Can you still hear Thurl Ravenscroft’s voice saying “Where are those gold doubloons and pieces of eight?” Then here’s the DVD for which you have been waiting. Over fifty years later, you can now enjoy the entire first serial of the Hardy Boys on DVD.
I had the honor and the pleasure to be interviewed for one of the Bonus Features on the DVD (“From Dixon to Disney”). This was done in Feb. of 2006, while the DVD was released Dec. 19, 2006.
- “From Dixon to Disney” featurette (on Disc 1): starring James Keeline and Bill Cotter
- “The Hardy Boys Unmasked” featurette (on Disc 2): interview with the two stars by Leonard Maltin
- Production galleries
- Packaged in a collectible tin
- 8-page booklet with notes
- Color photo card
- Certificate of authenticity
- Intro to both discs by Leonard Maltin
“The Mystery of the Applegate Treasure” starred Tim Considine as Frank Hardy and Tommy Kirk as Joe Hardy. There is a charming interview on Disc 2 where you can learn more about their careers and what it was like to star in the Hardy Boys serial. Their interview actually takes place in the same studio building that the original show was filmed.
The interviews for the other featurette took place at the production company making the specials. I went in for the morning session and then met my colleague, Bill Cotter, who would be doing the other interview for this piece. We had a bite of lunch and then he went on to do his interview. Below you can see two pictures from that day–our lunch and having my microphone attached.
The interviews went well, although I have noticed that one mistake crept into the final edited version. I mispoke that day and gave the wrong date for McFarlane’s start with the Stratemeyer Syndicate. I remember stopping a sentence or two later and correcting myself–repeating the whole section again so they could use the correct info. However, my first take is what made it into the DVD. For the record, Leslie McFarlane joined the Syndicate in 1926.
There is also an omission to be noted in the featurette–I did speak about Harriet and Edna, Stratemeyer’s daughters, taking over the Syndicate at his death and Harriet’s role in the negotiations with Disney; however, they chose not to use that information. Those not in the know may get the impression that Edward Stratemeyer was still alive at the time of the Disney serial, but that isn’t true. I suppose that, in editing, it was deemed simpler to streamline some information. The omission is a shame, but not something I had any control over.
When all is said and done, it is an excellent DVD set. It is well worth the money and a “must have” for any series book collector. Those of you familiar with these tin Disney sets will know that some excellent material has been released in this format. This is one of the best and most nostalgic pieces for many baby boomers. Get yours today!