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can anyone give a Jack Benny Collection review?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Steve_Smith, Feb 25, 2004.

  1. Steve_Smith

    Steve_Smith Well-Known Member

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    I know to not expect much, but I'm still really curious if anyone has seen any of the new Jack Benny collection. I know that the feeling is that this could be just a re-hash of PD episodes and could end up being VHS or sub VHS quality, but I have grown to love Jack from listening to many MP3 shows of his, and I saw one episode many years ago on my local PBS.

    If nobody has gotten it, then I may have to take a bit of my tax refund and throw about the 20 bucks at it and hope for the best [​IMG]
     
  2. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Well-Known Member

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    I agree. Jack's shows are great (both TV and radio variants).

    You might want to check out the link below (you can buy 726 *complete* Benny Radio shows on MP3s for just $27.00). [​IMG] ....

    http://bobbysotr.com/index_comedy.html
     
  3. Page

    Page Well-Known Member

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    I received "The Jack Benny Collection" in the mail today.

    The set consists of five DVDs which altogether run approximately 5 hours total. (That's about an hour per DVD which is kind of ridiculous when they could have put several episodes on one disc without any deterioration of video and audio quality.) The set is put out by Passport Video (which (in my experience) is not known for making high quality DVDs.)

    Episodes:

    Disk 1: The Medicine Man
    Disk 2: Liberace Show; Goldie, Fields & Glide
    Disk 3: Jack At the Races; Ed Sullivan/Genevieve Show
    Disk 4: Christmas Shopping Show; New Year's Eve
    Disk 5: Danny Thomas/McGuire Sisters Show

    (I own a couple of other Jack Benny DVDs--one released by Critics' Choice, one by Alpha Video, one released by LaserLight which also has some other TV shows on it, and two TV sets released by Falcon Pictures which have other TV shows on them.) (The Falcon Pictures DVDs have excellent transfers, but, alas, only one Jack Benny show per set.) (The two episodes which are on the LaserLight DVD show up on the Passport "Jack Benny Collection.") (Not a good sign in my book.)

    Well, I spent under 20 bucks for this set so I gritted my teeth and opened it up.

    Disk 1: From the box: "In this rarely seen 1930 melodrama, Jack (in his first starring role) plays a shady hawker of health tonics..." 70 Minutes. (That's right, it's a movie.)

    Disk 2: Two "Jack Benny Programs" from 1954.

    Disk 3: Two shows--one from 1958, the other 1959.

    Disk 4: Two shows--1957 & 1961.

    Disk 5: Two shows--1958 & 1959.

    (Disks 2 through 5 are 60 minutes each disc.)

    Now, the BIG QUESTION and answer: How do they look and sound?

    First things first. A "bug" which says "The Jack Benny Collection" is superimposed the screen on all the shows and the movie.

    The first DVD looks okay for such an old film, but it hasn't been restored in any way Specks, scratches, and blemishes throughout. It's watchable, but the actual film is pretty awful.

    The first show on the second disc looks and sounds very good. I can't say it's been restored, but the picture is very clean.

    The two holidays shows look and sound pretty bad. (I guess they're public domain since LaserLight has issued them, also.) (The shows themselves are pretty funny, though.)

    The rest of the shows are passable. They all have specks, scratches, and blemishes on them and no restoration work has been done. The sound on them is okay.

    Worth twenty bucks? Maybe--if you're a big Jack Benny fan and you need a Jack Benny fix. (As a point of reference, you can get 8 Abbott & Costello films (which look very good) for about the same price.) I only wish Passport Video had the same money and resources to restore old shows that other companies do!

    (By the way, the list price is $29.95! No way is it worth that!)
     
  4. Steve_Smith

    Steve_Smith Well-Known Member

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    Page, thanks very much for the info [​IMG] wow to be so torn, as I said in my first post I have come to love Jack on the radio so much that to order this wouldn't be too bad.

    However, you gave a good enough review that I can picture what it must look like and as I look over my DVD collection and I would have to come to terms that this could be the worst one concerning picture and sound quality.

    I also agree with you that the list price is way...way..too high, so I may lean in the direction of getting it if like you I can get it for under $20.

    One question though...are the (in-show) commercials there or are the shows cut?
     
  5. Page

    Page Well-Known Member

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    DeepDiscountDVD has it for sixteen bucks and some change.
     
  6. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Well-Known Member

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    Thanks very much for this episode information.

    As mentioned earlier, what a huge waste of available disc space. (9 programs on 5 discs!) [​IMG]

    That episode selection surprises me somewhat (from what I *thought* would be included, based on the Passport Video 10-tape (10-episode) VHS boxed set I bought a few years ago).

    On that VHS collection, there's an hour-long episode of "The Frank Sinatra Show" (on which Jack Benny makes a guest appearance). ... Plus, "Jack Benny Remembered", a retrospective documentary show.

    http://www.deepdiscountdvd.com/dvd.cfm?itemID=PAS005620

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Eric F

    Eric F Well-Known Member

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    It's cheap...(place your own joke here)
     
  8. Seymour Uranowitz

    Seymour Uranowitz Well-Known Member

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    I'm still waiting for my copy from DDD. I also ordered Passport's Burns & Allen set, released at the same time. Not expecting great quality transfers, but the content's the thing with these.

    "So Jack, would you buy this set for 16 bucks and change?"

    "Umm...Jack?"

    "I'm thinking it over!!"
     
  9. Steve_Smith

    Steve_Smith Well-Known Member

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    I made up my mind...I went down to my vault and pulled out $19.00 and placed my order earlier today. I can't wait to watch it [​IMG]



    Don Wilson: Well jack I'm sorry, but I haven't seen your new DVD collection yet...i've just been too busy.

    Jack: hmmm...you..haven't..seen..my...collection? Don, if you will read your contract page 37, paragraph 4....you know the price of not seeing my shows on DVD.

    Don Wilson: Yes Jack I know..here is your quarter.

    Jack: Thanks Don, and here is your nickel change.
     
  10. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Well-Known Member

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    And did you force your vault guard (played with gusto by veteran character actor Joseph Kearns) to stick a white-hot poker in both eyes when you reached for the combination lock? [​IMG]

    [jack benny on] And by-the-by...just WHY, Steve Smith my good man, did you feel the need to extract the robust sum of 19 clams from said subterranean, alligator-protected vault, when you could have gotten my collection for much less here?? .... Do you have ANY idea how many "cans of" label-less canned goods Rochester and I could have purchased for that three dollars you wasted??!! .... I'm sending you back to the May Company asap, you wasteful boob!" [/jack benny off -- "Well!"] [​IMG]
     
  11. Steve_Smith

    Steve_Smith Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG] Well what is 3 extra dollars....

    ...besides when I have my friends over for supper and to watch the shows....there is that entertainment tax that the goverment says to charge. LOL

    (shhh don't tell everyone, but quite frankley).....I think the salami sandwich with lemonade combo for only .75 cents is the best bargin for them to choose [​IMG] (napkins a nickel each)
     

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