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Playboy After Dark

22 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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(Jul 25, 2006)
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$80.93 $42.50

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Editorial Reviews

In 1959 Hugh Hefner produced Playboy's Penthouse TV show which proved to be the first of its kind. The format was modeled on a hip swinging bachelor party and the guests included the kings and queens of the world of entertainment (Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Cy Coleman, Lenny Bruce, Sammy Davis Jr., etc.) gathered in impromptu party style. This 3DVD Boxed Set features shows from the 50's and 60's. Every show has been remastered to bring back the glorious quality of its original flavor.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Nanci Roberts, Hugh M. Hefner, Patty Duke, Sammy Davis Jr, Tina Turner
  • Format: Box set, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Morada Vision
  • DVD Release Date: July 25, 2006
  • Run Time: 336 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000G8NXA0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #118,083 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Playboy After Dark" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Maurice Broussard on August 4, 2006
Format: DVD
I couldn't wait to watch these nostalgic shows and reminisce and this set is more than I expected. The great (one of a kind) performances and music are only part of the enjoyment; these shows are a virtual historical document of a special era. The fashionable dress (young, beautiful, carefully quaffed women in cocktail dresses and guys in tuxedos and suits, cigarette smoke fills the air, and the booze freely flows). The hip comics, some working at their peak and others in the development stages of their careers; the classic lounge acts doing their well rehearsed and perfectly timed routines. And, then there are the stars, the biggest stars of the time from stage, TV, movies and music and the young stars of tomorrow; it's revealing to watch Cher before she evolved into "Cher" and fascinating to see the young, fragile and soulful Tina Turner.

I am especially impressed with the moments that capture, what have to be, the one and only time many of these performers worked together; a young Linda Rondstadt and a mature Billy Eckstine sitting at the piano doing "God Bless the Child" - I can't imagine that magic duet was ever repeated anywhere else, for that matter the segment featuring Sammy Davis Jr., Anthony Newley and Jerry Lewis displaying true comic and musical genius is a captured treasure.

I viewed the entire set in one sitting and am eager to see what Playboy will offer next. In a modern world of faux celebrity and studio enhanced recording artists, it's refreshing to be reminded of what qualifies as quality entertainment. By the way, Hugh Hefner appears very much at ease as host of the eclectic blend of guests.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By J. Miller on June 25, 2006
Format: DVD
I've been waiting for someone to acquire the rights to this for many years! There were actually 2 Playboy After Dark shows produced. The first aired in syndication in the late 1950's and used as its format the idea of you being invited to a swanky Chicago bachelor pad (in reality a Chicago tv studio) with your host being Hugh Hefner himself welcoming you to a typical evening's party at which you never knew who might turn up. People like Sammy Davis Jr., Ella Fitzgerald or even Lenny Bruce might be convinced to get up and "do their thing". This show had a definite jazz-flavor to it and its voyeuristic-feel might seem pretty cheesy at first glance until you realize just how many of the people seen here are no longer with us and to see them in a loose-format setting is something special.

The second Playboy After Dark aired in the late 1960's and had a much more rock and roll feel to it. This time the show originated from Los Angeles (since the magazine was now based there) but the "party at Hef's" format was largely the same and variety of talent just as fascinating. Although there's no indication of which shows are included here I've seen bootleg footage from the series and hope these sets include bands like The Grateful Dead, Deep Purple (pre-"Smoke on the Water"), The Byrds (Sweetheart of the Rodeo-era), as well as Linda Ronstadt (in her early-70's "Hand Sown-Home Grown" look, when she was GORGEOUS!)

And oh, yeah, there's Playmates too, but these aren't "The Girls Next Door"!

These are definitley time-capsule performaces! I can only hope this is the first of several volumes.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By California Dreaming on August 29, 2006
Format: DVD
I bought a copy for my husband who had been a fan of this show for years. Years ago he had seen a bootleg copy of The Grateful Dead and for years has talked about the series as he remembered it. So when I read a review I rushed out to get a copy for my husband. He was thrilled and overjoyed to be revisiting this retro network TV series. We both watched the 1st 2 discs together and I couldn't believe the whole very cool atmosphere. I especially like the variety, the entertainment, the stars!!! Wow, Joe Cocker, Linda Ronstadt, Ike & Tina Turner...fabulous! I'm a big fan of Sammy Davis Jr. now after watching this set. We can't wait to look at Disc 3. The booklet included is just a fun and interesting read. What a blast from the past! I can't wait for more from this series of TV shows.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Johnny Blaze on August 2, 2006
Format: DVD
I've been waiting for a long time to see these shows. I picked mine up yesterday at Tower and it's better than I remember. If you are buying these 3 dvd's for the rock music you have missed the boat and the party! The whole Penthouse and Playboy After Dark shows are one big party with beautiful women, men and some great entertainers and singers all mixing together. This isn't any rock collection, this is a party with everyone mixing together. I love the music, watching a bare footed Linda Rondstadt doing a song with Billy Eckstein is priceless. I love the Sonny & Cher and I barely remember Ike & Tina Turner looking like that but man can they cook. I've never been a big fan of Sammy Davis Jr. but I am now. The same with Lenny Bruce. What a riot! If you are looking for a rock and roll collection, go find a KTEL video. This is the stuff of legends and one of a kind and I for one am glad this is out and can't wait for the next shows to be out on dvd. Were the skirts really that short then?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Gregory M. Odegaard on October 18, 2007
Format: DVD
I had heard of this set and finally purchased it. The overall production and style is almost impossible to describe. I am sure when I have enjoyed a DVD more in recent years. Some of the Dick Cavett comes close.

The first disc with shows from 1959/1960 maybe the best. It takes many viewings to really capture all that is going on. I encourage anyone to watch once just to pay attention to the people on the sides or background. Many are clearly working hard to try to look cool. Some are doing a great job, and a few got started early with the pre-show drinks, as Hefner noted in a bonus interview was real alcohol during the filming. A few shots are tough to catch every detail just for the heavy haze of smoke in the area. This is real footage without a hint of augmentation or editing.

The best moments early on is the 15+ minutes with Lenny Bruce. This maybe the best single documentation of his real work on film. When Nat King Cole shows up to sit in on the chat the wonderful fun continues.

We really are the fly on the wall to this environment and I spent many minutes in true amazement in being given the chance to witness these broadcasts. Watch the girl sitting at the piano in the first half of episode one. Is she acting or not, or simply drunk with the moment as we might have been too. The early moment when Hefner takes a phone call is priceless, and frankly doesn't feel scripted, though it must have been.

The pieces with Ella Fitzgerald and then Sammy Davis Jr. are almost impossible to put a value on.

There isn't a moment of inappropriate activity given it is Playboy, but that would have only cheapened the presentation. This is brilliant TV and DVD production at the absolute finest. Get it and enjoy.
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