Meredith Macrae Reviews

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Spur Line to Shady Rest

Review Includes Original Music...Return to Hooterville and ..."Come ride the little train that is rolling down the track to the junction!" The long-running television classic Petticoat Junction (CBS-TV, 1963-1970) was one of the most successful and beloved situation comedies of the 1960s. Created by Paul Henning, the same mastermind behind The Beverly Hillbillies, Petticoat Junction ranked as the fourth-highest rated series during its debut season. Set in the folksy farming community of Hooterville, Petticoat Junction centers on Kate Bradley, a widow who runs the charming Shady Rest Hotel with the help of her three beautiful young daughters - Billie Joe, Bobbie Joe and Betty Joe - along with the girls' Uncle Joe. Sam Drucker runs the local general store. Railroad engineers Charlie Pratt and Floyd Smoot operate the Cannonball, a steam engine train that runs through the valley and brings a host of interesting visitors and humorous mishaps to the Shady Rest. This Deluxe Collector's Set features 20 restored episodes complete with the original theme song from the show's first year. It also contains all-new, trivia-packed introductions by actress Linda Kaye Henning (Betty Joe Bradley). Additional bonus features include a special documentary, "The History of Paul Henning and Hooterville," with rare footage, photographs and cast interviews from Petticoat Junction, The Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres and more.=20 Vintage network promos and cast commercials round out the set, making it a must-have for any fan of classic TV. So..."Forget about your cares, it is time to relax at the junction."
The Beverly Hillbillies

Review Get a group of young actors together and let them audition for a play with a famous author and a famous star. Offer them fame, fortune and all the trappings and awards that go with it. Let these hopefuls have every weapon available to achieve their goal. Weapons that include blackmail, sex and murder and you've got the exciting elements of this film. Starring: Dick Sargent, Roslyn Kind (Sister of Barbara Streisand), Meredith Macrae, Vivian Blaine. Directed by: Paul Leder
Green Acres Season 1

Review The small farming community of Hooterville provided the setting for this highly successful rural situation comedy. Kate Bradley was the widowed owner of the only transient housing in town, the Shady Rest Hotel. Helping her run the hotel were her three beautiful daughters, Billie Jo, Bobbie Jo, and Betty Jo. Also assisting was the girls' lazy Uncle Joe, who had assumed the title of manager. In addition to her involvement with the hotel, the romantic lives of her daughters, and her association with the townspeople, Kate was constantly at odds with Homer Bedlow, vice-president of the C.F. & W. Railroad. Homer was determined to close down the steam-driven branch of the railroad that ran through Hooterville, scrap its lone engine (the Cannonball), and put its two engineers (Charlie Pratt and Floyd Smoot) out of jobs.
The Honeymooners Lost Episodes

Review Songwriter Paul Simon said it best: Everybody loves the sound of a train in the distance. Especially when that train is the Hooterville Cannonball ("the train that’s loved by all"), whose heralding whistle sets this charming series’ classic theme song in motion. An instant hit in its first season, Petticoat Junction, like The Andy Griffith Show is the chance to spend quality time with "some decent folks." The series is set at the bucolic, but run-down, Shady Rest Hotel, remotely situated between Hooterville and Pixley (the Mt. Pilot to Hooterville’s Mayberry). The Shady Rest has seen better days. The last time there were three guests at one time, someone observes, was when "Mrs. Pritchard gave birth to twins in the lobby." Widow Kate Bradley (Bea Benaderet, the voice of Betty Rubble on The Flintstones) runs the place with her three beautiful daughters, flirtatious Billie Jo (Jeannine Riley), bookworm Bobbie Jo (Pat Woodall), and pigtailed tomboy Betty Jo (Linda Kaye). Kate’s finagling Uncle Joe (Edgar Buchanan) complicates matters with ill-fated get rich schemes. Other colorful characters include Cannonball engineers Charlie (Smiley Burnette) and Floyd (Rufe Davis), more interested in life’s simple pleasures, like fishing, than running the train on time, and Sam Drucker (Frank Cady), the "self-described general store keeper, notary republic, and town wit." Throughout the first season, Kate and company thwart efforts by Homer Bedloe (Charles Lane), "the most ruthless man since Ivan the Terrible," to put the Shady Rest out of business and shut down the Cannonball, the antiquated steam train that time, and the C.F. & W Railroad forgot. Created by Paul Henning, Petticoat Junction is not as widely syndicated or popularly known as his other series, The Beverly Hillbillies and Green Acres, but it’s a pleasure to rediscover. One episode for the '60s time capsule, broadcast just a little over a month after the Beatles appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, is "The Ladybugs" in which Beatlemania hits the valley, and Uncle Joe transforms the Bradley girls into a girl rock group. Dennis Hopper, of all people, appears as a beatnik in the episode, "Bobby Joe and the Beatnik." Vintage TV fans will have fun spotting Ken "Eddie Haskell" Osmond as a suitor for Billie Jo in "The Genghis Keane Story" (the same episode introduces future Green Acres scene stealer Hank Patterson as pit-toting farmer Fred Ziffel); Sheila James (Zelda on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis) as a fellow Ladybug, and Steve Franken (Chatsworth Osborne, Jr. on Gillis) as Homer Bedloe’s chip off the old block son, who has a change of heart after spending time at the Shady Rest in "Bedloe and Son." This set benefits from episode introductions and affectionate recollections by Kaye and Woodall. So, like the song says, forget about your cares, it is time to relax at the Junction. As Bedloe, Jr. proclaims, "A fella could get used to a life like this." --Donald Liebenson
Father Knows Best Season 1

Review Exasperated by his intrusions, a family shoots a census taker and tries to hide his body from a detective. Greg Mullavey.
The Donna Reed Show

Review Includes Original Music...Return to Hooterville and ..."Come ride the little train that is rolling down the track to the junction!" The long-running television classic Petticoat Junction (CBS-TV, 1963-1970) was one of the most successful and beloved situation comedies of the 1960s. Created by Paul Henning, the same mastermind behind The Beverly Hillbillies, Petticoat Junction ranked as the fourth-highest rated series during its debut season. Set in the folksy farming community of Hooterville, Petticoat Junction centers on Kate Bradley, a widow who runs the charming Shady Rest Hotel with the help of her three beautiful young daughters - Billie Joe, Bobbie Joe and Betty Joe - along with the girls' Uncle Joe. Sam Drucker runs the local general store. Railroad engineers Charlie Pratt and Floyd Smoot operate the Cannonball, a steam engine train that runs through the valley and brings a host of interesting visitors and humorous mishaps to the Shady Rest. This Deluxe Collector's Set features 20 restored episodes complete with the original theme song from the show's first year. It also contains all-new, trivia-packed introductions by actress Linda Kaye Henning (Betty Joe Bradley). Additional bonus features include a special documentary, "The History of Paul Henning and Hooterville," with rare footage, photographs and cast interviews from Petticoat Junction, The Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres and more.=20 Vintage network promos and cast commercials round out the set, making it a must-have for any fan of classic TV. So..."Forget about your cares, it is time to relax at the junction."
F-Troop: The Complete Second Season

Review Get a group of young actors together and let them audition for a play with a famous author and a famous star. Offer them fame, fortune and all the trappings and awards that go with it. Let these hopefuls have every weapon available to achieve their goal. Weapons that include blackmail, sex and murder and you've got the exciting elements of this film. Starring: Dick Sargent, Roslyn Kind (Sister of Barbara Streisand), Meredith Macrae, Vivian Blaine. Directed by: Paul Leder
Family Affair

Review The small farming community of Hooterville provided the setting for this highly successful rural situation comedy. Kate Bradley was the widowed owner of the only transient housing in town, the Shady Rest Hotel. Helping her run the hotel were her three beautiful daughters, Billie Jo, Bobbie Jo, and Betty Jo. Also assisting was the girls' lazy Uncle Joe, who had assumed the title of manager. In addition to her involvement with the hotel, the romantic lives of her daughters, and her association with the townspeople, Kate was constantly at odds with Homer Bedlow, vice-president of the C.F. & W. Railroad. Homer was determined to close down the steam-driven branch of the railroad that ran through Hooterville, scrap its lone engine (the Cannonball), and put its two engineers (Charlie Pratt and Floyd Smoot) out of jobs.
Car 54, Where Are You? Season 1

Review Songwriter Paul Simon said it best: Everybody loves the sound of a train in the distance. Especially when that train is the Hooterville Cannonball ("the train that’s loved by all"), whose heralding whistle sets this charming series’ classic theme song in motion. An instant hit in its first season, Petticoat Junction, like The Andy Griffith Show is the chance to spend quality time with "some decent folks." The series is set at the bucolic, but run-down, Shady Rest Hotel, remotely situated between Hooterville and Pixley (the Mt. Pilot to Hooterville’s Mayberry). The Shady Rest has seen better days. The last time there were three guests at one time, someone observes, was when "Mrs. Pritchard gave birth to twins in the lobby." Widow Kate Bradley (Bea Benaderet, the voice of Betty Rubble on The Flintstones) runs the place with her three beautiful daughters, flirtatious Billie Jo (Jeannine Riley), bookworm Bobbie Jo (Pat Woodall), and pigtailed tomboy Betty Jo (Linda Kaye). Kate’s finagling Uncle Joe (Edgar Buchanan) complicates matters with ill-fated get rich schemes. Other colorful characters include Cannonball engineers Charlie (Smiley Burnette) and Floyd (Rufe Davis), more interested in life’s simple pleasures, like fishing, than running the train on time, and Sam Drucker (Frank Cady), the "self-described general store keeper, notary republic, and town wit." Throughout the first season, Kate and company thwart efforts by Homer Bedloe (Charles Lane), "the most ruthless man since Ivan the Terrible," to put the Shady Rest out of business and shut down the Cannonball, the antiquated steam train that time, and the C.F. & W Railroad forgot. Created by Paul Henning, Petticoat Junction is not as widely syndicated or popularly known as his other series, The Beverly Hillbillies and Green Acres, but it’s a pleasure to rediscover. One episode for the '60s time capsule, broadcast just a little over a month after the Beatles appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, is "The Ladybugs" in which Beatlemania hits the valley, and Uncle Joe transforms the Bradley girls into a girl rock group. Dennis Hopper, of all people, appears as a beatnik in the episode, "Bobby Joe and the Beatnik." Vintage TV fans will have fun spotting Ken "Eddie Haskell" Osmond as a suitor for Billie Jo in "The Genghis Keane Story" (the same episode introduces future Green Acres scene stealer Hank Patterson as pit-toting farmer Fred Ziffel); Sheila James (Zelda on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis) as a fellow Ladybug, and Steve Franken (Chatsworth Osborne, Jr. on Gillis) as Homer Bedloe’s chip off the old block son, who has a change of heart after spending time at the Shady Rest in "Bedloe and Son." This set benefits from episode introductions and affectionate recollections by Kaye and Woodall. So, like the song says, forget about your cares, it is time to relax at the Junction. As Bedloe, Jr. proclaims, "A fella could get used to a life like this." --Donald Liebenson
Dragnet 1969: Season Three

Review Exasperated by his intrusions, a family shoots a census taker and tries to hide his body from a detective. Greg Mullavey.

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