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Product Details

  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Koch International
  • Release Date: Nov. 21 2011
  • ASIN: B005MQ58GI
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #109,735 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 11 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Serious interview with comedian/actor/director Lewis - Wonderful - but watch out for his ego - and don't expect laughs. Nov. 11 2011
By Steve Ramm - Published on
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
Better than expected March 15 2013
By bookie - Published on
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.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Jerry is the best! Sept. 3 2013
By Len Rogers - Published on
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!)
For Jerry fans this is a must. July 24 2014
By Northern Knight - Published on
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.
Watch It! Aug. 4 2015
By david ross - Published on
Verified Purchase
This is a "must see" if you're as big a Jerry Lewis fan as I am. It is an interview which can be watched over and over, and new insights gained each time. I'm glad I purchased it.

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