This past October, Paramount Pictures re-issued the 1942 holiday classic Holiday Inn on Blu-ray. It marked the first time ever that the movie, which starred legendary actor Bing Crosby, had seen the light of day on Blu-ray. Fittingly, PBS will release a new episode of its hit biography series American Masters featuring Crosby next Tuesday, December 2nd. While not necessarily a companion to Paramount’s recent BD re-issue of Holiday Inn, the timing of the two releases makes them a perfect pair. Whether before taking in Holiday Inn or after, audiences will find plenty to like about American Masters: Bing Crosby Rediscovered. The most enjoyable aspect of this new DVD is the fact that it isn’t just another typical video documentary of a celebrity. It doesn’t follow that standard formula of life to death that so many bios use in their presentations. Rather it focuses on Crosby the man, the myth, and the legend. This includes the good, the bad, and the downright ugly. The fact that American Masters: Bing Crosby Rediscovered isn’t another standard bio is just part of what audiences will enjoy about this new documentary. The use of actual vintage footage and pictures from Crosby’s career and personal life as part of the discussion on both parts of his life makes the presentation even more enjoyable. And last but hardly least worth noting is the inclusion of interviews with those that knew him best including his own wife as well as famed biographer Gary Giddens and fellow jazz legend Tony Bennett among others. Each aspect by itself makes this episode of American Masters well worth the watch. Collectively, they show once again why PBS remains the last bastion of truly worthwhile programming today.
PBS will release another new episode of its hit bio series American Masters next Tuesday, December 2nd. The upcoming release focuses on legendary entertainer Bing Crosby. Just as with all of PBS’ other series (both domestic and imported), it is more proof of why PBS stands as the last bastion of truly worthwhile programming. Audiences that are not so familiar with the life and times of Bing Crosby will appreciate first and foremost in this DVD the depth of information shared throughout the course of its roughly ninety-minute run time. The bio presented here isn’t the standard formulaic bio presented so often by other networks and filmmakers. It’s a fully unbiased bio that presents Bing Crosby the man, the myth, and the legend. It presents his good side and his bad. From his superstardom to his alcoholism and womanizing to his working relationship with fellow entertainer Bob Hope in the famed “Road To…” movies (apparently the duo spent nearly no time together off-screen), audiences see every angle of Crosby’s life. Audiences learn that he was hardly the easiest person to work with when it came to recording songs. And sometimes, he was just as tough to work with in live settings. Also included is the downright ugly part of his family’s life in which two of his sons took their own lives. There is much more information shared throughout the course of the program that many might never have known. For those that have always known one thing or another about Bing Crosby the entertainer or Bing Crosby the man, the information contained within this program completes the picture of the legendary figure’s history. It proves to be the fullest picture that audiences can get in regards to Crosby’s life. And in turn it proves once more why American Masters is such an important part of the whole that is PBS.
American Masters: Bing Crosby Rediscovered offers to audiences what is one of the most complete portraits of the legendary entertainer that audiences will find to date. As with the series’ previous portraits, it far outperforms any celebrity profile presented by any other major network past or present. The amount of information provided throughout the course of the documentary is just one reason that the program in whole is so impressive. The vintage video and photographs that are included with the breadth of information on Crosby and his life enhances the viewing experience even more. Audiences get to see pictures of Crosby with his family away from the bright lights of Hollywood. They get to also see snippets of his famed “Road To…” movies and much more. The combination of these elements and the story of Crosby’s life in and out of the limelight makes the overall content of this program all the more important to its enjoyment. It collectively shows once again why American Masters outperforms any celebrity-based series on any major broadcast and cable network today.
The combination of vintage footage and photos and in-depth story of Crosby’s life used in American Masters: Bing Crosby Rediscovered make this feature more than worth the watch. The bonus videos and interviews that come as companion material make the overall presentation even more enjoyable for audiences. Viewers learn from director Robert Trachtenberg that he worked directly with the estate of Bing Crosby to bring the documentary to life. Trachtenberg and others note Crosby’s hard work ethic and his humility among so much more. There is also a full clip of Crosby performing with his sons later in his life. The clip in question is presented only in part during the primary presentation. So audiences actually get to see the full performance in this clip in question. It’s a truly moving moment taking into consideration the story of what happened to two of his sons later in their lives. And along with the bonus interviews, it becomes one more welcome addition to American Masters: Bing Crosby Rediscovered that makes the presentation in whole a piece that any Crosby aficionado will enjoy.
American Masters: Bing Crosby Rediscovered is a wonderful piece for anyone that has ever had any interest in the life and legacy of the famed entertainer. It reveals that Crosby is more than just that guy known for having sung ‘White Christmas.’ It also debunks some of the biggest myths surrounding his life. It is a fully unbiased look at the life of one of the greatest entertainers of the 20th century showing Crosby in his glory and even more tarnished side. The bonus interviews that were added as companion material adds even more depth to the overall presentation. All things considered, American Masters: Bing Crosby Rediscovered proves in the end to be one more welcome addition to another wonderful piece of PBS’ overall programming schedule. It will be available next Tuesday, December 2nd. It can be ordered online direct from PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=50703406&cp=&sr=1&kw=american+masters&origkw=American+Masters&parentPage=search. More information on this and other episodes of American Masters is available online at:
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