Moonlighting-The Pilot (1985)

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Released 14-Apr-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio & Animation
Biographies-Cast-Bruce Willis, Cybil l Shepherd and Allyce Beasley
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1985
Running Time 89:22 (Case: 93)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Allan Arkush
Burt Brinckerhoff
Robert Butler
Kevin Connor

MRA Entertainment
Starring Cybill Shepherd
Bruce Willis
Allyce Beasley
Case ?
RPI $19.95 Music Alf Clausen
Lee Holdridge
Richard Lewis Warren

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    This disc contains the ninety minute pilot episode of the wildly successful Moonlighting TV series. Anyone younger than 25 will probably have no recollection of this program, but I'm happy to say that even if the fashions have dated horribly, the comedy hasn't. A very amusing show with cutting wit and sarcasm that still draws big laughs.

    Moonlighting centred on the Blue Moon Detective Agency which was owned by the unlikely and almost bankrupt ex-model Maddie Hayes, played brilliantly by Cybill Shepherd. Her private investigator and tormentor was played by the fresh faced Bruce Willis in his break-out role.

    Part murder mystery, part romance with a lot of comedy thrown in Moonlighting was a critically acclaimed and commercial success.

    The plot of this pilot essentially sets up the show, but is amusing in its own right. Sometimes the pacing of the show is painful and the wardrobe is laugh-out-loud funny for the worst of 80s fashion, but the comedy is first class and it's a lot of fun to see Bruce Willis find his feet in Hollywood.

    In the US this episode is available as a stand alone disc and it is also included in the Season 1 and Season 2 box set (see my review of the R4 set here). But for some strange reason it's not presented like this in Australia. To see the complete first season you need to purchase this disc and the box set separately. Certainly infuriating for consumers. That said, though, I have seen this disc for sale at around $7-$8, which is a bargain in my book.

    An enjoyable start to some of the best TV ever, and definitely worth checking out.

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Transfer Quality


     The series is presented in its original TV broadcast ratio of fullscreen 1.33:1 and is presented in PAL format.

    I was really impressed at how good this pilot looked for a TV show that aired 20 years ago. Unlike a lot of shows from that era, Moonlighting was shot on film and it has aged well.

    Considering its age the picture was sharp and quite well defined.

    There was little to no grain. The print was obviously cleaned up pretty well because I don't remember any noticeable film artefacts.

    Colours were quite natural (even the terrible 80s wardrobes looked OK), skin tones looked good and shadow detail was excellent.

    Overall a great transfer for an 80s TV show.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The audio track is English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s).

    There is nothing really stand-out or disappointing about the track - it is fairly middle of the road and probably what you would expect for a 20 year old TV show.

    The dialogue tended to be a little soft and not as clear as I would like. Because dialogue is very important for this kind of show I found I had to keep hiking up the volume.

    Music added a lot to Moonlighting, whether it be the catchy opening theme by Al Jarreau or many of the Motown hits that were used, and they came out sounding good.

    There was no surround or sub-woofer use.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


Main Menu Audio & Animation


    Very basic bios on Bruce Willis, Cybill Shepherd and Allyce Beasley

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Seems the same as the US pilot-only release.


    Overall, this is a decent disc for a 20 year old show.

    The show is hilarious and worth checking out.

    The video is great.

    The audio is decent.

    Why no commentary? Why isn't this episode included in the R4 set?

Ratings (out of 5)


© Ben Smith (boku no bio)
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDMarantz DV4300, using Component output
DisplaySony VPL HS10 projector on 100 inch 16x9 screen + Palsonic 76WSHD. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderSony STR-DE685. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
SpeakersDB Dynamics VEGA series floor standers + centre, DB bipole rears, 10" 100W DB Dynamics sub

Other Reviews
DVD Net - Jules F

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