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The Honeymooners : Lost Episodes 1951-1957 (The Complete Restored Series)
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For decades, these early HONEYMOONERS telecasts were lost until Jackie Gleason began releasing them from his private film vault. Now, in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the very first HONEYMOONERS sketches, MPI Home Video and Jackie Gleason Enterprises present the most complete collection possible of these rare gems, many of which have not been seen anywhere in 50 years or available previously on DVD.
It's a treasure trove of the hilarious antics of hapless Brooklyn bus driver Ralph Kramden (Jackie Gleason), his long-suffering but loving wife Alice (Audrey Meadows), Ralph's neighbor and pal, sewer worker Ed Norton (Art Carney) and Norton's wife Trixie (Joyce Randolph).
This is a must-have collection for any fan of classic television comedy which appeals to laugh-loving viewers of all ages.
Top Customer Reviews
Let's start from the beginning ...
This set includes the first Honeymooners skit (without Audrey Meadows, but with Art Carney as a police officer) from 5 October, 1951. As a nice added touch, the original host introduction precedes it. From this and other early skits, we witness the initial incarnations of some of television's most famous lines of dialog. "Don't steam me, Alice" was there from the beginning, but "'cause I'm already steamed" would only be added in later routines. "One of these days, Alice" was also not yet accompanied by "Pow! Right in the kisser". The earliest surviving Joyce Randolph appearance (as Trixie) is in The Ring Salesman from 7 December 1951. The earliest surviving Audrey Meadows (as Alice) can be found in The New Bowling Ball from 20 September 1952. Both are also included in this impressive set. The kiss at the end was there from the start, but the true magic between actors was yet to take shape.
This collection was pieced together into an impressive 15-DVD set. And no double-sided discs, so that's a big plus. The booklet is nice and colorful, giving you a brief bio, basic information about the skits, and features some nice images. In fact, all skits appear to be listed, whether or not the films still exist.Read more ›
I find that the June 1, 1957 sketch, Manager of a Baseball Team, looks beautiful for a kinescope...but besides the surprisingly good audio-video, we finally, finally have the final sketch from the '50s! (Needless to say, this episode was listed on three earlier packages which contained a *1953* rendition!).
I would have paid the full price for that historic episode on its' own, so my effusiveness can be understood!
There is very little material missing here...and both listed and nonlisted items are carefully notated. Hopefully, the apparent next-to-last sketch of May 11th, 1957 will be soon issued.
Another two sketches are not included: two 1962 efforts, from the American Scene Magazine, Gleason's return to weekly variety. Carney was back...but no Meadows or Randolph. This, plus the excellent 1966 remake of The Adoption, with Carney and Meadows.
For relatively new fans, I'll say that, generally speaking, you will not find "Classic 39" quality throughout any entry here - that season was done live on film, which benefitted the actors who could err and not worry that the error will be beamed out to the cosmos; the naturally, the writing and editing was exceptional. There are, shall we say, Classic *sketches* in this collection: i.e., Stars Over Flatbush, Peacemaker, Kramden vs. Norton, One Big Happy Family, Finders Keepers, Boys And Girls Together, etc.)
Also found herein is a new interview with Joyce Randolph (Trixie, 1952 to 1957); and old interviews with her TV "husband", Art Carney, in character, in various settings, including The Ed Sullivan Show.Read more ›
15 DVD set of the complete existing collection of all HONEYMOONERS skits produced from 1951-1957
Approximately 50 hours of material, including over 10 hours of HONEYMOONERS productions not seen since the 1950s
First-time-ever home video release of the 8 sought-after 1957 HONEYMOONERS musical hours not seen anywhere in over 5 decades
First-time-ever home video release of half-a-dozen other HONEYMOONERS skits from The Jackie Gleason Show recently found in the vaults.
First-time-ever DVD appearance of 8 surviving HONEYMOONERS skits from the 1951-1952 Cavalcade of Stars variety show.
Digitally restored by the UCLA Film & Television Archive
Deluxe 42 page booklet with full HONEYMOONERS history and rare photos, compiled by Honeymooners expert Robert Bader.
One of television's most influential and beloved comedy programs, THE HONEYMOONERS first appeared in 1951 as a series of skits on television's "Cavalcade of Stars" before comic great Jackie Gleason was given his own program a year later. From 1952-1955 and 1956-1957, "The Jackie Gleason Show" featured dozens of classic HONEYMOONERS productions broadcast live nationwide on CBS-TV, airing only once. For decades, these early HONEYMOONERS telecasts were lost until Jackie Gleason began releasing them from his private film vault.
Now, in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the very first HONEYMOONERS skits, MPI Home Video and Jackie Gleason Enterprises present the most complete collection possible of these rare gems, many of which have not been seen anywhere in 50 years or available previously on DVD.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've had some of these on video over the years, with this set i have them all...Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
How wonderful to relive one of our favorite childhood TV programs! This is a fabulous buy and makes a great gift for the older generation. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Robin B.
I can't believe how thorough the inventory of episodes is. Some of them have poor sound or picture quality, but most of them are what you would expect from b & w 1950s TV. Read morePublished 4 months ago by David P. Eldridge