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“Falcon Crest: The Complete First Season”
Wayne Klein
Studio: Warner Home Video
Release Date:
Special Features:



Greed, big houses, big hair…it’s either the 80’s or “Falcon Crest: The Complete First Season”. The popular series finally arrives on DVD. Set in wine country in Tuscany Valley in Northern California among the rich and powerful “Falcon Crest” quickly replaced “Dynasty” (which replaced “Dallas”) as the near and dear soap opera on TV which was a surprise given that it was created by Earl Hamner, Jr. who created “The Waltons” and “Apple’s Way” and at one time wrote for “The Twilight Zone”. ***

When the head of the Falcon Crest winery Jason Gioberti (Harry Townes) is accidentally killed on the job, Angela Channing (Jane Wyman) takes command of the organization causing rivalries between the various family members (Robert Foxworth, Susan Sullivan, William r. Moses, Dana Sparks, Abby Dalton and Lorenzo Lamas among others). ---

Image & Sound:

Quite honestly Warner has been doing less than a stellar job with many of their vintage TV shows—instead of improving with age, these series are getting worse and Warner hasn’t done the digital clean up necessary nor have they pulled the correct source (often using syndicated versions of the episodes). While I hesitate to recommend a bootleg there are sources for the entire series run of “Falcon Crest” that look as good if not slightly better that are from other source materials and they are often the uncut versions NOT the syndicated cuts. ***

Colors have faded, detail is decent some of the time but most of the time we have to contend with soft, fuzzy images and this isn’t a soft and fuzzy type of show. There’s also a fair amount of video noise and edge enhancement marring the image. ***

Sadly, this has become rote for Warner when it comes to their hour long dramas from the 70’s, 80’s and even in some cases the 90’s. Considering the wealth of material they have to work with this is just inexcusable. ***

Audio is the only salvation here and it isn’t much of one; dialogue comes across clearly most of the time but the presentation does a disservice to everything else on the soundtrack. ---

Special Features:

Zip. This all implies that Warner just doesn’t care or that they think the audience for this show doesn’t deserve it and if either one of those theories are correct, it’s disappointing no matter what.

Final Words:

Sadly “Falcon Crest” is an example of a vintage show that doesn’t get the bests presentation. They might as well have thrown the original negatives or videotape source material into a vat and let it age in hopes it would IMPROVE rather than get worse with time. We would have gotten the same result here. This is very disappointing coming from Warner and I expect better.


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