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Reviews & Ratings for
"Leave It to Beaver" More at IMDbPro »

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50 out of 55 people found the following review useful:

The Serious Side of Beaver

Author: Florida2 from Fort Lauderdale
4 June 2005

During a recent TVLand "Top 10 Characters You Love To Hate" special, a well-known (under 40) female actress was quoted as saying that she believed sneaky Eddie Haskell to be the only character in the show that she remembered for resembling "a real person".

Though I'll agree that Ward and June might come across at times as being unrealistically conservative (for example, their sitting at home in their Sunday best for no reason) her comment was something I found hard to understand, since, Beaver was known to be the first show of it's kind to explore such teen issues as, alcoholism, divorce, and troubled teens.

It seems that many viewers also do not understand the significance of Ward's frequent reference (often shown as his sad remembrance) to his own harsh encounters with his strict Father, who made a point of "taking him out to the woodshed" to let Ward know "just what his Father meant", and how Ward, as a Father himself, deciding that he would not do the same when teaching his own sons right from wrong.

While the conservative side of the show might be a bit too much for some, in the end there is nothing wrong with that behavior either - it's a far better lifestyle than what we see in today's world, where parents sometimes see their children as a liability rather than a blessing.

Those who regularly watch Beaver know that while the corn does sometimes grow high in Mayfield, the trueness of the show's stories is what makes Beaver the timeless show that many still enjoy almost a half century after it's debut.

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46 out of 51 people found the following review useful:

Still the Beaver after all these years.

Author: Junker-2 from Wisconsin
27 October 2002

It is easy to criticize "Leave it to Beaver" today for being an overly romanticized look at family life in the late 50s/early 60s. Because, well, it is an overly romanticized look at family in the late 50s/early 60s. But so what? This is a well written, well acted sitcom. I love it for the show that it is and I don't worry about the more realistic show it could have been.

Ward and June Cleaver are raising two sons: Wally and Theodore, who everyone calls by the nickname "Beaver." (To answer an earlier reviewer, the nickname came from older brother Wally who couldn't pronounce "Theodore" when his little brother was born, instead pronouncing it "Beaver.)

Beaver is definitely not a Bart Simpson, constantly making trouble and outwitting his dad. No, Beaver is a kid who gets into trouble usually because one of his friends (Larry, Richard or Gilbert) talks him into it. It is then usually up to Ward to help straighten the situation out and gently but firmly teach Beaver the lesson to be learned.

Wally and June are equally as important. Wally is the older brother we all wish we had. And who else but June could look so perfect while fixing up a batch of our favorite cookies?

One of the biggest reasons why the show was popular then and is still popular today, however, is the supporting cast. Eddie Haskell. ("And might I add Mrs. Cleaver, that is a lovely blouse you are wearing.") Fred Rutherford. ("See you in the salt mines, Ward.") Larry Mondello. Miss Landers. Mary Ellen Rogers. Gus the Fireman. All have endured for more than 40 years and become permanent fixtures in our pop culture.

Overly romanticized? Sure. But so what. Years from now when people have forgotten almost all of the sitcoms airing today, The Beaver will still be bringing smiles to our faces.

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40 out of 41 people found the following review useful:

Might Have Worked as "Leave It To Wally, Too!

Author: jwrowe3 from Tampa, FL
19 July 2002

When I was young, way back in the 1960's I never really dug this show. It was too 'predictable'. In the first five minutes we meet the Cleavers, then in the next 15, Beaver has screwed up, and the last few minutes of the show, we get a good lesson on 'cause and effect' from Ward. Everybody laughs, credits roll, and we get to see Wally and Beaver walking home and a brand new De Soto go by in the street (Chrysler, replacing Ford Motor Company, sponsored the show from about 1959, onward and used the closing credits to get a product placement shot in.) And as I was a kid at the time, I never enjoyed seeing other kids get into trouble.

Now that I'm in my forties, I find the show hysterical. The exasperated look that Ward and June get when something happens, Wally's comments, and the dealings with all the Cleavers friends are priceless.

Wally's come backs of 'Aw, heck, Beaver', and 'Don't be a creep, or something.' Crack me up. You can always count on a great line from Tony Dow in every episode.

The story lines were fairly typical fifties fluff, with a few exceptions. There is one that deals with an alcoholic handyman that Ward knows, that frankly could be re-shot today, and not feel 40 plus years old. I recently saw one, where Beaver joins a record club, and forgets to send back a card to cancel the next shipment of records. Hands up, out there, how many of us do that today with our CD and DVD club selection cards?

A true, kindhearted, and well written classic to be enjoyed by the whole family.

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31 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

The "Facts of Life" of Family Sitcoms

Author: lugonian from Kissimmee, Florida
21 November 2001

"Leave It to Beaver" (1957-1963) is a family show set in the suburban town of Mayfield that focuses on the Cleaver family: Ward (Hugh Beaumont), father and accountant; June (Barbara Billingsley), wife and stay-at-home Mom; and their two boys, Wally (Tony Dow) a teenager, and their youngest, Theodore, better known to everyone as "Beaver" (Jerry Mathers). While television of the 1950s and '60s had its share of family shows during its black and white age, including "Father Knows Best" with Robert Young and Jane Wyatt; "The Donna Reed Show" (with Donna Reed and Carl Betz); "Dennis the Menace" (starring Jay North); and later, the long running series, "My Three Sons" (1960-1972) with Fred MacMurray, it seemed unlikely that "Leave It to Beaver" would become the one sit-com to survive and continue to air on television, whether locally or on cable, decades after its concluding episode in 1963. The aforementioned family comedy shows had its share of reruns before slowly disappearing to Limbo, replaced by newer programs to its Color- oriented viewers, but this innocent black and white show which was done on film and not on video tape and to date never colorized to attract younger viewers, still entertains as is. "Leave It to Beaver" geared to its younger viewers when first aired, but today, the children who loved it back then are either adults or grandparents currently sharing their TV memories with their young ones. And the tradition continues.

Like most long-running shows, this one lasting six seasons, the earlier episodes are the best, mixing comedy, charm and well scripted dialog. It's obvious that the writer or writers who developed this program had fond memories of what it's like being a child, for that many of the show's characters, mainly children, could easily be identified by someone we at one time had know in our youth, one character in particular being Judy Henson, the school's pony tailed tattle-tale, teacher's pet and know-it-all. Beaver's closest friend during the first couple of seasons was the chubby Larry Mondello, while Wally's pals were Chester, Tooey and the conniving Eddie Haskell. Over the years, characters have come and gone, but the writers managed to find new friends for Beaver while they kept and expanded the Eddie Haskell character, played to perfection by Ken Osmond, one of the most memorable and "smooth" characters created and developed. Along the way, Chester and Tooey were just phased out, and a new character, Clarence "Lumpy" Rutherford (Frank Bank) stepped in. At first, Lumpy was the neighborhood bully who hounded Wally and the Beav, to eventually became one of Wally's closest friends.

With each passing season viewers got to see the show's new opening, watching the boys growing and maturing to young adults by season six. During the final season, the instrumental theme song remained the same, though jazzed for its final season (1962- 63). By then, Beaver, the central titled character has turned 14, losing his innocent and boyish charm and becoming least interesting character. With the writers sensing this, the scripts placed Beaver in support in several episodes while stories revolved around more on Wally and his friends. There were even segments in which either Lumpy or Eddie would have almost an entire episode, but when Beaver became the central character, it lacked something, becoming mediocre episodes. By mid season, Beaver would start becoming more interested in girls. After 235 episodes, the Cleaver family went into retirement.

The amazing aspect about this program is the development of its characters, not only the central ones but the supporting crew. Aside from Ken Osmond's ever so polite Eddie, who's well mannered in front of the adults and a "big mouth, wise guy" to his pals, there's Richard Deacon as Fred Rutherford, Lumpy's father; the charming Sue Randall as Miss Landers, Beaver's teacher; Burt Mustin as Gus, the fireman; Beaver's other friends including Stanley Fafara as Whitey Whitney, who appeared occasionally through the show's six seasons; Stephen Talbot as Gilbert, and Richard Correll as Richard Rickover. The show might have its share of contradiction, there was a Violet Rutherford, Fred's daughter/ Lumpy's sister, who disappeared, leaving Lumpy the Rutherfordf's only "offspring," while Gilbert Bates introduced as the only child of his widowed father, to suddenly have a mother and sister in later episodes who never appear.

Aside this being a comedy show, "Leave It to Beaver" does take time out for some tender moments. In almost every episode, after either Wally or the Beav, or both, get tangled up with problems, whether it be their fault or not, there is usually a good father to son(s) lecture, along with the moral lesson to what's occurred. One in particular line recited by Ward (Hugh Beaumont) to his wife, June, that stands out is, "The way to get your children's love is to first earn their respect." Occasionally mother June would have her moment of truth with her boys as well, giving them the lesson, value and facts of life, something currently missing in today's TV family sitcoms. And even when the parents are in the wrong, this is one of those rare cases in which the TV Dad or Mom will come out and admit it, showing its viewers that even the parents aren't perfect, but they do what's best for their children as well as learning from their own mistakes.

There are many classic episodes, the one hailed the best where Beaver gets trapped in a billboard soup bowl. Regardless of its age, "Leave It to Beaver" is harmless fun, good family viewing. There was even a 1983 reunion show, "Still the Beaver," along with a new up-to-date series, "The New Leave It to Beaver" (1985-1989). While it's good seeing those familiar faces again, a little older and slightly wiser, but minus the deceased Hugh Beaumont, who is sorely missed, nothing comes close to this original series.

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23 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

This Show Has Stood The Test Of Time!!!

Author: Dave Rowland from Markham, Ontario
15 April 1999

Leave It To Beaver will always be one of my all-time favorite shows. I can remember coming home for lunch each day from school and watching Leave It To Beaver at 12.00 o,clock . It has been on the same channel(The New VR) & time slot for over 25yrs. I still love watching it now into my thirtys. This show has stood the test of time, and should still for generations to come.

There were some shows that were not as good as others. But there are some that are classics!! A few of my best ones are:

1) The Haircut: This is the one when Beaver keeps losing his lunch money. And when Ward gives him money for a hair cut, he loses the money again, he asks Wally to give him the hair cut. Wally really scalps him.

2) Wally,s Car: This is the episode when Wally buys a car for $25dollars. The car needs alot of work on it, so he starts to take it all apart. Ward gets mad & tells Wally to get rid of it. He decides to sell it for parts & makes alot more money that the $25.00 bucks he paid for it. Ward in the meantime has made arrangement to have the car towed away. When the man shows up to pick it up he says one of the funniest lines. "It Looks Like A Fish Thats Been Boned!!" This is a great show.

3) The Younger Brother: Beaver trys out for the junior boys basketball team but the coach soon realizes that Beaver is not the same kind of player that Wally was. He gets cut from the team. When Ward & Fred Rutherford decide to drop in on one of his practises they find out that he,s been cut from the team.

There are so many more great shows that I could have listed. Out of all of the cast members, I would have loved to met the late Hugh Beaumont. He was excellent as Ward Cleaver & is sadly missed.

It will be a really sad day if this show ever stops showing reruns. May it live on forever.....

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25 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

who thinks this stuff up?

Author: The_Light_Triton (Black_triton14@hotmail.com) from In a Chair in my room
21 July 2005

Leave it to beaver is remarkable. i still wonder why people never make clean humored shows like this. all it is on TV nowadays is sexual jokes and just plain old B.A.D.

Theodore "beaver" cleaver is the average American boy. he likes baseball, he has an older brother, and he's got friends who are total dummies. and he's always doing something, and learning something at the same time, with a little humor and funny comments you only find in readers digest.

when i heard of this show at first, i thought it was a normal show, but when i saw it for the first time last summer, i thought it was hilarious! if you remember the show from the 50's and 60's, NowTV has it at 6:30 every weekday. if you haven't seen it, you should. then you'll know what a real family show is.

this is a 10/10, dude

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19 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

A SHOW THAT 'PLAYS' ACROSS THE YEARS.....

Author: gary renfield (gary_renfield@email.com) from NEW JERSEY, USA
18 June 1999

Leave it to Beaver is one of the classic sit-coms of all time. It is timeless and has had meaning for every generation that has watched it since its inception. It is in that rare category of show that will be shown forever. Like "I Love Lucy" or "The Dick van Dyke Show", or "The Brady Bunch (although I call this one a cheap rip-off)", or "The Mary Tyler Moore Show"---THE BEAVER IS AMONG THE BEST OF THE BEST, completely watchable and understandable with concepts that are universal to all and can be understood across the years.

When my young children discovered it, valuable lessons were learned. We laughed at the "messes" Beaver got in, usually with the help of friends talking him into it. We all learned to trust our judgment and not be led into unnecessary trouble. If there was trouble out there Beaver would find it. Thanks to the Beaver, mine have had a little more trouble finding it than they might have otherwise. Lots of laughs and a lesson to be learned every show.

Please check my comments for "Still the Beaver", (a many years later continuation), and if you get the chance tune into it for some "Cleaver's: the next generation action". It was done with love and it was a wonderful job.

PS--I was surprised to learn (from the imdb info on 'beaver') that GWEN RUTHERFORD (fred's wife/lumpy's mom) was played by MAJEL BARRETT (RODDENBERRY) of later Star Trek fame. Live and learn.......

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20 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Still the All-American Family

Author: raysond from Chapel Hill, North Carolina
15 June 2000

For years repeats of Leave It To Beaver were seen on WTBS and WGN out of Chicago during the 1980's,but it still is one of the heartwarming family shows around,and it still is to this day. Jerry Mathers' role as The Beaver was just that: a kid who always had a knack for getting into all sorts of trouble with his friends,but it was always big brother Wally(played by Tony Dow) to bail him out,and it was Ward,the Father(played by Hugh Beaumont)that gave Beaver advise on some things,most of the time giving him the business,right in front of June(played by Barbara Billingsley). The character that really gave them the business was no other than that creepy Eddie Haskell(played by Ken Osmond) who would be polite to them one minute,and getting Wally into some mischief(as Beaver) the next. The show itself,had the boys learning about morals and values and their father always giving them the opportunity to do their best and to stay straight while they kept things together. The show itself was side-splitting hilarious indeed(especially the episodes where Beaver falls into a soup bowl poster with Larry Mondello of all people,and the time where they spike Wally's birthday party with Beaver's friends Gilbert and Whitey getting him into some very serious trouble,and finally getting even with Eddie Haskell once and for all!!!)

Interesting Note about Beaver: The show was on two different networks at the time: 1st,it was on CBS for two seasons in classic black and white producing 78 episodes from October 4,1957 until June 25,1959. CBS canceled "Leave It To Beaver" in 1959,but in the fall of that year the show moved to ABC-TV where it remained for the next four seasons from October 3,1959 until June 20,1963 producing an astounding 156 episodes. A total of 234 episodes were produced,all in black and white for Revue Studios.

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12 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

It's just a nice show.

Author: (llihilloh)
20 July 2002

"Leave it to Beaver" is one of the better older shows. I wouldn't say that it's my favorite, but because of when it was created I give it credit and lets just say that when it's on TV Land, I won't change the channel.

1957. Ahh, what a great year. By watching a few episodes of this show, I would guess that it was created later than when it actually was. It wasn't too ahead of its time, but it definitely stood out from the others. "Beaver" is so pleasant and peaceful. It's nice (yet sometimes frustrating) knowing that each and every episode will end happily ever after, so to speak.

I like the cast, especially Tony Dow, but there's something that bugs me about Barbara Billingsley. Overall, the cast fits nicely together and accomplishes to put together a few good seasons.

The writing is alright - a little bland, a little silly, but still enjoyable. I like "Leave it to Beaver" because it's a show where nothing bad, nothing inappropriate will ever occur, and hey, it's nice to see kids saying "gee" and "gosh, mom". (That just makes me laugh a little every time I hear that from the Beaver.)

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15 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Classic Television: Leave it to beaver.

Author: Mike_Tee_Vee (sadako13666@yahoo.com) from Sacramento, CA
16 October 2004

Leave it to Beaver (1957-1963) was one of the proto-typical television

sitcoms of it's era. Pure American pop culture. The tales of Theodore

Cleaver, his adolescent brother Wally and the rest of the Cleavers are

documented over a six year period. Everyone out there in T.V. land

watched the brothers grow up. Never really a big ratings grabber, the series ended when the "Beaver" got too old for people to really care about.

Now after years in syndication, the Leave it to Beaver cult has grown and

found an even larger audience thirty years later when Hollywood produced

a feature length film based upon this sitcom (the new June Cleaver was too

hot for the movie). But I digress. Twenty years after the last episode, a

new series featuring the principal cast members was made revolving around

them and their children.

Pure white-bred middle class family that many people today wished this

country would return to. If you ever wanted to see what life was

presumably like back in the latter half of the "nifty fifties", then this series will satisfy your curiosity.

I'm Mike Tee Vee. Talk to you next time!

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