A Fun Look into the Golden Age of Television
Warren Kelly | Southern Ohio | 04/17/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is an episode of The Frank Sinatra Show that was originally taped on October 19, 1958. Guest stars are Bing Crosby and Dean Martin, with Mitzi Gayner and a cameo from Jimmy Durante.
They've remastered an archive tape, and it shows. You still see the fuzz and occasional black spot on screen, but that's to be expected from anything that was taped in 1958, so I wasn't bothered by it - just be aware that this isn't video quality like you're used to from modern DVDs. The sound quality likewise is passable, but isn't quite digital quality.
Dean, Bing, and Mitzi kick things off with "High Hopes," as they wonder where Frank could possibly be - he's late for his own show! Frank arrives in time for a final verse and chorus, then perform "Day In and Day Out."
John Cameron Swayze does his patented "Takes a Licking and Keeps on Ticking" Timex schtick - attached to a motorboat engine that doesn't really want to start. The watch survives, AND stays on the propeller. The ad geek in me loved seeing this. A LOT more facts than are ever given in a modern commercial.
Dean, Bing, and Frank do a little talking (I stop short at calling it 'comedy') and launch into "Together." Dean Martin is, throughout, his usual flamboyant self - at times, he comes close to upstaging Bing and Frank. Bing gets more comedic lines than he ever did working with Bob Hope, but he seems uncomfortable with the roll. Mitzi Gayner's classic burlesque performance of "Hurricane" is tame by today's standards, but I cannot imagine what was said about it in 1958.
Classic songs like "Dancing Cheek to Cheek" and "Old Man River," and of course Frank's "The Lady is a Tramp," round out this hour long Variety Show Special (sponsored by, of course, Timex). The performances are solid from each of the stars, and the supporting cast is outstanding as well.
The DVD is a complete copy of the original broadcast, commercials included. For TV history buffs, TV historians (yes, there's a difference), and fans of the Rat Pack this is a must-have DVD. If you've always been interested in early TV, you should check this out as well. It offers a remarkable contrast between TV of today and TV of the "Golden Age of Television.""
Simply the best
A. Auriemma | 09/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This show has everything...from the 3 stars doing songs together - to Sinatra's 3 song tribute to saloon singing at the end - to a cameo with Jimmy Durante w/ Dean and Bing...
don't miss it.."
Amy Dunham | 01/12/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I had hoped this would be a great one as we are big fans of the rat pack and Bing Crosby....but the quality was sub-par. I know the label says it is done that way on purpose...but I cannot even imagine it looking that bad on tv back when it was originally aired...it looks more like someone backed a tank over it again and again. Really too bad considering the show was a good one. The sound quality is much better than the picture and the 3 stars are quite humorous and entertaining. Hopefully any future episodes would be remastered in much better fashion!!"
Sinatra and the gang, front and center
Matthew G. Sherwin | last seen screaming at Amazon customer service | 09/06/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Although this is called The Frank Sinatra Show, you'll see plenty of Dean Martin and Bing Crosby when you watch this great DVD. Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Bing Crosby all star in this excellent one hour televised program from 1958 copied here onto DVD. Of course, because they digitized this from archival film you just won't get the same picture and sound quality as you would with today's DVDs. Nevertheless, I was thoroughly entertained and the song and dance numbers completely held my attention. This is also a great look at some remarkably talented people working hard to entertain in the late 1950s.
Frank, Dean and Bing sing lots of great songs and they interject a few lines written for them along the way to make it all look so natural. Look for Frank to perform an especially fine trio of songs; he sings "It Was Just One Of Those Things;" "Angel Eyes" and "The Lady Is A Tramp" along with members of the Nelson Riddle Orchestra. The audience loves every minute of this and the applause proves it!
Mitzi Gaynor also does some great work on this show. She does a fantastic job dancing with four men for a number called "Hurricane;" the choreography couldn't be better! Look for Jimmy Durante himself to do a surprise brief walk on role right at the very end of the show, too.
Other memorable moments include Frank singing "High Hopes" with an adorable children's chorus sitting all around him; and Bing, Frank and Dean perform an especially upbeat rendition of "Old Man River." Great!
Another plus for this DVD is that they included the Timex watch commercials that aired with the original television show. The commercials truly create that "retro," nostalgic feel and I like this very much.
All in all, this is a fine document of what great talent could do on television near the end of the 1950s. Sure, the set designs are rather plain compared to the audio-visual computerized effects we enjoy today; but the quality of the actual entertainment is five stars plus!
I highly recommend this DVD for fans of The Rat Pack; and people who enjoy classic pop vocals will hold onto this DVD for years to come.