Review by: Fusion3600
Posted on: October 25th, 2012
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Plot: What’s it about?

Ben Cartwright (Lorne Greene) founded his own ranch known as The Ponderosa, a cattle operation that provided a good standard of life for his family. Ben had three sons, each wildly different than the next, thanks in no small part to the fact that each one had a different mother. The youngest son is Little Joe (Michael Landon), who has a fiery temper and longs for excitement, while middle son Hoss (Dan Blocker) is more interested in hard work, so he loves the ranch life. Adam (Pernell Roberts) is the oldest son and he tends to favor culture over manual labor, so he also frequently years for time away from the ranch. As various folks pass by the ranch, some of the Cartwrights usually wind up involved in some kind of interaction with them. That can mean some exciting times off the ranch, a kind hearted lesson about life, or even the thrill of a new romance, so the Cartwright brood never really knows what to expect when guests arrive.

    With well over four hundred episodes, Bonanza was one of the longest running, most beloved shows in all of television. The premise was simple enough, a man and his sons working a ranch, but the show never failed to entertain. While some episodes were released in public domain collections, Bonanza now has an official release that lets fans enjoy this classic series in the proper order and in superb presentations. This release houses both volumes of the fourth seasons, so the bundle gives you all of the fourth season episodes in one convenient pack. As far as content, Bonanza was a consistent show if nothing else, so fans will find ample adventures worth taking again. The cast is great, with Lorne Greene, Pernell Roberts, Dan Blocker, and Michael Landon in the core roles, with a host of guest stars on tap throughout the season. There is a reason Bonanza was so popular and for fans of westerns, the show remains a source of solid entertainment. So if you’re a fan of westerns or classic television in general, Bonanza: Season Four is well worth hitting the dusty trail with.

Video: How does it look?

The episodes are presented in full frame, as intended. This was one of the earlier television shows presented in color and it looks terrific in this package. The visuals have been touched a little by the tolls of time, so there is some softness and debris, but on the whole, the show looks quite good. The colors really spring to life and makes the show pop, so fans will love seeing the show with such vivid hues. I saw no other issues to mention, just a great looking classic television series.

Audio: How does it sound?

The mono audio isn’t going to dazzle, but it gets the job done. I was pleased to find minimal signs of serious wear, so no worries over hiss or harshness here. The nature of mono means the soundtrack is rather basic, but the show never suffers from the lack of depth. The music and various sound effects come across well by mono standards, while dialogue is clear and never hard to understand at all.

Supplements: What are the extras?

You can listen to audio comments on select episodes, which is certain to delight fans. This release also includes rare photographs, bumpers & promo spots, and network ads.

Not Rated
CBS Productions
1725 min.

  • (1.33:1)
  • Video Codec: MPEG-2
  • Audio: Mono
  • 9 Disc Set
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Audio Commentary
  • Deleted Scene(s)
  • Featurette
  • Documentary
  • Digital Copy