Hmmm....An Interesting Mix!


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Posted ByGerry O. on February 13, 2004 at 10:38:43:

In Reply to: Re: Complete Jack Benny Program on DVD? posted bySpeaking of dvd on February 12, 2004 at 16:20:13:

: Here is a list of what (may) be on the Jack Benny dvd collection due out Feb 24, 2004.
: JACK BENNY COLLECTION
: Encoding: Region 1
: Studio: Koch Vision Entertai
: DVD Release Date: February 24, 2004
: ASIN: B00012FX04

: Disc One
: THE MEDICINE MAN - In this rarely seen 1930 comedy/drama, Jack (in his first starring role) plays a shady hawker of health tonics - good for whatever ails you. Along the way, he cons gullible men out of their money and romances the ladies. Directed by Scott Pembroke, who directed another comedy great - Stan Laurel - in a number of silent shorts.

: Disc Two
: LIBERACE SHOW - In this music-filled episode of The Jack Benny Program, which originally aired in January of 1954, Liberace asks Jack to grab his violin and share the stage with him for a special concert. After Liberace's piano solo, the two perform a duet on "September Song." (00:29:30)

: GOLDIE, FIELDS & GLIDE - Jack tries to persuade the great Bing Crosby to appear on his program along with comedian George Burns, but Der Bingle wants too much money. Even Bob Hope gets into the act in this star-filled episode, which first aired in March of 1954. (00:28:37)

: Disc Three
: JACK AT THE RACES - Jack and Mary spend a day at the races, but confusion reigns as everybody gets conflicting advice on betting from Dennis Day, a racetrack tout (played by movie tough-guy Sheldon Leonard), and even Jack's sponsor. Three Stooges favorite Joe Besser also appears in this fun-filled episode, which originally aired in February of 1958. (00:22:00)

: ED SULLIVAN/GENEVIEVE SHOW - Famed Broadway columnist and television host Ed Sullivan guest stars as a defense attorney (!) representing Parisian singer Genevieve for a murder rap. Jack plays the persistent prosecutor. This offbeat episode of The Jack Benny Program was first telecast in April of 1959. (00:24:00)

: Disc Four
: CHRISTMAS SHOPPING SHOW - Benny favorites Mel Blanc, Frank Nelson, and Benny Rubin guest star in this holiday episode, which finds Jack in a department store, trying to get some Christmas shopping done. As if that wasn't stressful enough, Jack winds up in the middle of a robbery! Originally aired in December (when else) of 1957. (00:25:00)

: NEW YEAR'S EVE - In another holiday-themed show, Jack reminisces about the previous New Year's Eve. Dennis Day sings "An Irishman Will Steal Your Heart Away." Originally telecast on New Year's Eve of 1961. (00:26:00)

: Disc Five
: DANNY THOMAS/McGUIRE SISTERS SHOW - In this sixty-minute episode of The Jack Benny Hour, which originally aired in November of 1959, Danny Thomas heckles Jack from the audience and the McGuire Sisters sing. Also appearing are the remarkable Marquis Chimps and, in one hilarious sketch, Raymond Burr as Perry Mason! (00:58:56)

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Although the upcoming DVD set has a few of the often-seen (and quite common) "Public Domain" half-hours, it's also nice to see the inclusion of that sixty-minute "Jack Benny Hour" with Danny Thomas and the McGuire Sisters, which hasn't been circulated all that much.

However, be prepared...."Casual" Benny fans will probably be VERY unhappy with the 1930 "Medicine Man" film. It's not typical Benny fare (even for his early film career), and many people will probably complain that Jack "doesn't act like Jack Benny" in the film...but to us diehard Benny fans, getting a nice print of "The Medicine Man" (assuming of course that it IS a nice print) will be a welcomed addition to our collections.

(And if Koch does as nice a job with the upcoming "Jack Benny", "Burns & Allen" and "Milton Berle" DVD collections as they did on their "Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis Collection" DVD set, then these will be nice "class act" releases indeed!)


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