The George Burns & Gracie Allen Show -- any decent DVDs out there?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Jeffrey Nelson, Jan 17, 2005.

  1. Jeffrey Nelson

    Jeffrey Nelson Screenwriter

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    I picked up two volumes (six episodes altogether) of this classic, criminally neglected show from the Wal-Mart bargain bin for 88 cents each. The prints are, of course, terrible. Has this show ever been done justice on any video format? Will it ever be? I'd love to see boxed season sets of this, but I fear I shall never live to see the day...

    I think this show holds up better for me as an adult than I Love Lucy, which I did love as a kid. Burns & Allen, anyone?

    "Say Good-night, Gracie..."

    "Good-night!"
     
  2. Mark To

    Mark To Supporting Actor

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  3. Jeff*H

    Jeff*H Supporting Actor

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    I would buy a good-quality, non-public domain set of this show in a heartbeat! As a young teen, I discovered this show in reruns on what used to be CBN (which morphed into Family Channel) in the early 80s, along with Jack Benny. The comic material in those shows would hold up VERY well with today's audiences, as it had very clever writing and excellent comic timing on the part of all the performers!
     
  4. Steve Phillips

    Steve Phillips Screenwriter

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    It is unfortunate that most of the episodes on the various PD collections are poor quality kinescopes of the early live shows. These really aren't representative of the series as a whole.

    They took a while to figure out what format worked best for them on TV, and by the time they switched to film in 1952, they pretty much had it down.

    I'd love to see all the filmed shows on DVD!
     
  5. Carlos Garcia

    Carlos Garcia Screenwriter

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    Good point Steve. I wonder if there are any (PD copies or not) of the filmed (rather than kinescope) episodes available on DVD today.
     
  6. Eric Paddon

    Eric Paddon Screenwriter

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    Actually there was a brief time when Columbia House did do the series justice on VHS, with club releases of the entire first filmed season (1952-53) and part of Season 4. The best thing about these releases was that all of them retained the original intros with commercial plugs for B.F. Goodrich and Carnation but most of the shows from the halfway point of the season on retained all of the original filmed ads too!

    One reason why I fear that 50s TV will never be done justice on DVD is because too many of the shows in their uncut state, especially the Jack Benny Show, require retention of their integrated ad spots in order for the show to seem fully complete.
     
  7. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    I am another person who fell in love with Burns & Allen and Jack Benny thanks to the CBN showings.

    I can see Benny having music rights issues because of all the musical numbers by Dennis Day and assorted guests, but B&A shouldn't have any such issues.

    Both shows hold up fairly well since neither relied much on topical humor. Hopefully R2 or some such company can acquire the rights to put out at least some compilations of these shows.

    Steve
     
  8. Jeffrey Nelson

    Jeffrey Nelson Screenwriter

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    The CBN cable showings were what turned me on to Burns & Allen too, and Jack Benny as well. I'd buy both series if they came out legitimately on DVD. Who owns the rights to these two series?
     
  9. Eric Paddon

    Eric Paddon Screenwriter

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    I believe that Burns And Allen would fall under the Sony/Columbia banner for the filmed shows and the filmed Jack Benny Shows would be Universal's responsibility.
     

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