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The Sonny & Cher Ultimate Collection

4.7 out of 5 stars 78 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

After a string of successful hit records, Sonny and Cher attempted to take the movie world by storm. After they failed in that attempt, they regrouped and refashioned blossoming into a cabaret act that found success in nightclubs. Their easy banter and famous names led to them getting their own television variety show in the '70s. The show was a hit, breathing new life into their career. The Ultimate Collection includes over nine hours of footage from the series. In addition to performances of familiar hits like "I Got You Babe," "The Beat Goes On," and others from different artists, the show offered a variety of silly sketches. ~ Perry Seibert, Rovi

Amazon.com

It's not what you'd call high art, but there are some highly enjoyable moments in this nicely packaged box set, featuring nine complete shows (plus ample bonus material) spread out over three discs.

Beginning as a summer replacement in 1971, The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour earned its own regular time slot that same year, running for three straight seasons and then returning in 1976 (as The Sonny & Cher Show), after the couple's divorce. The show's formula, which had already been established both onstage and on the small screen (their '69 pilot episode is among the extra features), includes plenty of music (duets, Cher's solo performances in typically outlandish Bob Mackie gowns, various guest shots); lots of shtick (consisting mostly of Cher's put-downs of the minimally talented but good-natured Sonny); and sketches and skits (ranging from lame to inspired, including a mock-opera based on All in the Family and starring Metropolitan Opera tenor Robert Merrill as a warbling Archie Bunker). Guests range from the obvious (TV stalwarts like Harvey Korman, Ruth Buzzi, and Don Knotts) to the downright weird (then-California governor Ronald Reagan). It's all fairly middlebrow, but Sonny & Cher's unpretentious, unself-conscious charm carries it; and once in a while everything congeals into one surreally entertaining package, like the '72 show featuring the Jackson 5 (led, of course, by Michael, who was then 14 and still apparently normal), who are followed to the stage by Reagan (telling jokes, sort of) and singer-actor Howard Keel, veteran of numerous movie musicals.

Bonus features include 2003 audio commentary by a nostalgic Cher, interviews with the producers, the '69 pilot, bios, discographies, and a show history. The DVD set also comes with a music-only CD, featuring live performances of "The Beat Goes On" and "I Got You Babe." --Sam Graham


Special Features

  • Disc 1: Best of the first season of The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour
  • Disc 2: Three episodes from the second and third seasons of The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour
  • Disc 3: Three episodes from the final season of The Sonny & Cher Show
  • Commentary by Cher
  • Producers interview
  • 1969 TV pilot
  • Karaoke
  • Music videos
  • Discography
  • Network promos
  • Radio jingle
  • History of the show
  • Biographies of Sonny Bono and Cher

Product Details

  • Actors: Sonny Bono, Cher, Ted Zeigler, Chastity Bono, Tom Solari
  • Directors: Art Fisher
  • Format: Box set, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: R2 Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: October 1, 2003
  • Run Time: 540 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000DA23M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,165 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Sonny & Cher Ultimate Collection" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Susan Loffredi on November 8, 2003
Format: DVD
I am thrilled to finally have great episodes of the Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour available on DVD! I loved these shows as a child and thirty years later they are still funny, charming and full of great musical numbers! How lucky we are to have this set available!
This collection includes nine complete episodes (six from the original run of the Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour and three from their reunited run on The Sonny & Cher Show).
Laverne at the Launderette, Raggedy Sonny and Raggedy Cher, and the classic V-A-M-P segments are just a few of the great regular series features represented in this collection. Just a partial list of guest stars includes: Don Knotts, Farrah Fawcett-Majors, Tina Turner, then Gov. Ronald Reagan, Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5, Carroll O'Connor and Glenn Campbell. There are many great musical numbers by the weekly guests and of course Sonny and Cher! Many Sonny & Cher hits and Cher's solo hits are spotlighted in this collection, including: "All I Ever Need Is You","Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves", "The Way of Love", "A Cowboy's Work Is Never Done", "Half-Breed", "Dark Lady", "The Beat Goes On", and "I Got You Babe".
Each show's opening segment was a bright musical duet from Sonny and Cher and always included one of their famous dialogue exchanges. The openers to each of these shows are priceless and remind me of just how much I love The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour and how happy I am to be able to view it again!
This collection also contains a great amount of bonus material highlighted by audio commentary (on select segments) by Cher. This commentary was recorded in August of 2003 and is a wonderful addition to the collection. Recent interviews with the shows producers, and Sonny & Cher's 1969 pilot spot on the Barbara McNair Show, are just two of the other great segments included in the bonus material.
The visual and audio quality of "The Sonny & Cher Ultimate Collection" is outstanding! I hope this is the first of many editions!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
When I think of early 70s pop culture, nothing embodies and virtually SCREAMS the early 70s for me as much as this show. During an era when variety shows ruled, this one has always been the king of them for me, and I've dreamt of owning episodes like this for 30 years now. This set does not disappoint and really delivers the goods.
One of the very best things about it is that you get FULL and unreedited episodes, exactly the way they were broadcast, right down to those memorable animated sequences with the ball-creature at the commercial breaks. BRAVO to the people who brought us this DVD collection for giving us exactly what we wanted!
Looking at this show again for the first time in 30 years, it seems even sillier and schmaltzier than I remembered. Younger folks raised only on Saturday Night Live might find it hard to appreciate, and it's significant that this show's initial run ended in 1974, just a year before the debut of SNL. I feel it symbolizes the end one of one era in comedy and the beginning of another. What we have here is humour in the old-school, high camp Vaudevillian tradition.
Yes, some of the jokes are downright groan-worthy, and for anyone else this show might have flopped, but what makes it work here is the undeniable talent, charisma and charm of -- and chemistry between -- Sonny & Cher, who I consider one of the great couples of the 20th century. Sure the jokes are silly, but here are two people just literally having the time of their lives making this show, and their enthusiasm and enjoyment is infectious.
The guest list on these shows is a star-studded who's-who of 70s pop culture including Burt Reynolds, Howard Cosell and even Ronald Reagan from the early 70s and Donny & Marie and Farah Fawcett-Majors from the later 70s.
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Format: DVD
This may not be the show's entire run, however, it is a massive contribution, which is well thought through and beautifully presented.
For me, one of the greatest highlights is Cher's recent contribution of commentary made during her farewell tour!!!
With the songs listed below and the Bonus CD, this is a great product. If we support this, we may have hope of the entire series being released!!!
FEATURED MUSIC PERFORMANCES:
"All I Ever Need Is You"
"Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves"
"The Way of Love"
"A Cowboy's Work Is Never Done"
"Half-Breed"
"Dark Lady"
"The Beat Goes On"
"I Got You Babe"
Features:
Commentary from Cher on select segments - recorded in August 2003 during her Farewell Tour !!!!
Newly filmed interview with Comedy Hour producers Allan Blye and Chris Bearde
1969 TV Pilot (very rare from the Barbara McNair show)
Sonny & Cher karaoke
Sonny & Cher album Discography
Original network promos
and more!
SPECIAL BONUS: Exclusive 15-track Sonny & Cher CD featuring favorite songs from the era of their TV show. This CD comes FREE with every DVD purchased. Not available in stores, I Got You Babe: The Sonny & Cher 70's Collection is a great companion to this first-ever Sonny & Cher DVD release!
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Format: DVD
Sonny and Cher, review of DVD box set

First let me list the highlights of each disc:

1st disc
Harvey Korman, and brief appearance by Carol O'Connor.
A very handsome Burt Renyolds, and look for a young Steve Martin (thick hair, sporting beard and mustache). Martin's primary function is writer (he's in the credits), but he has some screen time here.
Merv Griffin

2nd disc - best of the three
Jackson 5 performs "Lookin' Through The Window"
(too bad they didn't perform one of their big hits)
Michael performs "Ben"
Michael has brief conversation with S & C
Ronald Reagan
Teri Garr
Howard Cosell
George Foreman (I own his grill and it's great!)
Chuck Connors
Danny Thomas
Ken Berry
Chastity (S & C's toddler)
Miss USA
Miss Universe (she looks very average to me)

3rd disc
1969 Pilot and other extras
Donny and Marie (she's majorly cute!)
Ruth Buzzi
Alex Karras
Farah Fawcett
Don Knotts
Glen Campbell
Tina Turner

As a previous poster mentioned, these discs should NOT have consisted of entire episodes! Should include the best segments from the show's entire run, and it's absurd that the discs were not orchestrated that way. Had these discs been created properly, I probably would have given 4 stars instead of 3.

Much of the humor is dated, and to be blunt, too much of it wasn't funny the first time around. Still, this series shines as a great time capsule of 70's American culture. Cher dons a plethora of lavish costumes, some of which are very odd, but she always looks great. The show's writing is uneven, but Cher's delivery is usually right on. Sonny is, well, Sonny.
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