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The Monkees: 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee [VHS] (1968)

Micky Dolenz , Davy Jones , Micky Dolenz , Peter Tork  |  NR |  VHS Tape
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones, Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork
  • Directors: Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork, Jon C. Andersen, Mike Elliot (III), James Frawley
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Rhino / Wea
  • VHS Release Date: January 28, 1997
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6304331304
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #394,918 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

VHS in artwork color slipcase.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Psychedelic! Freak out! Wheee! March 14, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
Originally aired on NBC on April 14, 1969, opposite the Academy Awards, 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee was supposed to be the first of three television specials starring The Monkees, but 33 1/3 RPM was the only one that materialized. The show contained songs that were written specifically for it along with a plot that expressed how The Monkees were manufactured and manipulated by different people including Bob Rafelson, Bert Schneider and Don Kirshner during their career.
The story focuses on the famous evolutionist, Charles Darwin (Brian Auger) who takes 4 young men (Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones, Mike Nesmith and Peter Tork) erases their identities and names and takes them through different stages so that they will be able to brainwash the world through commercial exploitation. The Monkees, in an attempt to regain their identities and control over themselves, try to think their way out of captivity. Darwin, alarmed that they will become free, uses hypnotism to break them down physically and they become restored to Darwin's tastes. The Monkees, now ready to make their debut, appear as classic rock'n'rollers at the Paramount Theatre with Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard and Buddy Miles Express playing backup to The Monkees. Darwin, realizing his mistake, sets The Monkees free.
After the failure of their film Head released in 1968, The Monkees went ahead with their television special undaunted by the terrible reviews from critics about the movie. 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee, produced by Jack Good of Shindig, 3.5 Special and Oh Boy! fame, had a lot of time and creativity put into it. The point of the special was to save whatever fans and popularity that they had left and it was virtually snubbed by NBC. By airing it opposite the Academy Awards, the show rated disastrously.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Psychedelia Goes Prime Time August 1, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
"33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee" is a fascinating, if uneven, trip through late 1960s pop culture. In 1969, NBC aired this bizarre music special on the same night as the Academy Awards - assuring that virtually no one would see it. Thirty years later, "33 1/3" survives as perhaps the most psychedelic show ever broadcast in prime time. After seeing this belated video release, you can understand why NBC decided to bury this special. Though not on the same level as The Monkees' cult film "Head," there are some truly memorable segments, particularly the 1950s rock medley with Fats Domino, Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis. The "Listen to the Band" finale has to be seen to be believed - after watching this lengthy "freakout," I'm amazed NBC had the courage to air this show at all. The subversive quality of "33 1/3" will not appeal to mainstream viewers. However, if you are a devotee of experimental TV, this 60-minute video is worth a look.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than Head?.......... June 16, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
I give this video 5-stars, but you'll likely have to be a Monkees fan to enjoy it. Yes, it's weird, but weird was par-for-the-course in late 1968(when it was filmed). 33-1/3rd is of tremendous value as a period piece, and has aged better than a lot of the "trippy" garbage put out by other more "respectable" groups(-ie "Magical Mystery Tour", need I say more?). It has been called more clumsy than Head, but it is perhaps simply more blunt and direct. It gets the same thing done in half the running time and contains more music. Each member of the band has at least one interesting solo performance, and then 33-1/3rd finishes off with one of the best group performances by the Monkees on record. (33-1/3rd is perhaps the most complete and self-contained example of how the Monkees truly work as a group: four parts singer/song-writers, one part recording & touring band. Very few other bands have proven able to work so well as solo artists WITHIN a group framework, and yet still be able to reform at will to record and tour.) The live version of "Listen to the Band" should have been a single, faded out before the rave-up at the end gets too wacky. Peter Tork admits the TV special is "more human" than Head, and it is. It lacks the cold distant feel of the feature film, in which all of the Monkees are portrayed as boobs. The biggest flaw of the video release is the video release. The collector cries out to own this on DVD, where it could be segmented into cuts, so the viewer may revisit the musical highlights without reviewing the entire film every time, or hitting "fast-forward" until the tape wears out. Apparently with Rhino, such demand has fallen upon deaf ears. Read more ›
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic and utterly unique period piece August 11, 2005
Format:VHS Tape
What a wonderful, wacky, rooty-tooty trippy psychedelic fun-fest this TV special is. The second season Monkees TV series DVD set includes this as a bonus, in improved quality and with guest audio commentaries, and is probably the preferred version to own, but as a stand-alone item, this VHS tape is fine.

The sound and picture quality are not bad for something this old (it's a miracle the tapes were retained at all) and recorded under tremendous time pressures and with a labor strike interfering with the technical aspects. The musical performances are unique to this broadcast, not available on any record, and include some of the Monkees most fascinating later work, such as the eerily DEVO-prophetic "Wind-Up Man", Peter's Eastern take on "Prithee", and Mike's snide "The Only Thing I Believe That's True", aka "Naked Persimmon".

The guest stars the Monkees assembled for their lysergic hootenanny include rock legends from the birth of the genre (Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino) and contemporary freaksters like Britain's Brian Auger and Julie Driscoll, who were amazing in 1969 and still are. The freeform storyline (yes, there is one) is clever and mindblowing, pure Sixties in its concept and conceit, with much winking humor and acid-induced imagery. It was a braver time. I mean, who today would dare construct a prime-time TV special that encapsulates the history of the world and also rock and roll music in a bare hour? Whether or not the Monkees succeed here is probably more in the eye and mind of the beholder. Like the astonishing "HEAD" feature film, there are some people who will get this and others who simply can't, or won't.

All in all, a thoroughly suitable ending for the wild ride that was the Sixties (and the Monkees). Pretty incredible for a bunch of long-haired weirdos. Thanks, guys!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars virtual insanity
Virtual insanity is what the Monkees were always, supposedly, about. But they were also highly-esteemed for producing tight, energetic pop songs ('Last Train To Clarksville', 'I'm... Read more
Published on January 7, 2008 by Don Schmittdiel
3.0 out of 5 stars Bizarre, creative...unsuccessful
Was it a bold attempt to show that the group with no "roots" had evolved into an important musical entity? Or was it a final attempt to rescue and reconsider slipping careers? Read more
Published on June 14, 2006 by Phil S.
4.0 out of 5 stars Maybe you had to be there...
I've read all the reviews posted for this video. I find the range interesting and wish I knew the ages of the reviewers. All I can say is, this is one cool show!!!!!!! Read more
Published on September 26, 2005 by Love is the ultimate trip
4.0 out of 5 stars Break Down The (Musical) Walls....
... seems to be the underlying theme of "33 1/3". In addition to the fine reviews above by C. Kwiecinski and R.L. Read more
Published on August 15, 2005 by Jess M. Giessel
2.0 out of 5 stars I Love the Monkees......BUT
I am a HUGE Monkees fan, BUT--This is one of the Monkees worst offerings. No wonder this was the beginning of the end for them! Read more
Published on February 12, 2003 by Michael J. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!!!
This film is so amazing, i can't believe half the reviews in here give it merely 1 star. These people have no appreciation of the bizarre. Read more
Published on February 25, 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars See it to believe it!!!
I can't really top the great reviews here (except for the guy who said they should have burnt it!) so I'll just add my own few words... Read more
Published on December 16, 2001 by thespaceboy@excite.com
1.0 out of 5 stars This video stinks
I am a big monkees fan but this is the worst video I have ever seen of them because it doesn't make any sense. Read more
Published on November 20, 2001
1.0 out of 5 stars Talk about BAD TV....
No wonder this only aired once & has never been re-run. It's actually EMBARASSING watching this garbage. Read more
Published on November 28, 2000
4.0 out of 5 stars Of course it's weird!
Many reviews here focus on the fact that the boys are barely in this video (not true) HOWEVER it is a variety show so yes there are many other musicians who receive and deserve... Read more
Published on July 6, 2000 by Rock 'n' Roll Junkie
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