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The Movie:

As fresh and funny as the writing was throughout the seven seasons of "The Golden Girls", the show's laughs were also due in large part to the classic performances of its leading ladies. Bea Arthur's career took off with "All in the Family", the timeless television series produced by Norman Lear (who found incredible success in the 70's, producing such shows as "Good Times", "Sanford and Son" and "One Day at a Time".)

A spin-off to "All in the Family" (she was Edith's liberal, loud cousin), "Maude" (which ran six years) starred Arthur as Maude Findelay, a four-times married woman who lived in Tuckahoe, New York, with her husband Walter (Bill Macy), and adult daughter, Carol (Adrienne Barbeau). Conrad Bain ("Diff'rent Strokes") was perfect as Maude's conservative neighbor nemesis, and the two played off one another marvelously.

Loud, outspoken and often very, very funny, Arthur's character could be hysterically funny (a typical deadpan line from Maude to Arthur: "There's a thin line between love and hate...and you're erasing it.") in one scene and moving in the next. The series did tackle controversial issues such as aborton, pot, divorce and racism. Arthur certainly lead the way in terms of performances and Macy had terrific chemistry with her. Esther Rolle was also perfect as Maude's housekeeper (and the character was the subject of another spin-off, "Good Times"), as well. "Golden Girls" creator Susan Harris was a writer for the series, and "Girls" co-star Rue McClanahan played Maude's friend, Vivian.

1 Maude and the Psychiatrist
2 Doctor, Doctor
3 Maude Meets Florida
4 Like Mother, Like Daughter
5 Maude and the Radical
6 The Ticket
7 Love and Marriage
8 Flashback
9 Maude's Dilemma (1)
10 Maude's Dilemma (2)
11 Maude's Reunion
12 The Grass Story
13 The Slumlord
14 The Convention
15 Walter's 50th Birthday
16 Maude and the Medical Profession
17 Arthur Moves In
18 Florida's Problem
19 Walter's Secret
20 Maude's Good Deed
21 The Perfect Marriage
22 Maude's Night Out


VIDEO: "Maude" may appear rather dated in terms of sets, costumes and visuals in general at this point, but Sony Pictures Home Entertainment at least gives the show a fine presentation here, as the 1.33:1 full-frame effort looked crisp and clean throughout much of the show. Some slight shimmering and a couple of minor instances of artifacting were spotted here, but the elements otherwise looked to be in pretty good shape, considering the age of the series. Colors appeared bright and well-saturated, with no smearing or other issues.

SOUND: The mono soundtrack seemed clear and crisp, with no distortion or other issues.

EXTRAS: Nothing.

Final Thoughts: "Maude" may be a bit dated visually, but the show's clever writing and marvelous performances still hold up superbly and earn a lot of solid laughs. The DVD presentation doesn't offer any extras, but fine audio/video quality. Recommended.

DVD Information

Maude: Season 1
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
460 minutes
Subtitles: English
Rated NR
Dual Layer:Yes
Available At Amazon.com: Maude: Season 1 DVD