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Toots: His Tow, His Saloon

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 11 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A Must See Jan. 4 2009
By Leslie Huffman - Published on
Format: DVD
Young and old will love this movie and experience the life of Toots Shor. There is no question that his saloon was the "it" place in New York City and helped shaped an era. The photos are amazing and the stories and tales captivate viewers. The director, Kristi Jacobson did an exceptional job sharing his life. I highly recommend this film!
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A must buy Oct. 3 2008
By Helga Campbell - Published on
Format: DVD
This movie takes you back to the New York's golden age, when women got thier hair done to go out to dinner and men wore suits to the go see the Dodger's play. In the middle of it all was Toots Shore, restaurant owner and friend of many, if you had a dollar you could go ot Toots and have a drink. My grandparents and parents told me of the great times they had there, and after seeing the film, I only wish I could've been there with them.....
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Fabulous! Dec 26 2008
By M. Rizzuto - Published on
Format: DVD
This movie is absolutley one of the best documentaries I have seen in a long time. It is a feel good movie about one of the best saloons in NYC during the Golden Age. From playing pranks on Jackie Gleason to having a full blown fight with Joe DiMaggio (Toots called her a "whore"), Toots Shor was an unbelievable man with a personality we would all be envious of.

His saloon was THE place to be back in the 50's and 60's. No matter who you were, you were always welcome. NO velvet ropes at Toots, everyone was VIP!

Buy this DVD today and see some amazing interviews with legends like Whitey Ford and Frank Gifford. YOu won't be disappointed!
Hadn't heard of Toots; by the end I had relived my childhood and had fallen in love with him! Feb. 3 2012
By E. (Harry) Hernandez - Published on
Format: DVD
TOOTS (2006, a/k/a "Toots Shor: Bigger Than Life", prod./dir. Kristi Jacobson, Toots' granddaughter, 84 minutes). Bernard "Toots" Shor (1903-1977) was a physically huge, imposing and larger-than-life Jewish restauranteur, saloonkeeper (he'd have loved that as his main title) and entrepreneur. The patrician and almost frightening appearance was somewhat offput by his almost cute, high-pitched piping voice. His eponymous restaurant in New York City, Toots Shor, was like a forerunner of today's high-flying, high-profile eateries.

This excellent documentary is a simple string of greats and not-so-greats reminiscing about Toots and his famous New York eatery/saloon. Apparently Toot's granddaughter became interested in the whole thing and made this film. I can only know this for certain because she also shot some of the footage and at one point, family pal Mike Wallace pointed at her and said something flattering about "your grandfather".

The difference, as Toots might say, is his place was a genuine saloon, which he also called "the restaurant". It was a legendary eatery and watering hole, with hangers on such as John Wayne, Frank Sinatra, Walter Cronkite, and so many others that it was more indicative to mention the short list of nobodies who DIDN'T hang out at Toots Shor. It was Jackie Gleason's home away from home, and Gleason was perhaps Toots' best friend. The stories recounted here, about their highjinks, will make you roar. (Gleason partly based his Sheriff Buford T. Justice in Smokey and the Bandit on Toots.)

Before their falling out (a remark Toots made about Marilyn Monroe), Toots' second most commonly seen hanger-on was Joe DiMaggio. If you've seen the famous photos of the 1940s and 1950s of high-octane, super-powered partiers, more than likely the photos were taken at Toots Shor.

What I loved about this film - which allows Toots through various recorded interviews to have a big say about his life - is it took me back down memory lane. I have never been to New York, but I'm a Chicago boy to a degree and went places with my Pop. When I saw Toots and his place, it reminded me of the places and people I got to see as a boy. In some respects, Toots reminded me of my father.

The remainder of this documentary biography is a walk through Toots' life and times. He began as a "bum" and worked mostly as a bouncer during prohibition. Once he had his place established, the mafia and the sportswriters came first; the big stars came later. He treated them all the same, with loud, warmhearted insults. "Crum bum" was his favorite insult and "Jiminy Cricket" his favorite expression.

This really is a cheerful and historically fascinating story of a wonderful, colorful man of his time. Toots could not keep up with the nasty youth of the 1960s and it took its toll. Watching the last 20 minutes of this made me indescribably sad, because I had come to really care about this amazing man. Then I realized, watching his life draw to a close was just like watching my childhood come to its abrupt end.

Don't be a crum bum. Get this, watch it and enjoy a time, a simpler time when everyone could be friends and Toots was the Jewish godfather of all friends.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
If you love vintage New York, get this June 25 2011
By Gracie - Published on
Format: DVD
I could watch this over and over. Loved everything about it. The only thing I didn't like is that I didn't want it to end. Buy it, you won't be sorry. It will make you wish you could live it.