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99 of 100 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's great, but...
In one of those good news-bad news scenarios, the real Sergeant Bilko - the original Phil Silvers Show - has finally made it onto DVD in time for its 50th anniversary, but Paramount have definitely erred on the side of caution with the treatment.

Not that Sergeant Bilko - The Phil Silvers Show 50th Anniversary Edition isn't a bad presentation: it is, with more...
Published on 8 Nov 2006 by Trevor Willsmer

versus
1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite as good as I remembered it
Very enjoyable, classic Bilko but I have to say some of it is better in the memory than on the screen.
Published on 6 Jan 2012 by P. Barrett


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99 of 100 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's great, but..., 8 Nov 2006
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Sgt. Bilko: The Phil Silvers Show, 50th Anniversary Edition [DVD] (DVD)
In one of those good news-bad news scenarios, the real Sergeant Bilko - the original Phil Silvers Show - has finally made it onto DVD in time for its 50th anniversary, but Paramount have definitely erred on the side of caution with the treatment.

Not that Sergeant Bilko - The Phil Silvers Show 50th Anniversary Edition isn't a bad presentation: it is, with more extras than you could realistically expect from a show this old, including the unseen 33-minute pilot episode when the show was still going to be called You'll Never Get Rich, vintage interviews, audio commentaries (including one by George Kennedy, who began his screen career as the army's advisor and sometime extra on the show) and much, much more. But rather than opting for a season-by-season release, Paramount have gone for a 'Best of' three-disc set. With a show as strong as Bilko, that ensures that a lot of great episodes are missing (including one of the greatest, The Empty Store, as well as Mardi Gras, Hollywood, The Rest Cure, Bilko and the Beast, The Song of the Motor Pool and Bilko's Perfect Day), and, even worse, it also means that this is probably all we'll ever get. And boycotting this release will only drive sales figures down even further until the chance of a full release is even more remote.

It's a good overview of the show from first to last episode, and some of the episdes are 100%-proof classics, like The Twitch (where Bilko runs a nationwide book on how many times a lecturer brought in to stop the men from gambling will compulsively twitch), The Court Martial (the one where a chimp on rollerskates is inducted into the army as Private Harry Speakup, coming third in the intelligence test in the process!) and The Eating Contest. But it just ain't nearly enough for a show with such a consistent standard of great writing, outrageously anarchic satire and some brilliant improvisation from Phil Silvers... More, please, and soon - that's an order!
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hiaa... Hiaa... Hipp.. Hiaa!, 29 Mar 2007
By 
C. Murray (UAE) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sgt. Bilko: The Phil Silvers Show, 50th Anniversary Edition [DVD] (DVD)
I watched and laughed at the Phil Silvers show with my Dad when I was a young nipper in the 1950s. Now my own son, 50 years later, can see and enjoy what amused me in my young days. It says something when you observe that the quality of the humour in this show hasn't changed or aged with time. Bilko was a legend thanks to the extraordinarily brilliant Phil Silvers, but he had a wonderful support cast and all of them from the Colonel to Doberman made a major contribution to the success of the show.

If you want to see what good comedy is all about, this is the perfect example. After all this time, all we want now is for the rest of the episodes to be released, and despite all the requests, this is not Amazon's fault. It all depends on the American CBS channel.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and Funny!, 24 Jun 2007
By 
AlanMusicMan (North Cornwall) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Sgt. Bilko: The Phil Silvers Show, 50th Anniversary Edition [DVD] (DVD)
The main thing is, it's still funny! I laughed once more at it, and my 16 year old son laughed at it (and wants to see more, having watched all the episodes in this set!).

The picture quality is wonderful throughout. The exception is the never-seen-before pilot episode which is in very poor condition (though the sound has been cleaned up well) and looks like it was originally shot on low grade stock anyway: Well, it was a pilot, and it has off centre captions and you can see the odd mike shadow etc. However, that pilot is still a fascinating thing to see, the promise of what was to come is very evident - though it's funny not to see Allan Melvin as Henshaw, and Colonel Hall is not played by Paul Ford. Also, the guy who went on to play Grover in the main series (Jimmy Little) here plays the camp chaplain - all kinds of things like that. But, it's still a must-see for true Bilko fans.

Reviewers here have said that the "extras" supplied on this DVD are superfluous and the disc space would have been better used for more episodes. Well, I agree that some of the stuff is pretty tangential to the enjoyment of the series. However, I felt that the interviews with Silvers were quite interesting. I found out some things that - actually - I'm glad to know. For example my favourite supporting actor in the series, Joe E. Ross (who plays Rupert Ritzik - shrew-ridden husband of Emma) developed a catch phrase which always made me laugh: He'd prefix his lines with "ooo-ooo" as though excited about something. In fact - Silvers says - this meant that Joey had forgotten his lines and had needed him (Silvers) to throw him an ad lib to get him back on script, and the "ooo-ooo" was Joey's way of saying - "ah yeah, I remember the line now". Actually, looking at a couple of "Ritzik" episodes that I have on VHS, I can see that's probably true. Anwyay, the extras on these DVDs give you all sorts of background info like that - which I think is worthwhile. Sure, the awards ceremonies - like the one where Jimmy Durante removes his "syrup" are things I could have done without, but I guess someone will enjoy them.

So, when's the next set coming out? We want more, much more!
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Phil Silvers as Bilko is comedy heaven, 28 Nov 2009
By 
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This review is from: Sgt. Bilko: The Phil Silvers Show, 50th Anniversary Edition [DVD] (DVD)
This is a 3 DVD compilation of classic Sergeant Bilko episodes from the 1950's to commemorate the show's 50th Anniversary and it definately leaves you wanting more.

The shows included are:
New Recruits/The WAC/The Horse/The Eating Contest/Bivouac/The Twitch/The Investigation/The Revolutionary War/The Court Martial/The Con Men/A Mess Sergeant Can't win/Doberman's Sister/Bilko's tax Trouble/The Big Scandal/Hillbilly Whiz/Bilko the Art lover/Bilko joins the Navy/Weekend Colonel

My personal favourite is the Court Martial - an absolute gem (which I won't spoil by telling you the plot) - but many others are in the same class.Phil Silvers is a marvel as the manipulative sergeant but the rest of the cast are also excellent and these episodes come up as fresh today as they were 50 years ago - putting most modern comedies in the shade. Brilliant and well worth watching - I'm looking forward to seeing the rest when they finally surface.
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129 of 133 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the all-time great sitcoms., 4 Dec 2006
By 
M. Warburton (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sgt. Bilko: The Phil Silvers Show, 50th Anniversary Edition [DVD] (DVD)
I once bought all 144 (I think it was) episodes of Bilko of a guy on ebay. They were of course awful quality, but it was better than nothing. Now we AT LAST have 18 top quality episodes of one of the greatest sitcoms of all time on DVD and it's time for the world to re-discover for me, the greatest single sitcom performance of all time. Phil Silvers' portrayal of Sgt Ernest Bilko is awesome to behold. It almost takes your breath away, except of course what breath remains you need of course to laugh. This DVD set gives you 18 cracking examples of Bilko and although I don't buy DVD's for extras, the extras here are ok. But really you should be buying it (a) to laugh (b) to marvel at Phil Silvers and (c) to participate in TV history. There will never be anything like it again. Bilko - what can you say, the funniest, most brilliantly written and best cast sitcom ever made.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What a wonderful series, 12 April 2007
By 
R. DONLAN (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sgt. Bilko: The Phil Silvers Show, 50th Anniversary Edition [DVD] (DVD)
It was a long time since I had seen Sgt Bilko on television, but I remembered it as a very entertaining show, so when I was looking for a third DVD in the three for fifteen pounds I came across this box set and got it based on my memories of years past, all I can say is what a bargain and what a wonderful show.

There are only 18 episodes on the box set to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Phil Silvers show, there were 138 in total and as other reviewers have said the only problem we have is that they have not released the lot.

Bilko played by Phil Silvers is just magnificent, his character is always occupied with get rich quick schemes, always trying to out manoeuvre his commanding officer Colonel Hall the excellent Paul Ford. The show just works, the scripts are great the delivery is wonderful and bear in mind these shows according to the commentary were done live in front of an audience meaning that the laughs you hear are real.

As well as the 18 episodes, there are a good number of special features, interviews, the original pilot, Emmy award ceremonies, three commentaries and even the original Camel cigarette commercials for which the DVD has a warning against smoking as well as a brief introduction from Allan melvin who plyed Corporal Henshaw on each episode.

This show won The Best Comedy series and Best comedy writing for 1956, 1957, 1958 and 1959, I suggest you find out why for yourselves.
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61 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LISTEN UP YOU MEATBALLS!, 15 Dec 2006
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sgt. Bilko: The Phil Silvers Show, 50th Anniversary Edition [DVD] (DVD)
when a fifty year old series has you splitting your sides with uncontrollable laughter you know it is something very special indeed.the court martial is rightly lauded but i found other episodes to be even funnier such as the eating contest,a mess sergeant can't win and the con men,my own personal favourite.it is rare to find a comedy that appeals to all ages but this succeeds brilliantly.this is a very well put together set from packaging to content and extras.its nearly as much fun to watch the fluffed lines,the ad-libs and the background actors trying to hide smiles on camera,things i never noticed before but all adding to the charm of this wonderful,essential and most of all funny series.this box leaves you wanting more.can't give it any higher praise than that.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fort Baxter lives again!, 17 Mar 2007
By 
William J. Read (Stafford, Great Britain) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sgt. Bilko: The Phil Silvers Show, 50th Anniversary Edition [DVD] (DVD)
This set of shows is a must for any afficionado of the best TV sitcom ever. Many of the classic shows are included, and the commentary by stars such as Alan Melvin (Corporal Henshaw) add extra viewing pleasure. My only criticism is the inexplicable omission of what I consider to be the best Bilko show ever, number two "The Empty Store". Despite this minor quibble, the set is well worth renting, and then buying a set to enjoy at your leisure in the future. After enjoying the shows, you may well consider why it is that no comedy show in the last 50 years has ever surpassed this series for pure quality of writing, acting and viewer enjoyment, and very few have come anywhere near equalling it. Thank you, Phil Silvers and cast, and not forgetting the creator of the show, Nat Hiken.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bilko - The Best, 26 Nov 2006
This review is from: Sgt. Bilko: The Phil Silvers Show, 50th Anniversary Edition [DVD] (DVD)
This set is a gem with 2 superlative episodes: The Recruit... and The Twitch. "The recruit" contains the best ad-lib ever seen on TV and The Twitch is a masterclass in subtle acting. BTW for any animal activists - the monkey upstages everyone.

Bilko is the best comedy ever and it's influence can still be seen today in good comedy. This DVD set is worth every penny. Luckily it hasn't been recoloured. The original adverts for the cigaretter advertising are...interesting.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lets Get The Whole Series Released, 5 Feb 2009
By 
P. A. OSBORN "Phil" (Surrey. U.K.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sgt. Bilko: The Phil Silvers Show, 50th Anniversary Edition [DVD] (DVD)
Hi Guys.....It was great to read all your reviews, I myself have been a Bilko fanatic since the first time I saw the series on television. In fact my whole family are fanatics. I too like the previous poster bought the whole series of I believe 142 episodes on that famous auction site,though most of it was very poor video quality stuff,it is still worth owning,just for the fact that you can watch it again and again,And believe me when I say that. These dvds get watched constantly, especially in the current climate of gloom and doom the world over...If just one thing gets you to laugh and split your sides,then it has to be Sgt Bilko and his cohorts. I really feel sorry for Colonel Hall being constantly bombarded by Bilko, but as all you guys are aware Bilko never gets what he wants at the end and he normally ends up worse off, which is why the show is such high class and it always leaves me feeling so filled with laughter. And Phil Silvers, well what can you say,He just has to be probally the greatest ever sitcom performer in history.
One of my many favourite episodes has to be Bivouac,where he gets himself and all the other Sgts in hospital to avoid being sent on bivouac....it is just pure timeless heaven watching that episode,and its the episode where Col.Hall reveals to Bilko that at Westpoint, they used to call him 'Melon Head',and as Col.Hall calls in the M.P.s to remove Bilko,all you can here is Bilko using the words "M.H....M.H." as he is being dragged out by the M.P.'s...Absolutely brilliant comedy...and if anyone has not seen that episode, then watch it!..It is packed with humour from start to finish,What writers those guys must have been eh?,and all packed into 25 minutes.Splendid stuff. I do hope that CBS and Paramount have the clear eyes to see that the whole series needs to be released on DVD in remastered quality. I am 47 years old and the series was made before I was born, And Sgt Bilko stands the test of time forever...in saying that...what the hell did Steve Martin think he was doing in trying to recreate Bilko in a totally rubbish film,it sent shivers down my spine,and I bet Phil Silvers was turning in his grave.Long live the real original Sgt Bilko and all the cast of that show.
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