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The Best of The Dean Martin Variety Show (Collector's Edition)

3.5 out of 5 stars 120 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

GREAT COMEDY! THE BEST MUSIC! MEMORABLE MOMENTS WITH DEAN AND FRIENDS!
Never before available at retail-until now! The Best of The Dean Martin Variety Show contains an irresistible blend of classic entertainment showcasing only the best moments. We've captured all the glory, the glamor and the glitz of the greatest era in show business.

Our exclusive DVD configurations will feature the best moments from The Dean Martin Variety Show plus exclusive bonus features. All episodes have been digitally re-mastered for pristine quality.

Outrageous!
The story goes that Dean Martin was reluctant to do a variety show because he did not want to turn down lucrative movie and nightclub offers. So he set deliberately outrageous terms: he demanded a high salary and that he would only show up for the actual taping of the show. To his surprise network executives at NBC agreed, and the rest is TV history!
Dean Martin ruled the television airwaves in the late '60s and early '70s with a show featuring a who's-who of high-octane guests from music, film and TV. Dean never rehearsed, smoked non-stop, and always had a drink in hand and people loved it! With his easygoing charm and incomparable talent he was a natural on TV.

Step Back In Time:
The Dean Martin Variety Show first aired in 1965 and remains a one-of-a-kind in the history of TV. A block-buster on NBC for almost ten years, it captivated the public thanks to an entertainer who could do it all. Dean and his incredible celebrity guests fascinated us with songs and outrageous comedy skits. Guests include: Bob Hope, Jimmy Stewart, John Wayne, Orson Welles, Don Rickles, Dom DeLuise, Don Adams, George Burns, Michael Landon, Peggy Lee, Jack Benny, Nipsey Russell, Rodney Dangerfield, Dinah Shore, Jonathan Winters, Sammy Davis Jr., Paul Lynde, Andy Griffith, Bob Newhart, Tony Bennett, Phyllis Diller, Sid Caesar, Florence Henderson, Duke Ellington, The Andrews Sisters, Tim Conway, Frank Gorshin, Lainie Kazan, Debbie Reynolds, Marty Feldman, Pat Cooper, Gene Kelly, Kay Medford, Eddie Albert, Elke Sommer, David Janssen, Charles Nelson Reilly, Ralph Edwards, Ethel Merman, Roger Miller, George Gobel, Robert Mitchum, Shecky Green, Woody Allen, Kate Smith, Phil Silvers, Janet Leigh, Lena Horne, Zero Mostel, Buddy Ebsen, Jack Jones, Juliet Prowse, Joel Grey, Sid and Marty Krofft Puppets, Lou Jacobi and many more!
Who can forget how Dean made his weekly entrance sliding down a fireman's pole onto the stage, and how he read his dialogue directly from cue cards. If he flubbed a line or forgot a lyric, Martin would not do a retake, and the mistake - and his recovery from it - went straight to tape and onto the air! Now all of those golden memories have been digitally restored and remastered in this exclusive collection featuring rare magical performances by the greatest stars of all time.

-Available in three configurations: single DVD, 2-DVD set and 6-DVD Collector's Edition.
-Each DVD release will contain over ONE HOUR OF BONUS FEATURES, including exclusive interviews with guests from The Dean Martin Show, including Bob Hope, Dom DeLuise, and Dean's daughter Gail, a regular guest on the show.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Dean Martin
  • Directors: Not Specified
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Collector's Edition, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 6
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Time Life Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: June 14, 2011
  • Run Time: 875 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (120 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004LWL0NE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,963 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Most of these reviews here are in anticipation of something the reviewer has never seen. I purchased this at Costco this weekend in California where they're already on the shelves (for half the price, $29.99). I'm glad, because this is a lousy set.

It's branded the BEST of the Dean Martin Variety Show. That's fair, except when you crack open the case and browse through the booklet, they lead you to believe that you're watching hand selected COMPLETE episodes. These are not. They are heavily edited :20 minute versions of the original shows which were 50 minutes or so in length.

Most of these episodes (spanning 1965-73) are available in their entirety on YouTube, which makes this collection even more frustrating. Gone are most of Dean's musical numbers, most of his musical parodies with Ken Lane, his bottom of the hour "couch" songs. Instead, we're "treated" to full length performances by acts like Juliet Prowse and Joel Grey??? The picture quality is marginal as well (comparable to the first generation DVD Sinatra specials from the 1960's)

Producers! If you're going to give us only 20 episodes, fine. But give us the COMPLETE episodes. Give us all the monologues, all the songs and throw in the DMS bumpers and the NBC peacock at the beginning. This is a SAD effort. Now granted, the DMS was like most variety shows of its era. 60% was filled with crap (bad comedians, singers that never made the charts, animal acts, acrobats), but let me the viewer decide when to hit the fast forward button please.

I would save your money & wait for NBC to release this show in season sets. COMPLETE season sets that is!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Like the other reviewers have said, these are not the complete episodes, nor would I call them the best, a big disapointment since I got this for my father. My father, who watched these shows while growing up, remembered some of the episodes and pointed out the heavy editting this edition has. There are funny moments yes, but there is definitely something missing when the scenes jump around or cut out just before it gets really good. Added to this is that there does not seem to be any specific order these 'episodes' are placed in, a single DVD would jump from a show in the early sixties, go to the seventies, then back to the sixties. There is some entertainment to be had, but poor editing, selections, and ordering counter the good skits and songs. Also mentioned in other reviews, many of the scenes in these DVDs, even the entire episode these scenes are from, can often be found on youtube. Its a good try, but someone's definition of the 'Best' of Dean Martin definitely has me scratching my head.
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Format: DVD
I will agree with the other reviewers here on Amazon. I purchased this at the warehouse and viewed the first 3 episodes with my wife tonight. The episodes are between 23 and 28 minutes long. These are edited down to about half the original broadcast. Do not get me wrong. Some of the skits are very funny. The barbarshop scene w/ orsen wells and Jimmy Stewart made me laugh for its 5 minutes of wit. But the episodes all have end credits that show snapshots of scenes from the show broadcast, and you can guess easily what you are missing on the DvD realease.
In addition, the audio mixing is terrible. Watching this DvD with a 5.1 system, you loose vocal in the center channal at the end of the first episode/ disk 1. If these broadcasts were recorded in Mono, realease them in Mono. Fans will not criticize Dvd producers for that, but I will criticize the mixing here. So, if you watch this on a surround system, try to watch it mixed down to 2/0 stereo.
Dean Martin had a great show on NBC. Keep it simple. Realease the episodes in Mono and unedited.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
UPDATE (posted July 31, 2011): Now that The Golddiggers Super Site has confirmed that Time-Life is going forward with a SECOND edition of DVDs culled from The Dean Martin Show, we thought that this would be an auspicious time for a detailed and objective examination of the first collection, assembled with the aim of improving future installments.

Toward that end, we've reviewed the T-L sets' pluses and minuses, taken into consideration many of the criticisms expressed here on Amazon, and offered some informative background on both Dean's series and the complexities of clearing music for vintage television programs.

Beyond just surveying what's come before, we've additionally cast an eye toward what's next, by advancing a series of practical, viable solutions for avoiding some of the pitfalls of this initial release in future reissues.

And to make it easier for connoisseurs of this material to know exactly what they're getting (and what they're not), we've provided a painstakingly-researched appendix that takes the 20 episodes in Time-Life's 6-DVD set and compares the original musical content of those shows when they were first broadcast on NBC with not only the musical selections contained in Time-Life's reissue of those episodes, but also, with the musical portions of those episodes that can be found on the earlier 29-volume Guthy-Renker collection.
Read more ›
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