Victor = 4 stars, presentation = 2 stars
K. Gittins | CA USA | 05/29/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Victor Borge (1909-2000) was a pianist from Denmark and had a musical comedy act which mixed classical piano and amusing fictitious anectdotes. He has a pretty thick accent, which at times muddled up his speaking but other times was put to good use.
This DVD contains a representative sample of his routines - anectdotes about growing up, some straight classical music, some of his comedy duets - in this case with a male opera singer as Victor only "dinks" the keys about 8 times during the 2 minutes, and another playing a classical piece "poorly" with another pianist.
The collection also contains his most popular routine (judging from the audience reaction), which is his "phonetic punctuation", where he reads a short story and injects various sounds and gestures representing punctuation marks. The odd thing is that this routine is identical to the one "as seen on TV", but the last line was left off in this performance - although it is not strictly necessary (it sounds like 3 farts, representing "...")
The "Then and Now" portion of the title refers to the fact that some clips of his performances over the decades are shown, including one with the Muppets, and another with newsman Mike Wallace.
The 80-minute long DVD itself is rather skimpy. Two menu choices "Play Video" or "Features". "Features" is an awkwardly laid out chapter selection menu spread over 4 pages. Sound and picture are acceptable but not great.
There are a few routines not in this collection that I really like and miss. One is Victor playing certain classical pieces, and in the middle of each one, will drift into a version of "Happy Birthday" - perhaps that is on the "birthday" DVD. Another is when he competes for the same keyboard with a second pianist and they end up alternating notes. The third one I miss is when he is saying thanks and goodnight while playing, and - with perfect timing - says he performs for just the laugh and smile from the audience. "The rest goes to the government".
This is a pretty good sampler of Victor's funny work."
A wonderful DVD, honoring the legacy of the late, great Vict
D. Pawl | Seattle | 12/22/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Anyone who isn't familiar with the comedic genius of Victor Borge, I suggest that you check out this DVD. It is a concise look at Victor Borge (born Borge Rosenbaum) as a great comedian, showman and masterful classically trained pianist.
Whether the Danish-born Victor Borge is presenting a classic sketch, like his "Phonetic Pronounciation" bit (where he vocalizes punctuation, with accompanying text/dialogue in an old romance novel, with sounds comparable to "farts" and "squirts"...it takes on a new dimension as an original and very funny invented language), or competing with Leonid Hambro for the use of one grand piano, this man will leave you rolling in the aisles.
Borge blends his unique sense of dry, broad humor with a sensitive ear and a beautiful personal style, with the numerous classical pieces he peforms on piano. I have never seen someone quite like Borge, and he is truly irreplaceable in our hearts and minds. Check it out......"
Anyone need to overcome depression - watch Victor Borge!
Anna Parkinson | Italy | 08/17/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Way back in the early 1950's I was only able to buy his records, so to be able to SEE him is good
medicine for anyone who needs to be 'uplifted'! I started to buy his films whilst living in USA
in the 1990's, as there never will be another Victor Borge - what a delight and joy to show to
my friends ALL of his films that I have managed to find through Amazon - thank you for the great
pleasure. I'll be watching out to see IF I haven't still got them all!"