The New Loretta Young Show – Christie’s Children (VCI)
Picture: C Sound: C Extras: C+ Episodes: C+
heard the name Loretta Young, but it is surprising how few know her work. Starting as a successful child actor in
Silent Hollywood films of the 1920s, she not only made a seamless transition to
sound, but became an even bigger star right into the 1950s. Noticeable turns in the likes of the Bulldog
Drummond series led to more prominent roles in The Story Of Alexander Graham Bell, The Bishop’s Wife, the Film Noir Cause For Alarm! and Orson Welles’ The Stranger. Then came TV,
where she had two hit series back to back.
self-named series (aka Letter To Loretta)
was an anthology show that ran for eight seasons and was still a top-rated
program when she had a falling out with producers. They owned the part of the show, but not her,
so she left and launched The New Loretta
Young Show aka Christine’s Children,
producing 26 new shows. No, it was not
the hit of the first show and fans may have missed that arrangement too much,
but it was as competent, professional, well-written and had its share of
interesting moments. Now comes the show
in its complete run on 4 DVDs from VCI.
Christine Massey, she settles into a TV situation comedy with some melodrama
and some very 1950s situations, though it is from 1962. She is a widow who writes for a magazine in
New York and has plenty to juggle. Of
immediate note is real life twins Dock and Dack Rambo playing her twin sons. They also went on to major TV careers. James Philbrook is her boss, who slowly
become a father figure to the seven.
is so in the Ozzie/Harriet mode that it could only come from the early 1960s,
but its heart is in the right place and it is much better than most sitcoms
since the 1980s, many of which are accused of turning back the clock
ideologically. Whenever they have, they
lost the charm of a show like this.
simple and some moments are corny, but Young was still a star and actress who
knew how to work what made her so appealing in front of a camera. If you want to see one of the more
interesting and well-built TV comedy/dramas of the time, you will want to see
this set. Guest stars throughout these
shows include future writer Kitty Kelly when she was a child actress, Joyce Van
Patten, Stafford Repp (Chief O’Hara from the 1960s Batman series), Cloris Leachman, Leif Ericson and Victor Buono.
X 1 comes from prints issued in the 1980s with color videotape tags and if the
shows lack detail and depth, it is only because they are those older
transfers. However, you can tell the
show was shot on film and made to look good.
The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is also second-generation, but audible enough
to enjoy as well. Wonder how these would
look in HD?
include trailers for other VCI product, stills, text bios and several
interviews. One is with Miss Young’s
three children, one with a fashion expert on Young – Sandy Schrier and one with
supporting cast members Celia Kaye, Sandra Descher and Beverly Washburn. More 1950s and 1960s TV shows deserve this
treatment and we’ll hopefully see that happen too.
- Nicholas Sheffo