The Bottom Line
There was a time in television history when the cream of the A-list celebrity crop regularly appeared on game shows. Ginger Rogers. James Stewart. Joan Crawford. Sammy Davis Jr. Lucille Ball. Tony Randall. Betty White. The Best of Password, 1962-1967, has all of these names, and many more.
The DVD set captures a simpler time, with no hype or drama needed to hold your attention. If you're old enough to remember when these episodes first aired, the collection will be a fun-filled stroll down memory lane. For those who are seeing these episodes for the first time, the set embodies the true roots of the game show genre.
- Contains the rarely-seen Jack and Joan Benny episode, despite the poor sound quality
- Video quality is fairly good, unlike some previous "golden age" game show collections
- Black and white episodes still contain the host-delivered advertisements
- This is nostalgia at its best
- Audio and/or video quality suffers on a handful of episodes
- There are no "extras" on any of the discs
- Liner notes are taken directly from 'The Encyclopedia of TV Game Shows' book
- Distributed by BCI, release date December 2nd, 2008
- 4-disc set includes episodes aired only on CBS, from 1962-1967
- Games are hosted by Allen Ludden, with guest host Jack Clark on some episodes
- Both daytime and prime time episodes are included
- Contains the first prime time episode in color, as well as the final prime time episode shown on CBS
Guide Review - 'The Best of Password' DVD
I've been looking forward to The Best of Password since it was first announced. Password is almost the perfect game show, combining a theoretically simple game that becomes quite challenging for those playing it, with mega star power and a rock-solid host. The celebrities are obviously having fun, and their laughter is contagious.
For the serious game show collector, this set may serve as a disappointment. There are a handful of episodes that aren't regularly shown on GSN due to poor audio or video, but the majority of episodes are widely available.
For the rest of us, however, The Best of Password DVD set crams a lot of entertainment value into four discs.
The game itself is deceptively simple, but tricky for those in the center of the action. Watching someone like Jack Paar struggle with a very basic word is both entertaining and frustrating, and you'll find yourself shouting out either the answer or your own clues – or both! That's the magic of Password, and the reason it keeps coming back in new incarnations.
Behind the a-list celebrities is the skilled hosting talent of Allen Ludden, and the frequent appearances of his bride, Betty White. Often, when White isn't playing the game herself, you'll see her sitting in the audience. When she is playing though, watch out! She's one of the very best Password celebrities you'll ever see.
The only way to make this collection better, as far as I'm concerned, would be to add some extras. Surely there were some outtakes available, or interview clips with some of the stars. Heck, Betty White could have introduced a few episodes.
There are many game show DVD collections out there, but this is one that you'll return to time and again. Each episode holds up to repeated viewing , acting as a time capsule from the days when game shows were more about laughter and fun than ratings and drama.