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Sgt. Ernie Bilko is the ultimate con man. He runs the motor pool at a small Kansas US Army Camp. Colonel Hall, nominally in charge of the base tries to keep Bilko's plans in check. Bilko runs every money making scheme that he thinks he can pull off. Midnight cruises on Landing Craft, Tank Rides, Poker games, and an interesting deal with local service stations for spare parts for jeep tires. Written by
John Vogel <email@example.com>
This Series Didn't Win All Those Emmys For Nothing - A Great TV Show!
On the Collector's Edition DVD, there are 18 episodes from the Bilko television series, a series that won numerous Emmy awards and sure entertained me, my family and friends in the mid-to-late '50s. Silvers starred as the con man of the Army, a sergeant whose love of money and thrill of gambling or pulling some con job seemed to supersede everything else in his life. Yet, as shallow as he often appeared, inside was a compassionate person with a heart (although they wasn't always evident!).
Almost all of Ernie Bilko's schemes worked for awhile but failed in the end, but he was never deterred. He would just look up to the heavens, say "Why me? Why? Why!" and go on to the next scheme the following week.
It wasn't always humorous to see him lying, cheating, conniving, giving false praise to old ladies like Colonel Hall's wife and friends, pulling rank on hapless new recruits, etc., but most of the time it was because we knew it wasn't done maliciously. Almost all of his stunts were designed with one purpose: to gain money, although sometimes he gave it back when his conscience got the best of him.
The cast surrounding Phil Silvers also was outstanding. The names of the characters live on forever in the mind's of Bilko fans like me. I didn't need to watch this DVD to remember names like "Col. John Hall and his wife Nell, Duane Doberman, Rocco Barbella, Rupert Ridzik, Francis Grover, Fielding Zimmerman, Dino Paparelli, Joan Hogan, Henshaw, Fender, Kadowski and others.
To be honest, I didn't find the show 50 years later to be as funny as I had remembered it, but what is? I had such fond memories that I probably elevated it too high on the pedestal. Still, this DVD provided many hours of nostalgia and laughs and when it was over, I was sad to see it end. I just hope they put out another edition on DVD.
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