Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|You Bet Your Life - The Lost Episodes|
Actors: Groucho Marx, George Fenneman
Genres: Comedy, Kids & Family, Television
The Lost Episodes is a deluxe 3 DVD Box that includes 18 episodes, 6 episodes per disc with each episode running 25 minutes, a 20 page booklet with an outstanding essay by Groucho expert Robert S. Bader, plus loads of rare... more »
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The Groucho-DeSoto Connection
Scott T. Rivers | Los Angeles, CA USA | 03/25/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Incredible as it may seem, most of the "lost episodes" in this Groucho Marx DVD collection might have been lost forever. In the early 1970s, the geniuses at NBC planned to destroy ALL the "You Bet Your Life" programs for the sole purpose of freeing up some warehouse space. Fortunately, Groucho and producer John Guedel thwarted this cultural crime and reissued the comedy-quiz shows for late-night syndication with successful results. However, the "Best of Groucho" package was re-edited to eliminate any trace of the DeSoto-Plymouth references from the original broadcasts. Upon viewing this excellent three-disc set, the viewer is immediately aware of DeSoto's dominant sponsorship of "You Bet Your Life" and the major role Groucho played in the selling of its automobiles - lending his trademark image to its used-car dealerships. The "stag reels," promotional films and DeSoto commercials featured in this collection make for fascinating and historic viewing. Of course, there's the long-awaited pleasure of seeing 18 unedited "You Bet Your Life" programs for the first time since the 1950s - a remarkable find comparable to the "lost" Jackie Gleason kinescopes. The result is a valuable addition to Groucho's comic legacy."
Groucho Gets The Deluxe DVD Treatment Here! Terrific Set!
David Von Pein | Mooresville, Indiana; USA | 10/10/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This nicely-presented 3-Disc collector's set of Groucho Marx' "You Bet Your Life" TV program is a real treat. While viewing these restored episodes and rare outtakes and bonus materials, I really get the feeling of owning something very rare and special from TV's bygone era.
The 18 episodes on these three discs have been remastered for DVD, and they look pretty good, although quite a bit of dirt and grain still remain on the prints. But, after all, these shows are 50 years old! I guess we shouldn't expect perfect video quality. The prints, although far from perfection, have indeed been cleaned-up considerably. For proof, just watch some of the outtakes included in this set. It's fairly obvious that the restoration team didn't touch any of these outtake clips, for they are far worse in quality than the full episodes themselves.
A variety of different seasons are represented among the shows in this package. Groucho's TV version of "You Bet Your Life" ran from 1950 to 1961. This DVD compilation includes episodes spanning the years 1950-1959, including the October 1950 debut program (with a "secret word" of "Wall").
Here's a breakdown of the years that are represented within this DVD package (indicating the year the programs initially aired):
1950 -- 2 episodes.
1951 -- 1 episode.
1952 -- 4 episodes.
1953 -- 3 episodes.
1954 -- 3 episodes.
1955 -- 1 episode.
1956 -- 2 episodes.
1957 -- No episodes.
1958 -- 1 episode.
1959 -- 1 episode.
Watching Groucho, with cigar ever-present, banter with his guests (some famous, but most just regular folk from the studio audience) is sure to bring a smile to the face of anyone who purchases this deluxe DVD set. His quick, disarming displays of ad-libbed wit are something to behold. Nobody could "jab" at his guests like Groucho could.
Three "Stag Reels" are included in the set, containing "racier" elements from the original shows that had to be cut out by the network when broadcast to the public. These clips are very fun to watch. There's plenty of deleted moments here too (36 total minutes, spread over the three discs).
Many people purchasing this set will be happy to know there's a "Play All" feature on each of the discs, so that the episodes will play consecutively without the need for user intervention.
The lengthy booklet included is extremely well-done and informative. It chronicles the history of Groucho's radio and TV variants of the "You Bet Your Life" program. Plus, many vintage photos are presented within this top-notch booklet insert. As well as info on each of the 18 episodes included on the discs, with original air dates, filming dates, and the "secret word" for each episode. This same episode information is also repeated on one of the flaps of the fold-out case. So you can locate a specific episode "at a glance" without having to dig out the booklet. Bonus features, specific to each disc, are also listed on the case flap, as well as inside the booklet.
While the lack of a "Slipcase" (or outer cover of some ilk) is a bit of a disappointment, it doesn't greatly detract from the fact that this DVD presentation of "Groucho Marx -- You Bet Your Life -- The Lost Episodes" is, in my opinion, a terrific example of "TV-on-DVD done right". It's a first-rate product that I'd recommend highly to any Groucho fan, or any admirer of old-time TV in general.
So -- to mimic Groucho's very capable and likeable sidekick/announcer, George Fenneman -- "Won't you come in please, and meet Groucho Marx!""
Gotta Buy This One!
toserveman | Cincinnati, OH USA | 03/15/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD set is even better than I expected, and I expected a lot of laughs. The production of the show itself is charming, Groucho is great, the guests are (usually unintentionally) funny, and the extras showing the commercials, bloopers, etc. are all superb. And the video quality is excellent as well. Groucho's wit, especially when working on a nervous contestant, is something to behold. Sometimes the simplest concepts are the best. These shows are better than most Marx Bros movies!"
Groucho knew how to work his guests
joseph Corey | Raleigh, NC United States | 01/15/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've been a big fan of this show since i was a kid catching already classic reruns on Boston TV. It's a shame that it isn't rerun anymore - you'd figure with all those cable channels, someone would put this on in the wee hours. Even though there are several cheap PD collections with a few episodes from the show, it's great that Shout! factory has put together some of the unreleased versions of 18 episodes. And what's even more fun is seeing the Stage reels featuring all the stuff the network didn't want us to see.
The nice part of the show is that no one is doing it merely for the money - cause compared to most game shows, Groucho is barely giving out cab fare. They appeared on the show to chat with Groucho.
If you only know the man from his Marx Brothers shows, give yourself a chance to see that he was a wit without the grease paint mustache."