Jackie Gleason

The Very Best of the Honeymooners

The Very Best of the Honeymooners

DVD review of The Very Best of The Honeymooners – technically, less about the actual Honeymooner episodes as it is bloopers, clips, and information on the performers themselves – although it does include several bits, including the classic ‘Letter to the Boss’ and a bonus program ‘The Wit and Wisdom of Ed Norton’

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The Color Honeymooners - Collection 1

The Color Honeymooners – Collection 1

Join The Honeymooners as they take their famous ‘Trip to Europe’… and this time they travel in color. Originally performed during the 1956-1957 season over eight shows, their journey now is introduced by the 1954 ‘Box Top Kid’ sketch, revamped as the new ‘In 25 Words or Less’ in which Ralph and Ed win their trip. The Jackie Gleason Show kicked off the 1966-1967 season by bringing back The Honeymooners, but with a few changes: the show was in color, musical performances were added and, in addition to Art Carney returning as Ed Norton, Sheila MacRae and Jane Kean joined the cast as Alice and Trixie. The Color Honeymooners Collection 1 includes nine, one-hour episodes of The Jackie Gleason Show digitally re-mastered and unedited. Included are Gleason’s glamorous Glea Girls, The June Taylor Dancers, Sammy Spear &His Orchestra and announcer Johnny Olson.

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The Honeymooners Lost Episodes season 1

The Honeymooners Lost Episodes season 1

The Honeymooners Lost Episodes season 1. Actually, not, so much lost as “not seen on TV for a while”. Starring the usual cast: Jackie Gleason, Art Carney, Audrey Meadows, Joyce Randolph.

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Audrey Meadows and Jackie Gleason in The Honeymooners

The Honeymooners Lost Episodes

The Honeymooners Lost Episodes (1953-1954) season 2

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The Toy, starring Richard Pryor, Jackie Gleason, Ned Beatty

The Toy

The Toy (1982), starring Richard Pryor, Jackie Gleason, Ned Beatty

The Toy is a comedy starring Richard Pryor — Jackie Gleason isn’t as much a co-star as a secondary character, but very important — he’s the antagonist. He plays U.S. Bates, a veritable living caricature of the wealthy millionaire. Some people consider U.S. Bates to be racist because he treats Richard Pryor like his personal property, but that’s not correct. U.S. Bates treats  everyone that way — €” his employees (Ned Beatty shines as a yes-man employee, who will do whatever his boss says — €” but hates himself for doing so), his butler (Wilfrid Hyde-White, who performs wonderfully as the butler that Bates won in a card game), his third wife (Teresa Ganzel as Fancy), etc. Absolutely everyone — except his young son, Eric, whom he truly loves — but has no relationship with. (more…)

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Requiem for a Heavyweight - Anthony Quinn as The Boxer, Jackie Gleason as The Promoter, Mickey Rooney as The Trainer, Julie Harris as The Muse - DVD

Requiem for a Heavyweight

Requiem for a Heavyweight  (1962) starring Anthony Quinn, Jackie Gleason, Mickey Rooney, Julie Harris

Requiem for a Heavyweight is a very powerful, very hard-hitting movie about boxing.   Rod Serling wrote a teleplay that shows the steamy underbelly of professional boxing — €”and it’s not a pretty picture.   In short,  Rocky it isn’t.   The movie begins with Anthony Quinn, the ‘Heavyweight’ of the title, losing his final boxing match to (a very young) Cassius Clay.    Anthony Quinn’s character, Louis ‘Mountain’ Rivera, has become punch-drunk and is on the verge of losing his eyesight in the boxing ring.   His corrupt manager (played extremely well by  Jackie Gleason, in a very serious role) needs to find a way to pay back the mob  … and if that means ruining Rivera’s chance at happiness, then so be it.   (more…)

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Izzy and Moe - Jackie Gleason - Art Carney - ... are federal agents during Prohibition , where the laughs fly as fast as the bullets - DVD

Izzy and Moe

Plot Synopsis of  Izzy and Moe, starring  Jackie Gleason  and  Art Carney

This is the film based on the true adventures of Izzy and Moe. They were two retired vaudeville performers who, being unemployed, decide to become prohibition enforcement agents. They are initially treated with scorn from fellow agents as old men pretending to be cops. That abuse soon stops when the pair refuse to use the standard but futile methods of the agency.  Instead, they employ their theatrical experience to use an amazing variety of disguises and tricks.  They become two of the most effective agents in the force. (more…)

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How to Commit Marriage (1969) starring Bob Hope, Jackie Gleason, Jane Wyman

How to Commit Marriage

How to Commit Marriage (1969) starring Bob Hope, Jackie Gleason, Jane Wyman

In How to Commit Marriage, seemingly happily married couple Frank and Elaine Benson (played by Bob Hope and Jane Wyman) are on the verge of divorce.  But they plan to wait until after their daughter’s marriage. The groom’s father, Oliver Poe (Jackie Gleason) is opposed to marriage in general.  And he dislikes Bob Hope’s character in particular. After seeing how marriage hasn’t worked for their parents, the couple decides not to get married, and lives together instead.  After the birth of their first child, they decide to put the baby up for adoption.  And the child is adopted by Bob Hope and Jane Wyman, who have reconciled in order to adopt their own grandchild. (more…)

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Brad Garrett is Gleason - How sweet it was!

Gleason, starring Brad Garrett

Gleason: The Jackie Gleason Story  (2002) starring Brad Garrett

Gleason is a wonderfully done television biography of  Jackie Gleason, starring Brad Garrett, best known for his television sitcoms  Everybody Loves Raymond and ‘Til Death.   I was absolutely flabbergasted by Brad Garrett’s performance.  Not only did he do a wonderful acting job, but he truly made the character of Jackie Gleason come to life.   Given his size, I would never have believed that he could carry off the role of the pudgy comedian Jackie Gleason.  I was totally wrong. (more…)

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Don't Drink the Water (1969) starring Jackie Gleason, Estelle Parsons, Ted Bessell

Don’t Drink the Water

Don’t Drink the Water (1969) starring Jackie Gleason, Estelle Parsons, Ted Bessell

In short,  Don’t Drink the Water is a cold war comedy based on a play by Woody Allen, starring Jackie Gleason as a New Jersey caterer who, along with his wife (Estelle Parsons) and daughter (Joan Delaney) who have their European vacation interrupted when their plane is forced to land in the fictional Communist nation of Vulgaria. Outside the plane, the family decides to take some photographs.  This leads to their being accused of spying, and forcing them to take refuge in the American embassy. However, the ambassador is absent, and his son (Ted Bessell,  That Girl) is in charge. (more…)

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