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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Drama > Jack Lemmon Film Collection (Phffft!/Operation Mad Ball/The Notorious Landlady/Under the Yum Yum Tree/Good Neighbor Sam/Sony DVD Box Set)

Jack Lemmon Film Collection (Phffft!/Operation Mad Ball/The Notorious Landlady/Under the Yum Yum Tree/Good Neighbor Sam/Sony DVD Box Set)


Picture: C+ ††††Sound: C+††† Extras: B- †††Films: B-



Sony has assembled together a fine set of some of Jack Lemmonís earlier and lesser-known films in this terrific set simply called the Jack Lemmon Film Collection.You can see here how this charming actor establishes himself as one of the icons of his generation as we begin with his 1954 film Phffft! and work out way ten years later to 1964ís Good Neighbor Sam.These films all take place prior to Lemmonís more infamous work, which was fortified in 1968ís The Odd Couple, reviewed here.


This is the first time that these films have been released to DVD, many are probably unfamiliar with most of these, they are predominately wacky comedies filled with mayhem that best suited Lemmon, itís great that Sony decided to piece these together in a set, plus give us some decent extras to really make this feel as valuable as it is.


Phffft! features Kim Novak and involves the craziness with a married couple who get a divorce, but realize that regardless of how much they try to stay apart, they are destined to come back together, the comedy wears a bit thin after awhile, but is still charming and very inspiring nonetheless.


Operation Mad Ball is a military spoof, which reminded me more of something that Peter Sellers would have done, Lemmon plays a Army private who is trying to throw a party to liven things up under the disciplinary actions of his commanding officer, the plot is a bit shallow, so it seems that 104-minutes is just a bit too long for this comedy to really tighten up and work.


The Notorious Landlady from 1962 involves Lemmon as an American diplomat who finds himself involved in a caper with his landlady that combines stolen jewels, murder, and obscene amounts of laughs throughout, this is one of the better films in the bunch.


1963ís Under the Yum Yum Tree is a delightful comedy in which Lemmon this time is a landlord who seems to have brought on more than he can handle when he falls in love with a tenant and attempts to convince her to dump her fiancťe and give him a chance.Running 110-minutes this comedy stretches itself too thin, despite Lemmonís ability to hook us with each scene.


Good Neighbor Sam is a married ad man who decides to pose as the husband of a beautiful single girl in order to help her land an inheritance, but with more lies building, this comedy can only come to a not-so-good ending for all those involved, especially when it comes to the marriage.


The bonus materials included feature a documentary hosted by Chris Lemmon called Jack Lemmon: The Man Behind the Magic, which is thorough and a good addition to this set, it will certainly make fans happy and serves as a good retrospective, there is also a photo gallery along with an episode from the Ford All-Star theater featuring Lemmon, plus the original trailers for all 5 films.


A decent addition to any collection, a must-have for Lemmon fans.



-†† Nate Goss


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