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Ed Sullivan Presents: The Beatles (2003)

Video Music  -  2003 (USA)
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This collection comprises the four episodes of the Ed Sullivan Show from 1964 and 1965 that featured performances by The Beatles. The episodes are shown in their entirety - including ... See full summary »

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This collection comprises the four episodes of the Ed Sullivan Show from 1964 and 1965 that featured performances by The Beatles. The episodes are shown in their entirety - including commercials - and while the Fab Four are the main attraction, many well known performers were included on the various nights: impressionist Frank Gorshin, entertainer Tessie O'Shea, singer-actress Mitzi Gaynor, band leader Cab Calloway and comedian Soupy Sales among others. The focus is primarily on the Beatles who sing some 20 songs over the four broadcasts. Written by garykmcd

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2003 (USA)  »

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Ed Sullivan Presents: The Beatles  »

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Edited from The Ed Sullivan Show: Episode #17.21 (1964) See more »

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Legendary Performances
19 July 2005 | by See all my reviews

In 1964, I hated Sunday evenings because I had to return to school the next day, and my parents and grandparents always watched the Ed Sullivan Show. Sullivan's guests usually were unfunny (to kids) comedians, pointless variety acts, 1940s singers, guys who spun plates, and other acts that a 7-year-old just doesn't like. Then...on February 9, something astounding and unprecedented appeared--The Beatles!! The Beatles appeared on 3 consecutive Sullivan shows in February 1964, and again in 1965. Compared to Sullivan's usual fare, the band was electrifying, with driving, creative, live rock-and-roll accompanied by hysterical fans. I just watched the shows in astonishment...and the next day all anyone could talk about at my second-grade class in a small Midwestern town was the Fab Four.

The videos are nearly pristine, the direction is professional, and the sound quality great. (My favorite: the rocking "I Saw Her Standing There" from the Feb. 9 show.) The only drawbacks are the equipment malfunctions during the Miami show, in which John and Paul's microphones droop, causing all sorts of problems with the band's harmonies.

The other acts are for the most part pointless, and at worst are just plain bad. Myron Cohen, Wells and the Four Fays, Gloria Bleezarde (who's cute but so what?) are just not that entertaining, and Soupy Sales (from the '65 segment) is embarrassing to watch. I've always loved Frank Gorshin, but his impersonation routine from the Feb. 9 show is almost painful. Most of these acts would hardly qualify for a county fair nowadays. However, Mitzi Gaynor's act is tolerable, while Fred Kaps is entertaining and Morecombe and Wise are quite good in a very British way.

The shows are presented exactly as they were in 1964-65 on TV, complete with VERY brief commercial interruptions and all the dynamics of live TV. I encourage you to watch this if you remember 1964 and want to relive old memories, or--if you don't remember it--you want to see the birth of Beatlemania. Truly historic and classic American TV.

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