The DVD set of the complete series of “Shelley Duvall’s Tall Tales and Legends” is one of the few sets that are truly delightful and does not inspire a single sarcastic remark. These nine one-hour presentations have a nice live theater look and offer endearing versions of classic stories.
Seeing big stars from the 1985-1988 period that the series ran get into the spirit of these productions was a big part of the fun. Ed Begley, Jr., does a great job as meek school teacher Ichabod Crane in “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” and grizzled hirsute Ed Asner is a genuine hoot as the greedy and unethical father of “Darlin’ Clementine” from the miner ’49 era. This one also has future star Michael Richards play a Krameresque miner.
Other highlights include Steve Guttenberg as the uncivilized “Pecos Bill,” who is depicted as helping transform Texas from a civilized society into the Wild West and Elliott Gould as the wholesome “Casey at the Bat.”
In addition to offering stories that kids and their parents will enjoy, these shows should encourage the kids to trade in their i-phones and Wiis for a book for an afternoon. I personally am eager to read “The Legend of the Sleepy Hollow” again.
Anyone who would like to discuss this show is welcome to e-mail me at email@example.com.
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Review by John Stahl
John Stahl is a freelance legal writer who is also a fan of classic and cult television programs. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
David McCharen, Shelley Duvall, Stewart Duvall, Michael McKean, Lewis Arquette
Pecos Bill – Steve Guttenberg portrays Pecos Bill, the “King of the Cowboys,” in this rootin’ tootin’ epic. When his rowdy behavior gets him run out of town, he heads for Mexico and saves the state of Texas from drought. Also stars Rebecca De Mornay, Martin Mull and Megan Mullally.
Casey at the Bat – Elliott Gould stars as Casey Frank, a down-on-his-luck baseball player who follows his dreams to become the biggest star in the game. Carol Kane, Bob Uecker and Howard Cosell co-star in this spirited salute to America’s pastime.
Darlin’ Clementine – Shelley Duvall portrays Clementine, a lonely woman who takes care of everyone around her until her selfish father learns a valuable lesson. Ed Asner, David Dukes and Michael Richards also star in this tale based on the legendary folk song.
Johnny Appleseed – Johnny Appleseed (Martin Short) travels across the land with a cooking pot on his head and his pockets filled with apple seeds and shows that there’s nothing wrong with being different. Also stars Molly Ringwald and Rob Reiner.
Ponce de Leon – The search for youth has never been so much fun as Ponce (Michael York) teams up with Lucy (Sally Kellerman), the Lady Pirate, in the ultimate adventure.
John Henry – “On the night John Henry was born, lightning bolts shaped like nine-pound hammers filled the sky,” and from that day on, John Henry (Danny Glover) was known as the extraordinary boy who became an extraordinary man.
Davy Crockett – The multi-talented Mac Davis brings the story of America’s coonskin-capped pioneer to life. On the wild frontier, Davy Crockett earns a reputation for bravery and courage and proves that anything is possible.
Annie Oakley – Jamie Lee Curtis stars as the famous Annie Oakley “Little Miss Sure Shot” in this charming portrayal of the legendary markswoman. This enchanting tale also stars Brian Dennehy as Buffalo Bill Cody.
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