The Beverly Hillbillies: The Official Third Season from Paramount

The Beverly Hillbillies: The Official Third Season from Paramount
The Beverly Hillbillies: The Official Third Season from Paramount The Beverly Hillbillies: The Official Third Season from Paramount (click images to enlarge)

The Beverly Hillbillies: The Official Third Season from Paramount

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Buddy Ebsen, Irene Ryan, Donna Douglas, Max Baer, Jr. The banjo music plays on into its third season featuring the hilarious and lovable Clampett family! The slack-jawed yokels continually find themselves in fish-out-of-water situations when they move to Beverly...Hills, that is. 34 episodes on 5 DVDs. 1964-65/color-b&w/14 hrs., 28 min/NR/fullscreen.

No. 1 in the ratings its first two seasons, The Beverly Hillbillies fell out of the Top Ten in season three, which is curious because this is arguably its best season yet, with several memorable story arcs, beginning with Jed's foray into the movie business as head of Mammoth Pictures. The season opener, "Jed Becomes a Movie Mogul," contains an interesting early instance of crossover marketing as the Clampetts watch scenes from an upcoming Rock Hudson and Doris Day comedy, Send Me No Flowers. This third season introduces two popular recurring characters: Movie star Dash Riprock (Larry Pennell), who takes a shine to Elly May (Donna Douglass), and beatnik Sheldon Epps (Alan Reed, Jr.), who comes to dig "Big Daddy Jed and his far-out family." The Clampetts may be considered the strangest family of millionaires ever to migrate to Beverly Hills, but they are never objects of ridicule. Jed (Buddy Ebsen) is a fount of mountain wisdom and common sense. Excitable Granny (Emmy-nominee Irene Ryan) holds strong to her mountain roots (although she strums a little rock and roll autoharp in "Flatt, Clampett, and Scruggs," and goes beatnik in "Cool School is Out"). Young 'uns Elly May and bumpkin cousin Jethro (Max Baer, Jr.) are more receptive to assimilation. This is the season in which Jethro, under the influence of James Bond, decides he wants to become a "double naught spy." As with The Official Second Season set, you have the option to watch each episode with the original sponsor openings and tags. This set also contains the corny but fun1993 reunion special, "The Legend of the Beverly Hillbillies," a where-are-they-now retrospective featuring Ebsen, Baer, and Douglass, as well as guest stars Reba McIntyre, Roy Clark, Ray Charles, Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor as their Green Acres characters, and, of all people, G. Gordon Liddy. Scorned by critics, The Beverly Hillbillies gets the last laugh. To paraphrase Granny: There are three things in life that improve with age: Corn squeezins, possum stew, and The Beverly Hillbillies. --Donald Liebenson

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