is a Deal) Air Date: 04-06-1964
Episode 122 (Fun Girls) Air Date: 04-13-1964
Episode 123 (The Return of Malcolm Merriweather) Air Date: 04-20-1964
Episode 124 (The Rumor) Air Date: 04-27-1964
Episode 125 (Barney and Thelma Lou, Phfftt) Air Date: 05-04-1964
Episode 126 (Back to Nature) Air Date: 05-11-1964
Episode 127 (Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.) Air Date: 05-18-1964
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