Case Number 20483: Small Claims Court

BETTY WHITE: IN BLACK AND WHITE

VSC // 1952 // 180 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // January 12th, 2011

The Charge

The birth of Betty mania!

The Case

Betty White has been a household name since the birth of television, even though must of us know her from more contemporary works such as The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Golden Girls, or the recent Saturday Night Live hosting gig and TV Land's Hot in Cleveland. The actress was born in 1922, and she started her earliest career in radio. She made the jump to the little screen with her own comedy show, a variety series, and a couple of sitcoms. She was a natural talent who could sing and do light comedy with the best of them. Betty White: In Black and White documents that for us with the following programs:

* Life With Elizabeth
A comedy show that began airing in 1952, it showcased Betty's knack for sharp witted comedy. Here we get two episodes called "Whistler's Sister" and "Nursery Rhymes."

* The Betty White Show
This one is actually a talk show with Betty singing and reading viewer mail. It feels more radio in nature, but gives good insight in to Betty's natural persona and a chance to see her sing. It began running in 1954.

* Date with the Angels
We get two episodes of this one including "Return of the Wheel" and "Tree on the Driveway." One show is from 1957 and the second is from 1958. Betty plays a woman married to an insurance salesman, and this one is a straight ahead early sitcom. It's light fun.

* The Betty White Show
Here we have a couple of episodes called "Vacation" and "Jealousy" from the 1958 revamped version of Betty's variety show. It's music and comedy, and a ton of skits.

The whole disc runs one hundred and eighty minutes. The transfers look like what you would expect from the early days of television. It's muddy, unclear, black and white stuff with all the clarity of staring through a glass Coke bottle. But the charm is getting to see Betty White young and at the start of her storied career. It's hard to believe she is approaching ninety these days, and here's your chance to see her sixty years younger. Fun for fans, though not terribly important or rendered well on DVD, it is the start of the Betty we know and love.

The Verdict

Guilty pleasure to see Betty being born in black and white.

Review content copyright © 2011 Brett Cullum; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Judgment: 78

Perp Profile
Studio: VSC
Video Formats:
* Full Frame

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (English)

Subtitles:
* None

Running Time: 180 Minutes
Release Year: 1952
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks
* None

Accomplices
* IMDb: Life with Elizabeth
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0045407/combined

* IMDb: The Betty White Show (1954)
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0211781/combined

* IMDb: Date with the Angels
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0050009/combined

* IMDb: The Betty White Show (1958)
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0051254/combined