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With: George Burns
Written by: George Burns
Directed by: Jim Snow
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 56
Date: 03/18/2013

George Burns Live in Concert (1982)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Say Goodnight, Gracie

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

I loved George Burns as a kid, thanks to an influx of family-friendly movies on cable TV (the Oh, God! movies, Going in Style, Just You and Me Kid, etc.). This concert movie elicits several conflicting reactions. Burns, of course, was at his best as a straight man, alongside his beloved partner, Gracie Allen. But alone onstage, Burns has somehow managed to cook up an act in which he is still the straight man, taking a backseat to his jokes and to the audience. He begins with a slew of self-deprecating material about his lack of talent and his advanced age (86 as of this concert). He also talks about trying to find a perfect opening song, and murmurs his way through several. It's a solid act, and his perfect, deadpan approach gets a good share of laughs. But the show can be slightly depressing -- a reminder of our own mortality since Burns is no longer with us -- and its ultra-tame presentation seems misplaced in the world of 2007. It won't win over any new fans, but it's a good DVD to run while grandma is visiting.

DVD Details: Somerville House has resurrected this film on a new DVD with no extras.

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