12/20/08

The Dollar Deals Christmas Special


Heya folks. The Bug back again to share with you some ideas for great stocking stuffers that aren't candy and won't cost you a fortune. I'm talking Dollar Deals here, and not just any deals... Christmas Deals. While there are a ton of quality movies out there for for a buck to please the genre lover in your life, how about giving the gift of holiday cheer to go along with it.



So for starters you might find The Christmas Carol (1949) The first televised telling of the Christmas Carol, and I've read that it's one of the earliest broadcasts to be released to DVD. While the trunkated version of the story doesn't do the tale justice (see George C. Scott's version for that) Taylor Holmes does an admirable enough job as Scrooge. This came only a year after Holmes had starred in the Ingrid Bergman version of Joan of Arc. As to why a genre fan might love this disk, it also came a year after Vincent Price had his breakthrough role as Cardinal Richelieu in The Three Musketeers. Price serves as your narrator for the film, and the shots of Vincent relaxing at "home" and reading from The Christmas Carol are, well, priceless.

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Secondly we have The Abbott and Costello Christmas Special. This comes from 1952 and their Palmolive Soap sponsored show. It features some very funny bits that turn the tables on the usual with Abbott being the butt of most of the jokes and slapstick. Perhaps this was his Christmas present to Lou. There is one bit about a scalp massage treatment being mixed up with a turkey stuffing recipe that is extremely funny. The show also includes some nice musical numbers, acrobats Tom and Jerry, and a very nice tap routine from the Nicholas Brothers who Sammy Davis Jr. once studied with. The show is capped off by Lou Costello singing White Christmas and conducting the show's orchestra. Costello's bumbling conducting soon leads all the musicians into a slapstick free for all that was genuinely hilarious. The disk also includes a non-holiday episode of the show as well as a few other Christmas shorts. The shows are also uncut and I loved watching the commercials for Palmolive Shave Cream and Soap as well as Colgate Toothpaste and Fab detergent. 

The disk is all around worth more than a dollar, and to anyone that loves comedy classic and modern there is much to love. I personally feel that Bud and Lou are criminally underrated performers and well ahead of their time in some respects. There is much in Lou Costello's bad little boy routine that can still be seen today in comic Patton Oswalt's work.



This clip is not from the show, but is a interesting Christmas commercial for Christmas Seals. Which features Abbott and Costello and Charles Laughton.

The third disk I want to talk about is actually entitled The Beverly Hillbillies Christmas. While the disk does contain that show as well as episodes of Ozzie and Harriet and Love That Bob, the show that really stands out is The Jack Benny Show- The Christmas Shopping Show. While it relies on the typical running joke about Jack being a cheapskate, when coupled with the nightmare of Holiday shopping it hits just the right mix. Add in some very funny bits with Mel Blanc as the put upon counterman assisting Jack, and what you've got is comedy gold. Also the chemistry between Jack and Rochester always makes for more than a few laughs. 


I'm not going to give ratings on these as they don't really qualify as movies, but suffice it to say that each one is well worth what you will spend. For anyone out there that loves old movies and genre film, a Dollar Deal is the perfect thing to fill their stocking with. So enjoy the clips and if you want to see the rest of The Christmas Carol  or The Jack Benny Show they are both available via youtube. See all you Moonies tomorrow with a bit of Christmas terror courtesy of The Grab Bag.

1 comment:

  1. Nice xmas dvds,LB! you know I love me some Vincent Price, and I watch A Cristmas Carol every year(this one, and George C. Scott).

    ReplyDelete

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