The Munsters: The Complete First Season (1964-1965)
By Jeffrey M. Anderson
Buy The Munsters: The Complete First Season on DVD
In 1964, both "The Addams Family" and "The Munsters" hit the airwaves.
The former was based on the classic Charles Addams cartoons from The New
Yorker and featured a kind of clever, deadpan class and sophistication
with a hint of darkness. "The Munsters" was more lowbrow, content with
being cuddly and redundant. A single idea is the basis for virtually
every joke: an out-of-touch family is continually unaware that their
monster-like appearance makes everyone else uncomfortable. Fred Gwynne
stars as the Frankenstein-ish Herman Munster, a buffoon with a breathy,
squeaky laugh. Yvonne Dcarlo co-stars as his Vampira-ish wife. Butch
Patrick appears as the family's youngest, Eddie, and Al Lewis plays
Grandpa, both vampires. Played first by Beverly Owen and later (episode
14 on) by Pat Priest the family's teenage niece Marilyn is cute and
blond and thus the butt of many family jokes. Shot on black-and-white
film, these harmless and lovingly designed episodes look beautiful on
DVD. Universal's box set collects 38 episodes on three double-sided
discs, and includes a 14-minute full-color pilot that was shown only to
TV executives and never aired. In color, the creatures' gray/green
makeup is far more garish that one might imagine.
Starring: Fred Gwynne, Yvonne Dcarlo, Butch Patrick, Al Lewis, Beverly Owen, Pat Priest,
Written by: Joe Connelly, Bob Mosher, etc.
Directed by: Lawrence Dobkin, Charles Barton, etc.
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 966 minutes
Date: August 18, 2004