The Munsters
The Munsters
TV-G | 24 September 1964 (USA)

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  • Reviews

    Purely Joyful Movie!

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    It was OK. I don't see why everyone loves it so much. It wasn't very smart or deep or well-directed.

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    A movie that not only functions as a solid scarefest but a razor-sharp satire.

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    Watching it is like watching the spectacle of a class clown at their best: you laugh at their jokes, instigate their defiance, and "ooooh" when they get in trouble.

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    One look at that Gothic horror mansion you knew that the Munsters were one special family. Though the show only lasted two seasons it left some last memories and a feature film. Even the Addams family never got a feature film, the original Addamses that is.Meet Herman and Lily Munster Fred Gwynne and Yvonne DeCarlo. Herman was a creation of some scientist and he's modeled on the famous Frankenstein creation of Boris Karloff. He's also big and clumsy and stammers a lot. He makes a living at a mortuary the only place he won't frighten the clientele. Yvonne DeCarlo is a proper wife and dutiful daughter of a vampire Al Lewis. Both Gwynne and Lewis were in Car 54 Where Are You. Lewis with that New York Jewish speech pattern wasn't exactly Bela Lugosi. Gwynne and DeCarlo had a werewolf son Eddie played by Butch Patrick. He had some socialization issues as you can imagine.Two actresses played Marilyn Munster, Lily's nice Beverly Owen and Pat Priest. She was the 'ugly duckling' of the family. The Munsters had alternative standards as far as physical beauty. That gag kind of wore thin as Marilyn got so much attention from the male of he species.The Munsters were cute and kind of sweet. They clearly did not socialize much with their neighbors, but had their own kind of fun which they shared for two seasons with their viewers.

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    Credit where credit is due: Fred Gwynne, Yvonne De Carlo and Al Lewis are what keep you coming back to the Munsters. Yes, the look of the show (Universal Horror all the way) is great, the writing often clever, the numerous sight gags usually entertaining. But if you didn't have good (very good) acting from the leads this show would have tanked.Boiled down, the Munsters is a typical family sitcom in a bizarre setting. And while most of the episodes are fun, if feather-light, it didn't take long until the first clunker (#14: Grandpa Leaves Home). And that wasn't the last one but, thankfully, it's in the minority. The reason, again, is that Herman, Lily and Grandpa (along with the kids and numerous guest star appearances) are, frankly, endearing. You become so fond of them that some episodes actually become touching (Happy 100th Anniversary).Only 70 episodes but that was about the limit of what you could crank out without it becoming painful. Too many sitcoms run on past their welcome. This one managed not to.

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    Xander Seavy (RiffRaffMcKinley)

    "The Munsters" isn't quite as good as its contemporary, "The Addams Family," but it's still a great show-- just very different.In fact, the Munster/Addams comparison, I've come to realize, is totally unfair. As "AF" cast member Lisa Loring said on a DVD commentary, "the Addams Family is more like the Marx Brothers and the Munsters were like the 3 Stooges." That's a great way to sum it up. The humor on "The Munsters" is more in rimshot-oriented jokes ("Have you heard of our family doctor back in Germany? Dr. Frankenstein? He made me what I am today") and the bumbling goofiness of Herman. Lily is also a far more independent and formidable wife than Morticia, who's not afraid to bend Herman to her will, and she's played so perfectly by the late, great Yvonne de Carlo. Al Lewis is terrific as Grandpa, and Butch Patrick is probably the most grown-up of them all, the 1960s equivalent of Tommy Solomon in attitude and appearance. And the various Marilyns are interesting as well.However, a lot of the jokes on this show can be very corny and predictable, and it was starting to stagnate a little after the end of the first season. But it's still a very memorable show worth watching and laughing at.

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    Lee Eisenberg

    I'll say that "The Addams Family" was actually cleverer, but still, "The Munsters" definitely had its merits. Basically the story of a household in which the father, Herman (Fred Gwynne), is Frankenstein's monster, the mother, Lily (Yvonne DeCarlo), is a vampire, the son, Eddie (Butch Patrick), is a werewolf, the grandfather (Al Lewis) is Count Dracula, and the niece, Marilyn (played by two different people), is the ugly (make that "pretty") duckling in the family. While the Munsters' everyday routine is the same as everyone else's, everything that's normal to them (e.g., a house that looks like a Halloween party should be held there) is weird to the rest of the world, and vice versa. Every human who sees them freaks out, and yet the Munsters can never figure out why everyone finds them strange.It's completely silly, with a string of gruesome, sardonic jokes, but it's always really funny. Truly one show that you gotta admire.

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