Dean will always be remembered
dolores t. petersen | 07/20/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I thought I was the only one who enjoyed his music and his TV variety shows.This tape really points out what a fine talent he was. He never really blew his own horn, he just did his thing and let the chips fall where they may.Frank always took the center stage but he didn't have the timing Dean had and I also felt Dean sang much better, altho Frank did okay with some songs. I think he got much more publicity, but Dean didn't care.I really miss the guy, thankfully there are still some great CD's out there to listen to."
Jeffrey Ceterko | WESTFIELD, NEW JERSEY USA | 12/15/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you don't have this tape in your collection it is an absolute must! It's one of the finest in the Biography series. Dean was one of the most entertaining figures of the 20th century and this tape is a fantastic look at his life, from beginning to lonely end. I met Dean on numerous occasions and this tape will make you feel like you've met him yourself. A classy look at a classy guy! Enjoy!"
Great stuff, but 55 minutes ain't enough.
Phil DiPrima | Waldorf, Md | 01/24/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I think this version is just a transfer from VHS to DVD without any updating, and that would explain the lack of information about Dean's passing on Christmas Day 1995. The reviews about the VHS version are very good so I'll touch on just some of the highlights here. The DVD doesn't have any "special features" like most do, but that doesn't take anything away from the great stuff in it. It only has 6 "scene selection" choices but this program is so good that you won't want to "pick up the action" anywhere but at the beginning. The greatest comments and insights about Dean come from Jerry Lewis. I always thought that he & Dean hated each other when they broke up in the 1950's but Jerry reveals otherwise. Greg Garrison, Frank Sinatra, Joey Bishop, Jeannie Martin and even Dean himself share some great information about Dean's life. (No Sammy Davis comments but I think he died before this came out.) Narrated by Peter Graves, he comments on Dean's life from his Dad coming to America in 1914, through Dean's struggle to find work in the depression years to his becoming the highest paid entertainer of that time. The 2 greatest scenes in the program are the reuniting of Dean & Jerry on the 1976 Labor Day telethon and Dean's 72nd birthday surprise in 1986. Each one got a surprise! First Jerry on the telethon, then Dean on his birthday. The reason; they hadn't spoken for 20 years when the telethon aired and after that meeting, they didn't speak for the next 10 years until the birthday surprise! There are clips from The Vegas Rat Pack shows, Dean's TV shows, one from the "roasting" of Jack Benny and scenes from a couple of Dean's movies. The sound & picture quality are excellent and I only wish the show was longer and included more show clips."
He made it ALL look so easy
Charles Ashbacher | Marion, Iowa United States(firstname.lastname@example.org) | 02/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I watched many of the Dean Martin shows when they first aired, listened to his songs when they were hits and have watched most of his movies. But, until I watched this tape, I did not appreciate how talented he really was. The stage routines that he carried out with Jerry Lewis are amazing. Unlike most other comedy teams, they are on stage interacting primarily with each other. They spent the majority of their time talking to each other, only rarely turning their heads to the audience. Jerry Lewis has long been given the majority of the credit for their joint success, but Martin was clearly just as talented in making people laugh.
Martin was also a much better actor than he had been given credit for. There are only a few clips from his movies, but he brought the same ease to the screen that he did to the comedy stage. Where he was most amazing was as a singer. His song, "Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime" was the first song to knock the Beatles from number one on the charts. When I was young and going to construction sites with my uncle, the hard working, hard drinking laborers were walking around singing the lyrics to this song. It amazed me to hear that it was added to the album at the last minute, as a replacement for a song Martin didn't like.
Unlike so many other entertainers, Martin was genuinely a nice and decent man. His producer of thirty years said that they formed their partnership by agreeing to work together and sealed it with a handshake. Nothing more was ever needed. Despite his entertainment persona as a wild living, hard drinking man, Martin was a devoted family man. His wife said that he was always home for dinner and the death of his son Dino in a military jet devastated him.
What is probably the most incredible aspect of his career is that he did not rehearse for his television show. He showed up the day it was being taped or being performed live and carried out his role. Perhaps that explains why he was so underrated as an entertainer. He made everything look so easy; people didn't take him as seriously as they should have.
Finally, Martin was also a true tough guy. He fought professionally, although poorly as a youth. When he ran out of money, he and a friend would charge a group of people fifty cents each to come to their room and watch them punch each other until one was unconscious.
This is one of those tapes that show you positive sides of a person that you never knew he had. Unlike so many of the self-centered prima donnas that exist now, he never, ever seemed to believe that he was above being made fun off. He also seemed to genuinely be having a good time when he was performing.