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Profile for Robert S. Ray > Reviews


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The Merv Griffin Show (1962-1986)
The Merv Griffin Show (1962-1986)
DVD ~ Merv Griffin
Price: $72.76
24 used & new from $53.23

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You'd never see such graphic enjoyment of tobacco today on television, November 4, 2014
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I went straight to the episode saluting William Wyler, as I recall enjoying that episode when it originally aired. What a time capsule it is! The first thing I noticed was all the smoking, especially by Walter Pidgeon. You'd never see such graphic enjoyment of tobacco today on television. It's amazing that he lived as long as he did, as he practically makes love to that cigarette, more so than Bette Davis, who was sitting beside him as if in a race for the smokers' championship. Everyone's recalling their work from twenty-five to thirty-five years ago and now, here it is forty plus years later!

I can't wait to savor more episodes, one at a time, over the next several months. This is one of the stellar releases of the year for me, reminiscent of the Cavett Show sets. It features several complete episodes (any breakaways for movie clips are eliminated due to rights' issues, of course) and countless additional interview segments as bonus extras. The quality of the videotape transfers is extraordinary. It is indeed a time capsule to a bygone era. A must for fans of mid-twentieth century culture at its zenith!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 13, 2014 5:41 PM PST

Life Goes on
Life Goes on
by Herbie J. Pilato
Edition: Paperback
Price: $29.95
26 used & new from $18.65

5.0 out of 5 stars A Solid, Entertaining, Historic and Informative TV Companion Book!, May 21, 2013
This review is from: Life Goes on (Paperback)
Herbie J Pilato has done it again!

I had no idea that there was a book about the ground-breaking TV show, "Life Goes On." I just loved that show - and I love this book!

Like all of Pilato's books, he just doesn't trivialize the shows or personalities he profiles, he presents them in the historic context of their times and chronicles their sometimes hidden "messages." Certainly, with this guide to "Life Goes On" (which dealt with some very tough issues circumventing around those suffering from AIDS, and those with Down syndrome), Pilato explores the heart and soul of the show. And what's more, Pilato makes sure to interview as many of the given-show's actors, writers, directors, etc. as he does here with "Life" Story - The Book of "Life Goes On" - which I completely recommend.

Just a lovely television literary companion.

Thank you, Mr. Pilato - for this book - and your entire body of work!

The Bewitched Book
The Bewitched Book
by Herbie J. Pilato
Edition: Paperback
31 used & new from $0.68

5.0 out of 5 stars THEE Bewitched book that started it all!, May 21, 2013
This review is from: The Bewitched Book (Paperback)
Herbie J Pilato was the first author to chronicle "Bewitched" before any other. He is responsible for contributing to the show's resurgence in popularity and helping to clarify it's significance in not only the history of television, but in popular culture in general. And this "Bewitched" Book is a testament to it all. It's wonderfully written and beautifully executed. Revised several times afterward as various editions of "Bewitched" Forever, The "Bewitched" Book remains the initial elegant literary collectible in the world of "Bewitched" retrospectives.

Danny Kaye: King of Jesters
Danny Kaye: King of Jesters
by David Koenig
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $21.02
29 used & new from $13.92

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An in-depth look at a remarkable career., November 11, 2012
David Koenig provides an in-depth look at the career of Danny Kaye in this entertaining, thoroughly researched biography. Spanning Broadway, films, television and more, Kaye had a remarkable career arc and it's all here, film by film, show by show, from his early success in Lady in the Dark, through his films for Goldwyn, Paramount and others, his hit television show, back to Broadway and beyond. It's all about the work and as such it's first-rate. Written in a detailed yet easily readable style, this book is the perfect reference for all fans of Danny Kaye. It's organized by project and, as such, makes the perfect reference book you can pull off the shelf long after you've read it page by page. It's a must for anyone interested in Danny Kaye or the golden era of American entertainment in which he played such an important part.

Twitch Upon a Star: The Bewitched Life and Career of Elizabeth Montgomery
Twitch Upon a Star: The Bewitched Life and Career of Elizabeth Montgomery
by Herbie J. Pilato
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.42
72 used & new from $6.07

6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A scholarly approach with a pop-culture slant, October 14, 2012
Twitch Upon a Star is a thoroughly engaging, entertaining look at the life and career of the bewitching Elizabeth Montgomery. Honest and frank in its depictions of some of the more troubling aspects of her life, it's never salacious. Her sometimes contentious relationship with her father, her unsuccessful early marriages and struggles with some internal demons are counterbalanced by the depiction of an intelligent, sophisticated and beautiful woman whose generosity to friends, colleagues and political and humanitarian causes continues to inspire those who were lucky enough to call her "Lizzie." The result is an even-handed portrait of a fascinating lady and makes for highly interesting reading.

As a fan and, later, a friend of Ms. Montgomery, Mr. Pilato balances a more scholarly approach to her life with a pop-culture sensibility. It's a loving and occasionally eye-opening tribute to a woman the author greatly respects and admires, and as such, I highly recommend it.

My Fair Lady [Blu-ray]
My Fair Lady [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Audrey Hepburn
15 used & new from $11.59

33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars My Fair Lady is a travesty on BluRay, November 19, 2011
This review is from: My Fair Lady [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
"My Fair Lady," one of the most glorious films ever made, has been shockingly thrown away on BluRay in a transfer that looks like you're watching a three-hour dream sequence, for the sides of picture are a dull, foggy mess, while the center is sharp and colorful. It's definitely not in the same league as "Ben-Hur", "The Sound of Music" and "The Ten Commandments" important blockbuster roadshow films of the mid-century which got releases worthy of their stature.

But "My Fair Lady", in 1964 the most eagerly awaited film since "Gone With the Wind", and the winner of numerous Oscars, including Best Picture, has been dismissed in a mediocre single-disc transfer which does not do justice to the BluRay format. Send a message to CBS and demand that the crown jewel in their library get a proper deluxe release.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 21, 2012 4:00 PM PDT

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