Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Little House on the Prairie - Special Edition Movie Boxed Set |
Look Back to Yesterday / Bless All the Dear Children / The Last Farewell
Actors: Michael Landon, Melissa Gilbert
Genres: Drama, Kids & Family, Television
Although the beloved family drama, Little House on the Prairie, ran its course in March 1983, there were three addition movies made due to popular demand. Look Back at Yesterday (Dec 1983) Charles Ingalls returns to Waln... more »
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Best series in the history of television
Dave C. | Madison, WI | 08/27/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"(Updated) Series on a whole: 5 stars++. Stories on this particular set: 4-1/2 stars. Video quality: 3-1/2 stars. Extras: 4 stars.
Why would I call this the "Best series in the history of television"? ...because it's BIG in heart and soul, the characters and stories have TREMENDOUS depth, and it's not bogged down by the politics of your typical western, or typical show for that matter. The storylines could go anywhere, and focus on anyone, or anything. There didn't have to be a villain of the week, a murder, etc. Come to think of it, this is one of the most "murder-less" westerns I have ever seen. If people died, it was more from life's hardships in the 1800's than from anything else. It may not have ended anywhere near as well as it came in, but when you look back at the series on a whole, I would still rank this as being the best of all TV series, and for a number of reasons.
The appeal of this series is much broader than most people give it credit for. The show wasn't just for little girls, as anyone looking at the cover of one of the Little House books might conclude. It was more a show about how to deal with the unexpected, with changes in life, and how to get along with your neighbors. There are life lessons to be learned here for everyone, from little girls to old men.
I doubt that we will ever again see a show quite like this, which so graciously teaches the lost values that we need in times like these. Network TV has become a desolate wasteland of high-tech crime scene dramas, court case TV, reality TV, infomercials, talk shows, extreme sports, and news programs. You will be hard-pressed to find much of a heart or soul in any of them, mainly just a lot of computer "gee-whiz" wizardry, and for the most part a waste of time in general. Meanwhile, Little House delivers both heart AND soul, so much so in the subtle ways that it influences you, that you can't help but walk away a better person afterwards.
Even if they did bring a show like this back (and they`ve tried), it would be EXTREMELY difficult to match the production values you will find here without a sky-high budget. Not to mention, many of the best character actors once employed by Hollywood, (many of whom appeared on Little House), are now long since dead.
SPOILERS FOLLOW... About this particular set... After Season 9 ended, a deal was inked to conclude the "Little House on the Prairie" series with the final three tele-movies contained here, the UNOFFICIAL "Season 10", which wraps up the series in a very peculiar and jaw-dropping way, literally going out with a BANG!!
Whether or not anyone likes the idea of the town being blown to smithereens in the end, or with the direction the series took in it's later years, Michael Landon and crew continued to crank-out very touching, emotionally-charged episodes to the bitter end. Casting, acting, directing, writing, set design, and the beautiful, harmonious music composed by the late David Rose all remained high-quality throughout the series. I can't say enough about the fine acting and music though, as well as the town layout - all First Class! Well... There were a few less than stellar casting decisions near the end of the run, but nothing worth spoiling the series over.
The final three films are somewhat of a mixed bag, and leave you with mixed emotions. I probably would have wrote them a bit differently if it were up to me, but they are still VERY MUCH worth the price of admission. The saddest, and my choice as the best of the three would be the first one, "Look Back To Yesterday", which will likely produce a few tears (video and sound quality is very good to excellent). As for "Bless All The Dear Children", the story is somewhat uneven and seems to drag in the middle, however the ending is quite good, and redeems any flaws. In all honesty though, I can't figure out why on earth they felt the need to tell this particular story as one of the last three of all time (video quality is good to very good). "The Last Farewell"... What can I say?... Does anybody really want to see the town get blown-up?? Michael Landon has always told stories about overcoming great adversity, and carrying on, but I feel that he took things a little too far here, maybe for no other reason than simply because he could. Not the best note for the series to go out on, but a very dramatic exit nonetheless, and once again it may bring you to tears. The video quality on this one, which I would have expected to be great, being the final installment, was actually the WORST of the three. The print that Imavision used for the transfer was surprisingly not the greatest. It was fairly dark, and the colors were faded. A real disappointment, as I expected something better for what I paid. Concerning the extras, the interviews of the two Melissa's were quite well done. I was hoping for more extras though.
A few odds & ends and closing comments... If I had any say with the powers that be, I would NOT have destroyed the exterior town setting at the Big Sky Movie Ranch (a big chunk of the ranch was recently sold to developers), and rather would have tried to preserve it as a museum/tour/theme park/resort, for all to enjoy in the years that followed. Not a chance of that happening now of course, after the final episode, plus the land around the shooting location is being developed like mad. Very poor decisions in the end by those responsible.
I would also like to add that while MANY of the episodes from Season box sets 1 through 3 were drop-dead GORGEOUSLY restored, I would like to see some kind of effort put into restoring the remainder of the series, which was very much a disappointing (to say the least!) "hit and miss" restoration effort, even if I have to pay for them all over again for the improved versions in another release of some kind. The series was THAT GOOD!!
Question: Why has there never been a music CD compilation of David Rose's best work from this series? They can put out a 4-disc collection of the original one-season Battlestar Galactica, but nothing for David Rose's Little House work?? ...someone who is considered to be the best in the business??
R.I.P., Little House, and thanks to all involved for putting on such a fine show. You have created a masterpiece that will be enjoyed for generations to come. Now if only Imavision or somebody else would restore the episodes that so desperately need it from the original 35mm prints, like they did with several of the early episodes, then we would really have something special."
This would make a great Christmas gift!
JGC | 11/26/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am so happy that these TV movies of "Little House On The Prairie" have found a new home on DVD. These are such beautiful and heart-warming movies. I have seen them many times on TBS as a child growing up. But I do not believe they have been shown on TV Land or The Hallmark Channel, making these tales very rare in recent years. This DVD is coming out at the perfect time because it would make a great Christmas gift or stocking stuffer.
These are the TV movies included on the "Little House On The Prairie - Special Edition Movie Boxed Set:"
Look Back To Yesterday (original air date: December 12, 1983)
Charles comes home from the big city to Walnut Grove to try to get the farmers to share their crops. He brings his oldest son, Albert. While in Walnut Grove Albert displays mysterious medical symptoms. Charles brings Albert to a specialist and finds out that he has a serious disease. This is actually a very sad episode, so be warned. Some say that Albert died in this episode, others say that he was able to beat the disease and go on to fulfill his dream of becoming a doctor. What happens to Albert is never stated, instead the movie lets the viewer form their own conclusions.
The Last Farewell (original air date: February 6, 1984)
Charles and Caroline return to Walnut Grove to learn that somebody else owns the town and wants everyone to leave Walnut Grove. The townspeople decide that the person can keep the land but they own the town. Allison Arngrim (Nellie Olson on the original series) has a cameo as a telephone operator.
Bless All The Dear Children (original air date: December 17, 1984)
This was actually a Christmas-themed movie. (Didn't "Little House On The Prairie" always have the best Christmas episodes?) Laura and Almanzo's baby daughter Rose is kidnapped while they are Christmas shopping.
Michael Landon was a genius and no one compares to the very high standards that he always set!"
One Good, and Two Great "Movies" Makes This Set a Treasure
Sean Pasek | Albuquerque, NM | 07/18/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This boxed set includes two of my all-time favorite Little House films. There's a big reason why the final season of Little House just didn't have the same feel as the all of the ones before it. Even though the series was about Laura Ingalls Wilder, the true pivotal character has always been Charles. Michael Landon created one of the most memorable characters in television history. When he left the show during the final season, it was like a hole was left behind and unable to be filled. Little House simply wasn't the same.
Thankfully, however, Michael Landon reprises his role in two of these final movies that ended the series so wonderfully.
The first film, "Bless All the Dear Children," is okay at best. It is not a great installment. While the premise is good, (Rose is kidnapped by an emotionally disturbed woman while Laura and Almanzo are Christmas shopping), it simply isn't carried off well. This is supposed to be December in Minnesota, and yet everyone is dressed like it's southern California (where the series was filmed). All other Christmas episodes featured snow and cold weather to make the location more realistic. There are also some parts of the story that just don't add up very well. The final confrontation with the kidnapper is simply too easy and unrealistic. The part with the "star" over where the little boy is sleeping is also too big of a leap. It was a valiant try.
Second we have my all-time favorite episode/feature: "Look Back to Yesterday." This episode features Albert and Charles returning to Walnut Grove, initially as Charles' job as a new shipping manager sends him to help the people of Walnut Grove find a way to compete with the larger farms of the area. The trip turns into a nightmare when Charles discovers that Albert is dying of a deadly disease. I remember this episode shocking everyone, as it was rare that a major character like Albert was being "killed off." It's a true Little House tear-jerker, with Albert fulfilling some of his last dreams. Michael Landon simply knew how to get the most out of a scene and the most out of his actors. This is vintage Little House at its finest! The final climb of the mountain by Albert, Laura, and the school kids is one of the most memorable scenes in the series' history. Albert and Laura were always very close characters in the series, and Landon knew to focus a good portion of the story on the relationship between these two characters.
Finally, we get to the very last episode "The Last Farewell," in which a land prospector decides to take over the town, forcing the citizens of Walnut Grove into a fight they can't possibly win. Karen Grassle reprises her role as Caroline Ingalls as she and Charles head back to Walnut Grove for a visit and find themselves right in the middle of the takeover. The story starts off light and ends in true sentimental fashion. The final fifteen minutes will make even the hardest heart melt as we witness the final fate of Walnut Grove.
The series had definitely done its best for nearly 9+ seasons. With Michael Landon at the helm and performing in the last two episodes, he made sure that Little House ended the best way possible. Any true Little House fan can't be disappointed with this set. I had been looking forward to the release of these television movies for years, and I was so happy when they finally came out."
Thank you for not blowing up the church!!!
Leanne V. Barnes | Westerville OH | 02/15/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you are a big Little House fan then you have to have the box set to complete your collection. After the show ended its nine season run in 1983, Michael Landon came out with three movie specials which are in this box set. It was a great way to finalize the series, because the last episode of season nine didn't give us closure and it's my guess that they probably didn't know they were getting cancelled when they completed filming for season nine.
"A Look Back to Yesterday" has us saying good-bye to Albert Ingalls as sadly, he has an incurable blood disorder (I think similar to leukemia). One grave error that they make in season 9 is that when Albert comes back to Walnut Grove with Charles and goes through Morphine Withdrawal, at the end of the episode, Laura narrates and says that Albert comes back to Walnut Grove years later as doctor. This can't be true if he dies. Anyway, it's really touching movie.
"Bless All the Dear Children" is about the kidnapping of Laura and Almanzo's daughter Rose at Christmas. Touching, you'll want to watch it as a holiday special each Christmas.
"The Last Farewell" is indeed just that-the real ending of the Little House series. A greedy land developer buys the land that Walnut Grove sits on. Ma and Pa come back to Walnut Grove for a visit. And after a valiant stand by the towns' people, they realize they cannot save the town from this greedy man taking it over and decide to blow up the town because he may have taken over the land the town was on but the town's people built the building that were there. It was very sad to see them blow the town up at the end. Thank God they didn't blow up the church though. It's been said that Michael Landon didn't want any other production companies using the Little House set so they decided to end the show this way. In the end, the land developer is furious at the destruction he sees and the town people march out of the town feeling victorious. QUITE AN ENDING TO AN UNFORGETTABLE SERIES!!!
What also makes this box set special is the exclusive interviews with Melissa Gilbert(Laura) and Melissa Sue Anderson (Mary).
It's interesting to hear about the special bond that Melissa Gilbert had with Michael Landon and rapport with other cast members. She was very enthusiastic and happy to talk about her Little House experience.
Melissa Sue Anderson was very gracious but perhaps a little more subdued in her account of her time with Little House. I got the feeling that she felt a little resentful that she wasn't given more storylines towards the end of her time on the show. I also got the feeling from the way Melissa Gilbert and she both talked about one another that they weren't exactly as close as sisters on the set. Perhaps a little undercurrent. Melissa Gilbert was actually pretty good friends with Alison Arngrim (Nellie).
At any rate they are both great interviews to watch. This DVD box set is a MUST-HAVE!!