DVD Review: 50’s TV CLASSICS

DVD REVIEW:  50’s TV Classics: Collector’s Edition
RELEASE DATE: August 28, 2012
DISC INFORMATION: 3 discs, Black & White, Full Screen
RUNNING TIME:  495 minutes
RATED:  Not Rated, would probably earn a PG rating
GENRE:  Television/ comedy/ game show/ variety show
UPC:  874757032498
STARRING:  Bob Hope, Milton Berle, Red Skelton, Dinah Shore, Lawrence Welk, Paul Winchell and Jerry Mahoney

This three disc collection is some of the best 50’s variety TV shows with huge stars and historical moments in Television history.  The celebrity guest list seems like all of the greats of that era.  To top off the collection are several entertaining game shows.

Disc 1 has four variety show episodes.
1. The Bob Hope Show (1957) — Bob’s USO show from Morocco and featuring the appearance of Private First Class Gary Crosby.
2. The Chevy Show with Dinah Shore & Art Carney (1956) — Dinah Shore welcomes Art Carney and Boris Korloff who sings and dances.
3. The Ed Wynn Show (1950) — The Three Stooges — Moe, Larry, and Shemp, make an appearance.
4. The Paul Winchell & Jerry Mahoney Show (1950) — A Saturday morning hand puppets kids’ show sponsored by Tootsie Roll.  

Disc 2 contains 3 episodes of “Death Valley Days” and two variety shows.
1. Death Valley Days:  Sego Lilies (1953) — A young couple make the wagon train journey from Salt Lake City to Death Valley and encounter hardships along the way.
2. Death Valley Days:  Little Washington (1953) — A debutante and her politically positioned father are stationed to Nevada where she learns that life is not as primitive as she believes out West.
3. Death Valley Days:  Dear Teacher (1953) — A young schoolmarm arrives to take over a school where the children have run all the other teachers off.  Her eccentric ways soon cause a stir among the townfolk.
4. Lawrence Welk Show (1956) — This Dodge sponsored show features the talents of the Lawrence Welk swing band and dancers.
5. The Milton Berle Show (1956) — Mickey Rooney and Peggy King guest star.

Disc 3 has 4 game shows and one comedy variety show.
1. Beat the Clock (1950) — 5 couples compete against the clock  while performing tasks that are mentally or physically challenging.
2. Do You Trust Your Wife (1957) — Edgar Burgen introduces couples competing for $100 a week for a full year while doing a comedy routine with his ventriloquist dummies before asking them questions to compete for prizes.
3. Do You Trust Your Wife (1957) — A second episode of the game show hosted by Edgar Burgen as a different group of couples compete for the prize.
4. Name the Tune (1955) — Highlights reel where a cowboy from North West meets a woman from England and a romance seems to bud as the two compete for more prizes.
5.  Red Skelton Show:  Deadeye and the Indians (1954) — A comedy variety show with skits and monologues.

This is a very interesting and entertaining collection of 50’s TV.  The guest stars are impressive and seeing Boris Korloff sing and dance is a treat.  The quality of the images have definitely seen better days.  The images are starting to fade and be lost.  

The old time commercials and sponsor messages are a real treat to watch.  Some of the ads are for some true classic household items.  There are some Frigidaire products that look like they would still be better than what we have now, believe it or not.  Very interesting.

So, for the TV historians, this is a great collection to add to your library.  Hope, Rooney, Berle, and Korloff are captured in some truly wonderful clips of eras gone by.  Berle and Rooney trying to make it through their skits without laughing, make you laugh just watching.  Back when the laughs were good hearted and intelligent, when TV was for entertaining and not for shock, when the stars shined and talent glowed; this collection gathers snippets of a wonderful time in the history of American Television.

Awesome collection of the TV historian’s library.  Although the film quality is not great, the collection contains some true gems to treasure.  Very entertaining from the historian’s point of view.

That’s my review and I’m sticking to it.
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