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Victor Borge: Then and Now

21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Victor Borge's unique combination as musician and humorist has long made him a legend. Affectionately know as "The Great Dane", he is an ambassador of goodwill for both his native Denmark and his adopted America. This special new home video captures the magic moments from some of his early movies and TV shows and from live performances taped at the Fox Theatre in Detroit.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Victor Borge, Leonid Hambro
  • Directors: Bernard Gurtman
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Gmg Records
  • DVD Release Date: May 7, 2002
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007AJEO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #128,693 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 54 people found the following review helpful By K. Gittins on May 28, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Victor Borge (1909-2000) was a pianist from Denmark and had a musical comedy act which mixed classical piano and amusing fictitious anectdotes. He has a pretty thick accent, which at times muddled up his speaking but other times was put to good use.

This DVD contains a representative sample of his routines - anectdotes about growing up, some straight classical music, some of his comedy duets - in this case with a male opera singer as Victor only "dinks" the keys about 8 times during the 2 minutes, and another playing a classical piece "poorly" with another pianist.

The collection also contains his most popular routine (judging from the audience reaction), which is his "phonetic punctuation", where he reads a short story and injects various sounds and gestures representing punctuation marks. The odd thing is that this routine is identical to the one "as seen on TV", but the last line was left off in this performance - although it is not strictly necessary (it sounds like 3 farts, representing "...")

The "Then and Now" portion of the title refers to the fact that some clips of his performances over the decades are shown, including one with the Muppets, and another with newsman Mike Wallace.

The 80-minute long DVD itself is rather skimpy. Two menu choices "Play Video" or "Features". "Features" is an awkwardly laid out chapter selection menu spread over 4 pages. Sound and picture are acceptable but not great.

There are a few routines not in this collection that I really like and miss. One is Victor playing certain classical pieces, and in the middle of each one, will drift into a version of "Happy Birthday" - perhaps that is on the "birthday" DVD.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By D. Pawl VINE VOICE on December 22, 2005
Format: DVD
Anyone who isn't familiar with the comedic genius of Victor Borge, I suggest that you check out this DVD. It is a concise look at Victor Borge (born Borge Rosenbaum) as a great comedian, showman and masterful classically trained pianist.

Whether the Danish-born Victor Borge is presenting a classic sketch, like his "Phonetic Pronounciation" bit (where he vocalizes punctuation, with accompanying text/dialogue in an old romance novel, with sounds comparable to "farts" and "squirts"...it takes on a new dimension as an original and very funny invented language), or competing with Leonid Hambro for the use of one grand piano, this man will leave you rolling in the aisles.

Borge blends his unique sense of dry, broad humor with a sensitive ear and a beautiful personal style, with the numerous classical pieces he peforms on piano. I have never seen someone quite like Borge, and he is truly irreplaceable in our hearts and minds. Check it out......
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Anna Parkinson on August 17, 2009
Format: DVD
Way back in the early 1950's I was only able to buy his records, so to be able to SEE him is good
medicine for anyone who needs to be 'uplifted'! I started to buy his films whilst living in USA
in the 1990's, as there never will be another Victor Borge - what a delight and joy to show to
my friends ALL of his films that I have managed to find through Amazon - thank you for the great
pleasure. I'll be watching out to see IF I haven't still got them all!
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By L. pippen on May 13, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
As a music education/appreciation teacher, I find Victor Borga's form of entertainment both educational and lol funny! The opera singer is my favorite as well as the piano duet with Borga's friend from "Turkey." Some of the selections on this DVD are for older students, but most are funny to even younger children. The opportunity to teach appreciation for opera, classical composers and classical pieces presents itself so often, that I find a facts sheet to be helpful and fun for the students. Also, the history of Victor Borga is interesting and appealing.
If you aren't trying to teach anything but just want to lol, check this DVD out! I love it!!

Lodi Pippen
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Format: Amazon Instant Video
I have been a Victor Borge fan for many years. I loved his shows and this "tribute performance" had many flashbacks and clips from previous performances. I laughed, but found many of the jokes forced and the pacing of the show was slow. If you are truly a fan, you will like the show, if this is your introduction to Mr. Borge, please find videos of his earlier work to enjoy.
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Mr. Borge has been gone from television for many years. So it is delightful to discover "Victor Borge, Then and Now". The picture quality has not the crisp digital shine of current technology. Nevertheless to have again Mr. Borge's wit, intelligence, sometimes corny but often hysterical good humor is wonderful. Thank you to the powers that be for producing this series.
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What an amazing talent. No matter how many times I watch Victor Borge I can't help but be thoroughly entertained. His comedy is clever, fun and totally non-vulgar. And when he actually plays a piano selection through without interruption it's like icing on the cake. There is no other entertainer like him. I wish he was still with us!
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It is great to have this available to share with my children, as my dad shared with me. While it does get slow, in sections. Those sections serve to show what an excellent pianist he was.
Of course his stories are wonderful.
I'm so glad these shows have been preserved and are available.
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