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Queen for a Day
Queen for a Day
Actor: Jack Bailey
Genres: Comedy, Television
R     2005     3hr 30min

The 50?s were the Golden Age of television?s game and quiz shows. In 1957, 5 of the top 10 programs on TV were quiz shows. Five days a week, the voice of Jack Bailey, master of ceremonies, carried across the nation via the...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Jack Bailey
Genres: Comedy, Television
Sub-Genres: Comedy, Comedy
Studio: First Look Pictures
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 05/24/2005
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 3hr 30min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 3
SwapaDVD Credits: 3
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Don't miss this one.
Susan Nunes | Reno, NV United States | 01/06/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Many critics over the years regard Queen for a Day as one of the worst television shows of all time because of what they believe was the exploitation of human misery for ratings and prizes. There is merit to that opinion. The "game" went something like this: Four (or five) women would tell host Jack Bailey what gift they would like and why. Usually the stories would be hard-luck stories, although sometimes they weren't. The woman who told the most miserable story, as measured by audience applause using an "applause meter," won and would be crowned "Queen for a Day" by Bailey, and would actually sit on a throne to the tune of "Pomp and Circumstance." The woman not only got what she wished, but she also received literally hundreds if not thousands of dollars worth of prizes.

And actually the show was little more than one long 30-minute or 45-minute commercial, but it was profitable for ABC. And while the show might have been shameless exploitation, people like me (who saw it as a child) loved it.

What is sad in retrospect is that like so many live programs, very little footage remains of this legendary show. According to the box of this DVD, just seven complete episodes survive. While the show can be viewed today as high camp, it is also an interesting look at what consumer culture was like in the 1950s-1960s.

The transfer is good for these discs, and most of the surviving episodes appear to be from the early 1960s when I saw it. I enjoyed these shows immensely, and they brought back a lot of memories. The original commercials are also a nice touch.

Don't miss a chance to see this show."
TV Queens
E. Freedman | 08/31/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This 3-disc set includes: "The only surviving 7 episodes... transferred from their original Kinescope elements... [and] also includes additional rare rescued footage from 5 other episodes." Since product placement is built into the structure of this program, ads are intact as well. And this is a very good transfer (in terms of both image and audio). For scholars and fans who have been looking for this classic television show, which went on the air in the mid-50s, this is a nice addition to the limited amount of golden age TV available on DVD. The material is indeed spread across 3 discs, which seems like an excessive amount of discs for an estimated 210 program minutes (plus bonus footage); but this seems a minor point."
Can't Believe It!
B. Babb | Virginia Beach, VA United States | 12/08/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I hope the things I have read are true! I have ordered this. My mother was pregnant with me when she appeared on this show (and won)! I have tried forever to find episodes of this in hopes I could find the one episode (in the early 60s) she appeared in to present to her. She still has a watch from this show with diamonds and the photo given of her crowning signed by Jack Bailey."
Given enough time, junk becomes history
Jmark2001 | Florida | 04/05/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"This program from the late fifties and early sixties exploits hard-luck women as they tell their tales of disabled husbands, deformed children, unpaid bills, etc. The woman who tugs the most heart strings in the audience gets to become "Queen for a day" and is given lots of gifts. This was trash tv but fifty years later it is an historical look at the place of women in American society before anyone knew what feminism was. All of the commercials (included) make it plain that a woman's value back then was tied up with making her husband happy. The host, Jack Bailey, looks like he had a number of scotches before each show. But through all of this fog of smarmy tv, the women reveal that they were strong and dedicated to the men and children they vowed to take care of on their wedding day. Their strength - a quiet, steady, grit your teeth kind of strength - made me think that the show's producers could have made a very different kind of program if they had taken these women seriously and not as sad poor women to exploit."