Uncork the complete first season of Falcon Crest, the popular, long-running series centered on the rich vineyards and richer people of Northern California’s wine country. Academy Award® winner Jane Wyman stars as winery matriarch Angela Channing, who will let nothing–family, honor, the law–stand between her and power. Co-stars include Robert Foxworth as Chase Gioberti, Angela’s upstanding nephew and rival, and Lorenzo Lamas as Lance Cumson, Angela’s scheming, playboy grandson. Meet the characters… indulge in the lifestyle… savor the first of nine seasons of vintage television melodrama.

Studio: Warner Home Video
Year: 1981
Release Date: February 23, 2010
Run time: 526 minutes
Rating: NR

Audio: Dolby Digital mix
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Spec: 4 DVD’s
Region: 1
Before NBC had “must-see TV” during the middle of the 1980’s, CBS had two powerhouse primetime soap operas airing back to back on Friday nights starting in 1981 with “Falcon Crest” following the #1 rated show in the nation, “Dallas”. Produced by the same studio as “Dallas”, “Falcon Crest” became a serial with its own identity: with beautiful California scenery, intelligent plotting, and the excellent acting chops of Oscar winner Jane Wyman in the main role as Angela Channing, a ruthless owner of a winery in Tuscany Valley, California. Angela was loaded to the hilt and she was not about to let anyone become more powerful or rich than she. Yes her family meant the world to her, but equally important was her land that she inherited that was worth millions. Angela’s family consisted of two daughters and a sexy grandson, Lance (played by Lorenzo Lamas), who had the most beautiful body of any male actor on a primetime soap in the 1980’s.

The producers agreed as every couple of episodes Lance would be seen lounging by the pool only in a pair of bikini briefs. Robert Foxworth played Angela’s nephew Chase who moved to Tuscany from New York after his dad (Angela’s brother) had died, and he brought along his wife Maggie (played by former “Another World” star Susan Sullivan”) and their son and daughter. The basis of the series’ storylines during the bulk of its run dealt with the rivalry between Angela and Chase over “Falcon Crest” as Chase owned a sizeable portion of the vineyards after his father passed away. While “Falcon Crest”, like “Dallas” and “Dynasty”, epitomized the glamour and richness of the Reagan presidential era, the series became an immediate hit for CBS finishing its first season at #13 and producing 18 episodes.

Rounding out the first season cast was Abby Dalton as Julia Cumson, probably the sexiest chemist ever to be shown on television, Jamie Rose as pouty but sweet daughter Vickie Gioberti, Margaret Ladd as batty, bipolar Emma Channing, and the late-season arrival of Ana Alicia as Melissa–the love of Lance’s life. The plot? It’s a very simple set-up–Chase inherits 50 acres of prime vineyard from his late father–and Angela WANTS it. That’s all you need to know. And she’ll do anything she can to get it. As the Giobertis move to Falcon Crest and attempt to revive their father’s lands, Angela and Lance stab them in the back at every turn.

And the battle begins. And the scrambling for power, wealth and above all–grapes–continues on through the show’s remaining eight seasons. Falcon Crest got off to a better start than its contemporaries–Dynasty and Dallas. Everything was in place from the first episode. It’s just the icing on the cake in the upcoming season two that David Selby joins the cast and from then on–it’s like a Who’s Who of Hollywood making their marks at Falcon Crest. The best is yet to come. As for the dvd itself–it’s a standard dvd case with 4 discs with a slip cover–very handsomely produced. Sound and picture quality are good for the series’ age; there seems to have been no attempt to remaster this series.
Movie Content:8/10

Special Features

  • No Special Features

Special Features: 0/10

The Final Word

Highly recommended for people who remember this old show and loved it like I did, and also for people who like soap operas in general.
Overall Rating: 7/10