Peter Graves narrates this account of the life and multi-faceted career of Dino Paul Crocetti, from his 1917 birth, in Steubenville, Ohio, the second son of Angela and Gaetano Crocetti, through his rise to fame on radio, stage, screen and television as singer and actor Dean Martin.
In the rugged mining and steel town of Steubenville, Gaetano earns a comfortable living as a barber who affords to purchase nice clothing for Dino and his brother, Bill, to wear to school, where classmates bully Dino because of his sharp attire.
But, unlike many a future celebrity who is bullied as a youth and plans to become a star to show the oppressors a thing or two, Dino fights back.
And he fights back hard...so hard that his friends suggest that Dino become a boxer--which he does--at age 15, when he becomes a prize-fighter, who earns various injuries along the way, such as a broken nose, lip and many knuckles.
Well, Dino escapes from the hardships, by attending the movies, and emulating the singing styles of Bing Crosy and Harry Mills. By 1943, Dino relocates to New York City, billing himself after Opera star Dino Martini, but Bandleader Sammy Watson suggests his stage name of Dean Martin.
In 1943, Dean performs at Riobamba Nightclub, at which he often shares billing with a young comedian, Jerry Lewis, but not in the same act. Dean and Jerry meet in 1944 at Belmont Plaza and share a fondness for each other's company, before Dean moves on to perform at Havana-Madrid Nightclub.
In 1946, Jerry Lewis performs at 500 Club, in Atlantic City, when owner Skinny D'Amato informs him that the club needs a new act. When Jerry suggests Dean, Sonny tells him that they don't need another singer, but when Jerry tells Sonny that Jerry and Dean do a comic routine, Sonny gives Dean the okay.
But when Dean and Jerry perform separately, Sonny asks them where the comedy is, and if they don't incorporate it, they're both fired. Jerry and Dean quickly assemble a routine to please the audience--so well that on their fourth night together they perform before a sell-out crowd.
This episode (orignally airing on August 29, 1997) follows Dean and Jerry to the Copacabana, to Hollywood, into film and television, where they become guests for the first episode of "The Ed Sullivan Show," amid a popularity so great among adoring fans that by 1952, Martin and Lewis become the hottest act in the country, and one of the busiest, often performing nine shows a day.
And when insiders suggest that one would be better off without the other, Martin and Lewis perform together at the Copacabana one last time, on July 25, 1956, the tenth anniversary of their first show together at the 500 Club. But will Dean and Jerry ever see each other again?
Dean, who is forecast for failure without Jerry, takes Las Vegas by storm, by teaming with Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford, as the Rat Pack, while continuing his film acting, and rising as a recording artist.
During one recording session, when a song is needed to complete an album within an hour's time, the pianist suggest his composition, "Everybody Loves Somebody," which becomes Dean Martin's greatest hit, and begins his string of gold album sales.
When the television networks compete to offer Dean Martin his own variety program series, he jokes that he would take an offer if it affords him the right to work only one day per week, without rehearsals--and he is granted this privilege to captain his spontaneous variety show, while working busily throughout the remainder of the week.
Dean's marriages are with Elizabeth Anne McDonald (1941-49), welcoming four children; Jeanne Martin (1949-73), welcoming three children; and Catherine Hawn (1973-76) welcoming one child.
Interview Guests for this episode consist of Jeanne Martin (former Wife), Ricci Martin (Son), Jerry Lewis (Actor/comedian), Bob Newhart (Actor/comedian), Joey Bishop (Actor/comedian), Dom DeLuise (Actor/comedian), Alan King (Comedian), Greg Garrison (Producer/Director "The Dean Martin Comedy Hour"), Bud Yorkin (Director, "The Colgate Comedy Hour"), Jimmy Bowen (Record Producer), and Michael Weinblatt (former NBC President), with Peter Graves (Host and Narrator). Dean Martin appears in an undated archive interview.
Still Photographs include Angela Crocetti (Mother), Gaetano Crocetti (Father), Bill Crocetti (Brother), Sammy Watson, Skinny D'Amato, Milton Berle, Hal Wallis and Judy Holliday.
Archive film footage includes Dean Martin, Goldie Hawn, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., Peter Lawford, Bing Crosby, Harry Mills and the Mills Brothers, Marie Wilson, Ed Sullivan, Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift, Lena Horne, Louis Armstrong, Orson Wells, James Stewart, Jack Benny and Lucille Ball.
Dean's song performances here include "Embraceable You," "Everybody Loves Somebody," "Just One More Chance," "My Own, My Only, My All," "Pennies from Heaven," "That's Amore," "When You're Drinking," and "Paper Doll" (with the Mills Brothers).
Film Clips include a screen glimpse of Dean Martin in scenes from My Friend Irma (1949), Ten Thousand Bedrooms (1957), The Young Lions (1958), and Some Came Running (1958).
Television Clips include scenes from "The Colgate Comedy Hour" (October 15, 1950, November 04, 1951, and January 10, 1954); "The Dean Martin Comedy Hour" (September 16, 1965, March 31, 1966, and November 30, 1967; "The Dean Martin Christmas Special" (December 18, 1967), "The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast: Jack Benny" (February 22, 1974), and "The Jerry Lewis Labor Day Muscular Dystrophy Association Telethon (September 04, 1976).
0 of 0 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?