George and Gracie live again on video

November 10, 1996|By Doug Nye | Doug Nye,KNIGHT-RIDDER NEWS SERVICE

During the 1930s and 1940s, there weren't many Americans who didn't welcome George Burns and Gracie Allen into their homes each week. Their weekly radio show was a consistent hit and made them one of the most beloved husband-and-wife comedy teams of all time.

In 1950, Burns and Allen made the transition to television, bringing with them their old fans while cultivating a new generation of followers. The TV show had a successful run of eight years. It probably would have lasted longer had not Gracie decided it was time for her to retire.

Radio and television weren't the only venues that presented the duo with an opportunity to shine. Before radio, Burns and Allen had been headliners in vaudeville. And before television, there were the movies.

Burns and Allen starred in a series of successful comedy shorts during the early 1930s and then moved on to feature films at Paramount. MCA/Universal has released three of those movies starring Burns and Allen. Each is priced at $14.98.

The trio includes:

"Six of a Kind" (1934): This one has George and Gracie joining Charlie Ruggles and Mary Boland on a cross-country vacation, heading to California. Along the way they run into a pool-loving sheriff played by W. C. Fields.

"Love in Bloom" (1935): Joe Morrison is a struggling songwriter who falls for Dixie Lee (then Mrs. Bing Crosby), and George and Gracie are on hand to move the young couple's romance along.

"Here Comes Cookie" (1935): Gracie is the dizzy daughter of a millionaire who signs over his fortune to her. George is along to help her spend it.

MCA/Universal also is spotlighting three other films that feature Burns and Allen: "International House" with W. C. Fields; "We're Not Dressing" with Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour; and "College Swing" with Bob Hope and Martha Raye.

Pub Date: 11/10/96

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