Great Program, Unacceptable Sound Quality
Ferenc Vasady-Kovacs | New York, NY USA | 12/29/2003
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I've been a Miltie fan for decades and my wife just bought this DVD (together with Volume 2) for me for Xmas. The show is fine, albeit dated, and deserves 4 stars if one disregarded the audio quality which is incredibly poor and certainly below even 1950s standards. But how on earth can you disregard the fact that the music and the dialogs and the jokes (which is WHY you'd buy this DVD !) are garbled and at parts unintelligible; there are scenes one simply cannot make out what is being said or sung.I am in the process of complaining to Amazon, but given their non-return policy concerning "opened" DVDs I expect some discussion about how one might learn of unacceptable quality without opening this product. The only "consumer review" (if it is not a fake, -- awarding 5 stars !!!) is truly perplexing.My advice: Buy this product only if you feel compelled to burn 23 one-dollar bills, so as to waste both money and time."
More Stars Please
sebastian hope | Olympia WA | 07/20/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What you have here is a reason for the DVD medium itself. This is the first installment of the hour long pioneering program that Berle hosted in the fifties. Plotless but not pointless it flows perfectly along from sing to dancing to serious drama. Television must have been difficult to grasp for many viewers in the early days as networks struggled to figure out what would work for the new medium. Berle is one of the reasons that Americans fell in love with "the tube". He knew how to hold an audience from his success as a stage performer and he translates it to the small screen well. His genius comes when he combines the tried and true vaudeville moves with the new tools of television. His act probably did not stray to far the performances he gave on the stage but the power of the camera, specifically the close up and the myriad of different angles available, the show could now direct attention more acutely.
This first disc features Frank Sinatra, Tallulah Bankhead and other talents. Each of the two episodes is an hour long and features Milton and guests in dance numbers and vocal duets. The dancing is great the singing is great (it's a young Sinatra for crying out loud) and the flow of the show is great. The guest list is always a who's who of the time but make no mistake the real talent is always Uncle Milt. The show really has no equal even with todays three hundred digital channels, and don't confuse the truth for nostalgia. Milton Berle is the real deal as perfect for television as television is perfect for him.
Behold the master at work."