Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Fractured Flickers - The Complete Collection|
Actors: Hans Conried, Paul Frees, June Foray, Bill Scott
Genres: Comedy, Television
Produced in 1963 for TV syndication via Desilu, Fractured Flickers was an irreverent tribute to silent pictures and the special creation of Jay Ward and Bill Scott, the comic genius behind Rocky & Bullwinkle and many ot... more »
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A Mixed Bag but Well Worth Opening
Bloodshot Boy | Springfield, OR USA | 10/03/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"What a treat it was to finally be able to see this favorite TV series from my childhood once again. It wasn't hard to see why a 10-year-old kid would have loved it so much, although I would have to admit that seeing it again as a 50-year-old was a somewhat different experience. Several of the segments were so good, they're still among my all-time favorite moments in TV comedy (mostly from the series' first few episodes, I noticed). But I'd have to say that a surprising number of the program's segments misfired. I think that part of the problem with the series was that it pretty quickly veered away from the premise it set for itself in its earliest episodes (i.e. wacky truncated versions of actual silent movies like Valentino's Blood and Sand, Elmo Lincoln's Tarzan, Fairbanks' The Mark of Zorro, etc.) and simply began cobbling together disparate footage, mostly from silent comedies, that would have been funnier WITHOUT the Jay Ward treatment. For this reason, I thought that those first few humorous versions of silent dramas and serious action films (see the above) worked best, while the Fractured Flickers versions of actual comedies were much less effective. I mean, why on earth "fracture" a classic comedy like Buster Keaton's "Cops" when the original version was totally unimprovable for generating laughs? On the other hand, the Fractured versions of deadly serious films like Lon Chaney's "Hunchback of Notre Dame" (see the hilarious "Dinky Dunston, Boy Cheerleader"), Conrad Veidt's "The Hands of Orlac" and John Barrymore's "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" worked so well because they weren't comedies to begin with. Consequently, all of those great Ward studio voices, music cues and silly sound effects resulted in some pretty big laughs at the expense of these straight dramas and action films. Why this obvious fact escaped the notice of the program's makers really mystifies me. An even bigger surprise to me than the uneven quality of the "fractured" film segments, though, was how many of host Hans Conreid's on camera remarks and scripted celebrity interviews fell totally flat. He and his guests often appeared visibly uncomfortable having to mouth such weak material and that made me uncomfortable for them, the very last response they were probably aiming for. Yes, this long awaited release is definitely a mixed bag, but I would still recommend it to anyone with enough patience to hunt for the series' better moments. There are more than enough to warrant a rental or purchase, especially if you've always wanted to show your friends, kids or grandkids how you happened to come by your own warped sense of humor. These three crazy DVD's will explain A LOT. I know they did for me!"
A BARGAIN for film enthusiasts everywhere!!!
Daniel J. McCormick | Madison, WI USA | 11/20/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am a Jay Ward fan, and I've collected some episodes of "Fractured Flickers" on 16mm film at a cost of several hundred dollars. Films from this series are a serious collector's item, and they've never sold for cheap on eBay. As such, $35 for this DVD collection is an incredible bargain
And the show is an absolute scream! Hans Conried shines as the stoic, but not unflappable host. In one show, Conried sardonically compares his hosting duties on a silent film show to "doing a show live from Forest Lawn cemetary." The best skits include "Dinky Dunston, Boy Cheerleader" (Lon Chaney's Hunchback of Notre Dame is endowed with Dudley Do-Right's voice) and a terrific re-editing of Fritz Lang's "M" (Peter Lorre tries to give up smoking. It's topical treatment of the Big Tobacco industry was decades ahead of its time.)
If you're tired of sitcom mediocrity full of brainless idiocy, phony families, hackneyed plots and stupid pratfalls, you DESERVE this series on DVD!!! There has been no series like "Fractured Flickers" before or since!"
It's about time!
W. Dorsett | Seattle, WA USA | 07/26/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This show, more than anything else, is responsible for warping my sense of humor as a child. Hans Conried was the perfect host, the bits were not all the greatest- but when they were on target- it was hysterical. "The Barber of Stanwyk" "Stan Laurel's "Minute Mysteries" "Believe it or Don't" It was a guide for satire and it affected me greatly as a child. I would not be the person I am today without having watched this show- whatever that means"
The Great Gabbo will never be the same again!
Paul Bellefeuille | New Hampshire | 06/28/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"You've read some of these reviews by now but, nobody has as of yet, mentioned the "fracturing" of the Erich Von Stroheim film "The Great Gabbo" in Episode 14. This one had me gasping for breath, it is incredibly funny!(Yes this is where Matt Groening of The Simpsons got the name for Krusty's rival in the "Krusty Gets Kancelled" episode.) Re-titled as "Hymie und Me", it is the story of WWI Colonel Erich Von Stucker getting out of the military and going into show biz with a midget known as "Shorty Woods". Bill Scott does his best "Fearless Leader" voice from Rocky and Bullwinkle" as Von Stucker and Paul Frees does a "Charlie McCarthy" type voice as Shorty Woods. As with the early episodes of the show, there seems to have been more work put into matching up voices and dialogue with lip movement, a very difficult thing to do! Episode 13 has a scathing parody of Walt Disney in "The Dalt Wizley Program" from Wizley Land.."Folks, this is Wizleyland my Magic Dictatorship..a real favorite with the kids is the submarine ride where they can actually see floating paper cups and beer cans under water." says Bill Scott as Wizley. According to Keith Scott's book "The Moose That Roared"..buy it, it's cheap and loaded with Jay Ward info..the staff was under incredible time and money constraints.
If you watch all of the shows back-to-back, then it does get a little exhausting trying to absorb all of the one-liners and use of repeat footage. Remember, this show was on once a week and that's how they hoped it would be watched!
I give the shows five stars because I appreciate the hard work that goes into creating a show like this. Kudos to Bill Scott, Paul Frees, the fabulous June Foray, Hans..call me Hansel..Conried and all of the very very talented writers, editors , sfx people and other production staff.
If you like really off-beat humor..Gary Owens fans I can hear you gnarfing out there.. then you gotta get mom and dad to buy this dvd. Or at least get grandma to leave it to you in her Will..or her Larry whichever comes first. And thanks to VCI for acquiring the shows for dvd release!!"