There's magic in the memories as great Disney moments are captured right here for you and your family to enjoy. Oscar(R)-winning actor David Niven (Best Actor, SEPARATE TABLES, 1958) stars as a millionaire with two bored g... more »randchildren who fake their own kidnapping, holding themselves for ransom! In cahoots with the kids is a pair of down-on-their-luck safecrackers (Darren McGavin and Don Knotts). It doesn't take long for the two young pranksters to discover just how impractical a practical joke can be. The mayhem escalates into an all-out cops-and-robbers chase filled with every bit as much hilarity as excitement.« less
"This is a typical Disney live-action film of the 70's. The comedy is thin at times (you almost expect a laugh-track to kick in at any moment to say "This is supposed to be funny"), but it has its moments. Don Knotts does well in his role, but he a little underused. Still, it's a good way for a family to spend time together one rainy Saturday afternoon. Now on to the DVD transfer. It's sad. They didn't try to clean it up digitally or anything. It looks like they just used a VHS tape and threw it on a DVD. The quality of this film makes me a little leery about buying the next set they throw out. While I love to see these classics finally come to DVD, I hate to see them wasted on a junky transfer. If you have this one on VHS, don't waste your money to upgrade. And yes, it's in fullscreen with no extras other than the "trailer" (a 30 second television spot)."
No Deposit, No Return; No Widescreen=No Sale
James D. Leverton | San Marcos, CA USA | 07/10/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I give up. Disney DVD releases several titles on DVD this week, some in widescreen format with crisp, beautiful new transfers, while dumping others on us in bowdlerized full-screen prints. Unfortunately, the one title I most wanted, 1976's "No Deposit, No Return," belongs to the latter category. As a result, Disney DVD lost a sale. No widescreen = no sale, no matter how much I want the film. Period.For undiscriminating types who don't care if they're ripped-off or not, "No Deposit, No Return" is a typical '70's-era Disney trifle with a great cast of veterans (David Niven, Darren McGavin, Don Knotts, Barbara Feldon, Herschel Bernardi, Charles Martin Smith and Vic Tayback) pulling out all the stops to enliven a mediocre script that, incidentally, contains one of the biggest plot holes I've ever seen in a Disney movie (back to this later). Fortunately, director Norman Tokar (a Disney regular) and the screenwriters throw everything in but the kitchen sink to create a freewheeling comedy that has more than its fair share of laughs. So even though "No Deposit..." pales in comparison to great Disney laugh-fests like "The Love Bug" and "The World's Greatest Athlete," it is still entertaining and will hold the kids' interest for all of its 112 minutes.How's this for a contrived plot? Jay and Tracy Osborne (Brad Savage and Kim Richards) are poor little rich kids who attend a typically Disneyesque boarding school while their magazine editor mother (Feldon) globe-trots on business. Excited that they will be spending Easter vacation with her, they are crushed when Mom cancels and whisks the pair off (along with their pet skunk (!) Duster) to Los Angeles to spend the week with their despised Grandfather Osborne (Niven), who likes them about as much as they like him (meaning, not at all). At the same time, Duke (McGavin) and Bert (Knotts), a couple of luckless but kindhearted safecrackers, are trying to crack the safe at L.A. International Airport, but botch the job and set off the alarm. Meanwhile, Duster gets loose and causes pandemonium in the airport. In the confusion, Jay, Tracy, Duster, Duke and Bert end up in the same taxi, tailed by Grandfather Osborne in his limo. When Jay and Tracy figure out that Duke and Bert are harmless crooks, they con them into thinking they're homeless and letting them spend the night. The kids then work up a bogus kidnapping scheme and mail a ransom note to Grandfather Osborne (who has his butler keeping an eye on them from across the street) and con Duke and Bert into going along with it, figuring they'll split the money, and Jay and Tracy will go to Hong Kong to join their mother while Duke and Bert pay off the menacing loan shark (Tayback) they're in debt to (which is why they tried cracking the safe in the first place). Whew!What follows is "Ransom of Red Chief" territory, with Osborne refusing to pay the ransom and the quartet continually dropping the ransom amount. It isn't until someone tips off the local police (represented by Bernardi and his by-the-book rookie partner Smith) that Grandfather Osborne has to start playing the game and making an attempt to get the kids back. What follows is scene-after-scene of typical '70's era Disney slapstick, including the Disney equivalent of the classic "Bullitt" and "French Connection" chase scenes (played for laughs, of course), as the entire cast chases each other around half of L.A. and the entire harbor area in a freewheeling slapstick car chase. Of course, everything ends in predictably warmhearted fashion.Actually, were it not for the cast, "No Deposit, No Return" would be D.O.A. But Knotts is typically hilarious, McGavin a perfect straight man for Knotts, Bernardi and Smith bicker amusingly and Richards and Savage (straight off their famous roles in "Escape to Witch Mountain" and "The Apple Dumpling Gang") are cute and professional, unlike some of the other cloying non-actor child stars of the era. As for Niven, he is an absolute delight and plays wonderfully off his sophisticated image to get some genuine laughs. Feldon shows up late and scores points as a mother who leaves a little bit to be desired.As for the production, the opening cartoon-credits sequence and theme music are rather boring compared to the bouncy themes of "The North Avenue Irregulars" and the Kurt Russell college comedies. And, like all other Disney films of the era, it plays like a live-action cartoon in which the reality of the era plays no part whatsoever (Watergate? Vietnam? Jimmy who?) It's basically by-the-numbers stuff, though admittedly entertaining. As for the plot hole? Okay, here goes: If Grandfather Osborne is a millionaire and doesn't want the kids around, and Jay and Tracy would rather go to Hong Kong than spend time with him, then why not just ask Grandfather Osborne for the money so they can go to Hong Kong and be with their mother? If he doesn't want to be bothered with them, then why would he say no? It's simple: then there would be no movie. I just don't get it. Lousy titles like "Cat From Outer Space" and "Hot Lead and Cold Feet" get widescreen treatment, while great films like "Darby O'Gill" and "Follow Me Boys" languish in full-screen prints. Even "No Deposit, No Return" deserves better. So, the verdict: "No Deposit, No Return" gets **1/2 while the DVD treatment rates *. As I said before, I give up."
DVD = "Deposit" Very Defective
Alan Beauvais | CHARLOTTE, NC USA | 07/15/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Buyers, beware! The recently released DVD of "No Deposit, No Return" is defective, at least here on the East coast. I exchanged three discs from two different stores of a major media retailer (initials BB) and all three copies had the same glitches in the same scenes. Obviously a manufacturing error. Hopefully an official recall from Disney is forthcoming. Also, I noticed that on some Deposit discs the voice-over varies for the so-called "trailer" (actually just a :30 promo for the film's broadcast airing on The Wonderful World of Disney). On my first disc, the voice was that of the original announcer from the 1970s (very nostalgic). On all subsequent discs, however, the voice was that of the contemporary announcer one hears on all current Disney video promos (not so nostalgic). At least the "Hot Lead and Cold Feet" theatrical trailer included on that disc is the real deal (includes even an accompanying Mr. Toad cartoon). But getting back to "No Deposit", be prepared for glitches when you purchase or rent your disc. I plan to hang on to my Ebay-purchased VHS until enough time has passed that another DVD printing has occurred. Seeing as how neither format is letterboxed or of any admirable picture quality, bailing on the DVD really is no sacrifice. Hey, if you can live with glitches, pay this review no mind. Everyone else: Hang on to that receipt!"
Based on classic O. Henry story
Alan Beauvais | 02/06/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a good Disney film- moderately worthy of the easily attached title of "classic." Exellent actors make it lively. The plot itself is great. It is the plot from O. Henry's story, "A Retrieved Reformation." I've tried to figure out if Disney ever gave him credit and it seems like they didn't. Anyway, it's a terrific story and the movie actually does it decent justice. Nothing objectionable. Suitable for all ages."
No Deposit No Return
Alan Beauvais | 06/30/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is a classic Disney family film. Good hearted and funny. Today kids movies are so violent, its a good thing these movies are still available as alturnitive entertainment for kids."