Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
BETTY WHITE IN BLACK AND WHITE
If you can't get enough of Betty White, here's a DVD collection of some of her shows from the fifties. There are two episodes of Life with Elizabeth that she did with Del Moore [three sketches per episode] in which they play a married couple. The skits range in quality from amusing to tiresome but all are well-acted. Betty reveals a very pleasant singing voice on an episode of the daytime variety show The Betty White Show. Betty surprises a young orphan (also named Betty) with a ton of gifts but it's hard to tell if the strangely subdued child is shell-shocked or annoyed that she didn't get the gift she wanted! Then there are two episodes of the sitcom A Date with the Angels in which Betty and Bill Williams play another married couple. On one episode stately Nancy Kulp [Miss Jane Hathaway of The Beverly Hillbillies] plays a highly sophisticated wife of a friend. Judging by these episodes, A Date with the Angels was pleasant but forgettable. Lastly, there's two episodes of yet another program called The Betty White Show [this one aired in the evening] which also has comedy sketches featuring Jimmy Boyd and the wonderful Reta Shaw. I have to confess I didn't like the Olga cleaning woman sketch any better than I did Carol Burnett's later charwoman routine. All in all, this is an interesting collection, however. White exhibited a bundle of comedic talent practically from the first.
Verdict: If you're not into the "fabulous fifties," there's always White in The Golden Girls. **1/2.