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Category:    Home > Reviews > TV Situation Comedy > Father Knows Best – Season Four (1957 - 1958/Shout! Factory DVD)

Father Knows Best – Season Four (1957 - 1958/Shout! Factory DVD)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C+     Episodes: B-



A few seasons alter and Father Knows Best continued to be a hit and even became a smoother, more energetic show hitting its prime and stride.  We covered the debut season, so if you want to know more about the show and its historic place in TV and sitcom history, try this link:





This time out, the teen’s character development shows true growth in the series, the actors and the family cast fitting in so well together.  You could easily believe this is a real family and the writing itself continued to be amusing and smarter than the show gets credit for these days.  All 33 half-hours are here uncut in broadcast order over five DVDs and despite their age, they are fresher than you would expect and very entertaining, intentionally and sometimes unintentionally.  This DVD set joins the others is showing how well done this really was.


The 1.33 X 1 black and white image can be soft in places, but the overall copy quality from episode to episode looks better than the first set and some shots are remarkably detailed with fine depth to them.  This was all shot in 35mm film and the benefits of that really show here.   Nice to see so much of the footage was preserved well enough over the years.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono can have its share of noise and distortion depending on the print, but overall sounds a little better than that first set.  The combination makes me believe that this is one of the best 1950s TV series and first that ought to be issued in Blu-ray.


Extras include episodes of Robert Young’s follow-up sitcom Window On Main Street that is not bad, with DVD 1 offering “The Boy Who Got It Made” and “The Haunted House” on DVD 5.  There are also three episodes of the radio version of the series that was edgier, less politically correct than the TV version could ever hope to be and a very interesting show in it own right.  On DVDs 2, 3 and 4, we get the shows “A New Housekeeper”, “New Arrangements” and “Vocation Arrives”.  Those are all a very pleasant surprise and it will be fun to see if the next sets can add on to that.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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