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After School Specials: 1974-1976 DVD Set
After School Specials 1974-1976 DVD Set
Actors: Christian Juttner, Lance Kerwin, Titos Vandis, Jack Manning (III), Jay W. MacIntosh
Genres: Action & Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Kids & Family, Special Interests, Television, Educational
G     2004     3hr 0min

After School Specials - 18th Emergency / Summer of Swans Martin Tahse is the most prolific and successful producer of After School Specials. His 26 productions have won numerous awards and prizes including 18 Emmys three B...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Christian Juttner, Lance Kerwin, Titos Vandis, Jack Manning (III), Jay W. MacIntosh
Genres: Action & Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Kids & Family, Special Interests, Television, Educational
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Comedy, Special Interests, Comedy, Drama, Kids & Family, Educational
Studio: BCI / Sunset Home Visual Entertainment (SHE)
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 10/12/2004
Original Release Date: 01/16/1974
Theatrical Release Date: 01/16/1974
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 3hr 0min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 7
MPAA Rating: G (General Audience)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Whatever happened to Lance Kerwin anyway?
E.J. Disfarmer | New Orleans, USA | 09/23/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"For anyone who was a kid or young teenager in the 70's, the DVD series of ABC's "After School Specials" will be the first time you've seen these in over twenty-five years - which is hard for me to believe, because I remember so many of them so clearly. Earnest, engaging, and often depressing dramas of teenage conflict and discovery, starring all the top young stars of the day (Kristy McNichol, Robbie Benson, Melissa Sue Anderson - and later on, a young Rob Lowe). It's what we grew up on instead of all those treacley shows on the WB (which aging hipsters of 2034 will be buying in deluxe packaged box sets, true, but still.) And you couldn't design a better package for it all than a vintage 70's style Trapper Keeper!

Amazon hasn't posted episode details yet, so here's the lineup for the first two sets ...

1. After School Specials: 1974-76 :

- Pssst! Hammerman's After You (a.k.a. "The 18th Emergency")
Mouse Fawley thinks of 17 emergencies (lion attack, etc.) he'd rather face than the school bully. Originally aired 01/16/74, and stars Christian Juttner, Lance Kerwin, and Jim Sage.

- Sara's Summer of the Swans
14-year-old Sara's longest day in her life, while her mentally retarded brother can't be found. Originally aired in 1974, and stars Heather Totten, plus The Brady Bunch's Chris Knight and Eve Plumb.

- The Skating Rink
Tuck may stutter and be awkward, but his friends teach him to become a graceful figure skater. Originally aired 02/05/75, and stars Stewart Petersen, Rance Howard, and Devon Ericson.

- Dear Lovey Hart: I Am Desperate
Carrie writes an advice column for her school newspaper, and everyone has a problem! Originally aired 05/19/76, and stars Susan Lawrence, and Meegan King.

* * * * *

2. After School Specials: 1976-77 :

- Francesca, Baby
Her mother's alcoholism drives Francesca James to the Ala-Teen support group. Originally aired 10/06/76, and stars Carol Jones, and Melendy Britt.

- Beat The Turtle Dream
When her younger sister accidentally dies, Kate wonders if she is responsible. Originally aired 06/06/77, and stars Melissa Sue Anderson, and William H. Bassett. Winner of Emmy Award - Outstanding Dramatic Special and Emmy Award - Outstanding Music for a Dramatic Special.

- The Pinballs
Carlie and two other outcast teens learn the value of friendship from an elderly couple. Originally aired 10/26/77, and stars Kristy McNichol, Johnny Doran, and Sparky Marcus.

- Trouble River
12-year-old Dewey saves his grandma from an attack and guides her back to his parents. Originally aired 11/12/77, and stars Michael LeClair, and Nora Denney."
A unique form of 'edutainment' from the 70's...
cookieman108 | Inside the jar... | 11/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The mid 70's...that wondrous time between Vietnam and Reaganomics...if you were growing up during that period, like me, you're probably familiar with these shows. Many families needed two incomes to survive (so much more so now), so generally once school let out for the day, you were pretty much on your own until Mom or Dad got home (usually Mom). What to do? There was no MTV (or cable, for that matter) and no Playstation, if you weren't off messing around with your friends poking dead animals with sticks, you were probably at home, watching After School Specials, dramatic programs designed especially entertain and teach pre-teens about life and issues they could have very well faced, in terms they could understand in an hour-long format (approximately 45 minutes, without the commercials). Each set comes with two DVDs, each containing 2 episodes, or 4 episodes per set. The series (I believe there were something like 26 episodes) was created and produced by Martin Tahse, and won a slew of awards, was really unique in that it was programming for young people that wasn't created to tie into products or sell merchandise, but to speak to them about situations difficult to understand or comprehend, treating its' audience with the respect and intelligence not often seen, not talking down to them but talking to them, and basically relating to them on a level they deserved.

The 18th Emergency (Originally aired 1/16/74 and titled `Pssst, Hammerman's After You') features Christian Juttner as Mouse Fawley, a little boy with a smart mouth. After learning about prehistoric man in school, Mouse makes a derogatory comment about the ancestry of the school bully, Marv (Jim Sage) which, as you can probably figure out, doesn't go over to well with Marv. Knowing full well the impending hurting Marv is about to lay down on Mouse, Mouse goes on the initiative, but he still gets the beating. In the end Mouse does apologize and he learns the lesson that if you're going to pick on someone, pick on someone weaker and smaller than you...actually he learns that everyone has feelings, and words can hurt as much as fists (although fists are pretty painful).

In Summer of the Swans (Originally aired 10/2/74), stars Heather Totlen as Sara, a terminally bored girl in a small town. The summer is wearing on, and there's absolutely nothing to do...and, as if that wasn't bad enough, she's given the responsibility of looking after her little brother, Charlie (Reed Diamond). Swamped in her own self pity, she loses track of Charlie who subsequently gets lost, and with the help of Joe (Chris Knight), they manage to find the little fella, and Sara learns she's not the center of the friggin' universe. I'd offer a bit of advice to Sara that if you're forced to watch your little brother, you should affix a GPS tracker to the lil' guy, and then you wouldn't have to turn over every, stinkin' rock when he wanders off.

The Skating Rink (Originally aired 2/5/75) takes place on a poor, southern farm and features Stewart Peterson as Tuck Faraday, a boy lacking self-confidence due to the fact he has a stutter. For some reason, someone decides to transform a local abandoned factory into a skating rink where Tuck, offered the chance to skate, learns he's really good at it, and thus builds his self confidence, overcoming his insecurities, and well on his way to becoming the next Christy Yamagutchi. The lesson here is to find something your good at, even if it makes you appear effeminate, as once you become the best, you can come back and rub everyone's nose in it...I think...or maybe it's if you stutter, take up ice skating some people will think your just really cold and you're not really stuttering but only that your teeth are chattering.

The fourth and final episode in this collection is titled Dear Lovey Hart: I Am Desperate (Originally aired 5/19/76). It stars Susan Lawrence as Carrie, a girl chosen to write an advice column called `Lovey Hart' for her school newspaper. The thing is, she has to write it anonymously, as the new editor Skip (Meegan King) thinks it would help to shake things up. Carrie's column becomes very successful (fueling her perception of her own self importance), maybe too successful, as students begin taking it for more than what it is, and, as always, eventually someone gets hurt, like seriously got to the hospital hurt. Carrie tries to stop to column, but it's too popular. Eventually her identity is revealed, and the haughty princess gets a much-needed dose of humility which brings her back to reality.

The quality of the pictures on these DVDs is not the best, but it is as how it was when originally presented, and given these were teleplays made to be presented on television in the 70's, you really can't compare it to today's standards. The packaging is amazing, as the DVDs, enclosed in a regular DVD case, come in a surprisingly detailed reproduction of a Trapper Keeper (oh how we all lusted for organizational capabilities of Trapper Keepers back in the day). Printed inside is a brief synopsis and airdate for each episode, along with the key talent, and the name of the original author for each story. If you liked these, also look for After School Specials 1976-77, available here.

Kids today should watch these.....
G. Moore | Georgia | 06/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Too bad ABC doesn't air After School Specials anymore. Kids today would learn alot about how to work things out a better way instead of the violent way. I'm buying all of the volumes so that my child can watch these programs just as I did when I was a child."
Where is Duffy Moon
M. Bryan | WILIMINGTON, DE | 10/27/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I think it is awesome that finally these after school specials have been made available. There is just one problem though.... Where is Duffy Moon? The greatest special of all. I had to watch it multiple times through out grade school in the Eighties & even the early Ninties. It was a great story about a kid named Duffy Moon who read a book on positive thinking and uses his new "Powers" to achieve some amazing feats. By the end of the story he realizes it was not special powers, but the fact that he tried that got him through any issues he had to deal with. There is some really great 70's music score & sound effects. Even better is the very funny Duffy puffing up his face, holding his breath while saying over & over in his head,"You can do it Duffy Moon. You can do it". Where is Duffy Moon? The official title of the episode was, The Amazing Cosmic Awareness of Duffy Moon (1976).

It is nice to see the one special, Pinballs. I remember reading the book in middle school & wathcing the film. I would easily give this set & the other After School Special sets at least a Four out of Five stars if they just had Duffy Moon.

Let's all use some positive thinking & finally locate once & for all...... Duffy Moon.

(Duffy was played by Ike Eisenmann, the kid from Return to Witch Mountain. Duffy's buddy Peter is played by Lance Kerwin from Stephen King's Salem's Lot. The author of the book is played by the actor Jim Backus, who played The Millionare, Mr. Howell on Gilligan's Island)."