Sanford and Son
An early milestone in urban TV comedy, Sanford and Son was an immediate critical and audience favorite when it debuted in the early '70s, signaling the arrival of one of TV's most memorable characters: Cantankerous-but-lovable junk dealer Fred Sanford (Redd Foxx). An African American answer to "Archie Bunker," widower Sanford and his "Dummy" son Lamont (Demond Wilson) run a family junk business in Watts, dreaming up schemes to strike it rich. Outspoken and outrageous, Sanford serves up big laughs as he skewers stereotypes, forever threatening, "How'd you like one across your lip?" Aided by a colorful cast that includes acid-tongued Aunt Esther (LaWanda Page), Sanford and Sons provided a showcase of black talent of all generations, featuring guest stars like Lena Horne and episodes written by Richard Pryor. Timely and topical during its highly-rated five-year run (1972-1977), Sanford and Son emerged as one of the decade's biggest TV hits, inspiring producer Norman Lear to develop more barrier-breaking shows like The Jeffersons and Good Times.
||Redd Foxx, Demond Wilson, Don Bexley, Whitman Mayo, Nathaniel Taylor|
||Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled|
|Number of Discs:
||Sony Pictures Home Entertainment|
|DVD Release Date:
||October 28, 2008|
|Average Customer Rating:
|| based on 393 reviews|
Average Customer Review:
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
120 of 128 found the following review helpful:
The Ultimate Big OneNov 30, 2008
By DEAN M. Dent
Even after over 35 years,Sanford & Son is still the funniest show ever.Based on the british sitcom,Steptoe and Son(featuring Wilford Brambell best known to Americans as Paul McCartney's grandfather in A Hard Days Night),a show about a cantankerous junk dealer and his long suffering son who was his business partner.Television producer Norman Lear who had a hit with All In The Family(Based on another British sitcom Til Death Us Do Part),bought the American rights to Steptoe then changed the format and lead characters to African American featuring bawdy comedian Redd Foxx as Fred Sanford and Demond Wilson as the son, Lamont.
Although the first season lacks such memorable characters such as Grady and Aunt Esther(who would make their debut in the following seasons),the chemestry between Foxx and Wilson is undeniable magic.The funniest episodes of the season(many were based on Steptoe episodes were We Were Robbed,Here Comes The Bride,There Goes The Bride and A Matter Of Life or Breathe (the scene with Fred entering the set with a surgical mask is priceless).
After the hilarious first season,the second season of Sanford and Son raised the bar considerably,and set the tone for the rest of the show.This season marks the apperence of the classic supporting cast,including Bubba(Don Bexley),Rollo Lawson(Nathanial Taylor),Julio Fuentes(Gregory Sierra)Officer Hopkins a/k/a "Hoppy(Howard Platt),and of course Fred Sanford's greatest nemesis,Aunt Esther(LaWanda Page).Unfortunately it would mark the end of Melvin(Slappy White),Officer Swanhauser a/k/a "Swanny"(Noam Pitlik),and Aunt Ethel(Beah Richards).
Classic Episodes includes By The Numbers,The Card Sharps,The Dowery/Sanford & Son & Daughter(both written by Richard Pryor and Paul Mooney),Blood is Thicker Than Junk,and of course Rated X.
Sanford & Son's third season not only debuted Grady Wilson(Whitman Mayo) but boasted many classic episodes including The Chameleon(Blind Mellow Jelly),Lamont, Is That You?(The Gay Blade),Introducing The Three Degrees,This Little TV Went to Market(Guy's Groovy Grabbag),Fred Sanford, Legal Eagle,and many others.Although brilliant, The Third season of S&S was marred by the abscence of Redd Foxx who walked out due to contract disputes.The show carried on for six episodes with Fred Sanford in St. Louis for a funeral as Grady (Whitman Mayo) looked after the place and took care of Fred's over 30 son/business partner Lamont (????).
In the beginning of the fourth,Fred was back(although some "Grady" episodes were aired later on),and for the first half of the season the show was back on track with classic episodes, The Surprise Party(Fred's hilarious return home), There'll Be Some Changes Made (Lamont's sensitivity group), The Stand-ins (featuring Scatman Crothers and Billy Eckstine) and The Masquerade Party (Fred's entrance in the gorilla suit is priceless).But by the latter half of the season, the show started to run out of fuel as the plots became more ludicrous, and the show became a former shell of itself.The fact that Foxx's new contract may have given him a huge ego as he had more creative control of the show (as well as Demond Wilson's own contract disputes and substance abuse problem).
By the time the fifth season of Sanford and Son came around,it was obvious that the show was on it's last leg. Despites some funny episodes (Earthquake II,Steinberg and Son,My Fair Esther, Sanford and Rising Son, The TV Addict and The Director featuring George Foreman) we get a ton of stinkers (Sergeant Gork, The Oddfather, Can You Chop This?, Greatest Show in Watts and A Pain in the Neck). The supporting cast becoming more prominant, as season five also introduces Janet,Lamont's new fiancee, Hutch and May Hopkins (Hoppy's Mother) , two resident of the new Sanford Arms. Even with the new recurring charaters,it's obvious Sanford and Son was getting tired.
By the time Sanford and Son returned for it's sixth season in 1976,not only has issue oriented sitcoms(All In The Family,Good Times) lost their foothold in the Nielsons and replaced by more family friendly shows (Happy Days,Laverne & Shirley,What's Happening!),but the show's quality had erode to the point that it's audience had tuned elsewhere. After four high rated seasons,S&S sucumb to poor writing, gratuitous guest stars(like celebraties would visit a junkyard), and cheap ratings catching gimmicks (the Hawaii episode and the Redd foxx lookalike contest).
At the end of the 6th season,the two stars quit,and the next season the show was retooled as The Sanford Arms featuring Teddy Wilson along with the supporting cast.The show only lasted few episodes before it was officially cancelled.In 1980,Sanford premiered sans Demond Wilson.Lacking the chemestry of the previous show,it was cancelled after a year a half later.
The first four seasons were undeniably the best.The show was plagued later by ego trips,salary disputes,and Foxx's walkout.Even after Foxx's return,weak writing and bufoonery lost veiwers.Even with it's erratic history,S&S first four seasons was the greatest African-American television comedy,if not overall
91 of 98 found the following review helpful:
Fun series, oddly packaged, this is the one to buyDec 28, 2008
For less than half the price of all 6 seasons bought separately, it was a no-brainer.
As Sony's TV show releases have been fairly consistent (mediocre digital remastering, shoving 9+ episodes onto each disc, et al), I'll avoid that.
Most fans who were holding out for inevitable price drops will not be disappointed at all.
Now, why is the price 1/3rd that of buying all the discs separately? They nixed a lot of original, higher quality packaging. Open up the box and all 17 discs are in a flimsy plastic caddy, secured with a nice piece of cardboard. Go out and buy some protective sleeves and nix the cheap plastic tray and you'll be set. That $3.97 won't hurt.
These are the same discs that are found in the $25 boxes with the proper plastic cases. No additional content has been made; just original cases and artwork thrown out. There are probably more reasons as to why the net cost is 1/3rd that of the 6 individual seasons, but the more the merrier.
If you already own the original 6 sets, don't feel bad - for the reasons I mentioned. But if you've been wanting, now's the chance to scoop up this set. If anything, more thoughtful packaging and adding $10 to the price would have been nice, but I'm not going to complain -- this is a great deal for a great show.
27 of 30 found the following review helpful:
Sanford and Son: Great Show, OK ProductNov 07, 2010
By Ryan Christopher Winingnear
I have always been a fan of Sanford and Son, ever since I was a small child able to sit up and watch television. I am now 17 years old and when I saw this Sanford and Son: The Complete Series set at Walmart for $29, I picked it right up.
+ This is the Complete Series in one DVD set
+ For the Price of $29 buying this set is a steal and you will save money over buying each season individually.
+ The spindle packing saves money (But creates a problem with scratching and finding discs)
+ Unedited versions of the episodes that you will not see on Tv Land (I have found that at least one episode "Lamont Goes Karate" has had part of a scene missing)
+ Sanford and Son is another great Norman Lear show full of laughs
+ The DVDs are NOT indvidually packed in their own jewel cases. Instead, all 17 discs are set on a spindle with a piece of cardboard holding the discs in place
+ If Sony is going to spindle pack, they at least need to make the discs easier to tell apart as some in the set look very much alike.
+ The Sound of the DVDs seem a little low once the episodes start so you will need to turn up the volume
+ Season 3 Disc 3 has a notice on the menu that says "Episode 319 Never Produced, See Insert for Fun Fact" but apparently the insert has been left out of the Complete Series packaging.
+ Until you reach the first disc of the Fourth season, you cannot play all episodes without selecting another one at the end.
+ Neither the picture or the sound seems to have been remastered (But still a pretty fair picture for the age of the show)
+ As pointed out before, one episode seems to have had part of a scene edited out that remains intact on Tv Lands syndicated version.
All in all, this DVD set is going to be for those who want to own the entire series of Sanford and Son on DVD, but do not want to have to pay a lot of money. The DVDs sitting all together on a spindle like this can cause a problem with the discs becoming scratched if one is not careful, and a problem getting to the right disc as you get toward to the end of the series. And it might be a good idea to pick up some disc sleeves for the DVDs. Sony, we appreciate you trying to help us save money, but really this can cost us more money and more headache than we really want. Pack the discs is some sort of individual cases next time please and also be sure that all episodes are uncut as at least one in here is NOT UNCUT!
82 of 99 found the following review helpful:
SHAME on you SONY DVD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Oct 27, 2008
The 5 stars are for the show, which is one of my favorites, but 0 stars for the packaging.Cheap, cheap, cheap!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Really expect more from a Sony purchase, i expect the quality that shows like Bewitched get!This packaging is a new one on me, they are all stacked on a spindle, like how cd-rs and dvds are sold in bulk.Maybe they think people want to make their own covers, or lift up the whole stack to get to one at the bottom each time , but not me, they can keep it, my set arrived and was shipped back the same day!The double slimline cases( that they should have used, and like they use for other series) cost me as a consumer about .20 cents each, i imagine buying them in bulk makes them cheaper for a company like Sony, so if they are in such a need for money, charge a couple bucks extra and do it RIGHT.
8 of 9 found the following review helpful:
Not 100% complete, but still better than TV...Jul 21, 2011
By Rupert Burton
First of all, let's just ALL GET OVER the fact that S&S: The Complete Series comes without the discs being individually cased--go to the store and buy the cases!! Okay, now that that's settled, let's talk about Domestic Syndication operations. After a show makes its 100th episode (in prime time), it becomes eligible to be "picked up" in syndicated (i.e. "local") markets if the original broadcast network (NBC, for example) decides to offer the program for syndication. Once a show goes syndicated, it is EXTREMELY RARE to see the show in its original, unedited form (due largely to the fact that local stations WILL trim episodes in order to sell more commercial time). That said, one must realize that ORIGINAL S&S episodes ran about 25 minutes UNCUT (including opening and closing credits); this left about FIVE minutes for ALL commercial breaks (national and local). When S&S was on NBC's daytime syndication (14 June 1976 to 21 July 1978), the episodes were pretty much left intact. However, the current syndication version of S&S episodes feature an average program runtime of 22:25 (about 18:00 to 20:00 on TV LAND). The good thing about this box set is that the episodes ARE about 95% complete; "Happy Birthday, Pop"(Season 1 Episode 2) does NOT feature a scene between Fred and a shapely hat check girl (although the actress, Indira Danks, is listed in the closing credits). A rather pleasant surprise is featured in the episode "Rated X"(Season 2 Episode 24); at the end of the episode as Esther reads from the Bible while Rollo, Lamont and Fred are behind bars, they groan and turn away; the syndication version fades to commercial, but the DVD version features additional dialogue! Finally, in "The Masquerade Party" (Season 4 Episode 18) there is a weirdly cool scene (NEVER shown in syndication) featuring the actor Dap "Sugar" Willie (as himself) as a neighborhood acquaintance of Lamont and other cast characters. If your only exposure to "Sanford and Son" is from TV Land, you're gonna be amazed; if you remember this show from prime time, you won't be disappointed--you'll just wish it was 100% complete--there ARE only 135 episodes (136 in syndication)--"The Hawaiian Connection" (Season 6) was originally shown in only TWO parts (a one hour episode on 24 September 1976 and a 30 minute episode on 1 October 1976). Regardless, the S&S purists out there will smile EVERY time they witness a scene on the DVDs that you NEVER see in syndication!! What would've put this set over the top is if a booklet containing rare pictures of the cast and crew (along with some interviews) had been included. I'd love to see the original tapes restored, remastered and uncut, but for the price, this collection is very good.
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