Walt Disney Treasures - The Hardy Boys - [DVD5 ENG - Sub ENG] [Tntvillage.Scambioetico]
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The Hardy Boys
Tim Considine (Frank Hardy), Tommy Kirk (Joe Hardy), Carole Ann Campbell (Iola Morton), Russ Conway (Fenton Hardy), Sarah Selby (Aunt Gertrude), Florenz Ames (Mr. Silas Applegate), Robert Foulk (Mr. Jackley), Arthur Shields (Boles), Donald MacDonald (Perry Robinson), Charles Cane (Sergeant), Frances Morris (Landlady)
Durante al sua prima stagione, "The Mickey Mouse Club" fu un successo sotto tutti I punti di vista. Il varietà giornaliero di Walt Disney crebbe insieme ai ragazi, per i quali divenne un punto fisso del loro pomeriggio. Così, quando il programma riprese per la seconda stagione, non era cambiato nulla. La serie risultava ancora carismatica, ma i moschettieri erano sempre i ragazzi dell’anno precedente. Gli episodi erano ancora composti da un numero di segmenti: le news, azioni musicali, cartoni e episodi seriali.
Questo cofanetto si basa su una serie. La prima serie del "The Mickey Mouse Club" introdusse dodici differenti spettacoli seriali, per lo più rivolti ad istruire gli spettatori sulle differenze di abitudini e comportamenti dei popoli del mondo. Anche se queste tipologie di eventi continuarono durante la seconda stagione, il Club ampliò la produzione di saghe modellate sulla base di "The Adventures of Spin and Marty”.
La seconda stagione presentò "The Hardy Boys: The Mystery of the Applegate Treasure”, il primo di 16 serial. Gli episodi furono leggermente più lunghi di quelli di Spin & Marty am in numero minore. The Hardy Boys venne trasmesso nelle prime 4 settimane della stagione del Club.
The Mystery of the Applegate Treasure si svolge dalla prospettiva di Frank (Tim Considine) a Joe Hardy (Tommy Kirk), una coppia di adolescenti di buoni sentimenti. La loro estate non è stata molto interessante, né bella, in gran parte a causa dell’assenza del loro padre Fenton Hardy (Russ Conway). Questi ragazzi possono solo immaginare il tipo di intrighi deve fronteggiare il loro padre detective che passa la maggior parte delle notti nella “City” dove lavora. Non importa l’interesse dei ragazzi per il lavoro del padre: egli non si lascia sfuggire nulla dalla bocca, e tiene il lavoro e le sue conseguenze lontani da casa. La cosa lascia i ragazzi frustrati, ma i ragazzi non si danno per vintie cercano di fare i giovani detective, alle spalle della loro prima “guardiana”, Zia Gertrude (Sarah Selby).
Frank e Joe fanno al loro prima esperienza grazie il rinnovato interesse in un caso di mancata fortuna. La storia di Mr. Applegate (Florenz Ames), un simpatico eccentrico occupò le scene per un bel pezzo, dieci anni prima. Lo strano e lunatico Applegate affermava di aver ottenuto ricchezze ereditate da pirati armati di spada, ma ciò erano messo in dubbio dal vicinato. Parlare di dobloni spagnoli e pezzi da otto è cosa che in genere fa ridere, ma gli Hardy Boys cedettero alla storia e perseverarono nella ricerca.
La storia procede come uno sguardo sulla vita dei ragazzi. Questa scelta fu di grande fortuna per la serie perché risultò di grande attrazione per i ragazzi dell’epoca. Il serial fu carica di suspense, particolarmente dopo alcuni episodi. The Hardy Boys rimane uno show divertente anche se lo spettatore riesce a scoprire il mistero prima dei ragazzi.
Il cast di personaggi include anche Iola Morton (Carole Ann Campbell), una pattinatrice di poco più giovane degli Hardy Boys che desidera assomigliare a loro. Ella condivide il loro gusto per l’avventura ed segretamente innamorata di Joe. Perry Robinson a ragazzo arrivato di recente in città, diventa il primo cliente dei fratelli investigatori. Altri personaggi sono L’idraulico di Applegate Mr. Jackley (Robert Foulk) e l’ex-giardiniere irlandese Boles (Arthur Shields).
Il soggetto degli Hardy Boys è più interessante di quello di Spin e Marty. Anche se l’attuale nozione di detective è più legato all’analisi forense e ad appostamenti e sorveglianza piuttosto che quadreni di appunti e lenti di ingrandimento, l’intrigo e la risoluzione del caso riamne un itneresse meno esoterico di un rodeo. Il tema non è comunque la sola nota in cui gli Hardy Boys portano qualità alla seconda stagione del Th Mickey Mouse Club.
La storia è merito di Jackson Gillis, che successivamente scrisse episodi per “Perry Mason” e “Colombo”. Per questo motivo, diversamente da molti serial del "Mickey Mouse Club", The Hardy Boys è basato su personaggi pre-esistenti che hanno fatto il primo debutto sulla stampa nel 1927. Dal 1956, gli Hardy Boys sono stati i protagonisti di 35 libri pubblicati, tutti attribuiti a Franklin W. Dixon. The Applegate Treasure è un adattamento dal primo di questi libri, The Tower Treasure del 1927, sebbene ci siano dei liberi adattamenti per la versione cinematografica. Con più di 400 volumi, The Hardy Boys sono una serie stampata ancora attiva, con una serie di due anni fa, The Hardy Boys: Undercover Brothers.
Walt Disney fu il primo a cercare un adattamento degli hardy Boys per la televisione. Subito dopo presentò The Mystery of Ghost Farm per la stagione 1957-1958 del "The Mickey Mouse Club." Altre compagine televisive iniziarono a procedure lungo la stessa strada ma mai con la stessa fortuna.
Tornando agli Hardy Boys, è chiaro che fu realizzato con un magro budget. La piccola città contribuisce a conferire un’atmosfera alla storia, ma nel contempo non è sufficiente. Tutto accade nelle vicinanze della casa dei ragazzi e nel vicinato. Il locale più forestiero è un giornalaio, che vende i fumetti di Paperone e Pippo. Diversamente dagli episodi prodotti nello steso periodo per altre parti del Mickey Mouse Club, questo serial venne filmato solamente in bianco e nero. Un segno delle difficoltà economiche si nota sulla maglietta del nuovo ragazzo, Perry, che reca i simboli del Ranch Tripla-R.
Una particolarità del serial che risulta essere di ostacolo ad apprezzarlo è il modo di poterlo vedere. Il serial è stato concepito per essere trasmesso in pezzi da pezzi separati trasmessi dal Lunedì al venerdì per un totale di circa un’ora. Ogni episodio inoltre ha una lunga introduzione. La sigla, con immagini di pirati e canzoni di ThURL Ravenscroft è seguita da parecchi credits, e inoltre c’è una parziale sovrapposizione di scene con l’episodio precedente ed una pubblicità intermedia.
In its first season on television, "The Mickey Mouse Club" was, by nearly any standard, a success. Walt Disney's daily variety series had flourished with children, who made viewing it an important part of their weekday afternoon routine. Thus, when the unique program began its second season, little had changed. The series still prominently featured charismatic but ordinary children known as the Mouseketeers, most of whom were part of the previous year's cast. And episodes were still composed of a number of regular segments: newsreels, musical acts, cartoon shorts, and serials.
For this review, our interests lie with that last component: the serial. The premiere season of "The Mickey Mouse Club" introduced twelve different serials, most of which educated viewers on different parts and people of the world. While these types of international reports would continue to feature largely in Season Two, the Club also amplified production on story-based sagas modeled after Season One's most popular, The Adventures of Spin and Marty, a stop-and-go look at a summer on a dude ranch for boys.
Accompanying the launch of the second season was The Hardy Boys: The Mystery of the Applegate Treasure, the first of the season's sixteen serials. With episodes slightly longer than Spin and Marty but six fewer in number, The Hardy Boys would accompany the "Mouse Club" for its first four weeks of the season, requiring nearly the entire month of October 1956 to be resolved.
The Mystery of the Applegate Treasure unfolds chiefly from the perspective of Frank (Tim Considine) and Joe Hardy (Tommy Kirk), an adolescent pair of mischievous but good-natured brothers. Frank and Joe's summer has been dull, due in part to their largely absentee father Fenton Hardy (Russ Conway). The resourceful boys can only imagine the type of intrigue their father must experience as a private detective who spends most nights in "The City", where he works. It doesn't help that no matter how much interest the brothers show in Dad's career, he keeps his lips tight and his job a safe distance away from home. That leaves the boys frustrated, but, taken seriously or not, they maintain a belief in their sleuthing skills, acting as "junior detectives" to the dismay of their primary guardian, Aunt Gertrude (Sarah Selby).
Frank and Joe get their big break thanks to renewed interest in a case of a missing fortune. The story of Mr. Applegate (Florenz Ames), a wealthy eccentric, last gained much notice around Bayport ten years earlier. The strange, moody, sword-wielding Applegate's claim to pirate-inherited riches is widely doubted by the neighborhood. Talk of Spanish doubloons and pieces of eight is generally met with laughter, but upon learning about the long-lost gold, the Hardy Boys both believe in the tale and persist in uncovering the booty.
Rather than a straightforward mystery where dots are connected and a number of culprits considered, this serial proceeds mostly as a light-hearted look at boys' life. That's to its benefit, as it lends an appealing 1950s sensibility to the proceedings and it also ensures there's more going on than a mere "whodunit." The serial does prove to be sufficiently suspenseful, particularly after it gets a few episodes in. But unlike certain print mysteries which only provide pleasure in the challenge of figuring out whodunit, The Hardy Boys remains fun even if you can solve the case before the title detectives can. That's possible, for keen viewers who spot the sometimes subtle clues and take note of characters who fall out of focus might be able to figure out the antagonist(s) with a few installments to spare. Gladly, there's more than a surprising twist at the end to sustain the storyline.
The cast of characters also includes Iola Morton (Carole Ann Campbell), a roller-skating girl slightly younger than the Hardy Boys who longs to be like them. She shares their taste for adventure and secretly makes herself Joe's girlfriend, to his disapproval. There is Perry Robinson, a new boy in town with a supposedly wayward past who becomes the Hardy brothers' first client. Rounding out the leads are Applegate's plumber Mr. Jackley (Robert Foulk) and the coy Irish ex-gardener Boles (Arthur Shields), who serve to help and hinder the investigations.
The subject matter of The Hardy Boys is more appealing than that of Spin and Marty. That's especially true now that fewer of today's children aspire to lead the rugged life of a cowboy. Even if today's notion of detective work is more about forensics and surveillance gadgets than notebooks and a magnifying glass (neither of which actually appears in The Hardy Boys despite the title's conjured images), intrigue and case-solving remain interests that are less esoteric than lassoing and the rodeo. However, theme is not the only area where Hardy Boys improves over the previous "Mickey Mouse Club" season's big hit. Applegate Treasure relies less on a series of cliffhangers and more on a gradually evolving storyline.
Story is one area where credit must obviously go beyond the serial's writer Jackson Gillis, who would later pen screenplays for "Perry Mason" and a number of "Columbo" episodes and telemovies. That's because unlike most "Mickey Mouse Club" serials, The Hardy Boys is based on pre-existing characters that made their debut in print in 1927. The detective siblings were one of a number of children's literature franchises created by the Stratemeyer Syndicate, a group that would mine other successful mystery series including the Bobbsey Twins and Nancy Drew. By 1956, the Hardy Boys had already starred in 35 published books, all attributed to Franklin W. Dixon, a pen name of Leslie McFarlane and others. Applegate Treasure is adapted from the very first one, 1927's The Tower Treasure, though it makes some obvious and less obvious departures from the text to serve its serialized TV format. (For one thing, Disney's Hardy Boys are definitely a little younger than the 17 and 18 years of age that the early books claim them to be.) With over 400 volumes to their name through the canon and spin-off series, the Hardy Boys are still active in print today in a two-year-old line called The Hardy Boys: Undercover Brothers.
Walt Disney was the first to adapt the Hardy Boys books for television. He was also the second, bringing Frank and Joe back for The Mystery of Ghost Farm to accompany the 1957-58 season of "The Mickey Mouse Club." Other companies would follow suit and tap additional Hardy Boy mysteries for TV: there was a Filmation Saturday morning cartoon on ABC in the late 1960s, a primetime series in the late 1970s alternating Hardy Boys mysteries with those of Nancy Drew, and a short-lived syndicated Canadian series in the mid-1990s. The franchise is currently even being planned for big screen treatment, albeit in a comedy where Tom Cruise and Ben Stiller will play the sleuthing siblings grown-up. 20th Century Fox is developing the project, appropriately-titled The Hardy Men, with Night at the Museum director Shawn Levy.
Getting back to Disney's Hardy Boys, it is not without a few shortcomings that should be mentioned. For one thing, it was clearly made on a tight budget. While one never gets the feeling that the small-town setting isn't sufficient to tell the story, it's evident that nothing will stray far from the Hardy Boys' house and neighboring areas.
The most foreign locale is a newsstand, on which Scrooge McDuck and Goofy comic books are prominently arranged. Unlike the concurrently-produced episodes for Walt's weekly anthology series, this serial was filmed only in black and white. Perhaps the most telling sign of cost-cutting is that new kid Perry wears a Triple-R Ranch shirt inside-out in his first sighting. For another thing, believability is a bit suspect; though that is inevitable when dealing with teenaged mystery-solvers and no doubt needs to be forgiven in the books. Still, the howling barn owl that signals danger adds to the enjoyable hokiness of the serial.
One final quality about the serial which proves to be an obstacle to appreciating it is the practical challenge of how to view it. Intended to be seen in 11 and 2/3 minute chunks of an hour-long series from Monday to Friday, The Hardy Boys holds up quite well in viewing back-to-back. But there is a slight disconnect that arises from the fact that each episode has its own lengthy intro. With pirates imagery and ThURL Ravenscroft vocals, the theme merely discusses the missing treasure that's integral to the plot. In addition to this one-minute song and the subsequent handful of credits, there is sometimes a brief overlap from the previous episode (which varies in length) and a commercial fadeout in the middle. The next episode is mentioned at the end with its only on-screen appearance of the title. Completists would object to the opening being dropped and there's no denying the mood it establishes, but it does dampen the fluidity of lump viewings that this Treasure set offers for the first time. Even offering the option to skip over the beginning might have been appreciated. Alas, the short installments are merely each one chapter, leaving those who want to get straight to the action to either grin and bear it or master their fast-forwarding skills.
Formato Audio/Video (Audio/Video Format):
2 dvd5 NTSC
Sottottitoli (Subtitles): English for hear impaired
Tempo Totale di Riproduzione: 305 Minutes (5 ore, 5 minuti)
1.33:1 Fullscreen (Original Ratio) / Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (English)
Subtitles: English; Closed Captioned
Originally Aired October 1 - October 26, 1956
1. The Mickey Mouse Club: October 1, 1956 - "An Introduction" (Originally aired October 1, 1956)
The set begins with the complete October 1, 1956 episode of "The Mickey Mouse Club" (45:18). Since it holds the introductory installment of The Mystery of the Applegate Treasure, it's an apt place to start. As was the case with the Spin and Marty Treasures set, it's a delight to get a full episode of the series that housed the Hardy Boys serial both for context and entertainment purposes. Thus, it is a welcome and sensible inclusion, and its designation somewhere between bonus feature and feature program seems appropriate.
The second season premiere is comprised of several segments. First, a special Mickey Mouse Newsreel finds Mouseketeer Cheryl and a friend visiting the USS Nautilus, the Navy's atomic submarine on which their fathers work. The day-long trip provides a fairly detailed narrated tour of "the newest and greatest member of Uncle Sam's submarine fleet." Next, the Mouseketeers engage in their traditional song and dance act, having "Fun with Music" (per the Monday theme) from various parts of the world and introducing themselves via the custom "sound off" roll call. Then, Darlene and Bobby showcase their song and tap dance skills even further in a musical sketch set at a Coney Island midway. The Hardy Boys introduction follows, with Tim Considine using footage to discuss characters and plot elements in such a way that sells viewers on the soon-to-debut serial without spoiling much. (Tommy Kirk joins him before it's done.) After this, head Mouseketeer Jimmie Dodd briefly waxes poetic on the various regions of the United States. The funny 1936 short Mickey's Rival is the Mousekartoon; in it, Mickey is threatened by the resurfacing of Minnie's charming ex, Mortimer Mouse. The episode concludes with the usual musical and animated sign-offs. This is the only episode that is broken into chapter stops.
2. "The Stranger" (11:42) (Originally aired October 2, 1956)
A series of mysterious phone calls introduces a bit of excitement into Frank and Joe's dull summer.
3. "A Real Case" (11:40) (Originally aired October 3, 1956)
Joe takes it especially hard when his father's much-anticipated return home is to be short-lived.
4. "The First Clue" (11:40) (Originally aired October 4, 1956)
Investigating a possible robbery of Iola brings Frank and Joe into contact with a plumber named Jackley and new kid in town Perry Robinson, both of whom are employed at the Applegate Mansion.
5. "The Fugitive" (11:40) (Originally aired October 5, 1956)
Frank, Joe, and Jackley find a number of missing items in Applegate's gardener's room and the police get involved.
6. "Applegate's Gold" (11:41) (Originally aired October 8, 1956)
The Hardy Boys visit the public library to research their newly-acquired gold coin, which they learn to be a Spanish doubloon. It's the first step to tracking down Applegate's fabled pirate treasure.
7. "Dig for Treasure" (11:40) (Originally aired October 9, 1956)
Frank and Joe stay up late secretly scouring Mr. Applegate's yard for more gold doubloons.
8. "A Pirate's Chest" (11:41) (Originally aired October 10, 1956)
Mr. Applegate tells Frank and Joe about the history and disappearance of his missing treasure.
9. "Boys in Trouble" (11:40) (Originally aired October 11, 1956)
The Hardy Brothers get in trouble for holes they didn't dig, leading Perry and them to suspect someone else is after the missing loot.
10. "Female Detective" (11:40) (Originally aired October 12, 1956)
Mr. Applegate anxiously waits for Mr. Hardy to claim his sons' shovel and pick. Meanwhile, Iola gets her chance to shine when the Hardy Boys enlist her to retrieve the very same tools.
Il Disco 1 si apre con la solita introduzione di Leonard Maltin (3:05), in cui presnta il ritorno dei Moschettieri nella stagione 2, il format del serial e commenta brevemente The Hardy Boys.
L’unico Bonus del Disco 1 è "From Dixon to Disney" (13:28), che riguarda il trasferimento di The Hardy Boys dal libro fino allo show del Mickey Mouse Club. I commenti di Leonard Maltin, degli autori Bill Cotter, and Stratemeyer e dello storico James Keeline corroborano questa featurette che discute l’approccio di Edward Stratemeyer alla letteratura giovanile e la’vverisone della Disney per un adattamento di tipo “Holliwoodiano”. Il filmato spiega cosa è successo dopo che Disney si è assicurato i diritti: il casting dei personaggi, le differenze dal libro, riprese e doppiaggi, responso degli spettatori e la merchandise Disney. La featurette msotra come relamente ci si muove nell’ambiente Disney durante la creazione di un evento televisivo.
Disc One opens, of course, with an introduction (3:05) by Treasures host/producer Leonard Maltin. He sets up the disc's contents, mentioning Season 2's returning Mouseketeers, discussing the serial format, and briefly commenting on Disney's The Hardy Boys.
The only other bonus on Disc 1 is "From Dixon to Disney" (13:28), which, as you'd guess, looks at the Hardy Boys' journey from literature to the Mickey Mouse Club. With comments from Leonard Maltin, author Bill Cotter, and Stratemeyer historian James Keeline, this succinct and informative featurette discusses Edward Stratemeyer's approach to juvenile literature and his company's aversion to Hollywood adaptation. The piece mostly covers what ensued once Walt Disney secured the rights (agreeing to some interesting morality clauses), touching upon casting the characters, differences from the book (and the rationale behind them), filming on a soundstage, viewer response, and Disney's merchandise. Though fast-moving and not as thorough as one might hope, this featurette serves as a terrific overview of the source material and Disney's televised treatment.
11. "Iola's Bravery" (11:40) (Originally aired October 15, 1956)
Suspense builds as Iola's struggles to reclaim the tools are met with Applegate's efforts to scare off trespassers.
12. "Footsteps in the Tower" (11:41) (Originally aired October 16, 1956)
Mr. Hardy inspects the Applegate Mansion to make some sense of the frightening new turns taken at the scene.
13. "The Prisoner Speaks" (11:40) (Originally aired October 17, 1956)
As the boys' excitement runs higher than before, Mr. Hardy prepares to interrogate an apprehended suspect.
14. "A Strange Confession" (11:39) (Originally aired October 18, 1956)
Unable to get any insight from the suspect, Mr. Hardy encourages Applegate and Jackley to press charges against Applegate's old gardener Boles, while Frank and Joe rack their brains to help Perry.
15. "A Golden Clue" (11:39) (Originally aired October 19, 1956)
In the process of acquiring Boles' old pair of shoes, Frank and Joe make their greatest discovery yet.
16. "The Final Search" (11:40) (Originally aired October 22, 1956)
The Hardy Boys' newly-obtained directions to the treasure lead them back to Applegate Mansion, along with an excited mob.
17. "The Tower's Secret" (11:40) (Originally aired October 23, 1956)
As the public frenzy continues, police assist in tearing apart the Applegate Mansion in search of the elusive treasure.
18. "Never Say Die" (11:39) (Originally aired October 24, 1956)
Refusing to give up on the treasure, Frank and Joe tail Boles in the hopes of finding a new lead.
19. "Boys in Danger" (11:40) (Originally aired October 25, 1956)
The Hardy Boys get very close to what they think might hold the treasure. They also get close to two baddies plotting to run off with it.
20. "The Tower Treasure" (11:39) (Originally aired October 26, 1956)
Endings shouldn't be ruined, especially not those belonging to mysteries. While there aren't many surprises, this trackside finale wraps things up in an exciting and satisfying fashion.
Nel Disco 2, l’introduzione (3:21) discute riguardo ai personaggi ed i membri del cast.
"The Hardy Boys Unmasked" (18:45) crea un’intervista profonda, con Tim Considine e Tommy Kirk. E’ un viaggio divertente e simpatico nei meandri della memoria, specie di Kirk, mentre Considine fa solo brevi richiami al passato. L’essenza dell’intervista è il ricordo della loro esperienza di attori bambini presso la Disney. Il discorso svaria dai compagni di lavoro ai direttori, all’atmosfera del "Mickey Mouse Club" e dei suoi serials, l’atmosfera degli Studio negli anni ’50.
Infine, ci sono due Gallerie di Foto: Behind the Scenes, che contiene 46 foto degli Hardy Boys, prevalentemente di tipo pubblicitario, tutte in bianco e nero tranne tre. Paging the Hardy Boys offre 15 foto relative alla merchandise del serial.
In Disc Two's intro (3:21), Maltin discusses all the Hardy Boys cast members as well as the series' fortes.
"The Hardy Boys Unmasked" (18:45) finds Maltin hosting a spirited interview with stars Tim Considine and Tommy Kirk. It's a fun and friendly trip down memory lane as Kirk remembers much, Considine recalls little, and Maltin smiles a lot. The pair discuss their experiences as child actors at the Disney studio.
They cover their co-stars (including each other), the directors they worked with, and, not limiting themselves to their "Mickey Mouse Club" serials, the atmosphere of the Disney studio in the 1950s. It's great to be able to catch up with the on-screen brothers and witness their genuine reflections on something they made 50 years ago.
Finally, there are two photo galleries. Behind the Scenes with the Hardy Boys holds 46 stills, most of which are publicity photos and all but three of which are in black and white. Paging the Hardy Boys offers 15 stills from the serial's printed tie-in merchandise, including covers of coloring books, comic books, and Walt Disney Magazine issues.
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