Byron Kolln | the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood | 07/11/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When Ann Sothern's Hollywood career started to stall, the lovely star focused her attention on television. She appeared in several shows as well as a lavish TV production of Kurt Weill's LADY IN THE DARK, and THE ANN SOTHERN SHOW. She also played the nosey Susie Camille MacNamara in the wonderful sitcom PRIVATE SECRETARY...
The sitcom PRIVATE SECRETARY featured Ann Sothern as Susie, the secretary to New York talent mogul Peter Sands (Don Porter). However, Susie often gets confused as to the limitations of her job and gets frequently entangled in the lives of Peter and his clients. Snappy dialogue and great comic support is provided by Ann Tyrrell as Susie's workmate Vi Praskins. When the series later went into syndication, the title of the show was inexplicably changed to SUSIE.
This DVD from Alpha contains 4 great episodes (presented under the SUSIE title):
"What Every Secretary Knows" - Susie gets embroiled with an opera bigwig when Peter tries to clinch a deal for two of his rising stars.
"How to Handle a Boss" - Susie arranges for her journalist-boyfriend to act as her ghostwriter when she has to submit an important article for a magazine.
"Not Quite Paradise" - Vi's aunt (guest star ZaSu Pitts) becomes convinced that Vi and Peter are engaged...and that Susie is the 'Other Woman'!
"Three's a Crowd" - Susie finds herself sandwiched in a love triangle, comprising of a young playwright and a gunho Broadway producer.
Hopefully Alpha may release some more eps from this often-neglected sitcom in the future."
Great Show Badly Served in Transfer
Lawrence R. Holben | Mt. Shata, CA United States | 12/16/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Those of us who remember Ann Sothern's terrific performances in "Private Secretary" (later dubbed "Susie" in syndication) back in the 50s, and the stylish, glamorous New York celebrity life that was implied (though rarely directly shown) in the series can only be grateful that a handful of these classic TV comedies have been released on DVD. Watching them is pure delight, and not just for nostalgic purposes. The writing and acting are funny and sharp and the series -- despite its dated perspective on how a smart woman can handle a sometimes egotistical, always somewhat obstuse, male -- holds up remarkably well.
That's the good news. The bad news is the transfer to DVD is pretty dreadful. The sound quality is especially bad: whenever there's music, the pitch wavers like a drunken burglar alarm. It's actually painful to listen to. In one of the episodes, a floating dark bar (rogue splicing tape?) dances through a scene or two. In short, the whole product screams "on the cheap."
But the shows themselves are gems and it's a real treat to see Sothern and her superb supporting cast go through their paces once again."
ANN SOTHERN : BOMBSHELL BLONDE de HOLLYWOOD!
Adam Robert Roach | washington,dc | 10/04/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"ANN SOTHERN WAS ONE OF 'THE GREATS'...A TYPE of GIFT THAT HOLLYWODD HAS FORGOTTON HOW TO GRACE THE WORLD WITH. ANN (BORN HARRIET LAKE) WAS A REAL TALENT:COMIC GENIOUS,GLAM-QUEEN... WHEN 'GLAM' WAS ABOVE and FAR BEYOND THE STARVED - WAIF STATE IT HAS PLUMMETTED TO. ANN WAS A CLASS-ACT. SHE STARRED IN THE DELIGHTFUL 'MAISIE' FILM SERIES and LATER BROUGHT MAISIE TO RADIO. SHE WAS A MAJOR STAR FOR FOUR DECADES. SHE WAS JERRY VAN DYKE'S MOTHER-TURNED-1928-PORTER's VOICE IN 1960's SITCOM 'MY MOTHER THE CAR'....FUNNY,GLAMOUROUS,SMART,GORGEOUS & FUEL EFFIECIENT...WHAT MORE COULD A GUY ASK FOR?"
If you knew Susie like I know Susie
bernie | Arlington, Texas | 07/21/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"In this 50's TV comedy series, the private secretary to talent agent Peter Sands (Don Porter), Susan Camille MacNamara (Ann Sothern) goes out of her way to help her boss in the most convoluted schemes. Some how she always puts her foot in it; yet in the end everything turns out fine.
Either a victim of old age or bad memory (possible the world has changed); I found this series to be straining for laughs.
The DVD volume one contains:
"What Every Secretary Knows"
"How to Handle the Boss"
"Not Quite Paradise"
"Three's a Crowd"
If you enjoyed the acting of Don Porter then you should not miss him in the Bob Hope classic "Bachelor in Paradise" (1961)
The version I watched was distributed by alpha video and was not remastered (it really should have been). The images do not hold up well on today's big screen TV's