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All in the Family: Season 9 [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Carroll O'Connor , Jean Stapleton , Paul Bogart , Walter C. Miller    Universal, suitable for all   DVD

Price: 12.27
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  52 reviews
46 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hello Danielle! 27 Sep 2007
By andy8047 - Published on
This ninth and final season of CBS's legendary All In The Family is very much different than the previous ones. Danielle Brisebois(briz bwah) joins remaining original cast members the late Carroll O'Connor and Jean Stapleton as Stephanie Mills,a distant niece of Edith Bunker's(Stapleton) who had been abandoned by her widowed alcoholic father. Brisebois was brought in to fill the vacancies left by other original AITF cast members Rob Reiner and Sally Struthers who had departed in early 1978. Again,there's a new version of Archie(O'Connor) and Edith performing THOSE WERE THE DAYS by Lee Adams and Charles Strouse and a new version of the instrumental REMEMBERING YOU by O'Connor and Roger Kellaway. Also,O'Connor delivers his own closing announcement,"All In The Family was played to a studio audience for live responses." This is because unlike the previous seasons,there was no audience present while filming. Pre-recorded audience reactions were added to these episodes. This season premiered on September 24,1978 and a distant cousin brings Stephanie to the Bunkers' Queens,New York household. Archie and Edith even locate Stephanie's father(guest star Ben Slack) at a motel where he is staying. To avoid certain heartbreak,Edith books a flight for herself and Archie to California to spend Christmas with their daughter Gloria Bunker Stivic(special guest star Struthers) and her husband Michael(special guest star Reiner). Michael,enjoying his job as a college professor is separated from Gloria but they reunite at their Santa Barbara,CA apartment for 5 days for the sake of her parents. The Stivics were unable to come to New York since Mike was "hurting"(he was actually faking a bad back and claims he hurt it by lifting a heavy hibachi). Of course,Stephanie flew to California with the Bunkers and found a new playmate in the Stivics' son Joey. Mike's working too much resulted in the Stivics' separation and verge of divorce. In another episode,Archie and Edith spend a weekend at a cabin with Archie's buddy Barney Hefner(recurringly played by the recently departed Allen Melvoin) and Barney's wife Blanche(Estelle Parsons). AITF's spinoff The Jeffersons star Isabel Sanford reprises her character Louise Jefferson telling her former next door neighbors the Bunkers that someone finally bought the Jeffersons' old house which was subsequently rented by the Stivics. Edith lost her job at the Sunshine Home at the demand of a man whose resident mother just died. Edith let the woman die as she requested(she wanted no more treatment or life support). There was also a St. Patrick's Party at Archie's Place in the series finale. In the series' final scene,Edith tells Archie in their bed,"You're a pip,a real pip!". The camera zooms out from inside the bedroom to a view of the closed door. CBS aired AITF regularly for the final time on September 16,1979 and the following Sunday,the four-season spinoff ARCHIE BUNKER'S PLACE premiered. Norman Lear,who had Americanized the British-based TILL DEATH DO US PART making it AITF,had turned over his title of executive in charge of production to Alan Horn. Like Lear did,Horn assumed the duties for Lear's other created series like TJ and GOOD TIMES,the latter which ended in 1979 as well. Interestingly,like NBC's The Cosby Show would do later,AITF held the #1 Nielsen spot for 5 consecutive seasons.
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars These Are the Days... the final days of All in the Family - Episode Summaries 19 Feb 2011
By Reconnecting To My Childhood - Published on
The ninth and (sniff) final season of All in the Family is finally being released on DVD by SHOUT! Factory. Thank you so much Shout! for picking up the pieces after Sony left the release of this series in shambles. I certainly hope you obtain the rights to Archie Bunker's Place, not as classic as AITF but still a fun series and many people would love seasons two, three and four on DVD

After "little goil" and "meathead" left for California at the end of last season this season finds Archie and Edith starting out alone. Soon enough, in the first episode as a matter of fact, Danielle Brisebois joins the cast as Stephanie and adds a fun dynamic by giving us a look at Archie and Edith as parents of a young child (I always watch these episodes and think of them as a look back on what it might have been like for Gloria growing up, despite Archie having mellowed considerably since then). After a truly great eighth season, though one with many multipart arcs, the final season switches back to more of a one topic per episode format with the exception of the spectacular Christmas episode.

This final season contains the following 24 episodes (27 if you count the restrospective):

Little Miss Bunker (9/24/1978)
Edith's cousin Floyd abandon's his nine year old daughter Stephanie on the bunker's doorstep.

End in Sight (10/1/1978)
Archie wallows in self-pity after an ominous spout is found on his liver during an insurance physical.

Reunion on Hauser Street (10/8/1978)
The Bunker's try to reunite Barney Hefner with his wife Blanche.

What'll We Do with Stephanie? (10/15/1978)
When Floyd fails to pick Stephanie up as promised the Bunkers debate keeping her.

Edith's Final Respects (10/22/1978)
When her Aunt Rose dies, Edith is the only mourner at her funeral. (A lot of Edith's relatives seem to die throughout the course of the series).

Weekend in the Country (10/29/1978)
A weekend at Barney and Blanche's cottage goes wrong when a game of monopoly sparks a fight and Archie spends the night with Barney and Edith with Blanche.

Archie's Other Wife (11/5/1978)
Archie wakes up at an American Legion Convention to find a beautiful african-american flight attendant in his hotel bed who swears they were married the night before.

Edith Vs. The Bank (11/19/1978)
Edith wants to buy Archie a new television for their 30th anniversary but when the store won't let her sign alone and the bank won't give her a loan because she's a housewife she arrives home upset only to find Archie may be sexist himself.

Return of the Waitress (11/26/1978)
When Harry hires the waitress who Archie once cheated on Edith with to work at Archie Bunker's Place, Edith finally confronts her.

Bogus Bills (12/3/1978)
Edith gets arrested for using fake ten dollar bills she got from Archie Bunker's Place.

The Bunkers Go West (12/10/1978)
Archie, Edith and Stephanie make the trip out west to visit Mike and Gloria when they can't come home for Christmas because Mike has supposedly hurt his back.

California, Here We Are (12/17/1978)
The Bunkers arrive in California and get to see Mike and Gloria's new home and little Joey. It isn't long before we learn that Mike and Gloria are actually putting on an act and that the real reason they didn't come home is because they have separated.

California, Here We Are (2) (12/17/1978)
After Mike and Gloria get in a fight on Christmas eve Edith, and soon after Archie, learn of their marital troubles. Things get more complicated when it is revealed it may not be all Mike's fault. Though Christmas morning brings a reconciliation of sorts there is much to be worked out.

(All in the Family always chose to do their most series episodes over Christmas. Edith's lump in her breast, the draft dodger, the death of Beverly Lasalle. Odd choice but it always seemed to work for them)

A Night at the PTA (1/7/1979)
Edith is supposed to sing a duet with Stephanie for the PTA recital but when she develops laryngitis Archie steps in. (Really how much worse could he be?)

A Girl Like Edith (1/14/1979)
Edith invites butcher Klemmer over for dinner but when he brings a Russian girl who looks just like Edith she begins to realize he may be more interested in her than his date.

The Appendectomy (1/21/1979)
On the eve of Stephanie's tenth birthday she begins getting serious pains in her side. When Dr. Shapiro says she will need an appendectomy Archie gets in an argument over wanting the older more experienced Dr. Shapiro to do the operation. Can Archie put aside his issues this once for Stephanie's sake?

Stephanie and the Crime Wave (1/28/1979)
Archie and Edith discover Stephanie has been stealing their, and her teacher's, favorite items. A deeper psychological issue emerges though when she tells them its because she wants to remember them when she inevitably leaves.

Barney the Golddigger (2/4/1979)
Barney Hefner is suicidal when Blanche leaves him again, until Archie sets him up with an overweight but wealthy woman.

The Return of Archie's Brother (2/11/1979)
Archie's brother Fred visits for dinner to discuss a new business but when his 18 year old wife Katherine may have more in common with Stephanie than with Edith the night takes a turn for the awkward. (An episode up to the classic AITF standard, IMO)

Stephanie's Conversion (2/18/1979)
When Edith is told that Stephanie is Jewish she and Archie disagree on how to raise her. Another issue arises when Stephanie reveals she kept her background secret in fear of Uncle Archie not loving her anymore. (Another GREAT episode)

Edith Gets Fired (2/25/1979)
After agreeing with an elderly woman's wishes to sit with her while she passes away, Edith is fired from the sunshine home and verbally attacked by her angered family members.

This is where the All in the Family Retrospective hour and a half special would fit (3/4/1979)

The Family Next Door (3/11/1979)
Louise Jefferson returns to enlist the help of Edith in selling their old house next door. Archie hopes this will allow him to keep the neighborhood white.

The Return of Stephanie's Father (3/25/1979)
Edith's cousin Floyd returns offering to let the Bunker's keep Stephanie for $1000 in cash. When his offer turns into a threat to take Stephanie away unless he is paid the Bunker's have to think fast if they want to keep Stephanie where she belongs.

Too Good Edith (4/8/1979)
St. Patrick's day is approaching and will be a busy day for Archie Bunker's Place. Edith gets sick and is told to stay off her feet but wants to be there for Archie who keeps asking for her to help prepare. When her illness worsens the doctor arrives and blames Archie for forcing Edith to work despite doctor's orders only to learn Edith never told Archie. Archie goes upstairs and lays by Edith's side telling her how much she means to him.

A good season to go out on. The three part story where the Bunker's go west and reunite with Mike and Gloria only to learn they have been separated is truly the highlight of this season much like the Thanksgiving episode in the first season of Archie Bunker's Place. Anytime the original cast gets back together there's something electric, they are just perfect together and feel like family. Also this season are the wondeful episodes where the Bunker's deal with Stephanie in emotional moments in several episodes, The Family Next Door really helps tie the final season to the first and finally there is Too Good Edith, which is in retrospect a tuly touching episode to end on with a final scene that really sums up the series.

Special Features:

Not technically a special feature but supposedly being included as one, the All in the Family 200th episode retrospective. Norman Lear hosts an affectionate look back on high points of the groundbreaking and much beloved series.

While not as classic as early seasons of the show, and not quite the same without Rob Reiner and Sally Struthers the show still retains a heart and has its share of laughs. Five Stars for me but if by some chance someone is new to All in the Family and looking at this, go get the earlier seasons first, two is the strongest season to start with and three is ironically a close second, IMO and based on initial ratings anyways.

P.S. Why isn't Stephanie on the box cover? No arguments here so long as it's released but I feel she should be, maybe I'm the only one.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thanks Shout Factory !!!!! 17 May 2011
By Robert Smith - Published on
Thank you Shout Factory for making "All In The Family" season nine available.When Sony dropped the ball after making only seasons 1-6 available,Shout Factory came to the rescue and made the remaining seasons 7-9 available to all fans of the series to complete their full series collections.I now own the complete series.I received my copy of season 9 yesterday,and could'nt be happier.The first 6 seasons released by Sony have always had a video quality somewhat dark and soft.The Shout Factory releases are bright,sharp,crisp and clear.The packaging,video and audio quality,and price of the set are all great.What more could you ask for ?.I miss Gloria and Mike Stivic in season 9,although Stephanie (Danielle Brisebois),brings a fresh face to the cast.Now at long last,fans of this classic series can own the entire series.If you love this great show,buy it now,you simply can't go wrong.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Coasting To The Finish 30 May 2011
By Zachary Koenig - Published on
The ninth and ultimately final season of All In The Family is sort of a conundrum. On one hand, the entire season is weak compared to earlier efforts. However, at the same time, by this point in the show the main characters (Archie & Edith) are so well-developed that just their presence alone is often enough to carry episodes.

The main problem with Season Nine is the absence of Mike ("Meathead") & Gloria Stivic, now gone to California with grandson Joey. Both characters only appear in one special Christmas episode. Thus, long gone are the staple Michael/Archie arguments that comprised the bulk of the show's humor.

As a result, this season is as much (if not more) a drama than a comedy. The inclusion of little Stephanie adds some heartfelt moments, while Archie is given more of a "heart" than ever before. I really have to give credit to show creator Norman Lear in this respect. He knew that comedy is fleeting, so he slowly transformed AITF into more of a dramatic program that really allowed it to survive for 3-4 decent seasons once the gut-busting had run dry.

It is a little disappointing that this wonderful show wasn't given the send-off it deserved. The final scene is touching, but that whole episode should have been an AITF celebration, not a stand-alone plot.

Overall, this is a decent season that does add some significant wrinkles to the show and its history. Clearly, the writers were in uncharted territory with the major casting changes, but they still managed to coast to a pretty good final season. Enough so that the sequel "Archie Bunker's Place" actually seems like a decent proposition for viewing.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Low Point of the Series, But a Few Choice Moments 22 May 2011
By Kasey G - Published on
It has taken forever, but "All in the Family" is FINALLY complete on DVD, thanks to Shout Factory. They accomplished in 8 months what Sony couldn't do in 4 years.

Yes, Season 7 was botched due to video transfer/authoring issues that made for a bizarre, jagged-looking picture, but Shout rectified that with Season 8 and the video quality on this set is just as excellent.

Personally, I had not planned on adding this release to my collection since I believe the Season 8 finale was the perfect send-off for the series (and one of TV's best and most appropriate finales ever IMO) but being a completist and wanting to support Shout Factory, I decided to get it after all. Twenty bucks for 23 episodes plus a 90-minute retrospective IS a good deal when a night at the movies including gas and parking will cost you that much or more.

I admit this season is perhaps the low point of the series, with the addition of Danielle Brisebois as little Stephanie whom the Bunkers adopt. Archie has mellowed and without a good sparring partner, the character isn't what he used to be. Mike and Gloria moved to California last season (Reiner and Struthers appear in an hour-long episode when Archie and Edith trek to California for a visit). But the worst of "All in the Family" is still as good as, or even better than the best of something like "Two and a Half Men".

My favorite episode of this set is "Edith Gets Fired" in which our beloved volunteer at the Sunshine Home is relieved of her duties because she obeys a dying woman's last wish to die with dignity. Even though Jean Stapleton was tiring of her role at this point, she still delivers top-notch performances. Sitting alone in the kitchen trying to reconcile what happened, her expressions speak volumes without saying a word. A testament to a great actress. Watch for Archie's initial shock when he learns Edith did nothing to save a life--also priceless.

Another big draw for me in owning this was to get the 200th episode 90-minute celebration. Not content with just being a standard series retrospective/clip show (like the 1991 20th Anniversary special), here we see couples from every state arriving in formal wear to the taped gala event. It's odd hearing their names announced as if they were celebrities arriving at the Emmys instead of just everyday Mom-and-Pops-from-Middle-America. Stranger still is the "after-party" footage of these various average-Joes hob-knobbing with the cast, dancing, engaging in polite cheek-kissing and hand-shaking. Look for Penny Marshall there with hubby Rob Reiner sans toupee, and Jean Stapleton's inspired choice of evening wear: a Japanese silk kimono.

I am really grateful to Shout Factory for finally completing this series in such a short time. Now we just need to get them started on the rest of "Maude".
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