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The Mama Cass Television Program
The Mama Cass Television Program
Actors: Barbara Bain, Jr. Sammy Davis, Buddy Hackett, Martin Landau, Joni Mitchell
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Television
NR     2009     1hr 5min

Studio: Infinity Resources Inc Release Date: 08/25/2009


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Movie Details

Actors: Barbara Bain, Jr. Sammy Davis, Buddy Hackett, Martin Landau, Joni Mitchell
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Television
Sub-Genres: Pop, Rock & Roll, Television
Studio: Classic World
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 08/25/2009
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 1hr 5min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 8
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

The Rare Mama Cass Television Program From 1969 Is On DVD!
Tante Maren | Ohio, United States | 07/09/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"1969 was a GREAT year for music! This was the year that Woodstock made history, and was also the same year that MaMa Cass Elliot made a rare television pilot, "The Mama Cass Television Program", hoping it would launch her own television series.
On this 40th Anniversary of "The Mama Cass Television Program", Infinity Entertainment and The Falcon Picture Group have put this rare pilot on DVD! I saw this in 1969, but have never seen or heard of it since! What a treat for Mama Cass fans!
Mama Cass Elliot had quit the Mama's and Papa's the year before in 1968, and she had just begun her solo career, when ABC asked her if she would like to make a pilot for her own musical variety series. They filmed this pilot and never picked up the series, so this is all there is of Mama Cass' own television show.
This great colorful show was never shown again, until now! This one hour special featured Mama Cass with special guest stars: John Sebastian (Lovin' Spoonful), Joni Mitchell, Mary Travers (Peter, Paul and Mary), Buddy Hackett, Martin Landau and (Martin's wife at that time)Barbara Bain (both from Mission Impossible).
Mama Cass sings the following songs solo:
Dream A Little Dream Of Me
River Of Life
I Can Dream Can't I
Dancing In The Street (Motown hit)
Also included are the following songs:
Cass with Joni Mitchell-Both Sides Now
Mary Travers-And When I Die
Cass with Joni Mitchell and Mary Travers-I Shall Be Released (Bob Dylan's Song)
John Sebastian-She's A Lady
Cass with John Sebastian-Darlin' Companion
There are also comedy sketches with guest stars Buddy Hackett, Martin Landau and Barbara Bain.
Also Included Are These Bonus Features:
Mama Cass Elliot and Sammy Davis Jr. sing I Dig Rock And Roll Music.
New Interview with John Sebastian who remembers Mama Cass (who passed away in 1974).
I was so surprised when I saw this super rare and wonderful Mama Cass pilot finally put on dvd! There are so many one-time only television shows and pilots that never make it to dvd, but this is one that will be a treasure to own!"
Cass Wows Us, Then & Now
gassy goon | 09/13/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This Cass Elliot Special on DVD is practically like seeing Cass give a concert. This was recorded live, with Cass backed by a superb band & 3 female background singers. The musical guests are all Cass' friends and peers. The performances are lasting and still resonant with the purity & joy of creating something real, not manufactured. Cass sings live, and brings out her buoyant personality and amazing voice to the studio audience that you can see on this show. What really can you say about CASS, JONI MITCHELL and MARY TRAVERS singing together? It's a pure musical moment that was only done once. Their version of I SHALL BE RELEASED is beautiful. Cass shares the spotlight with both Joni and Mary each getting solo songs [ BOTH SIDES NOW and AND WHEN I DIE, respectively ]. It's so cool to see the camera focus on Cass while she watches her 2 friends each sing their songs. Cass with JOHN SEBASTIAN is truly another rare moment, watching & listening to these 2 very good friends from way back when they were just starting out in the early 60's , make music together. John does SHE'S A LADY, and then in a truly magical music history moment, Cass and John do The Lovin' Spoonful song, DARLIN' COMPANION . Cass strums the autoharp and John the guitar while they sing and hoot during this amazing moment that harkens back to their friendships in the folk clubs before they were both famous musicians.

The end of the show has Cass giving what is essentially a concert on stage , a very rare opportunity to see and hear her for a longer period all on her own. Versions of CALIFORNIA DREAMIN', MONDAY MONDAY, and I CAN DREAM CAN'T I are all stunning to watch and hear. Cass closes it out with DANCING IN THE STREET, having a great time , swinging and swaying. It's all too brief to see , leaving me wanting even more. The audience can be seen during the taping of this show, and it's a time piece to see some of the late 60's apparel on some of the audience members. It's also endearing to see the flubs and the mistakes that were done live, like microphones in the way . It captures the time period so well, and the music guests are each all music giants. The skits and songs with BUDDY HACKETT, BARBARA BAIN and MARTIN LANDAU are nice for seeing Cass act and also just being herself. Had it been a full show of all music performances, it would have been even more incredible. Seeing the lady live onstage herself on this program is surely something that fans have got to have. A big thanks to everyone involved for releasing this one-of-a-kind special starring the Great CASS ELLIOT. It stands the test of time and shows what singing and talent are ."
Owen Vanessa should be proud !!!
Matthew G. Sherwin | last seen screaming at Amazon customer service | 09/09/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Cass Elliott was a very special, gifted performer who always gave her all to please her fans. Cass had probably just scratched the surface of her abilities when she left us all too soon; and that's a shame. This DVD has her television "special" from late 1969 and wow, does Cass ever give us a terrific performance! Whether she's dancing on the stage as she's singing a song or performing a comedy skit with Buddy Hackett, Cass really delivers on this show. Cass' other guest stars are absolutely wonderful, too.

The show opens with Cass and closes with Cass; but there's a lot more going on during this roughly one hour show. Cass sings several songs including "Dream a Little Dream Of Me;" "California Dreamin'" and when she performs "Dancin' in the Street" the younger members of the audience go absolutely wild! Moreover, Cass' guest roster provides excellent singing, dancing, comedy and more. We have Mary Travers singing "And When I Die" and Joni Mitchell plays guitar and sings "Both Sides Now" beautifully. John Sebastian sings "Darlin' Companion" with Cass and they sure do sound great together! In addition, Buddy Hackett tells jokes with a poker face; and Buddy and Cass do a fine sketch about a man and a woman making friends in a hospital as they combine comedy and straight talk to produce a great piece.

Martin Landau and Barbara Bain from "Mission Impossible" make appearances together in two parts of the show; they perform admirably and they show a lot of polish.

Cass gets excellent backup from three young female singers; and the musicians never miss a beat! Great!

The DVD has extra features; there are the commercials from the television special even though we get to see those commercials as part of the show. In addition, I love the wonderful bonus footage of Sammy Davis, Jr. singing his heart out with Cass. Sammy and Cass do a great job on "I Dig Rock & Roll Music" and I love every minute of it! There's a third bonus feature that has John Sebastian reminiscing about Cass as well as The Mamas & The Papas. The quality of the print is pretty good although it could have been a bit better and the sound was a little too low at times--but that's a relatively small point because what we do get is five star entertainment.

Overall, The Mama Cass Television Program is an absolute must-have for Cass' fans; fans of the other performers would do well to add this DVD to their collections. People who like The Mamas & The Papas may want this, too. Cass Elliott never sounded better and her positive energy throughout the show is incredible. I hope they release her other prime-time special from 1973.

R.I.P., Cass Elliott! We love you!"
A Time capsule of 1969 Folk icons
Steven I. Ramm | Phila, PA USA | 08/23/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The timing couldn't be better for this release of a "one shot" television pilot produced by Chuck Barris ("Dating Game", "Newlywed Game" and, of course "the Gong Show") to feature "Mama Cass" Elliott as she ventured out from the Mamas and Papas. Its not been seen for 40 years and the "pop art" colors of 1969 TV will fill your screen. There's no specific date given in 1969 but I think it was before the Woodstock concert that year. The only performer she has as a guest that played Woodstock is John Sebastian. (Though Joni Mitchell wrote the song about Woodstock, she never made it to the festival.).

The 57 minute show, had both its high and low points but there's enough here to make this worth watching. The DVD presents the show complete with its original commercials (the skinny models in both the Unguentine sun cream and Playtex bra commercials are a stark contract to Mama Cass!), and for some reason they let you repeat the commercials in the bonus features. Note: Bernadette Peters appears in one of the Playtex commercials, made early in her career.

Cass's guests include both Joni Mitchell and Mary Travers, who get solo numbers and then join Cass for Dylan's "I Shall Be Released". The other guests include roly-poly comedian Buddy Hackett, wearing a Beatle's haircut, who gets to sing a ballad he wrote and later do a comedy routine with Cass. Husband and wife actors Martin Landau and Barbara Bain are here also doing sketch comedy that seems out of place with the rest of the show. Then again, these were called "variety shows". The last 14 minutes consist of Cass singing solo and this brings things back to a musical focus.

The print is sharp and crisp though the commercials seem somewhat faded.

Bonus features include a fun 4-minute medley Cass performed with Sammy Davis Jr. on the Hollywood Palace show and a terrific newly recorded six-minute interview with John Sebastian where he tells some really funny stories of the folk-era days in Greenwich Village.

Sadly, Cass never got the series. But someone preserved the tape. And now its here for all of us to enjoy.

Steve Ramm
"Anything Phonographic"