Power, wealth, sex, glorious extravagance. One place has them all - Dallas. This 5-disc set includes all 29 of the hugely entertaining show's First- and Second-Season Episodes, including a cast reunion special. Patrick Duffy, Victoria Principal and more play Texas sons and daughters whose lives revolve around oil, family and power. And Larry Hagman portrays petroleum magnate J.R. Ewing, whose pursuit of, in no particular order, money and clout knows no limits.
Audio Commentary:Commentary featuring Larry Hagman, Charlene Tilton, and creator David Jacobs
Featurette:Soaptalk Dallas Reunion, SOAPnet special featuring Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy, Linda Gray, and Charlene Tilton
Power, wealth, sex, glorious extravagance. One place has them all - Dallas. This 5-disc set includes all 29 of the hugely entertaining show's First- and Second-Season Episodes, including a cast reunion special. Patrick Duffy, Victoria Principal and more play Texas sons and daughters whose lives revolve around oil, family and power. And Larry Hagman portrays petroleum magnate J.R. Ewing, whose purs
||Larry Hagman, Victoria Principal|, Jim Davis, Barbara Bel Geddes, Linda Gray|
||Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled|
||English, Spanish, French|
|Number of Discs:
||Warner Home Video|
|DVD Release Date:
||August 24, 2004|
|Average Customer Rating:
|| based on 181 reviews|
Average Customer Review:
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118 of 126 found the following review helpful:
A twisted version of Romeo & Juliet done Texas styleMay 29, 2004
By Lawrance M. Bernabo
First, you need to know that if you pick this up expecting to get to the famous "A House Divided" episode which ends with the cliffhanger of J.R. being gunned down in the offices of Ewing oil that sparked the "Who Shot J.R.?" mania of the summer of 1980 it is not to be found here. While that episode did come at the end of the second season of "Dallas" this collection counts the five episode mini-series from 1978 as the "first" season with the 24 episodes of the first season now called the "second." This explains why there are only 5 discs in this collection of "Dallas: The Complete First and Second Seasons."
It is easy to see how "Dallas" got on the air. In the very first episode, "Digger's Daughter" (April 2, 1978), Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy) is bringing his new bride, Pamela Barnes (Victoria Principal) home to the Ewing family ranch of Southfork. She predicts that his family is going to throw her off the ranch and we soon learn why. Once upon a time Pam's father Willard "Digger" Barnes (David Wayne) and John Ross "Jock" Ewing (Jim Davis), the patriarch of the Ewing clan, had been oil wildcatters in the great state of Texas. When they struck oil Jock too both the company and the woman they both loved, Eleanor Southworth (Barbara Bel Geddes) away from Digger.
But not only do we have the whole Romeo & Juliet thing going on with Bobby & Pam, now Juliet is from the wrong side of the track. Add to this that Juliet has a brother, Cliff Barnes (Ken Kercheval), who is the legal counsel for a government investigation gunning for Ewing Oil, and that the foreman of Southfork, Ray Krebs (Steve Kanaly) is Pam's old beau. Ray is also sleeping with you Lucy Ewing (Charlene Tilton), who is the daughter of the absent Ewing son, Gary (David Ackroyd). Of course if you watched the show when it aired you now how twisted the Ray-Lucy bit becomes down the road, but that does not matter because we still have to talk about J.R. and Sue Ellen.
This time around Romeo has an older brother who was a human oil slick that viewers loved to hate. John Ross "J.R." Ewing (Larry Hagman) was power hungry and unscrupulous, whether it was with regards to the business interests of Ewing Oil or with his personal life. If Bobby and Pam were Romeo & Juliet, then J.R. and Bobby were Cain and Abel. By the end of the first episode J.R. is trying to have Pam caught in a compromising position with Ray so he can through "Ms. Barnes" off of Southfork and the mini-series ends with J.R. making sure that Pam does not produce the first Ewing grandson. Of course, since J.R. and his wife, Sue Ellen (Linda Gray), the former Miss Texas, and having a contest to see who hates the other one the most, their having a child first does not seem to be a real possibility.
Actually while "Dallas" resonates with Shakespearean and Biblical elements, series creator David Jacobs, who had been the story editor on "Family," was inspired by Ingmar Bergman's Swedish mini-series "Scenes From A Marriage," which an executive at CBS suggested Jacbos should move up the social ladder The mini-series was enough of a success that "Dallas" came back as a regular series in 1978-79.
The season begins with prodigal son Gary returning to Southfork with his wife, Valene (Joan Van Ark) and J.R. conniving to drive him away. Then Bobby's childhood sweetheart Jenna Wade (Morgan Fairchild) shows up with a daughter, Charlie (Laurie Lynn Myers) who may be his, Jock has a heart attack, Sue Ellen tries to adopt a baby on the Black Market, Pam's first husband (Robin Clarke) shows up claiming they are still married, Lucy runs away, Cliff runs for the state senate, a plane carrying Bobby and J.R. crashes, Ray becomes smitten with country singer Garnett McGee (Kate Mulgrew), Bobby tries a business venture with old friend Guzzler Bennett (Richard Kelton), Bobby gets kidnapped, Elle gives Southfork to her brother Garrison (Gene Evans), Jock's former secretary Julie Gray (Tina Louise) shows up dead and J.R. tries to frame Cliff for the murder, and Sue Ellen's sister Kristin Shepard (Colleen Camp) makes a play for Bobby, Pam and Bobby separate, J.R. tries to marry Lucy off to Kit Mainwaring (Mark Wheeler), and Ray has an affair with Donna Culver (Susan Howard).
However, the second season comes down to the fact that Sue Ellen has an affair with Cliff Barnes and then finds out she is pregnant offering us the delicious irony that the first Ewing grandchild could be a Barnes and not a Ewing. But Sue Ellen, afraid to leave J.R. starts drinking hard and heavy (even by Ewing standards). J.R., figuring that the child is not his but fearing what would happen to his reputation and the Ewing name if the truth comes out, has his wife committed to a sanitarium. Even there Sue Ellen manages to keep on drinking and the season ends with her in the hospital and the life of the baby in danger. To be continued...
The main advantage of "Dallas" as a nighttime soap opera was that the show really kept things moving. Arguably as much happened in a season of this show as you got in a year with a daytime soap opera but jammed into two-dozen episodes. More importantly, even if you do not care about Pam and Bobby, who refuse to live happily ever after, there is cunning J.R. sticking his finger into each and every pie. The year after this "second" season, "Dallas" finishing 6th in the Nielsens with a 25.0 rating. The series would finish 1st three of the next four seasons including a 34.5 rating the year we found out "Who Shot J.R.?" (Only one television show has average a rating over 30.0 since then, "The Cosby Show," 1985-87).
44 of 49 found the following review helpful:
The First 29 "Dallas" Episodes! Humdinger Of A Boxed Set!Sep 03, 2004
By David Von Pein
This stylish Warner Brothers' five-disc set contains the inaugural 29 "Dallas" episodes (out of a total of 357 aired during the show's CBS-TV network run of 13-plus years), with every wheeling-dealing moment and bickering family feud Digitally realized via this great format known as "DVD". This set combines the so-called 5-episode "Mini-Series" with the first FULL season (1978-1979). So we're getting two seasons (sort of) in one collection here.
The series began on April 2, 1978, with "Digger's Daughter", which has Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy) coming home to Dallas with new bride, Pam (Victoria Principal), in tow. And seeing as how Pamela is "Digger's Daughter", we know we're not going to be experiencing a comfortable day at the beach from the get-go of this ultra-popular prime-time soap opera. Because, you see, "Digger" is not exactly thought too highly of around Ewing territory -- and vice-versa. A great debut episode!
Video and audio quality rate pretty good marks here (IMHO). Picture quality is kind of hit-&-miss in places, with some portions looking better than others. The opening credits are speckled with artifacts and grain (which seems to be common among a lot of TV-on-DVD products being produced; evidently many DVD companies don't go to the added expense to "clean up" the repetitive opening and closing credit sequences on many TV series).
Colors aren't super-bright on this DVD set, but they aren't extremely dull either. For the most part, I'd say the shows look and sound fairly good on these Digital Discs. A good representation of how the first seasons of "Dallas" looked when the episodes first aired on network TV.
The original Full-Screen television ratio (1.33:1) is used for these twenty-nine episodes; while audio comes from highly-adequate Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono tracks (English only). (The Audio Commentary tracks are in DD 2.0.) The distinctive opening theme music comes across very nicely here, via the 1-channel Dolby Digital audio. The booming "Dallas" theme is one of the best ever written for a TV series, in my opinion.
These "Dallas" programs are definitely presented here in their original full and UNCUT form, with a run time of approximately 48 minutes per episode. This running time *does* include the "trailer" clips at the beginning of each show, just as they were originally broadcast on CBS-TV in 1978 and 1979. However, the "Next Week On Dallas..." trailers (with clips of the next episode in the series) are not included on these DVDs.
>> "Soap Talk: Dallas Reunion" (42 minutes). This fun bonus feature serves up new (2003) interviews with members of the "Dallas" cast (Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy, Linda Gray, and Charlene Tilton). The four famous "Ewings" fondly reminisce about the show. The genuine affection these actors and actresses have for each other is quite readily apparent and easily shows through during this entertaining "Soap Talk" bonus. Video clips from various "Dallas" episodes are also shown during this program. Pretty good stuff.
>> Audio Commentaries for three episodes. Participating in the commentary tracks are Larry Hagman, Charlene Tilton, and series' creator David Jacobs. .... The three episodes featuring the commentary tracks are: "Digger's Daughter", "Reunion (Part 1)", and "Reunion (Part 2)".
>> Subtitles can be accessed in English and French, as well as Spanish.
>> A "Play All Episodes" option is included on all discs.
Warner Home Video gives us these 29 "Dallas" episodes in an attractive fold-out "Digipak" type of box, with some nice artwork adorning it. The inner case, which slides out very easily from its outer slipcover, securely holds the five double-sided discs. When all 5 discs are removed from their individual tray holders, a grandiose picture of the skyline of downtown Dallas emerges, with large letters (in the familiar font associated with this TV series) spelling out "DALLAS" laid over the top of the skyline image. Quite impressive indeed.
No booklet is included with this DVD set. Instead, episode information (with original CBS air dates) is shown on the various flaps of the inner disc-housing part of the package.
The Menus are all static, with no lengthy animations of any kind. From the Main Menu, you can access Sub-Menus of: "Episodes", "Languages", and "Special Features" (on applicable discs). Selecting "Play" from the Main Menu will play all the episodes on that side of the disc. Discs 1 through 4 each contain three episodes per side. Disc 5 has three programs on Side A, and 2 shows (plus bonus material) on Side B. Each time you return to a disc's Main Menu, the rousing "Dallas" theme song plays all the way through (just like on the opening credits for every episode). The theme music repeats if the Main Menu remains on-screen.
Chapter breaks are included on all episodes, including a much-appreciated chapter stop immediately after the opening titles.
Watching these top-notch episodes again on DVD makes a "Dallas" fan yearn for the next installment in the series on Digital Disc, which will include the most famous "cliffhanger" in TV history -- when J.R. Ewing (Larry Hagman) falls victim to a bullet in episode 54, "A House Divided".
29 of 33 found the following review helpful:
Another Great Show....Another Mediocre DVD setSep 01, 2004
By Peter Kohut
How can I complain when I am getting hours and hours of entertainment like this for only $34.99? Well...here goes. This is one of the greatest, if not THE greatest show to come out of the 1980s (yes, I know it began in 1978). However, since this is a show that changed the TV landscape, you would think Warner Bros. would have enough respect to go back and clean up the old films. Nope. There is dust, scratches and debris all over this thing! Though certain scenes looks great, esp. in terms of colors, others, especially the intro credits, look awful. The sound was not fixed up or anything. It looks like Warner Bros did NOTHING to remaster this material. A true shame. Such a WONDERFUL SHOW deserves a better transfer than this, however you can't beat the price. I would be willing to pay more for a better set though.
12 of 15 found the following review helpful:
Jam Packed SetDec 07, 2004
Wow! 29 episodes, all uncut, PLUS the Soap Talk thing - If only the Star Trek sets had this much on them and were priced this good!! Sure pays to be a Dallas fan, I gotta say.
This is the perfect set to give someone if they (like myself) love to have DVD marathons in their living room. Bring on seasons three & four so I can get my fix of the "Who Shot JR?" story!
Okay, the commentary was kind of a snooze if you ask me, but better than nothing and I didn't know that the guy who created this wanted Knots Landing to be the first show CBS bought. David Jacobs also talked about working for a show in the 70s called Family - haven't seen that one in years!
Hey, Warner Brothers, if you release Family and Knots Landing on disc, I WILL BUY THEM TOO!
Love it! Want more! NOW!!!
6 of 7 found the following review helpful:
A classic in American television if there ever was one!Feb 04, 2007
By Reginald D. Garrard
When "Dallas" premiered as a five-part trial miniseries in 1978, it followed on the heels of the last primetime soap opera, "Peyton Place." While the earlier show had the benefit of being adapted from a bestselling novel and successful movie adaptation, "Dallas" could only find itself being a distant reminder of "Giant," featuring Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, and James Dean, a film about the struggle between two powerful Texas oil families.
Also, "Peyton Place" had a cast of established stars (Oscar winner Dorothy Malone and Ed Nelson) and exciting up and comers (Mia Farrow, Barbara Parkins, and Ryan O'Neal, among others). "Dallas" boasted an actor known primarily for his successful comedic turn as an astronaut saddled with a mischievous genie (Larry Hagman in "I Dream of Jeanie"); a veteran of stage and screen (Barbara Bel Geddes); an actor that starred in the short-lived sci-fi show "The Man from Atlantis" (Patrick Duffy); an actor that had been featured in countless westerns (Jim Davis); and an actress that had some less-than-stellar appearances in television and on film (Victoria Principal). The other key roles on the show were assigned to performers that were virtual unknowns to TV audiences (Steve Kanaly, Ken Kerchival, Linda Gray, and Charlene Tilton).
However, once "Dallas" premiered, it was obvious that America found something engaging about the ongoing saga of the wealthy Ewing clan and its ongoing battle to remain at the top, regardless of whatever bodies fall by the wayside. Most popular of the show's characters was the anti-hero J.R., played by Hagman. J.R. was ruthlessness personified and Hagman obviously relished playing the part.
The actor could do more with a pause, a look, or an aside than more actors could do with entire pages of dialogue. Witness his look in the late-in-the-season installment, "Call Girl," when he discovers that his plan to drive hated sister-in-law Pam (Principal) out of the family has fallen through and hears her voice behind him.
In the words of the credit card commercial, his expression is priceless.
As far as the total DVD compilation is concerned, the show is addictive as each episode delves into not just J.R.'s machinations and addresses such topics as drug and alcohol addiction, environmental concerns, marital strife, sexuality, family in-fighting, and adolescent wanderings.
Yes, for all their wealth, the Ewings reflected the America of its day.
Besides Hagman's award-deserving performance, the other performers are equally up to the task. Of the remaining cast members, it is Linda Gray's longsuffering "Sue Ellen" that emerges as the breakout performance of the series. Intially a secondary character, Sue Ellen develops as the character with whom the audience can most sympathize: a woman in a loveless marriage to a man to whom she is no more than a trinket of his romantic conquest. Her scenes with Hagman, often vicious and filled with histrionics, are the stuff of legend and both actors go at it, tooth and nail.
The best examples of Gray's work can be seen in the installments "Act of Love," "For Love of Money," "Sue Ellen's Sister," and "John Ewing III (Parts I and II)".
The first season compilation also boasts guest star turns from a couple of western performers and one of the cast of another classic 60's comedy. Gene Evans is great as Miss Ellie's brother, Garrison, in "Home Again," while John McIntyre appears as a revered statesman in "The Outsiders." The latter episode also features Susan Howard who would later become one of the regulars in a few seasons to come.
Tina Louise, late of "Gilligan's Island," appears in several episodes as J.R.'s secretary Julie, the holder of many of her boss's sinister business dealings.
Also, there are appearances of future stars of film and television: Brian Dennehy, Kate Mulgrew, Peter Horton, Veronica Hamel, and Greg Evigan.
Even the secondary tier of actors, those whose characters are essential to the storyline are memorable, chief among these being Fern Fitzgerald as "Marilee Stone," the wife of one of J.R.'s chief allies and Barbara Babcock as Pam's boss, Liz Craig.
This DVD collection would also mark the first and last appearance by actors whose part will be recast in later seasons, to the betterment of the show: David Wayne's "Digger Barnes" would be later portrayed by movie legend Keenan Wynn while Colleen Camp's "Kristen Sheppard" would find itself more memorably assayed by Mary Crosby.
One thing to note about a welcome change in later seasons was the change in the characters of Lucy (Tilton) and Ray (Kanaly). Though the characters had had a romantic relationship in the miniseries, as well as for much of the first half of the initial season, the producers wisely choice to eventually downplay it and ultimately remove it from the show.
This is especially beneficial in that in later seasons, it would be revealed that Ray was the illegitimate son of Ewing patriarch Jock, making him Lucy's uncle.
Pedophilia and incest are two things that this series didn't need to add to its other melodramatic trappings.
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