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The Honeymooners: "Classic 39" Episodes DVD
The Honeymooners: "Classic 39" Episodes

The Honeymooners: "Classic 39" Episodes

DVD
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List Price: $24.99
Price: $16.95
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Since it's premiere on October 1, 1955, The Honeymooners has established itself as a cornerstone of American television. Amazing... considering that only 39 full-length classic episodes were filmed, all included in this collection! The brilliant and hilarious interplay between Ralph, Alice, Ed and Trixie set the tone for countless situation comedies through the years but none have quite captured the sheer magic of the Kramdens and the Nortons struggling to carve out their piece of the American Dream in Brooklyn. This comprehensive DVD collection is an everlasting monument to one of the funniest and most enduring TV shows of all time.

The CBS/Paramount DVD of The Honeymooners is a nicely packaged set of all 39 shows, plus a modest sampling of special features. The packaging is attractive and reasonably informative, offering short plot descriptions and airdates for the shows, which are presented in broadcast order. For those who watched edited-for-time versions of The Honeymooners in syndication, this DVD set offers one unexpected benefit. Because The Honeymooners shows originally ran 26 minutes apiece, they were always cut to fit latter-day 30-minute time slots. Knowing this would be done, Gleason apparently tried to include a disposable scene or two, but seeing what for many are completely new scenes amid very familiar ones is, well, weird.

Video & Audio

The Honeymooners was an early three-camera show, shot in black & white on 35mm film in front of a live audience. A variation of the system devised by Desi Arnaz and Karl Freund for I Love Lucy, the Electronocam T-V Film System (don't you just love that name?) seems, for whatever reasons, to have worked less well. Wanting to keep the show as spontaneous as possible, Gleason rarely rehearsed, and because of this the cameramen occasionally have trouble keeping up with the action, leaving angles slightly out of focus for long stretches. But the transfers themselves are clean and generally quite sharp, with the 39 episodes and special features spread over five single-sided discs. Some viewers have complained about the sound on the first episode, "TV or Not TV," but while the audio is indeed muffled (though not inaudible), the other episodes play just fine. English and Spanish subtitles are offered.

Extras

Extras include the show's opening and closing sequences as they originally aired, before the program went into its perennial syndication. Basically, the opening credits and familiar theme music are intact, but with a different announcer and a "Sponsored by Buick" tag. For those weaned on the syndicated version, the loud, unfamiliar and nasally voice of the original announcer is amusingly jarring. The tags have a straight-faced Gleason, out of character, pitching cars the Kramdens themselves could never afford. The end titles roll over an inexplicable stick figure background that looks just like the logo for The Saint. The only other extra is The Honeymooners Anniversary Special, a 22-minute celebration/documentary from 1990 hosted by Audrey Meadows, featuring new and archival interviews with the main cast, several of the writers, and jack-of-all-trades character players Frank Marth and George The CBS/Paramount DVD of The Honeymooners is a nicely packaged set of all 39 shows, plus a modest sampling of special features. The packaging is attractive and reasonably informative, offering short plot descriptions and airdates for the shows, which are presented in broadcast order. For those who watched edited-for-time versions of The Honeymooners in syndication, this DVD set offers one unexpected benefit. Because The Honeymooners shows originally ran 26 minutes apiece, they were always cut to fit latter-day 30-minute time slots. Knowing this would be done, Gleason apparently tried to include a disposable scene or two, but seeing what for many are completely new scenes amid very familiar ones is, well, weird.

The Honeymooners: "Classic 39" Episodes

Title: The Honeymooners: "Classic 39" Episodes
Genre: TV Comedy, Television
Starring: Jackie Gleason, Art Carney, Audrey Meadows, Joyce Randolph
Studio: Paramount
Number of Discs: 5
Attributes: Boxed Set, Full Frame, Repackaged, Amaray Case
Release Date: 4/14/2020
Product Type: DVD
Rated: NR
UPC: 032429338914
Item #: 2284048X

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