The story begins at the height of Gleason's career. He has it all: women, wealth, and extraordinary power. But he is haunted by memories of his childhood. Gleason spends his formative years... See full summary »



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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
George 'Bullets' Durgom
Genevieve Halford
Danny Wells ...
Jack L. Warner (as Jack Daniel Wells)
Sammy Birch
Sol Friedman
Vlasta Vrana ...
Jack Philbin - Gleason's manager
Marilyn Taylor
Mae Gleason
Jack Langedijk ...
Herb Gleason
Jake Brockman ...


The story begins at the height of Gleason's career. He has it all: women, wealth, and extraordinary power. But he is haunted by memories of his childhood. Gleason spends his formative years entering amateur contests, performing in sleazy night spots. Along the way, he steals gags from the best comics in town and finds love with Genevieve, a dancer whom he marries. But Gleason isn't the ideal husband or even a responsible father as he abandons his family to answer the call of Hollywood. Brash, arrogant, and egotistical, he alienates his directors and the man who discovers him. When he ends up back in New York, Gleason gets one of those rare second chances in the new medium of television, creating some of its most unforgettable characters. But even as Gleason becomes the talk of the tube, his life - ruled by demons of rage, booze, and insecurity - unravels. Written by Echo Bridge Home Entertainment

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How Sweet It Was! See more »


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Release Date:

13 October 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gleason: The Jackie Gleason Story  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Brad Garrettat a smidge over 6'8", is about nine inches taller than Jackie Gleason was. To compensate, other actors who shared scenes with Garrett wore platform shoes that would make everyone seem proportionate. See more »


Gleason is shown being fired from Navy Blues in 1949 or 1950. In real life, the film premiered in 1941 and he was not fired. Also, Cavalcade of Stars was not his TV debut. He starred in the short-lived series The Life of Riley. See more »


References The Honeymooners: The Golfer (1955) See more »

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User Reviews

Somewhat scant on professional development
24 March 2003 | by (Israel) – See all my reviews

The movie checks in on Gleason's career at a few points and we see that he started out not very good and got better. But we never see how he managed to get better. He seems never to hear criticism, but only to insist that he knows what he's doing.

And where did they get his stand-up material? It sounds like Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, or at best Jack E. Leonard. Was Gleason an insult comic? I don't remember him that way. The material sounds anachronistic to me. Certainly an anachronism is Gleason shouting out "How sweet it is!" on his Stage Show program. He didn't say that until his big TV comeback.

Maybe the comeback would have been a better story to focus on. How Gleason was reduced to taking work as a game-show host, the game show flopped, and he saved the day with a one-man show that in half an hour returned him to the top of the profession.

Might have been better than trying even briefly to recreate the Honeymooners. Everyone did fine, considering. Michael Chieffo was near-perfect as Art Carney, Kristen Dalton was a competent Audrey Meadows though she forgot to stop sounding so aristocratic when Meadows was playing Alice. But the only thing that can possibly stand out in such a recreation is the imperfections. Hey, the chest of drawers is too low.

Brad Garrett did the voice reasonably well, but it was odd seeing him walking down a corridor hunched down to conceal the difference between himself and his average-sized companions. According to the papers, he had wanted very much to do the role. Okay, Brad, it was a fine salute and if they couldn't find a six-foot-four Audrey Meadows to play against you, that's not anybody's fault.

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