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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Coward up close
This is a truly extraordinary item for Coward fans: a very well-preserved, complete 1968 interview, with studio audience (including Coward colleagues like Gladys Calthrop)... and a piano!

Coward is in great form throughout, as drily waspish and preeningly amusing as you could wish. His anecdotes drip with the names of the great: Gertie, Novello, Olivier,...
Published 24 months ago by David Benson

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3.0 out of 5 stars A very interesting curiosity
Fascinating to see an aged star still twinkling and a star in the making giggling like a school girl. Sound quality is occasionally dreadful.
Published 7 months ago by Happygayman


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Coward up close, 5 Dec 2012
By 
David Benson "david@thinknoevil.com" (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Frost on Coward [DVD] (DVD)
This is a truly extraordinary item for Coward fans: a very well-preserved, complete 1968 interview, with studio audience (including Coward colleagues like Gladys Calthrop)... and a piano!

Coward is in great form throughout, as drily waspish and preeningly amusing as you could wish. His anecdotes drip with the names of the great: Gertie, Novello, Olivier, Churchill, Eisenhower. You realise that this extraordinary individual with the ludicrously clipped diction and the face of an East End gangster had known everyone worth knowing in his era and that they in turn must have been thrilled to be able to drop his name.

What makes this a unique and treasurable document are the two moments when Coward sits at the piano and treats us to performances of two of his best-known songs: I'll See You Again and Someday I'll Find You, the latter of which he also sings. As far as I am aware, there is no other television footage of him at the piano and it is a true revelation: his piano-playing is superb! At times, he almost evokes one of his great contemporaries, Duke Ellington, if not in skill then in sheer elegant presence and command.

Sadly the programme is marred, in the retrospect of over forty years at least, by David Frost's dismal performance as an interviewer. He sits with a clipboard full of questions on his lap and diligently, relentlessly ploughs his way through them, never asking a follow-up or ever attempting to draw his subject out or engage in actual conversation. Some of the questions are embarrassingly schoolboyish: he doesn't actually ask Coward what his favourite colour is, but most of the questions are along the lines of: "What's your worst/first/favourite/most embarrassing..."; At one point he asks Coward to recall any great put-downs that he has himself been the butt of - which is like asking Muhammed Ali to enumerate his most humiliating knock-outs. Coward gives him an 'old-fashioned look' and gracefully moves on. I constantly wished that the interviewer had been a Michael Parkinson, Dick Cavett or Mavis Nicholson, all of whom are skilled at bringing their subjects out through insightful conversation.

For all that, this is gripping, fascinating and unique viewing, and absolute must for Coward and theatre fans.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Must for Coward Fans, 23 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Frost on Coward [DVD] (DVD)
If you enjoy Coward's work, you will certainly enjoy David Frost's excellent interview with The Master. Frost himself often appears to be having too much fun trying to keep up with Coward - despite Coward's obvious advancing age. When Coward sings, there isn't a lot left but a shadow, still it is touching and he carries it off with a style few performers today can muster at half his age.

It would be nice if there were a Special or two to provide a bit of background or identify several long time members of Coward's inner circle seen in the studio audience.

Still, Coward's fans will be more than pleased and I suspect many who know nothing of the man or his work will watch this interview and want to know more. As well they should...
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3.0 out of 5 stars A very interesting curiosity, 23 April 2014
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This review is from: Frost on Coward [DVD] (DVD)
Fascinating to see an aged star still twinkling and a star in the making giggling like a school girl. Sound quality is occasionally dreadful.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Must have!, 16 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Frost on Coward [DVD] (DVD)
Coward fans will adore! Frost interviews with slickness and style. A wonderful insight to a disappearing culture where quintessential English eccentrics ruled the waves!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Rare Noel - utterly charming!, 25 Aug 2014
By 
B. G. Carroll (Liverpool, England, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Frost on Coward [DVD] (DVD)
Unique survivor of television history and almost never shown, even clips are missing from most documentaries. Offers a glimpse of Coward actually playing his songs at the piano. A must-have for collectors.
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Frost on Coward [DVD] by Ian Fordyce (DVD - 2012)
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