Frank Sinatra directed this 1957 Christmas special in which he joins forces with Bing Crosby to run through a bumper crop of holiday favorites. In cozy production numbers set both in Victorian England and present-day 1950s... more » America, these American legends duet on "Jingle Bells," "Hark the Herald Angels Sing," "O Come All Ye Faithful," "White Christmas," and more. This is swinging holiday history that will never go out of style!« less
Samuel Chell | Kenosha,, WI United States | 12/01/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Another packaging of Sinatra's 1950's television footage, once again by Hart Sharp Video, the producers who earlier this year brought us "Sinatra: The Classic Duets." Again, the show itself is under 30 minutes with the remaining 60 minutes allocated to interviews with Nancy, Tina, and other friends and associates familiar with the circumstances of the original show. As usual, the producers are particularly unhelpful about providing documentation, but by perusing the video contents, it can be determined that the show is from 1957, which should have been "a very good year" for Old Blue. Unfortunately, this is definitely not a performance for making the case that Sinatra was the "Entertainer of the Century." He looks rather tired and stiff, and the voice, at least by Sinatra standards, sounds rough, lifeless and "played out." By contrast, Bing lights up the screen, radiating warmth, looking far more composed than the host, and singing flawlessly.At these prices (under the cost of many CD's), this is a worthwhile pick-up for the Sinatra-Crosby collector. In fact, it rates above the earlier "Classic Duets" release because of print quality (a stunning clarity, even if the colors are often "wrong"), the extended sequencing (as opposed to stitching together bits and pieces from different Sinatra shows), and the extemporaneous, often surprising, remarks of the Sinatra daughters at a Q&A event following the initial screening of this restored footage. (At one point, in explaining Frank's troubles with TV ratings, Nancy says, "Dad didn't do well on television." Tina responds, "He had to fail somewhere.")Bottom line: Don't even consider this if you don't already have "The Sinatra Christmas Album" or "A Jolly Christmas." And if it's Sinatra television footage you crave, be sure to pick up first the 1967 special with Frank, Ella, and Jobim. As for the Sinatra family members who, I understand, are largely responsible for this release: how do you explain going to such lengths to restore and mass-market this sort of footage while letting a Sinatra "concept" album like "All Alone," a project worthy of Sinatra's name in every respect, fall into oblivion?"
Great Music, Great Sound, So-So Video
Peter Kohut | Bridgeport, PA United States | 12/07/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Let me tell you Frank and Bing are at their best here. This disc is a true treasure. The 5.1 surrond sound audio is flawless. It is truly wonderful! The video, in some scenes is amazing!!! The scenes with them in ol England are GREAT! However, there are some scenes with blue specks that I KNOW could have been removed. All together, this is not a bad DVD. I do recommend it. It is well done considering the age, but the video could have been better in some spots. Regardless of the video quality, THIS IS A MUST BUY!"
A Christmas present from the past!
David Schultheiss | Valencia, CA USA | 10/15/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is amazing....what a find! Nancy Sinatra found this FULL COLOR episode from Frank Sinatra's 1957 television series, and it's simply a wonderful treat. Frank invites Bing Crosby over to his house for Christmas Eve and the two sing all the great holiday songs. What a retro-christmas gift! 15 songs in all, the entire DVD is about 90 minutes with extras. Of course it closes with Bing singing WHITE CHRISTMAS and Frank joining in - it's like a re-teaming from the film HIGH SOCIETY, they look and act about the same. There is a Q&A session from the Museum of Television with Nancy and Tina Sinatra, and the show's Producer William Self who answer some questions about the program. Also included is a photo gallery of Christmas Cards with Frank's original artwork. Don't miss out on this terrific holiday treat, you'll watch it every year right along with WHITE CHRISTMAS and CHARLIE BROWN!"
HAPPY HOLIDAYS WITH BING & FRANK
D. M. THOMAS | Clawson, Mi USA | 11/21/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Obviously our friend from Tennessee has no idea what a great find this DVD is. To complain about poor color when we should be thankful that any color print from 1957 that has been poorly stored and forgotten should still survive. I for one marveled at how rich the color was considering the problems with restoration. So few TV shows where filmed in color back then and none of them were ever shown in color in the original broadcasts....I marvel when I find a copy of Superman, Cisco Kid and other gems from back then that are produced on DVD in color. The music is excellent.....sure the production values were poor when compared to todays TV shows....but then they didn't have million dollar budgets .... they were lucky to have a few thousand dollars to produce any TV show. I find it disturbing when someone writes a review (who probably wasn't even born back in the 50's) and then complains because early TV material doesn't match that of the 2000's.
The only complaint I have is I do think this DVD is a bit overpriced for a half hour of entertainment......but when you think of the expense involved in restoring a gem like this I am just thankful so many movies and tv shows from back then are being rediscovered and preserved for future generations."
BING IS THE BEST!
Crosby Fan | Savannah, TN USA | 01/17/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"All the reviews I read were about Frank Sinatra, don't get me wrong I like him too, however Bing Crosby is by far the greatest singer and actor. When I first bought this DVD it was because of nostalgia, but it opened the door for me to meet "THE GRANDE MR. BING CROSBY", since I have bought everything that I can find on his wonderful career. Happy Holidays is my most treasured material possession. It is wonderful!!"