American Masters: Bing Crosby - Rediscovered
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Bing Crosby was, without a doubt, the most popular and influential multi-media star of the first half of the twentieth century, pulling audiences in with his intimate, laid-back voice and innate charm. Narrated by Stanley Tucci and directed by Robert Trachtenberg, this film explores the life and legend of this iconic performer, revealing a personality far more complex than the image the public had only thought they'd known.
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Bing Crosby - Rediscovered
On Tuesday evening PBS's American Masters series aired this well-researched, two-hour documentary about the life and career of the most influential (and successful) singer of the twentieth century. Bing Crosby changed everything. And yet today, thirty-seven years after his passing, my generation, now in our mid-fifties, remembers him merely as the nice old man who came into our living rooms every December to serenade our families with White Christmas. Der Bingle was so much more than that. Artie Shaw once described him as "the first hip white guy in history". Agreed; but that doesn't even come close to explaining the magic that was Bing.
He is a historical figure and deserves to be recognized as such. He was also one of the best comic actors who ever lived. Did I mention that? Bing Crosby is in danger of being forgotten. That shouldn't be the case.
I had almost forgotten how good Bing Crosby was.
It's also available as part of a specially-priced 24 Movie Box Set of Bing Crosby musicals on 13 DVDs.
All were filmed by Paramount between 1933 and 1949:
Bing Crosby: The Silver Screen Collection (Going My Way, Holiday Inn, Rhythm on the Range, Birth of the Blues, Road to Morocco, Waikiki Wedding + 18 more!)
One catch: The version of "American Masters: Bing Crosby Rediscovered" included in the 13 DVD boxed set, though complete and unabridged, does not have English subtitles - even though the box says it does.
[but all 24 complete movies in that 13 DVD box do have subtitles.]
This single disc version of "American Masters: Bing Crosby Rediscovered" does have subtitles.
The 13 DVD box currently sells for about $80 on Amazon.
Minus $15 for the single DVD of "Bing Crosby Rediscovered" works out to $65 for 24 Bing Crosby musicals on 12 DVDS.
The price will probably go down as the year progresses.