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The Jack Benny Collection
The Jack Benny Collection
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Television
NR     2004     5hr 0min

Well! It?s about time somebody put together a fabulous five-DVD pack that brings you the best of The Jack Benny Show, with Jack and his merry troupe, including Mary Livingston, Don Wilson, and of course, Rochester ? plus g...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Television
Sub-Genres: Comedy, Drama, Comedy
Studio: PASSPORT VIDEO
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 02/24/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 5hr 0min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 5
SwapaDVD Credits: 5
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Not too bad, but a mixed bag and could have included more
woolrich2 | VA. United States | 03/03/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)

"For reference, here's a breakdown of the contents of this set:Disk 1: THE MEDICINE MAN (1930; film)Disk 2: THE JACK BENNY PROGRAM (1/1954): w./ Liberace THE JACK BENNY PROGRAM (3/1954): "Goldie, Fields, and Glide" (Bing Crosby, George Burns, & Bob Hope guest)Disk 3: THE JACK BENNY PROGRAM (2/1958): "Jack at the Races" THE JACK BENNY PROGRAM (4/1959): w./ Ed Sullivan & "Genevieve"Disk 4: THE JACK BENNY PROGRAM (12/1957): "The Christmas Shopping Show" THE JACK BENNY PROGRAM (1/1961): "New Year's Eve"Disk 5: THE JACK BENNY HOUR (11/1959): w./ Danny Thomas, Raymond Burr, and the McGuire Sisters As a long-time Jack Benny fan (who first discovered him during the 1980's in reruns on cable), I really found this to be a mixed set: sweets and bitters. There are some true Benny classics mixed in, especially on disk 4, which may have the funniest Benny TV program ever--"The Christmas Shopping Show." In this episode, Benny and Rochester try to go Christmas shopping for the gang, only to have a tangle with both Dennis Day, and, most notably, Mel Blanc, as an endlessly harrassed sales clerk. Best Mel line, said aside so Benny can hear, "Why did the governor have to pardon me?" The ending's rather shocking for its day--jet-black humor--but utterly hilarious. Also on DVD #4, is a very unusual late Benny program (early 1960's), in which his date with a bimbo waitress falls through, and he winds up spending New Year's with Rochester. It's actually somewhat bittersweet at moments, but it worked, and I really enjoyed watching it.The other highlight in this set's located on DVD #3, "Jack at the Races," and it's unusual in having been filmed off location (not at the CBS studios) and starring Mary Livingston and Dennis Day opposite Benny. For good measure, Sheldon Leonard ("Hey, bub!") and Joe Besser (the least of the Three Stooges) show up and stay in excellent form. Benny heads out to the horse track for the day, where he runs afoul of his show's sponsor (whom he convinces to bet on a losing horse) and Joe Besser in a restaurant (where Sheldon Leonard offers Jack tips on the "best tables"). Wait until you see how Joe clears Jack and Mary's table! I wasn't as fond of the rest of the Benny shows on the other disks (although "Goldie, Fields, and Glide" and "Liberace" *definitely* have their funny moments), due to the "variety show" syndrome creeping in ever more steadily. To my mind, what made Benny great were his recurring character actors (Eddie "Rochester" Anderson, Phil Harris--on radio, Dennis Day, Mel Blanc, and others) and once you see Jack opposite performing chimps or in a bad "Carol Burnett" style courtroom skit with Ed Sullivan, the show suffers badly. All of the running jokes we love so much ("Yes?") get tossed out the window also. It may have helped ratings along in the late 1950's and early 1960's, but it was a bad artistic mistake in retrospect.You will either find THE MEDICINE MAN intensely interesting or hate it and find it dull. I fell in the first camp. However, Benny as actor in the film's nothing like his later "Jack" character, who wouldn't really come along until the radio show hit its stride in 1936 or 1937. In general, the DVD menus are fun, but there are no extras. The print quality's O.K. for what are obviously public domain shows. Visually, they looked better than the DVD's released by either Alpha Video or Diamond Entertainment. I'm tempted to say you should support this set, as there's very little Benny available on DVD and perhaps the contents will be a bit more generous in future releases if the sales for this set warrant future ones. Unfortunately, MGM's sitting on the original shows hidden away in its vaults, so we can probably only expect P.D. shows for the foreseeable future. As much as I love Benny's show, I must admit that he's not as commercially bankable as he once was, as not as many people are familiar with his work now. Good night folks, be seeing you soon."
A MISLEADING, TOTAL DISAPPOINTMENT
AfroAmericanHeritage | 03/02/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)

"Don't even think about purchasing this collection. From its minimal description - or lack of - I expected 5 discs of episodes from the Jack Benny tv show. Wrong.This is a compilation of films and other shows, wastefully spread out over 5 discs - nothing to do with the beloved series with Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson. All that is included, here, could have been put on 2 discs.Precisely like the disappointing GEORGE BURNS & GRACIE ALLEN COLLECTION - this is misleading and irresponsible."
Only 5 hours TOTAL running time! A ripoff at the price.
AfroAmericanHeritage | Wisconsin | 01/27/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)

"I wish I had read the negative reviews more carefully before ordering this product.

Most singled-sided DVDs of TV programs contain about 4 hours of material, so I thought this 5-disc "collection" would contain about 20 hours of material. Yet each disc contains barely an hour of material.

And they're not even complete programs! No doubt in an effort to squeeze a few more dimes out of us, they didn't bother to secure the music rights, so all the musical numbers have been chopped out.

This "collection" is at most 2 discs worth of material. BTW, DVD#3 is supposed to contain "Jack at the Races." Both the box and the DVD itself are labelled as such, yet that episode is missing and in it's place is a detective sketch with Humphrey Bogart.

I bought a disc called "The Jack Benny Show" at the grocery store for $4.99. It has 5 programs, 2 of which are also in this collection, and a total running time of 2.5 hours.

I give 5 Stars for Jack Benny, but 0 Stars for this ripoff collection. Don't waste your money...if you really want to see these programs, purchase a used copy or borrow it from the library."
Funny, but deceptive and poorly done
Christopher Michelsen | Fairfield, iowa United States | 01/07/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)

"I think Jack Benny would roll over in his grave at what was done to his fabulous work as a comedian.

Can you imagine watching Star Wars or the Lord of the Rings DVD's and not in the corner but one third of the way in from the left and a quarter of the way up the screen there was a large logo stamped on the screen saying "Lord of the Rings Trilogy" and that this was present throughout the movie?

This is what they did to Jack Benny. You get to watch a large "The Jack Benny Collection" written on your screen throughout. I have no idea why. Is it an ad? ..for something you already bought? Very disappointing to say the least.

The other thing to note is that this is not really a 5 disc set. This is 10 Gigabytes of material spread over 5 discs. 2 gigs each instead of the 7gig average put on most DVD's. It is less than 1 ½ discs of material.

I love Jack Benny. I find it sad what they did to him.

Chris, Iowa"