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Susskind;David Show Open End J

DVD

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Serious interview with comedian/actor/director Lewis - Wonderful - but watch out for his ego - and don't expect laughs. Nov. 11 2011
By Steven I. Ramm - Published on Amazon.com
Those who remember the Golden Age of the TV talk show, fondly remember producer David Susskind, who for nearly 30 years interviewed celebrities - whether entertainment or political - on his weekly show. It began on local New York City television in 1958 on the independent TV station WNTA. (The same station that aired his "Play of the Week Series", episodes of which were just released on DVD last month and which I reviewed on Amazon earlier this week.) When WNTA became a public broadcasting station, the show - "Open End" went into syndication.

Unlike the Dick Cavett Show - which I have devoured on DVD - Susskind was more serious in interviewing a guest during his two-hour show (less commercials). I'd compare him more with Charlie Rose - but with a decidedly New York accent.

To my knowledge none of the "Open End" shows has been available on home video (until now) and this first release features the Jerry Lewis interview from 1965. Fans of Lewis' comedy should know that there is not a laugh to be found here. This is the serious, opinionated, and very egotistical Lewis being interviewed. The interview was done at a low point in his career (which started at age 5 performing on stage with his dad, who was in vaudeville). His ABC variety show had recently been cancelled.

I use the word egotistical here because Lewis not only controls the interview - sharing only the info he wants to share - and admits that he's a "control freak" as well as a "compulsive buyer" (the guy owns 144 pars of shoes and over 300 suits!). The discussion about his marriage and his "rules" for when she can go out with friends (she can't - and neither can his six sons!) is almost hard to hear. This is the not the zany crazy guy you see in his movies.

The DVD contains two 50 minute segments. Apparently these were recorded in one sitting and offered to stations (the show was syndicated then) as hour-long shows, because Susskind ends the first 50 minutes by saying "we'll see you next time". The first segment concentrates on Lewis' childhood and home life and his interfaith marriage.. In the second he discusses his movies and how he "controls them". Throughout the complete show, Lewis chain-smokes cigarettes. (Susskind smokes too... but not as much!).

The print of the show is great - with only a few small dropouts. I hope this is only the first of a series of "Open End" releases from S'More Entertainment.

If you like quality interviews, this DVD will provide that. If you want to know about Lewis' life and opinions, you'll get that too. But don't expect a "barrel of laughs". That's not what this DVD is about.

Steve Ramm
"Anything Phonographic"
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jerry is the best! Sept. 3 2013
By Len Rogers - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
As a huge Jerry Lewis fan , I loved this anyway! A true genius and basically the ONLY genuine star left from the so called 'Golden era' of Hollywood (having stared in the 1940s and is still doing stand-up and shows at 87!)
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than expected March 15 2013
By bookie - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I am very happy with this DVD. When I was looking at other reviews of this product I wasn't sure I would like it. Boy was I wrong. This interview showed an entirely different Jerry Lewis than you see in his movies. It wasn't joke after joke it was real and honest. This showed some of his good qualities and bad ones, his ego and his compassion. I am very glad I went ahead and bought this dispite some of the negative reviews I saw. This interview made me like his comedic genius even more because he puts on that act, it isn't all he is. This product arrived on time and in great condition.
5.0 out of 5 stars For Jerry fans this is a must. July 24 2014
By alex Mineff - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This is a fascinating interview from 1965. It really shows where Jerry Lewis was at in this period, but also is fascinating to watch him interact with Susskind, neither appeared to be particular fans of each other but for the most part tried to be very professional. As always from this period it's interesting to watch Jerry smoke his way through the show as well. For Jerry fans this is a must.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Jerry Lewis I never knew Nov. 12 2012
By Shepherd - Published on Amazon.com
My wife and I watched the first segment where Lewis discusses his family life and interfaith marriage. We were floored. Jerry Lewis is nothing like the characters he portrays. He is extremely articulate, deadly serious, almost philosophical. He is also a much more assertive fellow than we would have guessed. As another reviewer mentioned, he will turn the tables on the interviewer if he deems it necessary to make a point. The other amazing thing about this interview is the subject matter discussed. We can not think of a single TV talk show produced today - outside of a religious channel - where people discuss faith matters with any level of depth. American media has forgotten how to talk about the spiritual side of life with any depth. Susskind and Lewis both seemed very comfortable probing Lewis' marriage to a Catholic woman and its impact on parenting and family relationships.

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