Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Best of the Burns and Allen Show Vol 1 and 2|
Actor: George Burns
Genres: Comedy, Television
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Say Goodnight, Gracie
Jennifer Cole | Dallas Texas | 12/28/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After some of the other comments, I feel I must begin with a word about picture quality. As another reviewer pointed out, many of these episodes were broadcast live and preserved only on kinescope, a device that filmed the live image directly off a television screen. In the very early days of Burns & Allen, TV screens were still round, which is why it often appears the camera-man is chopping off the tops of people's heads, as much of the image is lost in converting a round picture into a square one. Given this crude manner of preserving the show, the picture quality on this set is probably as well as can be achieved given the source material, and certainly it is at least as clear as the image television audiences saw back in 1950.
Having addressed that issue, the show itself is nearly flawless. If you are a fan of quirky, screwball comedy, this is it at its zenith. The earlier episodes of this series in particular are some of the best written television comedy ever to be aired, coming to you courtesy of writer Paul Henning, who would later bring us The Beverly Hillbillies, Petticoat Junction, and Green Acres (all three of which, ironically, also featured George and Gracie's next door neighbor Blanche, Bea Benadarette, who would later play Aunt Pearl, Kate Bradley, and the voice of Betty Rubble in The Flintstones). The incorporation of the Carnation Milk commercials into the story is in keeping the George's constant violation of the fourth wall, aside from his running monologue he often breaks character to address the audience directly.
While the episodes on this set are out of order (why??) it will be evident to the novice viewer that the show was of higher quality in the earlier seasons. After a couple of years, it was filmed instead of performed live before an audience, and there is a distinct element of the formula missing in these episodes. Nonetheless, Burns and Allen remains one of my favorite TV shows of all time from ANY era; for the reasonable price and given the scarcity of TV shows of this time period that are even available on DVD, this one is worth a watch.
Classic TV Comedy
Amateur TV/Movie History Geek | 05/04/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I just wanted to respond to those reviewers that are complaining about the quality of the films used in this set. The episodes of "The Burns & Allen Show" included in this set are, to my opinion, culled from the best quality material currently available. These early episodes were originally broadcast live, before the days of videotape. The shows originated on the east coast, were filmed off a television screen as they were aired, and the films (kinescopes) of the live show were then sent to the west coast for broadcast, being they didn't have coast to coast direct broadcasting back in those days.
Most of those kinescope copies were probably recycled after use to retrieve the silver to re-use in new film. Whichever remaining kinescopes are still in existance were probably not stored under ideal conditions, thus the existing current condition of these 54 year old films.
Fans of George and Gracie, like me, should be glad some video companies are re-issuing these rare films, it will help to preserve the content in the long run.
Whenever CBS releases DVD's of the "shot directly on film" episodes(which they still own and have copyright to), I'm sure those will probably look pristine."
Live vs. Filmed Burns 'n' Allen
Edward R. Oneill | San Francisco, CA | 03/11/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
As a student of TV history, I think I can clarify something.
Some writing here love the later Burns and Allen shows for their marvelous wit.
Those episodes were shot on film and thus have a better visual quality.
They were NOT, however, as experimental or strange as the earlier episodes--which are the ones I, and some others, enjoy more.
The earlier live shows were indeed still playing with the format. George would address the audience more. He would walk through the invisible 'walls' of the set, refer to the camera, and other strange shenanigans.
In addition, musical numbers would crop up in odd places--right in the middle of scenes or monologues with little justification--and the 'ads,' such as they were, were just incorporated right into the show.
I find all this stuff amazing--exactly because it was not the norm later.
For those who love the earlier, more experimental, live shows, the later filmed episodes are merely watered-down.
And for those who love the later episodes as unusual compared to other sitcoms, the earlier live episodes are merely strange or even a botch.
Chacun a son gout.
--Edward R. O'Neill"
Burns and Allen Vol. 1&2
Michel le Grange | Hanover, MN United States | 01/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I purchased this for my wife - she absolutley loves it. Some people have complained about the quality - we have no issue with the quality. In fact, I think it adds to the "ambiance" of Burns and Allen. I don't want a remake I want to see Burns and Allen just as they were and this is exactly what you get with this DVD. I will likely purchase additional volumes."