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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Compilation > Jackie Gleason Collection (Passport)

The Jackie Gleason Collection (Passport)

 

Picture: C†††† Sound: C†††† Extras: D†††† Content: C+

 

 

The star sets Passport Video has been issuing on various big names of the past have been rich enough in content, though they seem sometimes to be overly spread over 5 DVDs.For The Jackie Gleason Collection, it is only a two-disc set, suggesting that Gleasonís estate has a hold on more of his material than many stars.All their sets and discs note that the releases are unauthorized, yet ironically, that is how much of the material is going to be lucky to see the light of day on home video.

 

The first DVD is a soft print of the Warner Bros. B-movie Lady Gangster (1942), with Jackie Gleason as the driver of a bank robbery vehicle, made more possible by the unsuspecting title character (Faye Emerson, identified on the back of the box as the real-life daughter-in-law of Franklin Delano Roosevelt).This is a pleasant surprise, a smart, tight, slick, interesting B-movie typical of the best the studios and the studio system of the time was capable of.Why Warner has not issued this or not played this more on Tuner Classic Movies is a big mystery.

 

Disc Two does not contain any episodes of his TV series or any of The Honeymooners form any era, but does have complete Frank Sinatra Show TV appearance where the guys and a bunch of girls go for a winter trip, two Cavalcade Of Stars bits with Gleason introducing Victor Borge (brief) and a Cowboy sketch where he is very young, and three trailers to theatrical films Gleason appeared in:All Through The Night (1942), Robert Rossenís The Hustler (1960) and the Blake Edwardsí co-penned Soldier In The Rain (1963).That is all interesting, but far more than that could have fit onto a DVD.Passport could have even conceivably fit all this on one DVD, though who knows if that would have caused some players problems.

 

No matter, the picture is soft throughout all the footage, meaning the sources are a few generations down on all.The Dolby Digital 2.0 is Mono throughout and is often too small of soft, so be careful of volume shifts.There are no extras per se, though some of what is on the second disc would otherwise be considered supplementary.Too bad a biographical look or filmography were not included.Either way, The Jackie Gleason Collection is just good enough to carry the manís name and has its moments.

 

 

-†† Nicholas Sheffo


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