Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Walt Disney Treasures Zorro - The Complete Second Season|
Actors: Guy Williams, Henry Calvin, Gene Sheldon, George J. Lewis, Don Diamond
Genres: Action & Adventure, Westerns, Kids & Family, Television
With his sword, whip and trusty steed Tornado, Zorro continued to fight the forces of evil in the second season of Walt Disney's legendary classic. The final 39 swashbuckling episodes saw even more children dressing up as ... more »
Zorro the third release... heaven help my wallet from dishon
Jesse Guiher | Oregon | 06/14/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"So finally the release is happening that Disney kept leading us on saying would not happen, so guess what kids? You want Zorro you have to buy it from the Disney Movie Club. Disney touted Zorro being a "Disney Club Exclusive", so like an idiot I believed them, and went and bought each of the 5 dvd sets that comprised season one at $20-$30 a pop from the club, then they decided to release the full season into a boxed set of the same discs for cheaper, again still only to the Movie club chump members like me. These versions were in the horrible colorization they did for the Disney Channel some years ago and had not a single extra, but Disney still led on this was all they would have available for Zorro as it "wasn't a big seller" according the folks I called at the Disney Club. Now lookee here lo and behold somehow magically Disney seems to think there might be more milk to the cow of this franchise and is willing to squeeze it for all its worth. Part of me is very happy with these releases, but part of me wants to curse Disney's dark soul in their duplicity and dirty double dealings. This is not the way to treat loyal customers: lie, lie and lie some more if it makes more money. I love old Disney entertainment, but man do I hate the modern company that dishes it out.
All of my "old man ranting" aside, it is nice that finally Zorro is getting the release it deserves, I just wish...beg... hope.. plead that they be more honest in the dealings they have with fans. I seriously feel used AGAIN, I really don't feel like I can ever trust them again after all the times I have and have been let down (like the edits in the Disneyland USA set when it was CLEARLY advertised in print ads as being "original and uncut".) Not to mention the incredibly limited numbers for the last set compared to the entire rest of the Treasures series. Is it so wrong as a customer to expect full honesty and integrity from a company that constantly eschews the same morals in their products? Do they want my trust and loyalty or just a chance to rape my wallet?
A Treat for Disney Zorro Fans!
Dave | San Diego, CA | 10/24/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Complete Second Season is the definitive version that Disney Zorro fans have waited years for. Covering the 39 episodes that comprise season #2 (1958-1959), this limited edition (and numbered) 6-disc set of 30,000 includes a Certificate of Authenticity, a collectible pin (very handsome showing a silver sword with a shadow of Zorro & his horse superimposed on top), as well as a black-and-white photo postcard showing Guy Williams in his Zorro costume. A booklet outlining the contents of the set can also be found here. The set comes handsomely encased in a black metal tin, fitting of this B&W series where the hero wears an all-black costume.
A 3:29 intro by Leonard Maltin introduces the episodes and gives a brief overview of the series and these particular episodes along with the extras on these discs. The remastering is evident on these episodes. The picture is clear and so is the sound; naturally, with the way it was originally recording, a digital surround experience is not possible, but the Dolby Digital recording is crisp, clear, and the score sounds better than it has in years. And no...there are no colorized versions here. Just the genuine black and white originals.
Besides the 39 episodes (starting with "Welcome to Monterey", original air date of 10/9/1958 and finishing with #39 "Finders Keepers", original air date of 6/2/1959), there is a 6th disc of bonus material. Here you will find 2 hour long episodes:
1. "Zorro: The Postponed Wedding," original air date of 1/1/1961, from Walt's anthology TV series "Walt Disney Presents." Clocking in at 49:04, this episode features Annette Funicello, who is beginning to mature into a very pretty young lady.
2. "Zorro: Auld Acquaintance," original air date of 4/2/1961, from Walt's anthology TV series "Walt Disney Presents." Starring Ricardo Montalban & Ross Martin ("Wild Wild West") this episode is 49:09 long.
There is also a featurette entitled, "Behind The Mask" (7:52) which is a short look at Zorro's leading man, Guy Williams. Also known as Professor Robinson on "Lost In Space," Williams is often regarded as the quintessential Zorro. Well-liked by his costars (Suzanne Lloyd is quoted here as saying Williams was "one of the most charming professional men I ever had the pleasure of working with"), he began as a model and then became a contract player at Universal. An injury sidelined him and caused him to take up fencing. A call to audition for Disney's Zorro was a fortuitous break for the actor, and catapulted him into stardom. Zorro's stunt double, Buddy Van Horn is also interviewed here, along with Williams' son, Guy Williams, Jr., who obviously has many fond memories of his father and this particular role. Interestingly enough, it is recounted that most action scenes were shot on Fridays so that any injuries would have the entire weekend to heal! Rare color movies of Williams performing at Disneyland as Zorro are shown here; Van Horn recalls them staying at the Disneyland Hotel and taking advantage of the carte blanche they had at the Hotel. Author Antoinette Lane, Guy Williams: The Man Behind the Mask, is also interviewed about Williams, recounting what a role model he was, playing a father figure in "Lost in Space" and a protector in "Zorro."
Finally take a trip to the Walt Disney archives in Burbank on the studio lot (10:55). Leonard Maltin and Guy Williams, Jr. display original costumes and sword from the show, calling particular attention to the lavish detail (genuine silver thread, exquisite embroidery, and heavy wool) that is evident in these pieces made by Western Costume. Two costumes are also shown with the famous "Z" emblazoned on them, including one for Henry Calvin's oafish and comedic Sergeant Garcia. Next up a generous sampling of the more than 500 licensed items that were sold to promote the Disney series, including lunch boxes, rings, child costumes, and even roller skates!
This fantastic set is a must-have for Disney fans both new and old alike. Quality entertainment presented in a quality package."
Even more celebrity guest stars than in Season One!
Gregory Ehrbar | Orlando, FL | 11/20/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"(In the interest of your time, please note that this review is also attached to season one, but please read it if you haven't already. I think you'll find it interesting if you're a classic TV fan.)
I grew up knowing Walt Disney's Zorro TV show more from the famous theme song than the show itself. There were reruns in syndication and a revival on The Disney Channel (with special emphasis on the Zorro episodes featuring Annette) but I don't think I saw more than a handful, I must admit. I missed the show at the peak of its initial success in the late '50s.
That's why I wanted to experience every episode from both seasons on the new Walt Disney Treasures releases. I must say, after 78 shows and four extra Walt Disney Presents hours, it is an extremely rich and entertaining television, far and above most similar programs of its era. And while there are the issues of political incorrectness (ethnicity, roles of women, drink and smoking), there's an amazing relevance to the overall series and perhaps a social influence beyond that.
Zorro rarely opposes standard robbers and bandits. His main adversaries are authority figures who have exploited their positions for wealth and power. They use people like playthings and often have mental problems (after all, The Caine Mutiny was popular around this time).
Because the episodes, while somewhat self contained, are almost always multi-part "arcs," much like today's episodic TV shows, these villains are permitted to oppress and pillage until they sink under their own weight. Zorro sees to it that their plans fail and eventually that they are put either in jail or outside any real influence.
Among the most interesting of these antagonists are, of course, Monastario (Britt Lomond), who sets the standard for the "executive" villain, but perhaps it is Jose Sebastian Varga, who has a secret identity as Zorro does -- 'The Eagle" -- that is among the most memorable. Played by Charles Korvin (whom fans of The Honeymooners will recognize as Carlos Sanchez, who taught Ralph, Alice and Mrs. Manicotti how to mambo), Varga is a complicated man, with sharp mood swings (punctuated by a voice that becomes shrill) and a paranoid fear of being alone. Don Diego (Guy Williams in his Clark Kent identity when he's not Zorro) and his servant, Bernardo (Gene Sheldon) actually subject Varga to a "Gaslight" type scare fest.
Speaking of Bernardo, his role as "servant" is so much more, of course. As played brilliantly by Gene Sheldon, he is a mute who also feigns hearing impairment in order to listen in to conversations. By today's standards, Bernardo would perform the same role but perhaps be called a "personal assistant."
Sgt. Garcia, a role defined by the versatile Henry Calvin (who co-starred in Broadway's Kismet and did a brilliant Oliver Hardy to Rob Petrie's Stan Laurel on a great Dick Van Dyke Show episode) is classic middle management. He's always eager to please his boss du jour, hoping that each successive replacement might not be as corrupt as the last, and also yearning for a promotion that never comes. Don Diamond joins the cast a few episodes into the show as Garcia's sidekick, a role he repeated in a manner of speaking on The Flying Nun, when he partnered with Vito Scotti as the Clouseau-like Captain Fomento.
Scotti is among the legion of guest stars that appear on the series and the four hour shows. In The Complete Season One set, look for Vinton Hayworth (General Schaefer on I Dream of Jeannie); Joan Shaklee (Buddy's wife Pickles on The Dick Van Dyke Show); Anthony George (Burke Devlin on Dark Shadows), and the beloved Mary Wickes (of countless shows from I Love Lucy and Dennis the Menace to Sigmund and the Sea Monsters and the Mickey Mouse Club's Annette serial).
Annette plays two roles in The Complete Season Two package: a young daughter in search of her father (the role Walt famously gave to her as a sweet 16 gift since Guy Williams was her teen idol), singing Jimmie Dodd's "Lonely Guitar," and as a feisty young woman with bad taste in boyfriends, singing Richard & Robert Sherman's "Amo Que Paso" and "Como Esta Usted."
Music features prominently in many Zorro episodes, from original songs created primarily for the operatic Calvin or Bill Lee (who sings offscreen for Williams and also guest star Cesar Romero) to William Lava's score, which weaves themes for Zorro, Bernardo and Garcia (the last of which reminds me a bit of the Nutcracker March).
Season two features more guests stars then season one, since the series was a huge hit by then. They include spaghetti western stalwart Lee Van Cleef, as well as Michael Forest and Barbara Luna (both seen on the classic Star Trek series); Richard Anderson (Six Million Dollar Man & Bionic Woman); Whit Bissell (The Time Tunnel); Tige Andrews (The Mod Squad), Neil Hamilton (Batman), Robert Vaughn (The Man from UNCLE); George Neise (Leo Fassbinder on The Dick Van Dyke Show) and none other than Lost in Space's Dr. Smith himself, Jonathan Harris!
The hour long shows all feature celebrity guests. In addition to Annette, there's Rita Moreno (the same year as West Side Story), Ross Martin (The Wild, Wild West) and Ricardo Montalban (Fantasy Island). Walt Disney introduces each of the hours.
It's interesting to speculate that Zorro, which was a huge hit in 1957, depicting a renegade romantic hero who flew in the face of errant authority, might have inspired the youth of the day to revolt ten years later when it seemed to happen in real life with Vietnam and Watergate. And today, those baddies can be compared with maniacal corporate cads like Bernie Madoff and Leona Helmsley.
It's a mistake to consider Walt Disney's Zorro as a footnote in television history or in Disney history. As the bonus features prove, the series was produced at a budget unheard of at the time and has a movie quality. The character never seems to go out of style -- just ask Antonio Banderas, who portrayed the hero in two recent films. But surely even he would acknowledge that Guy Williams in many ways made Zorro his own and may always be fondly remembered for the role.
Surprise! It's actually worth the money!
James Morris | Jackson Heights, NY United States | 11/03/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Generally speaking, I do not purchase DVD's of old TV shows. Experience has taught me that programs I thought were wonderful and really cool when I was 12 years old, usually turn out to be plain awful when viewed through adult eyes. In fact, there were two of my childhood TV favorites that I simply "had to have" when they were released on DVD, for which I never even bothered to acquire the second season, because after 40 years, I found the productions were cheaply done and the plots simply made no sense.
However, when I was only four years old, a show debuted that I remember as a real event in my house. Not being a member of the Disney Movie Club - I don't even know what that is - or a subscriber to the Disney channel, I had long forgotten the show that prompted my older brother to run around in a homemade mask and black sheet, pretending to be a swashbuckler. But when I accidentally stumbled on this new release at Amazon last month, something nostalgic inside me told me to go for it, and I am very glad I did.
I received the boxed sets of both seasons yesterday, and sat down for a long evening to see if the shows were going to be as silly as I was afraid they might be. What a pleasant surprise! Based on the first seven episodes, the stories are well written, the acting is credible (especially for a 1957 television show) the laughs genuine and the action plentiful. The stunts and special effects are first rate, and Guy Williams is every bit as charming and handsome as I remembered, even though I was only three when the show premiered. The prints have been restored beautifully, and there is not a scratch on them. The opening titles have not been digitally restored, but I can live with that.
I could have done without the intro by Leonard Maltin, who is probably my least favorite movie critic, but the other extras are pretty cool. The inclusion of the four one-hour Zorro Disney specials is very much appreciated, and the keepsakes - each has a different Zorro pin, a photo card of Guy Williams and a certificate of authenticity - are very nice. All in all, this is one of the first TV shows I've added to my DVD collection that was actually worth the price, and unlike some other TV shows from my long departed youth, I do not regret the purchase at all.