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The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries - Season One (1977)

1 rating: 1.0
A movie directed by Don McDougall, Jack Arnold, Joseph Pevney, Keith J. Atkinson, and Stuart Margolin

The Hardy Boys MysteriesandThe Nancy Drew Mysteriesbegan in 1977 as separate series alternating in the same time slot on ABC. Early the following year, the casts combined, and in the fall of 1978 the Nancy Drew thread was dropped andThe Hardy Boys Mysteriescontinued … see full wiki

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1 review about The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries - Season...

Blast From The Past

  • Jun 16, 2005
Rating:
+1
The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries DVD features 14 episodes in this 2-disc set. Seven Nancy Drew episodes are on one disc, while the seven Hardy Boys episodes are on the other.

I've been a fan of the Nancy Drew books since I was a little girl. In fact, I read them all by the time I hit Junior High. I read a handful of the Hardy Boys books, as well.

When this show hit TV, I wasn't able to watch it clearly. I lived in a rural area, and the station that was airing the episodes was very fuzzy. But I was oh-so-intrigued by the haunting theme song! As a fan of the books, I yearned to be able watch the TV show-and squinted my eyes to try to make out the dialogue and the action.

I was delighted to find the Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries on DVD, and purchased it from Amazon.com Surprisingly, I enjoy the Hardy Boys episodes *much* more than the Nancy Drew ones. In fact, the glaring discrepancies between the Nancy Drew books and the TV episodes are downright irritating. For example, in the books, Ned Nickerson is an athletic college student that Nancy dates when he's in town; Ned sometimes joins Nancy and her friends for sleuthing, but isn't in every book. Hannah Gruen, the beloved Drew housekeeper who serves as a mother figure to Nancy, makes an appearance in every book. Bess Marvin and George Fayne are two female cousins who accompany Nancy on her adventures.

Yet, in the episodes on this DVD, Ned is now a shy, serious, bespectacled geek who works for Nancy's attorney father, Carson Drew. With way too much air-time, he's in every episode. Bess Marvin isn't in any episodes (in fact, she's never mentioned)-and fearless tomboy George, who is paired with Nancy (played by Pamela Sue Martin) in every episode-is a girly scaredy-cat. (In the books, Bess is actually the scaredy cat.) And housekeeper Hannah Gruen? Nowhere to be seen.

The Hardy Boy episodes are a bit more faithful to the original books, with the fearful character Chet Morton making the occasional appearance. Aunt Gertrude, the stern but loving older sister of Fenton Hardy (the father), is also featured. Feeling the need to "balance" the Yin/Yang element (I suppose), there is another character added for the TV show: Callie Shaw, a young female assistant to private detective Fenton Hardy.

On the DVD, each episode is 41 minutes long. There are no extras, save for a Parker Stevenson/Shaun Cassidy pin-up from Dynamite! Magazine. (Remember that one, gals?! Gosh, I had a huge crush on Shaun Cassidy, and was so jealous when my childhood friend got his lunch box AND album.) Another irritation is that the Hardy Boys DVD includes trashy previous of Miami Vice and other shows; I have to usher my 6 year old son out of the room or tell him to close his eyes! Sheesh.

There are some goofs in the episodes, as well. For example, the Hardy boys will be driving a van at night, but then the camera pans to a scene of them driving in broad daylight...then back to a night shot! In the Secret of the Jade Kwan Yin, one close-up focuses on a jade statuette. In another close-up, the statue looks completely different...as if it were made of plastic. In Wipe-Out, the boys go undercover and cleverly hide jewelry in an ice tray. One shot shows the jewelry encased in ice, while another one (a few seconds later) shows them dumping a mass of dry jewelry out of a completely dry ice tray. Still, I was utterly delighted with most of the episodes, especially the Pilot and The House With the Disappearing Floors.

Here are the 14 episodes and a short synopsis:

HARDY BOYS

Disc 1 Side A

1. The Mystery of the Haunted House (Pilot) - In this pilot episode, Joe and Frank Hardy (played by Shaun Cassidy and Parker Stevenson) find themselves involved with an amnesiac ex-soldier and the many people who are out to get him. The chase takes them to a club called The Haunted House, where they find mazes, mirrored rooms, trapdoors-and a killer.

2. The Mystery of Witches' Hollow - When the brothers travel to visit a family friend, a strange woman claims the man has disappeared and is the latest victim of the mysterious forest known as Witches' Hollow. The brothers are in for the fright of their lives as they try to rescue the man from the eerie shadows of a place said to be haunted.

3. The Disappearing Floor - This sci-fi adventure finds the boys doing research work for their P.I. father, which leads them into a case involving a mystifying house, a missing Russian scientist and a UFO. Even in another dimension, Joe and Frank must crack the case-or else.

4. The Flickering Torch Mystery - While doing routine investigation for their detective father, Joe and Frank uncover a part to murder a famous pop star. When the singer's sound engineer suddenly disappears, the young detectives become body guards in a race against the clock to save two lives. (Ricky Nelson guest stars as Tony Eagle)


Disc 2 Side B

5. The Mystery of the Flying Courier - Joe's singing debut hits a sour note when Frank recognizes a girl at the club who's been missing for years. What begins as a record piracy case leads a motley crew of shady music industry personalities-and maybe even murder.

6. Wipe-Out - When the brothers hit the beaches of Hawaii for a surfing contest, they find themselves victims in an outbreak of hotel robberies. The two join forces with local police and everyone's in for a surprise when the duo finally uncovers the truth. (Shaun Cassidy sings "Surfin' USA" in this episode)

7. The Secret of the Jade Kwan Yin - While snorkeling, Frank and Joe discover a wooden box containing a priceless-and stolen-Chinese treasure. What starts out as just another day at the beach leads into a dangerous smuggling ring where their lives are on the line.

NANCY DREW

Disc 1 Side A

8. The Mystery of Pirate's Cove (Pilot) - In the pilot episode, Nancy investigates a mysterious beam of light coming from a supposedly haunted lighthouse. When a "ghost hunter" and a curious professor try to stop her clue gathering, it's up to Nancy to throw a little light on the crime surrounding the desolate place.

9. The Mystery of the Diamond Triangle - Nancy witnesses an accident from a sail plane that ends with a car plunging into a ravine, but when she reports the tragedy to the sheriff, no one believes her since there's no evidence and the road has been closed for years. Nancy investigates, driven to find the secret to the missing accident scene.

10. The Secret of the Whispering Walls - Terror strikes close to home when a thief steals important documents from Nancy's aging aunts. But when does some sleuthing, a series of strange events-and even stranger neighbors-reveal that there may be even more danger lurking around the corner.

11. A Haunting We Will Go - The stage is set for mystery when Nancy and her friends decide to launch a 20 year old play for charity at the allegedly haunted Palace Theatre. Surprisingly, all the original cast members volunteer for the production, but when tragedy strikes backstage, it's up to Nancy to read between the lines.

Disc 2 Side B

12. Mystery of the Fallen Angels - A case of missing jewels leads Nancy to a rebellious biker gang. In order to crack this case, she's going to have to go undercover for the ride of her life. (Guest stars Jamie Lee Curtis and Robert Englund a.k.a. Freddy Krueger)

13. A luxury cruise gets turbulent when a world-famous mystery writer and his daughter are attacked on-board. With trouble mounting on the high seas, it's up to Nancy and George to stay one step ahead of the mystery assailant.

14. Mystery of the Sold Gold Kicker - There's danger on the playing field when a start quarterback (guest star Mark Harmon) is accused of murder. Now Nancy must kick-off an investigation of the crime before Chip is benched for good.

Too bad this DVD set doesn't include interviews with Shaun Cassidy, Parker Stevenson, and Pamela Sue Martin-or, at least, a documentary about the amazing popularity of the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew mystery books.

If the Nancy Drew episodes were as good as the Hardy Boys, I'd give this DVD series 4 stars. But with the cheesy acting of the Nancy Drew episodes and departure from the book characterizations-as well as the lack of extras-I must award this DVD series only 3 stars.

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