Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Color Honeymooners Collection 2|
Actors: Art Carney, Jackie Gleason
Genres: Comedy, Television
The Color Honeymooners (a/k/a The Jackie Gleason Show), a top-rated comedy/variety program aired, from the sun and fun capital of the world Miami Beach! on Saturday night from 1966-70 on CBS-TV. This long-running series ma... more »
THE COLOR HONEYMOONERS - ANOTHER TYPICAL MPI PRODUCTION
G. Stolfi | Brecksville, OH | 12/03/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"For all of you who truly love The Honeymooners, it is truly a shame that MPI holds the exclusive rights to this show. The DVD's of the Lost Episodes are without question the worst home video releases of any TV show in history, with many episodes that are not actually lost but essentially lost to us, since MPI still hasn't released them. Rumors have abounded about an eventual re-release of the Lost Episodes by MPI, which would finally give them the DVD treatment most other shows now get, with full season sets and extras truly worth watching. Now after two years since the release of the first volume of the Color Honeymooners, MPI is now releasing Color Honeymooners Vol. 2. For a MSRP of $39.99, we get a grand total of NINE episodes, which is the same number that was included on Vol. 1. For that amount of money, we should have gotten all 18 episodes from Volumes 1 and 2. It seems that we will have to pay through the nose to eventually own the complete Honeymooners, which will probably take until well after 2010.
As for the Color Honeymooners themselves, by and large they are a pale imitation of the black & white Honeymooners of the 1950's. As much as I love this show, no one could come close to replacing Audrey Meadows as Alice Kramden, especially Sheila McRae, who is truly abysmal in the role. The same can be said for Jane Kean as Trixie, who has no charm, no appeal, and like Ms. McRae, very little acting ability. As for Jackie Gleason, his portrayal of Ralph in the black & white episodes was without question a performance for the ages. In the color episodes, he is nowhere close to that level. Gleason was famous for his excessive lifestyle which unfortunately already started to take its toll on him by the time these episodes were done in the late 1960's. As for Art Carney, his performance of Ed Norton never suffered. A few years ago on the first TV Land awards, the award for Greatest Second Banana went to Don Knotts as Barney Fife. No offense to Mr. Knotts, but he is not even in the same league as Art Carney as Ed Norton, who in my opinion is the most essential character in The Honeymooners. In the color episodes, his performance is every bit as great as it was in the 1950's.
It is also truly sad that many of the color episodes were remakes of earlier and much better black & white versions. I find it hard to believe that Jackie Gleason would prefer to simply redo old episodes than have writers create all new stories for these characters. There is an episode of the Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour that features the Ricardos, the Mertzes and the Williams family from Make Room For Daddy. One can only imagine what might have been if the Kramdens and the Nortons could have met the Ricardos and the Mertzes.
Lastly, in spite of these complaints, one clear truth emerges. The sitcoms of today cannot touch classics like The Honeymooners or I Love Lucy. It is the reason why so many people prefer to watch episodes of shows they have seen many times rather than watch what passes for entertainment now."
I Can't Wait for It
Steve Macdonald | San Jose, CA | 12/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have watched the first DVD many, many times and still laugh at it. The Color Honeymooners are just as good as the ones made in the 1950s, and they're in lovely color complete with cheery musical numbers with professional dancers and good musical arrangements. It has been a long wait and I'm going to be the first to buy the next DVD, or next 9 episodes. Wish MPI would put them out a bit faster, though. They are light-hearted, fun and very funny, all shot on a stage in Miami Beach. Classic, true entertainment, bar none. I will keep these always and watch them over and over again, that's how good I think they are."
Great to have, but missing one episode
Joe Karlosi | USA | 03/21/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I already own the first two Color Honeymooners DVDs and eagerly look forward to Volume 3 and beyond. But I was very disappointed that this edition skipped over the episode entitled "Life Upon the Wicked Stage". It's a remake of one of the best Lost Honeymooners offerings, which was titled "Songs and Witty Sayings", where Ralph and Norton do a funny mind reading act. Unfortunately, while there were supposed to be 9 shows included here, MPI dropped this one. I called a rep from the company and was told that they had to delete the episode due to music rights issues. However, I noticed that this very show is aired on the cable TV at present. I would much rather have the show edited on DVD instead of not at all, and it's my hope that MPI returns to it and includes it in a future volume."
The Honeymoon continues-Miami Beach style!
Robert Badgley | London,Ontario,Canada | 03/16/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"MPI continues its' release of the Honeymooners sketches taken from the colour series of Jackie Gleason Shows,Dec.17/66 to April 26/67.
And how sweet they are too.These sketches were all basically remakes of shows done a few years before now in colour,and of course with the added musical accompaniment.But they didn't disappoint then and they don't now.The classic 39 Honeymooner episodes filmed in 1955/56 had been going strong in syndication since they went off the air.In some markets they would run both back to back,to great success.Furthermore Gleason himself knew that there would be the inevitable comparisons from those older shows to the newer ones and he made sure he gave the audiences both live in Miami Beach and at home his level best.And he succeeded in spades.
It all started back in late 1963 when Gleason happened to mention to a New York columnist that he sure wouldn't mind doing future shows in a sunnier and more golf oriented climate,like California(Gleason was an avid golfer).This caught the eye of the PR man for the Miami Beach tourism board one Hank Meyer who jumped right on it to invite Gleason and his entourage down to perform their shows in their fair city.After some some speedy negotiations it was all set and Jackie and his crew trained it southward into Miami Beach the following year.
Miami Beach rolled out the red carpet for the troupe who had the new Jackie Gleason auditorium set up especially for his show.Basically what the home audience saw then and now is a glorified stage show.It was taped on a Friday night live,edited for the hour format,and broadcast the next night nationwide.Jackie also got a myriad of other perks such as his home and attached office looking directly out onto a local golf course.And of course his infamous golf cart built to look like a small Rolls Royce and loaded to the nines with every kind of liquor imaginable.But what he got in perks Miami Beach gained 100 fold.Every broadcast started out with those famous words that are still remembered well today:"From the sun and fun capital of the world,Miami Beach...",as the camera quickly comes in toward the shoreline on crystal blue waters.The tourism bucks Miami and indeed all of Florida made on his show are really incalculable.
For about seven years The Jackie Gleason Show again reigned supreme in its' Saturday Night timeslot until the early seventies when about that time the head of the CBS network discovered a new term called "demographics".It didn't matter how high your ratings were(Jackies' were always high) but only if you fit that 18-34 year old age group that the TV gurus now believed they should be paying the most attention to.They felt Gleasons' show wasn't in the "loop",as it were, and cancelled it.
But that was about four years away at the time of the airing of the shows that are on these three discs.All of which have been transferred quite well with the odd few film flaws but pretty much all inherent in the product.Like the previous Vol.1 these shows have been cut down to varying degrees.These shows would have run closer to the 55 minute mark when first aired,while each of these rarely hit 50 minutes and most well under.From what I can tell they have mainly excised the opening banter where Gleason would come out and talk to the audience before going into the sketches.Whether this is what MPI is doing or the way the film now exists I can't say as MPI so far has refused any correspondance I have thrown their way regarding this very subject.If I ever find out I will certainly let you know immediately.
In conclusion this new release of the Honeymooners sketches from the colour era of The Jackie Gleason Shows are pure delights.There are only eight epsidoes in this release,one less from the previous volume and there are no special features whatever.However each and every sketch is sure to please those old enough to recall the series when it first aired or any new fans of the Great One."