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They're creepy and they're kooky,
Mysterious and spooky,
They're all together ooky,
The Addams Family.

Ever since I was a kid, I have always loved THE ADDAMS FAMILY. This macabre black comic television series has tickled my funny bone for more years than I care to admit, and its still a lot of fun to this day. The television series if based upon the brilliant cartoons of artist Charles Addams, whose work originally appeared in the New Yorker magazine for more than five decades. Addams more macabre works included a number of reoccurring, yet unnamed characters, later to be dubbed The Addams Family, who ultimately became the basis for the television series.

Were the Addams’ a family of eccentrics? kooks? inbred to a certain level of insanity? or were they something a little more supernatural? Well, the television series never really their origins quite clear. All the audience had to do was accept the fact that they were decidedly different. Despite their surface peculiarities, THE ADDAMS FAMILY is very much a show about a very typical, loving sitcom family. In fact, the Addams family always saw themselves as perfectly normal, while the rest of the world was somehow off kilter. Of course, the show derives its humor from the world reactions to the unconventional Addams family.

The perfect cast of THE ADDAMS FAMILY features John Astin as the fiery, passionate family patriarch Gomez Addams, who has a penchant for model train wrecks. Carolyn Jones is the lovely Morticia Addams, who raises rose thorns and man-eating plants in her spare time. Jackie Coogan is the family live wire Uncle Fester, whose electric personality shocks everyone. Blossom Rock is Grandmama, whose appearance is a good indicator that she knows her way around a broom and a cauldron. Lisa Loring and Ken Weatherwax portray the Addams offspring: Wednesday and Pugsley. Ted Cassidy is the Addams harpsichord-playing manservant Lurch. Finally, look for Felix Silla as Cousin Itt, whose worst nightmare is a bad hair day.

THE ADDAMS FAMILY: VOLUME 3 comes to DVD in a three-disc set that features the final twenty-one episodes of the series: Gomez, The Reluctant Lover, Feud In The Addams Family, Gomez, The Cat Burglar, Portrait Of Gomez, Morticia's Dilemma, Christmas With The Addams Family, Uncle Fester, Tycoon, Morticia And Gomez Vs. Fester And Grandmama, Fester Goes On A Diet, The Great Treasure Hunt, Ophelia Finds Romance, Pugsley's Allowance, Happy Birthday, Grandma Frump, Morticia, The Decorator, Ophelia Visits Morticia, Addams Cum Laude, Cat Addams, Lurch's Little Helper, The Addams Policy, Lurch's Grand Romance and Ophelia's Career.

MGM Home Entertainment has made all twenty-one episodes that comprise THE ADDAMS FAMILY: VOLUME 3 available on DVD in their proper full screen aspect ratios. I was surprised at how good these forty-plus-year-old episodes look on DVD. The black and white episodes generally appear crisp and nicely defined. Sure, there is the occasional slightly soft looking shot, but for the most part, everything looks really good. Blacks are solid, whites are stable and the grayscale is quite good. The film elements seem very well preserved, with only occasional blemishes cropping up. Additionally, film grain remains very mild. Digital compression artifacts are always well contained.

The Dolby Digital monaural soundtracks are perfectly fine. There is no excessive hiss or audible anomalies, and for the most part, the sound is quite solid. Dialogue is always totally understandable, plus the music has decent fidelity. Of course, the canned laughter sounds even more canned than ever. French and Spanish language tracks are present, in addition to English, and Spanish subtitles.

Music underscores the basic interactive menus, which allow one access to the standard scene/episode selection and set up features, as well as a few nice extra features. Stephen Cox author of The Addams Chronicles provides a running Audio Commentary on the episode Morticia The Decorator. Thing and Cousin Itt provide Select Scene Commentaries on the episodes Morticia’s Dilemma, Ophelia Finds Romance and Lurch’s Little Helper. Finally, one will find some Tombstone Trivia on the episode Cat Addams.

Even after all these years THE ADDAMS FAMILY is a whole lot of fun. MGM’s DVD collection looks great and sounds just fine. So if you are a fan, you better pay a call on THE ADDAMS FAMILY. Recommended.



The Addams Family - Volume 3



DVD reviews are Copyright © 2007 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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