Leave It to Beaver (TV Series 1957–1963) Poster

(1957–1963)

User Reviews

Add a Review
62 Reviews
Sort by:
Might Have Worked as "Leave It To Wally, Too!
jwrowe319 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.
49 out of 50 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
This Show Has Stood The Test Of Time!!!
Axiom-215 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.....
26 out of 27 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
The Serious Side of Beaver
Florida24 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.
56 out of 62 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Still the Beaver after all these years.
Junker-227 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.
52 out of 58 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
9/10
The "Facts of Life" of Family Sitcoms
lugonian21 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.
38 out of 42 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
A wonderful mix of nostalgia and relevance
narnia42 February 2011
Leave it to Beaver has been somewhat maligned for representing an idealized, almost utopian view of the 1950's (although half the episodes aired in the next decade) where everyone is in his place... the sons go to the school dances and participate in sports and take the girls out on nice, proper dates (as well as always addressing their father as "sir"), the father goes to work and comes back to read the paper, and the wife is in, you guessed it, the kitchen. Among certain circles "June Cleaver" is seen as a dirty name.

If you watch the series, however, the show is much more than its reputation. Ward and June Cleaver are not the perfect parents, they are merely very good parents. It almost should be remembered that the world is seen through the eyes of Beaver Cleaver, the show's star. Keeping that in mind, it shouldn't be a surprise that we rarely see the parents argue (and also why we never learn what Ward's job actually is) and the world in general is seen as a pretty friendly place. The family system is very idealized and it's refreshing to watch. The show has a nostalgic vibe no matter what the age of the viewer (my father was a toddler when it aired and I can still feel nostalgic about it) because it does idealize values that are still cherished by people all over the world- decency, honesty, responsibility, family... the Cleavers are great with all these things just about every episode. It's also a very comfortable show... it isn't aiming for laughs that will put you on the floor laughing, but it will consistently get a chuckle out of people.

Because the Cleavers are idealized, some may see the show as "dated" because the 21st century has a more cynical approach to family. This is not to say that television that strives to show a realistic family situation is bad or wrong, only that showing an idealized version of the family isn't wrong either. What is often overlooked, however, is that many issues are addressed throughout the series run. Some things that may have been more acceptable in that era are frowned upon in LitB, and serious issues are dealt with throughout the series. Racism, alcoholism, divorce, and more that would surprise those who know the show only be reputation. Very often other children would talk about their father beating them (something Ward absolutely never did... not even spankings), and although these lines are often played for laughs there is a definite somber tone as well. And as a younger person watching the show, I see the same basic social issues being dealt with by Beaver and his brother Wally as kids and even adults deal with today. The things that Beaver or Wally do wrong every week (the show has one basic formula, but it works well) may seem small and petty in comparison to what many of us have done, but many of the same principles are involved in the reasons behind the wrong actions and the solutions. So in this way, Leave it to Beaver is both tremendously old-fashioned and relevant to any culture in which humans are involved.

As far as specifics about the cast, they're all iconic characters with the nasty, conniving Eddie Haskell being one of the greatest TV character ever. Ward's wisdom is always a nice treat, and I believe that June Cleaver has more depth and strength than she's given credit for (there are a few times when you wonder who wears the pants in the family!). One of the biggest drawbacks of the show is the older Beaver in the later seasons. He's still saying the same lines that are supposed to be cute and innocent, the problem is Mathers wasn't cute and innocent anymore, he was a teenager. That's partly why the show finally ended with the cast moving on to different things.

So all in all, it's a show that I can't recommend enough.
12 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
who thinks this stuff up?
The_Light_Triton21 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
28 out of 31 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A SHOW THAT 'PLAYS' ACROSS THE YEARS.....
renfield5418 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.......
20 out of 22 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Still the All-American Family
raysond15 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.
22 out of 25 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
Thank you!
eggartrealty23 March 2011
A big thank you to everyone that worked on this show. I have very fond memories "Leave it to Beaver." Growing up in the early 1970's I watched reruns of this show on a local TV channel every afternoon. Beaver and Wally feel like best friends when you're a kid.

Even though I was growing up in the 70's the small neighborhood where I grew up felt as though it was still the 1950's and shows like this just added to a great childhood.

Great lessons for kids and families alike. I wish there were still shows like this today. Most would probably call shows like this "cheesy" but shows like this are what kids remember fondly into adulthood and emmulate actions of a show's characters. Beaver found himself in trouble but always found out truth is best.
5 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
9/10
Lovable nostalgic, even kind of progressive
famelovingboy6824 January 2012
I am only 25, but saw Leave it To Beaver on television about 5 years ago and was already nostalgic and then went on to watch it whenever I could on TV Land. A few months ago when we were back where I grew up in Washington, I showed this to my 16-year old brother and he liked it right away; I started with the final season I bought in Seattle earlier in the trip so he saw him in his older days where his voice had deepened and he had a "funny sounding" voice. These were such episodes as where Wally grew a mustache, and Beaver finds that the paperboy he wants to get back at was really a girl, and Beaver gets ready to tour the USA with his class. He liked the older Beaver better. Ward was rather liberal for the late 1950's and early 1960's. How He is sometimes seen in the kitchen and doing dishes for example and rarely punishes Wally and Theodore. Beaver is his nickname to those who weren't part of the generation. When Beaver drills a hole in the garage with Larry coaxing him into having fun with the drill Ward just gave a stern lecture with no punishment, which still led the 7 or 8 year old Beaver to try and run away. When his father wasn't lenient giving a stern talking to or just passing a wise lesson along, he was maybe just on par with parents who are neither lenient nor strict. The one thing that may have bothered me before is that Hugh Beaumont died before I was even born. Mayfield was one of those towns where the state doesn't seem to be revealed, as the nature of Ward's work was never revealed, he was just seen in his office, often with his bumbling and annoying coworker, Clarence "Lumpy" Rutherford's dad. Wally was perhaps the funniest part of the show. The generation gap and placing friends above family what Wally and later the Beaver had to say to their parents was a funny recurring joke on the show ie. " oh, people just sort of goofed around back then"," gee dad I'd feel like a creep having you introduce yourself in front of the class, mom that'd ruin me." Jerry Mathers and Tony Dow's voice's deepened a little early. One thing I didn't like was how much Beaver treated girls as repulsive and how long it took him to get over it, he only knew that adult women were too grown up to be icky in any way, he had an infatuation with his young teachers in season 1 and season 2. Mathers was a cute boy, all the way through the show and didn't lose his charm after his voice deepened. He was a nice and charming teenager. if only there was a kid like that now. Sometimes i might feel like a dork wanting to watch a series that is outdated by nearly 50 years every night, when most people under their mid or late 30's or so haven't even seen Leave it To Beaver, much less make early TV Land era shows part of their lineup. ButI have even got my contemporary slightly older brother to watch Leave it To Beaver. there's way too much to say about this show for one review.
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
Life Lessons
edwinalarren15 February 2010
Invariably, almost all of the prominent sitcom critics in Hollywood have rated "Leave it to Beaver" to be one of the all-time classic shows in the whole history of the small screen! Such praise is definitely not too difficult to fathom at all!! The Cleavers became American icons for fifties T.V.. Jerry Mathers was the stellar top draw as "The Beav". Tony Dow was the brother, Wally, Mr All American. Hugh Beaumont, played Ward Cleaver, the perfect husband and father. Last, but certainly not least, Barbara Billingsly assumed the part of June Cleaver, she was so stereotypical of the model wife and mother that many male television viewers would perennially say, "My wife is not perfect, it's not like she's June Clever or something." "Leave it to Beaver" was synonymous with an American utopia which embraced the kindred spirits of the vast majority of families nationwide! Jerry Mathers' role as "Beaver", made him the most popular kid in the United States! June Cleaver (Barbara Billingsly's character) was indicative of the ultimate housewife who became the antithesis of woman's liberation by being egregiously submissive and deferential to her husband, Ward. In reality, however, Barbara Billingsly herself was an integral part of the harbinger of events to follow that would fortify woman's liberation just by virtue of the fact that she was a working woman. In an interview with Barbara, she told a Philadelphia newspaper reporter that she actually never personally wore an apron in her private life ever!! The whole sitcom was predicated on the wiles and chicanery that Beaver engaged in. After the television audience witnessed all of Beaver's troublesome antics, many people who watched "Leave it to Beaver" garnered an enticing empathy for the typical family of the 1950's by attaching a tenet of moral imperatives to everything. In Beaver's own precocious way, he was able to think about his precarious experiences and learn from them. The show "Leave it to Beaver" is considered one of the best shows in the entire duration of television. I think that such an accolade is due to the fact that through this whole series, all Americans could be wide eyed, whimsical, yet very astute about socially acceptable ethics which guided our youth in the RIGHT direction!! I liked "Leave it to Beaver", and I think that the appreciation for this T.V. program is timeless!! By the way, despite some crazy rumors, I do not think Wally's friend, Eddie, was played by Alice Cooper!! "Leave it to Beaver" was spectacular for back then, it is still spectacular today!!
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
10/10
Going down memory lane...
debortiz-118 November 2008
Leave it to Beaver is a classic that I never get tired of watching! I didn't watch it too much as a child (I was born in 1951) mainly because as a young child (girl) I wasn't as interested in what little boys were doing but I did watch the show. I continue to watch it as an adult because Ward Cleaver reminds me of my dad, hands down! Ward treats Wally and Beaver with love, patience and RESPECT. Everything about Ward reminds me of my dad...his class, kindness, integrity, wearing a suit to work everyday, you name it! In the beginning episodes they have Ward being a little bumbling as a father and have June as the "mother knows best" role. Later they sort of switched the roles, probably because of the dynamics of father/son interaction. People always say how unrealistic the show is but, believe me, I was there during the 50s and 60s and the Cleaver family mirrored my own in a million ways. We always ate dinner at the table and "talked about our day", my dad helped with homework, etc. I remember my brother sneaking food he didn't like to our dog who wasn't allowed in the kitchen but sat dutifully by the door next to my brother's chair (classic Beaver type stuff). I wish they'd show this TV show to high school students as a model for good parenting, something that is sadly lacking in today's world. Ward and June are the parents every kid wants!

One of the reasons the show is so good is because of the development of each character. Fred Rutherford is a classic nemesis to Ward. Everyone knows a boor like Fred and can relate. He was a great character. I always liked the "idea" of Larry's parents. Larry was obviously an "accident" child. He talks about his older brother and sister, his older mother who was overwhelmed by having to deal with Larry's shenanigans without the help of her traveling husband. Stuff like this is true to life now and then. All of Beaver's friends (Larry, Gilbert, Whitey, Richard) had very distinct personalities. Lumpy and Eddie were classics and both played their parts perfectly! They even had Aunt Martha, who showed up from time to time. She was from the "older" generation and had very conservative views, didn't understand little boys having never had children herself. June was always worried the boys would embarrass her "acting up" in front of her aunt. Then there was Uncle Billy. He was far from perfect. Everyone knows someone like him. People like to make fun of the show because of "gee, Beav" or "give him the business" but this show is like I Love Lucy in that it will always be something people can relate to. It shows human nature, something that never changes.

One of the things I've never liked (can you believe I don't like something about this show) is how when they are outside there are always people walking up and down the sidewalks. This didn't happen in real life. People had cars and did not walk around in their suits and high heels. The other thing that I didn't like was invariably on every show June would ask Ward what his father would have done in some given scenario. Okay, once or twice is okay but they overdid that one.

Another thing I've noticed about the show is how some people think Ward and June were really strict but I think the opposite was true. The kids would leave in the morning and half the time Ward and June didn't even know where they were. As long as they showed up for lunch and dinner they were on their own. We had a lot more freedom that way back in the day. We didn't have to worry about being kidnapped, raped or whatever. Kids were allowed to make their own decisions and suffer the consequences. That's how you learn and that's how Ward and June raised Wally and the Beaver.

I could go on and on about this show because it truly warms my heart to watch. I guess you have to have been around at that time to truly appreciate it.
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
The Beav'
toady-219 January 1999
Leave It To Beaver contains one of the most remembered families in TV history. Unforgettable characters like Beaver, Wally, Ward, June and Eddie made the show a household name. The success of the show could be its unique way of showing the world through the eyes of Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver. Each of the main characters played a role in the shows appeal. Beaver's bad grammar and innocent charm. Wally's "one-of-a-kind" wisdom for his younger brother. Ward's desire for his boys to always do their best and stay straight, and June always keeping things together. Today we remember the Cleaver's as the wholesome family form the 50's. Gee, that's the way Beav' would've wanted it.
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
6/10
The Cleavers - The Fifties All American Family
bkoganbing23 March 2009
I fear that in the first decade of television too many of us still bear the scars of not having a family like the Cleavers. They were in fact the All American ideal of the Eisenhower years. All that was needed was a pet and I'm sure there were episodes in which the Beaver must have dealt with acquiring a pet.

What a family they were, the hard working and wise father who always had time for his kids and their problems, the pretty mom who never looked tired after a day of housework without a thought of being anything other than wife and mother, and two model kids whose occasional problems were really trivial stuff. This kind of family was satirized so brilliantly in Pleasantville.

Tony Dow as Wally the older brother got to be a teen heartthrob, one of the very first created by television. Jerry Mathers in the title role of Theodore 'Beaver' Cleaver was just shy of heartthrob status when the show ended its run. They were cute, but I don't think they were the heart of the show.

Two things made it stand out. One was Hugh Beaumont, a father of strength and stability who was NEVER made out to be an idiot even if he occasionally got it wrong. I think the Dads out there might have learned some parenting skills from him. Of course that presumes their kids were like Wally and the Beaver. And he certainly didn't have experience with being the father of girls. That's a whole other mindset. But you can see why Barbara Billingsley fell for this guy.

I think Leave It To Beaver would have sank without a trace if it hadn't been for Ken Osmond as Wally's friend Eddie Haskell. That accomplished tongue licker of the inner rear cavities fooled absolutely no one, but it was great to see him do his act every week. It was Eddie who inevitably got Wally and their other friend Clarence 'Lumpy' Rutherford in trouble every week. By the way Frank Bank was perfectly cast as a character named Lumpy, a good natured goof who just went along.

Beaver had several different pals along the show's run. He had one teacher through grade school though, Sue Randall as Miss Landers. Good thing she taught grade school before these kids hit their puberty. I NEVER had any grade school teachers looking like that. She was also full of wisdom and could sense problems intuitively in her class.

The Cleavers, the perfect All American family for the time.
8 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
I Was There
tvce6 May 2003
Others have commented that "Leave It To Beaver" was not a true reflection of American life. Maybe they were not there. I was. When the series opened in 1957, I was seven years old, an exact contemporary of the Beaver character. I loved the show from the first episode. I used it as a forecaster of what I could expect to happen to me in the coming week. While I had no older brother, my other experiences were quite similar. There were in my class at school a "Larry Mundello", a "Judy Hensler", and many other characters who led me into mischief, then scattered, leaving me holding the bag. I remember the baby alligator ads in comic books, publishing a neighborhood newspaper (one issue), and getting caught climbing things I shouldn't have. My father went to the office, my mother tended to the housekeeping. Maybe my life wasn't typical, but it sure was real to me, and I relive it every evening with reruns of "Leave It To Beaver."
8 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A dead-on, often hilarious portrait of growing up and growing wiser
fertilecelluloid30 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
One of the greatest TV shows ever. As an accurate portrait of two brothers growing up together in a middle class family environment, it was dead-on. Watching The Beaver and Wally's suburban adventures (in re-runs, of course) was like revisiting my own childhood. My brother and I were Wally and The Beaver. Our Dad was more Archie Bunker than Ward Cleaver, and Mom was more Marge Simpson than June, but, to me, "Leave It To Beaver" has a ring of authenticity about it that no other TV series about growing up (with the exception of the brilliant "James At 15") ever had.

"Beaver" was always about the little dramas that, to a kid, were big dramas. It addressed some heavier social issues, too (alcoholism, theft, homelessness), but it always kept its focus on the boys and their unpredictable suburban world. And that world, for the most part, was a microcosm of the world that lay ahead of them, the world of "adulthood".

The characters were gold. Ken Osmond's "Eddie Haskell" is one of the most brilliant creations in TV history, along with "Dr. Smith" and "Thurston Howell III". His grossly sycophantic conversations with Ward and June were hilarious, as was his uncanny ability to avoid responsibility and talk The Beaver into another stupid scheme. "Whitey" (Stanley Fafara) always reminded me of the Fair Weather Friend we've all had, the opportunistic kid who slinked between you and another pal he'd never introduce you to. Frank Bank's "Lumpy" was another gem, a cloddish, awkward bully who had respect for Wally and contempt for "The Beave".

If you're coming from a particular perspective, the show is hilarious, charming, moving, scary and comforting. It's about the curiosity in all of us, the insecurity. It''s about our obsessions, lessons only learned through experience, and the importance of family.

It's a masterpiece.
6 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Classic Television: Leave it to beaver.
Mike_Tee_Vee16 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!
16 out of 24 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
9/10
Still Funny
Austentatious3 January 2010
There is so little these days that makes me laugh. Few things that pass for comedy are actually funny to me. It seems it all has to be graphic, obnoxious, or push some imagined envelope. I find that there are no envelopes yet to be pushed. Since the culture is so jaded, nothing shocks or surprises any more so it's quite hard to get a laugh by being outrageous (thank God!). Comedy, therefore, is a difficult medium. What remains? In order to be funny, it still must strike some chord in reality, and some subtlety (IMO) is required. In accord with these things, the most recent series that consistently delivered for me was "The Cosby Show" (unless I must count the first 2 or 3 seasons of "The Office", which I thought had some potential, but quickly KILLED my interest). Still, I watch re-runs of Beaver, and I can't help it, I laugh out loud at least once/per episode. Besides, who hasn't known an "Eddie Haskel"?? Do we really need more depressing reality telling us we're all screwed-up and no one really has any helpful answers? Do we really need to bemoan the time when moms made a career of their families (perish the thought!)? My guess is that families were stronger, children were involved in far less destructive behavior, and men felt like men. No, people didn't have as many material possessions, but I think people were more content, and ultimately, I think women were, in a real sense, contributing to a much healthier society. Was life perfect then? No; but could what we have now ever be described as such? If anyone thinks so, I would definitely disagree. "Leave It To Beaver" still strikes a chord, and it's still humorous.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
It's just a nice show.
llihilloh20 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.)
12 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
9/10
Oldie, but Goodie
MovieBuffMarine12 December 2003
Too bad they don't have anymore shows like this. I grew up on the re-runs. This show helped teach right from wrong. Nowadays all we see is, it's okay to be wrong and get away with it. There's not a sitcom on regular broadcast today I can call my favorite. Call me "corny," "old fashioned," "square," (a term used in LITB), or whatever, I don't care! What's wrong with TV nowadays is the crap they put out. LITB is good escape from it.
5 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Forget what you've been told...
xanthippe_s16 October 2003
I find it somewhat odd that this show is constantly maligned as being absurdly wholesome. Of course, it ran from 1957 to 1963, a time when a person on television or in a film couldn't even say 'pregnant' in reference to a woman who was expecting a child, so of course the programmes aren't going to be fraught with tales of drunken binges, wild sex and murder. The Cleaver's lives are relatively vanilla.

Television today frequently portrays the opposite end of the spectrum, and is perhaps less accurate and relevant to now than Leave it to Beaver was in the '50s and '60s. Not everyone's family in the 2000s is broken up, not every child is a drug addict, not everyone's brother is in jail. Leave it to Beaver is a refreshing change, and this is coming from a girl in her early twenties.

I don't watch any network tele because I find heavily sarcastic humour dull, and the kids portrayed are MTV caricatures. I'm not religious, and in fact have the mouth of a dock walloper (thank you Paul Drake of Perry Mason), so it's not that I pine for 'wholesome' or 'moral' programming. The acting is natural, the characters quite endearing (except maybe Judy Hensler and Eddie Haskell, although they do have their places). Poor Beaver is sort of a Charlie Brown figure, frequently getting the short end of the stick. Ward and June are pretty cool parents, although Ward is sometimes kinder to athletic Wally than to sensitive Beav, and June has shown her WASPish snooty side in an episode or two. To quote Beaver, 'They don't hit me too much...' -- you can't argue with that.

The stories don't always end perfectly happy as one is often lead to believe. I watch a handful of old television programmes and like to consider myself pretty grounded (albeit a bit strange, admittedly) and I really don't see that much of a difference between the way people behave in these shows and now in 'real' life.

Purge yourself of all the rubbish that others have fed you about it being corny and camp and just enjoy it for what it is: an awesome show.
7 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Better than most sitcoms of today.
yenlo7 February 2000
A TV Sitcom from the late 50's featuring the every day life of a family that was funny and sometimes absolutely hilarious. Not all the family oriented shows from this period could boast this. Even after nearly forty years since it ended it's run the shows remain un-dated and still great. (Much like the legendary I Love Lucy) The friends of Wally and Beaver and June and Ward were really what made the show a classic. Lumpy Rutherford and his dad Fred, Whitey, Richard, Gilbert, Larry Mondello and of course….. Eddie Haskell! As far as I'm concerned the reruns of this classic show could be broadcast on prime time and I'd watch it in favor of todays sitcoms.
4 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A great and innocent classic comedy (10/10)
ClassicsFan170127 October 2001
Leave it to Beaver is a great comedy that aired for several years between 1957 and 1963. The characters are great and show a classic family with no severe problems. Beaver gets into things time and time again, but things happen to Wally as well. The parents, June and Ward, are also amusing at times, and of course, they are always there to right the wrongs of Beaver and Wally. In my opinion, more comedies should follow this 'unrealistic' approach and no portray life in such a gritty and mean way, but in a nice way, like this classic. Overall Rating-10/10
4 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
loading
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews