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The Jack Benny Collection
The Jack Benny Collection
Genres: Comedy, Kids & Family, Television
NR     2004     10hr 45min

Studio: Kc Sales Release Date: 11/30/2004 Run time: 360 minutes


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Movie Details

Genres: Comedy, Kids & Family, Television
Sub-Genres: Comedy, Family Films, Comedy
Studio: Madacy Records
Format: DVD - Black and White - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 11/30/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 10hr 45min
Screens: Black and White
Number of Discs: 5
SwapaDVD Credits: 5
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
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Movie Reviews

A Generous Assortment Of Jack Benny TV Shows On 5 DVDs
sundayclub | 04/17/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Jack Benny was the most admired and respected comedian of the early 20th century. His graceful style of humor was a major influence on Johnny Carson and Kelsey Grammer, among others. Over the course of his 60-year career, he matured into a first-rate comic actor. He brought class and dignity to television at a time when it was needed the most. If you've missed him as much as I have, this generous collection of TV episodes will bring back many pleasant memories.
This collection spans the years 1951 to 1961, giving us the most comprehensive overview of Benny's TV career to date. The show was initially produced live before a theatre audience in the style of a stage play, and these early episodes are as fascinating to watch today as they were fifty years ago. It was during this period that some of the biggest stars in Hollywood made their TV debut on Benny's show, including Marilyn Monroe (never lovelier) and Humphrey Bogart (graciously spoofing his tough-guy image). Both shows are included here, making this collection a must-have for star-gazers.
Fans of Benny's long-running radio series will enjoy spotting the numerous cameo appearances from his radio cast, including Mel Blanc (man of a thousand cartoon voices), Mary Livingstone (who never did the live shows because of stage fright), Frank Nelson (the smiling jerk who insults Benny at every turn), and Dennis Day (the dim-witted Irish tenor). Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson, the Sportsmen Quartet and announcer Don Wilson appear in many of the episodes as well.
I was hesitant about buying this package because Madacy Video has a reputation for poor quality control (their Red Skelton box set is a ripoff, even at half the price). I didn't expect detailed information about broadcast dates or chaptered scenes within each episode, and I didn't get it. What I did get was a nicely designed fold-open case holding five discs, each one holding about two hours worth of TV shows in black-and-white. Some episodes are presented uncut with original cigarette commercials and CBS Network IDs (a bonus for TV historians) while others have gaps where the picture fades to black for ten seconds. Picture & sound quality varied from show to show, but I was able to ignore the technical faults and enjoy the performances.
I highly recommend this collection to Jack Benny fans as well as students of comedy. His subtle approach to humor along with his superb acting skills gave him an advantage that other comedians could only envy. He was an American original, often copied but never replaced. He will be missed for a long time to come."
A fine collection
Brad Frank | Tulsa, Oklahoma USA | 03/09/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Another reviewer has complained about the quality of this set; what she doesn't realize is that many of these shows were broadcast live, and the only copies in existence are kinescopes. I experienced none of the skipping or pausing problems she describes (maybe she should have her DVD player serviced).

Includes the following episodes:

Beverly Hills Police Station
Bob Hope Show
Christmas Shopping Show
Don's 27th Anniversary
Dorothy Shay
4:00 in the Morning
Fred Allen Show
Goldie, Fields, and Glide (a classic featuring George Burns and Bing Crosby)
Honolulu Trip
How Jack Met Mary
Humphrey Bogart Show
Irene Dunne Show
Jack Alone on New Year's Eve
Jack Casting for TV Special
Jack Dreams He's Married to Mary
Jack Gets Robbed
Jack Rents His House
Jack's Hong Kong Suit
Jam Session at Jack's
Johnnie Ray Show
Liberace Show
Lunch Counter Murder
New Year's Day Show
Talent Show, New Year's
A good place to start
P. Lanier | Chicago IL | 01/05/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)

"This is probably as good a DVD collection as you're going to obtain thus far. It has the well-liked Christmas episode featuring Mel Blanc and Dennis Day. A few commercials are sprinkled througout. The original intro and outro tags are included. The quality is not great, but 24 episodes for about 20 bucks isn't bad. Maybe a major distributor will one day give Mr. Benny the respect he's due by giving the original tapes the top-drawer treatment, with digital and audio remastering.
That said, it's still as fine a DVD set thats out there to date. Enjoy! You'll be glad you did!"
Worth the price
Tyke | England | 04/10/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Though I agree that Madacy could have done a better job, I also agree that the quality of much of the material makes up for some of the deficits. Some of the episodes, as one might reasonably expect, are better than others in terms of dialogue and comedy, but especially when viewed in the context of their time, they offer surprisingly snappy material with an occasional risqué reference.

Benny fluffs many a line and seems a bit vague here and there, which rather endears him to the viewer and helps to create a cosiness and sincerity which is almost entirely absent from modern comedy. His material stands out from other comedians of his time in that the best lines are often given to his co-performers and Benny is insulted and ignored by his guests, to great comic effect.

The sprinkling of commercials which are included are somewhat jaw-dropping - very strange to see ad's promoting tobacco products and people sucking on ciggies all over the place - but strange also that these things seem rather shocking today, when current ad's (at least here in the UK) often show explicit sexual or aggressive behaviour, which rarely causes a ripple.

The extras are poor, consisting of text giving background on some of the cast, but there are parts missing or under the wrong names.

Nonetheless, as far as the shows are concerned, a good collection for the price, nicely packaged and it would be great if more shows were released.