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On the Edge of Black and White (2008)

8.4
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 13 users  
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In the mid 1960's, the last of the old American television shows converted from black and white to color. At the same time, America was undergoing an epic cultural revolution. The Stars ... See full summary »

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Title: On the Edge of Black and White (2008)

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Cast

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Mother
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Billy Gray ...
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Brian Loud ...
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Carter Loud ...
Older Boy
Grant Loud ...
Young Boy
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In the mid 1960's, the last of the old American television shows converted from black and white to color. At the same time, America was undergoing an epic cultural revolution. The Stars from those shows who were children, when we were children, witnessed those changes from the "inside" while they were growing up "in" television, and growing up in America. That era of Black and White family television didn't last long and it ended seemingly overnight. It would be the last time that America, in mass, was tied together with the same high-ideal family television! "America and television changed" and so did the way families would relate!" As a sub-story, many of the actors from those early shows are currently artists. You'll see their work and their passion in addition to their unique perspectives on this very tumultuous time in American history. Written by Sean Laskey

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January 2008 (USA)  »

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1.78 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Good And Interesting; But What's Interesting Isn't Good And What's Good Isn't Interesting
5 December 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Measured, deliberately paced, slow-moving documentary about television in the late 50s and 60s. Very well-produced, it runs smoothly and looks really good, but production values can't save it from being basically a rehash of pleasant reminiscences by child stars. Filled with child stars from shows like "Father Knows Best", "Timmy And Lassie" and "Lost In Space", you've heard what they're going to tell you, before. Scenes of them tinkering in their gardens and workshops or playing music in the studio, isn't all that interesting. What is interesting, is seeing what they look like NOW, especially if you're only familiar with their early work. While watching this I made mental notes to buy moisturizer, and that made me sad. But if you're hankering for some formerly famous talking heads insisting that 'television just didn't mirror reality back then!!" you've found the mother-lode, with this. "On The Edge Of Black And White" is far too polite. Some of these guys have lead "colorful" lives, but you'll get none of that, here. Lisa Loring (Wednesday of "The Addams Family") has been involved with the porn industry in some capacity, for awhile; Ken Weatherwax (Pugsley, "The Addams Family") has been building movie sets for a lot of years, but he has very little to say about that or really anything. Don Grady ("My Three Sons") was an Italian American kid (nee Agrati) who was made to change his name to get roles, but there's nothing about that. And yeah, some of these actors are peeved, but those that are, are given limited screen time. This is an "affectionate" look back, and as phony as the shows these guys came from. Paul Petersen, for instance (Jeff Stone, the son on "The Donna Reed Show"), has spent most of his life fighting for residuals for child actors to be paid into escrow accounts so that an actor's parents can't squander their kids' income before they reach adulthood, but he's not even here at all. So, nice effort, but not anything I didn't already either know, or could have figured out, for myself.


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