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The Munsters: The Complete First Season

Fred Gwynne , Yvonne De Carlo , Charles Barton , David Alexander    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 64.73
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The Munsters: The Complete First Season + Munsters : The Complete Second Season + The Addams Family, Vol. 1
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It has its own stormy weather and fire-breathing housepet named Spot, but the mansion at 1313 Mockingbird Heights is otherwise like any other American sitcom home. This is the address of the Munsters, the family that for two seasons, 1964-66, found a permanent place in pop culture--if not "monster" success. Developed by Leave It to Beaver team Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher, the series was a standard sitcom (complete with the same awful canned laughter), except that the Ward Cleaver character was a reanimated corpse.

Dad Herman (Fred Gwynne) was a Frankenstein's monster, mom Lily (Yvonne DeCarlo) and Grandpa (Al Lewis) were vampires, and son Eddie (Butch Patrick) a little wolf-boy. Munster niece Marilyn was inexplicably normal, which prompted much worry from the other members of the family (she was played in early episodes by Beverly Owen, who left to get married, and then by Pat Priest). The plots revolve around typically tortured sitcom situations: Herman must lose weight to fit into his old Army uniform, Herman has insomnia, Herman takes dance lessons from a crooked instructor. (As that list would suggest, 6'5" Fred Gwynne's wonderfully agile slapstick and Borscht Belt comedy made him the center of the show.)

What distinguished The Munsters from Father Knows Best was the Universal horror-movie lineage and the ghoulish one-liners (the latter growing a bit tedious after a while). The three-disc DVD has all 38 first-season episodes in excellent transfers, a 15-minute pilot with different actors as Lily and Eddie, and no extras or commentaries. High points include "Hot Rod Herman," which features the tricked-out Munster Koach and Drag-u-la (boss wagons both), and "Eddie's Nickname," the one where Grandpa gives Eddie a potion that causes the boy's beard to grow (a weirdly memorable image, if you're a kid). The show was either pure kiddie farce or a radical comment on the absurdly unreal world of sitcoms. Either way, if you grew up with them as an alternate TV family, you can't help but have warm feelings for the Munsters, as clammy as they are. --Robert Horton

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good family fun. June 19 2006
First shown on American TV in the 60's, the Munsters is about a family who the outside world views as odd to say the least, while they themselves see 'normal' looking people as strange. Herman Munster is a Frankenstein look-alike, wife Lily and her father, Grandpa, are vampires while son Eddie is a werewolf. Also living in their mausoleum type house is Lily's beautiful niece Marilyn whom the Munster's pity as they see her looks as 'unfortunate'.

This DVD set features all 36 episodes from season 1 and is presented on 6 discs. It is a typical comedy of that era, simple family values and good clean fun with the underlying message that it is ok to be different. The set features no extras, not even subtitles for the hard of hearing hence the four stars rating rather than five. It doesn't look as if there has been much cleaning up of the picture either, although overall the quality is not bad. It's a shame more effort wasn't put into the DVD release but that aside, it is a worthwhile addition to the collection of any Munsters fan.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Munster Mash July 6 2004
By Welt
I always preferred 'The Munsters' to 'The Addams Family'. Both have their own certain charm, though.
We're finally treated to the complete first season of 'The Munsters' on DVD. Personally, I can't wait. The nostalgia that bleeds from this show can only be rivaled by the likes of the original 60's Spider-Man cartoons and the original Star Trek. What to expect of this short-lived 60's sitcom is, corny gags, cheezy sets, inept and silly plots, annoying laugh-track that snickers at anything, goofy endings and ridiculously hammy acting.
Would you really have it any other way?
The cast is quite perfect, though. The bulky, dopey, sensitive, half-wit Frankenstein, Herman. The sultry yet prudish, Lily. The sneaky, sarcastic and "brilliant" mad-scientist, Grandpa. The innocent and always curious werewolf-child, Eddie. And the frightfully normal teenage prom-queen, Marilyn (who is shunned and dubbed a freak for being so ordinary and pretty).
All in all, 'The Munsters' is just pure fun. Grab this DVD if you're into it. If not, then go run to your precious 'Addams Family'.
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One of my favorite shows as a kid - and really never equaled, thanks to the cast - it looks like "The Munsters" Season One will finally be coming to DVD on August 24th!! The SciFi Channel's official website is reporting that season one is going to be released in time for the "Munster" 40th anniversary, and not only will include all 38 episodes from the show's first season, bu t also the previously unaired pilot! This could mean a high pricetag - suggested retail is $59.98 - but for me this is one of the best DVD-TV releases ever, and if I have to sell blood to Grandpa myself, I will get mine the first day out!
The show - for those of you who've been under a rock - is about a weird family at 1313 Mockingbird Lane named Munster, which consists of father Herman (a Frankenstein's monster), his wife Lily (a vampire), her father the Count (Count Dracula, that is), Lily and Herman's son Eddie (a wolf-boy), and Lily's "homely" niece Marilyn (who is gorgeous, but " homely" in their monster world).
Should the episodes be on the disks as aired, here's what should keep us in stitches for hours:
1. Munster Masquerade
2. My Fair Munster
3. A Walk on the Mild Side
4. Rock-a-Bye Munster
5. Pike's Pique
6. Low-Cal Munster
7. Tin Can Man
8. Herman the Great
9. Knock Wood, Here Comes Charlie
10. Autumn Croakus
11. The Midnight Ride of Herman Munster
12. The Sleeping Cutie
13. Family Portrait
14. Grandpa Leaves Home
15. Herman's Rival
16. Grandpa's Call of the Wild
17. All-Star Munster
18. If a Martian Answers, Hang Up
19. Eddie's Nickname
20. B ats of a Feather
21. Don't Bank on Herman
22. Dance With Me, Herman
23. Follow That Munster
24. Love Locked Out
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By Servo
I grew up on both the Munsters and the Addams Family, so I've always had much love for both shows, but it when it came down to it, the Munsters was always my top pick. Maybe it was the collection of "monsters" within the family, or Marilyn, or the family's crazy hot rods the Monster Coupe & the Dragula from legendary customizer George Barris, or just the comfort zone of the corny one-liners and family-oriented atmosphere. In any case, the Munsters is definitely classic in every sense and now it's here on DVD!
The set's package design is somewhat inspired. The outer box opens "coffin-style" to reveal the disc-holding "digipack" inside as the flipped-open box top has the table of contents on it with only the episodes plus the unaired pilot listed. The episodes are spread across 3 double-sided discs.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Gotta Love Herman
One of the best old sitcoms out there. Gotta love Herman's innocence. Wish this series back in it's day had been longer.
Published 11 months ago by Herman Munster
5.0 out of 5 stars Welcome back to 1313 mockingbird lane...
Nice to see the munsters episodes again. The shows sooooo funny!!
Herrman especially!! The box with the dvd box inside is great. Read more
Published on Feb. 11 2005
4.0 out of 5 stars The Munsters-Still great family fare!!
Welcome to 1964.And one of the "in" things that year for kids was monsters.All sorts and shapes could be seen on the airwaves in reruns but especially those of the old Hollywood... Read more
Published on Jan. 9 2005 by Robert Badgley
4.0 out of 5 stars The Munsters on DVD
What can I say?
This is the second-best t.v. show ever. The Beverly Hillbillies comes in first.
I saw all of the original series as a kid, first run then as re-runs. Read more
Published on Sept. 8 2004 by Bob
5.0 out of 5 stars WELCOME TO 1313 MOCKINGBIRD LANE
So many of the previous reviews are done in anticipation of the DVD release, but not much has been said about the set itself. Read more
Published on Sept. 4 2004 by The Critic
5.0 out of 5 stars A Legendary show comes complete to DVD
A Legendary show comes complete to DVD! The Munsters was a well polished show that we will never see the likes of again from TV golden age. Read more
Published on Aug. 2 2004 by CK
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Show Comes with a Price
I love The Munsters. I have to get the DVD. But why does it have to be $60.00! That's crazy! It only has three discs and it barely has any extras. Read more
Published on July 16 2004 by Travis Harrington
2.0 out of 5 stars It's all right, but that's all.
Well the few times I have seen this series. The shows are all right. Some of the jokes are all right, but both the writing and the casting does not always work, and it has not... Read more
Published on July 14 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Munsters= Laughs & Fun
Wonderful news to know that the Munsters episodes are gonna be
released on DVD. I have seen some episodes and even have
recorded some on VHS but I haven't seen all. Read more
Published on July 14 2004 by Mario Elizondo Regalado
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!
I Can't wait to finaly own this awesome hilarious show on DVD!
I love the Munsters and think they are a much more interesting TV family then the boring TV families from Leave... Read more
Published on July 7 2004
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