Bob Hope The Ultimate Collection (R2 Entertainment/DVD-Video)
C Sound: C+ Extras: C Main Programs: B
legend of Bob Hope is immense and is often easy to forget. Ironically, since his humor could be so
biting about politics, there are those who would like to forget him despite his
inarguable service to the U.S. and at a time when history and wisdom is made
too disposable by too many, the timing of Bob
Hope The Ultimate Collection on DVD could not be better.
disc set, the first has the rich, two-part 50
Years Of Laughter program, while DVD 2 offers the Hope For The Holidays compilation and impressive Salute To The Troops program showing
how much Hope traveled the world to entertain the U.S. Armed Forces in a record
that may never be broken for decades if ever.
All are compilations, though Troops is shot all on film.
DVD 3 has
the only extras (see below) and a decent Celebrity
Bloopers compilation, while DVD 4 has the 90-minutes-long World Of Comedy tribute to comics then
and now. Hope may have set a record for
compilation programs, but these are very good and there are stars here for
everyone over just about every generation of entertainers since the dawn of
motion picture film. Yes, he even pays
tribute to silent cinema comedy geniuses.
for each reads like a whos who of the industry and shows to what extent and
influence (all the way to Woody Allen, who has noted Hope as an explicit
influence) he really had at a time when you had to have talent to be a star and
stay in the media. Oh, how times have
changed for the worst in that respect.
All in all, this is a set worthy of the title, which is not easy and is
worth a look for anyone interested in comedy and history.
X 1 image is odd because the flashback clips have the disadvantage of being
down a generation or two, plus being transferred with older, obsolete analog
video equipment. Someone needs to go
back when an HD upgrade is done for this material, though most of it is NTSC
video or kinescope. The Dolby Digital
2.0 Mono throughout varies as much as the quality of the clips, but is usually
only on DVD 3 and include two Warner Vitaphone shorts hope made in the 1930s, Memories of World War II piece and his
first radio broadcast with stills.
Little did they know back in 1935 that they were debuting a legend. The reasons for that legend are evident all
over this set.
- Nicholas Sheffo