View Full Version : 1960s "The Dean Martin Show"
02-17-2005, 02:43 AM
I heard a lot about this show over the years. It was even spoofed on SNL when Tom Hanks was host (over a decade ago).
"The Dean Martin Show" ran for many years and ultimately morphed into the "Dean Martin Celebrity Roast" specials, some of which I remember very well.
Will the early variety-hour-type shows ever surface on DVD?
02-17-2005, 10:51 AM
The only way to legally get any of the old Dean Martin variety shows is in "best of" form. I believe it's Guthy-Renker, the same people who offer the Roasts on VHS and DVD. I recall seeing an ad for the variety shows and e-mailed whoever it was that was selling it, asking if they were the full, uncut shows. The reply was that the discs being offered were just highlights, so I never bothered to pick any up.
If you're curious, I think a web search should turn up the place where you can get them.
Richard W. Haines
02-20-2005, 08:33 PM
I remember the show and it was a hoot. Dean did his simulated drunk act and refused to rehearse so it had the feel of 'live' television. Lots of inside jokes, sexual innuendo,
politically incorrect gay jokes ("Do you have a fairy godmother?" Dean, "No but I have an Uncle I'm keepin' an eye on..."). Drunk jokes included him saying to the audience "If I look a little fuzzy, don't adjust your set because you look the same way to me".
I guess the only trouble with the show is that Dean was actually a pretty good actor ("Rio Bravo", "Some Came Running", "Toys in the Attic") and his campy drunk act made him lose some credibility as a legit performer in features.
The trouble with all sixties shows is the two inch videotape they were recorded on.
Very unstable and usually erased after broadcast and reused unless the star or producer decided to retain a copy for their archive. Gleason kept copies of his color
shows and they have recently been re-broadcast on some cable station. Johnny Carson did not or what he had deteriorated so he lost the first decade according to an interview. They thought all of the Hollywood Squares shows were erased or disgarded but they found a portion of them and played them on the Game Show Network for a while but then pulled them. I still recall Lynde's risque zingers and it was creepy to see Robert Blake make jokes about his wife. They wouldn't rerun the O.J. Simpson shows. I thought all of Mike Douglas shows were lost but just discovered my current sales rep used to work for him and he indeed saved all of his tapes.
Red Skelton saved his shows and his estate has released them. I don't know the fate of Dean Martin's shows and how many exist. You can try ebay. Some people do have fuzzy bootlegs of some shows thought to be 'lost'. I have bootlegs of the entire "It's About Time" sitcom which although very faded is still quite funny. It was my favorite show as a kid. I also have bootlegs of some other rare lost sitcoms like "The Second Hundred Years" and "Ugliest Girl in Town". I even have the pilots of "The Mothers in Law"
and the outrageously campy "Paul Lynde Show".
Many years ago I remember a film place was closing and there were stacks of two inch video tapes (they were threaded reel to reel not in cassettes like modern digital tapes) of titles like "The Smothers Brothers", "Charro" and other shows. They were left there and junked. I wish I had taken them.
I know one TV buff who is able to transfer these obsolete formats on old two inch machines to DVD. He told me a strange technique he used to get the ancient
videotapes to play. If they were sticky and coming apart, he heating them up for a minute or so in the oven which softened the plastic so they would unwind. Then you had one shot and one shot alone to play them back on the old two inch machine and transfer them to DVD. It's rare they would play more than once and most of the oxide flaked off on the heads after the transfer. Videotape was a terrible medium of audio/visual storage. Let's hope DVD has a longer life (but don't count on it). Most TV shows that exist in excellent condition were shot on film like "The Honeymooners" and "I Love Lucy".
02-21-2005, 03:06 PM
Could music rights also be a factor?
02-21-2005, 03:23 PM
"It's About Time?" Now that one does bring back some memories...sunday nights if I recall and only lasted one season. Wow I can even hear the theme song in my head. I figure there is some lost island not on the maps where things like the print of LONDON AFTER MIDNIGHT is stored.
Richard W. Haines
02-21-2005, 06:37 PM
Not "London After Midnight". Well past the time period that aging nitrate would
still be around. It was good for 20-40 years before it decomposed into highly flammable powder. It could spontaneously explode in a tightly sealed can. Nitrate
can last longer under very specific storage conditions (extremelly cold and dry).
The last unsual find was frozen nitrate reels in Alaska which the AFI preserved.
Unlikely any more will turn up.
In the case of anything on tri-acetate film, while it is subject to hydrolisis (vinegar syndrome), most prints and negative in this format are still intact. The main problem is not decomposition but color fading on Eastmancolor stock. All television color shows were in Eastmancolor with the exception of "The Wild Kingdom" which was printed on kodachrome and Disney's "Wonderful World of Color" which was dye transfer Technicolor.
As a result, all old TV shows are fading. In some cases the
negatives can be tweaked to generate an acceptable if not good DVD or video master. It varies between the episodes on some shows. Some "Gunsmoke" episodes have good color and others look pretty faded. The "It's About Time" 16mm prints are all
faded now. On the other hand, I saw it in B&W back in 1967 so I just turn off the color hues when I watch the tapes. I thought it was funnier than "Gilligan's Island"
by the same producer. The show also utilized the same sets. If you remember the theme song you probably remember Joe E. Ross who preceeded each line of dialogue with "ooo ooo".
02-21-2005, 07:48 PM
Yes but on my FANTASY ISLAND the only print of LAM is stored at absolute zero and in a special chamber that humidity cannot penetrate. Also, it is frozen in time at the minute the print was processed, so there are no scratches or other forms of degredation. Finally, the SECRET CINEMA is guarded by celluloid Death Commandos who have orders to shoot on sight anyone trying to get at all forty reels of GREED.
Richard W. Haines
02-21-2005, 08:18 PM
The only time "Greed" was 40 reels long was as a scratchy beat up workprint that was screened for executives at MGM. Even if it existed it would not look good since work prints are not timed and get very worn during the editing process. That workprint was disgarded after Stroheim was fired as were the out-takes. The only way they would've survived is in some vault or unlabeled can at MGM but why would they save a workprint? It doesn't exit. All that they have on "Greed" is an original nitrate standard cut version at MOMA and a dupe of that print that was released on tape.
One of the reasons so many nitrate films were discarded was insurance costs. For example, while Samuel Goldwyn did preserve all of his sound films he intentionally destroyed the negatives of his silents because there was no way he could derive income from them prior to television and the insurance on storing the dangerous nitrate was eating away at his profit margin. This was less of a problem for the majors
(many MGM and Paramount silents survive) but was a difficulty for indies like Goldwyn and Selznick. One exception was Chaplin who not only owned and saved his features but the out-takes too. The latter were used by Kevin Brownlow for his documentary "The Unknown Chaplin". Since he stored them in cold conditions in
Switzerland, they survived fairly intact. The image quality of the documentary
was quite good as were all Brownlow films since he always taped off nitrate originals.
His "Hollywood: The Silent Years" is the best documentary about that era with excellent visual quality. Too bad I don't find Chaplin funny although I did like seeing the out-takes.
I did know of a guy who claimed he knew where the camera negative was of the uncompleted Errol Flynn version of "William Tell". It would be very faded 35mm Eastmancolor CinemaScope if it does indeed still exist and my source didn't mention that the magnetic tracks survived for the sound.
I own and preserve the camera negatives of my own films and have all the out-takes, pre-mix sound elements and original dialogue tapes too.
I'm always on the look out for lost films, lost scenes and so forth. I guess the rarest thing I have is the uncut preview print of Abbott and Costello's
"Jack and the Beanstalk" in 35mm Super Cinecolor. I believe it was either Lou's personal copy or the first lab check print. The reels were still in 1000 foot sections with punch marks for where the dyes were added. It was never shown publicly and Warners cut the film prior to release. The release version ran
78 minutes and this print runs 83 minutes. Took about ten years to track down the reels from a few sources. I found some other curiosities like the exit music from "Thunderball" which was part of a proposed Roadshow version of the movie that never materialized.
I do know someone who has Katherine Hepburn' personal 35mm Technicolor print of "Summertime" (I saw it recently and the color is gorgeous) and an archivist who has David Lean's personal 35mm Technicolor print of "Doctor Zhivago". While released in Metrocolor in the US, Lean had Technicolor prints made in England. Yet another collector has a mint 35mm Technicolor print of "Vertigo" that was shown on ABC in 1972. It even has the ABC promo and logo at the head. I wish I could snag these copies away from the collectors but thus far they don't want to part with them at any price. Can't say I blame them.
I guess the bottom line is that for post-1950 films made on tri-acetate, there's always a possibility that someone has a copy of any films classified as 'lost'. Not much chance for pre-1950 nitrates because of the deterioration problem.
02-22-2005, 03:28 AM
I'd like to see the Dean Martin Show for all the appearances made by Orson Welles. I think he even guest hosted a few times and would perform some magic and sing with Dean. Bet those were fun shows.
11-16-2006, 02:32 PM
Calling Richard W. Haines!
I read with great intrerest that you have some episodes of The Ugliest Girl in Town ... how amazing! I have been trying to get hold of these on behalf of Patricia Brake, the leading lady in the show. So far I have only managed to obtain the pilot episode. Is there any way you might have the time and kindness to copy one or two episodes for Pat?
12-20-2006, 11:32 AM
So, is there any way to get "The Dean Martin Show" (1965-1974) and/or "The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast" episodes on DVD (or DVD-R for that matter)?
I have now pretty much all the music from Martin etc, but I need to see this series, at least some of episodes..
12-23-2006, 11:19 AM
It's a subscription deal where they send you one a month, at about $ 20 each. You can also get the roasts this way. The variety shows are "best of"s, while the roasts are full shows, usually two to a disc.
I got the roasts this way, back when they were only available on VHS. Great stuff.
12-23-2006, 04:55 PM
The Dean Martin Sammy Davis and Don Rickles roasts are on Usenet right now.
05-16-2011, 05:46 PM
Update! 6 dvd set will be released on June 14th!
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.
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.
05-16-2011, 05:56 PM
Wow! About time!
05-16-2011, 06:32 PM
Hi, I thought whoever is interested, Amazon has "The Mothers-In Laws" the complete series for sale. Seems pretty affordable too.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.2.2 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.