|Summary of "The Ultimate Collection - Thanks For The Memories":
Earlier, I said, "Bob Hope has brought us a lot of laughter and fun, and such an esteemed career deserves a true archive of his best performances." I truly wish that this DVD collection were it. But it's not.
I would be truly dismayed if this collection were all that survived of Bob Hope's legacy in 50 years. Such an American entertainment treasure deserves a library of his best work, taken directly from the original source materials, and then truly cleaned up and revitalized. Sharpened so that we can see and hear it, as crisp as the day it was first recorded.
I suppose that the producers of this DVD set decided that it was quicker and cheaper to use existing archival specials, than to create new programs especially for these DVDs. From what I see, they also seem to have thought that it wasn't worth the time or money to take each segment back out of the programs they are in, clean them up to original condition, and restore them into the sequence. I don't pretend to know what the cost-effectiveness of such endeavors would be. I do know that the results here don't look too swift. I could not, in all good conscious, recommend to, say, my father that he lay out the $60-ish dollars that this set would presently cost him. Nor could I recommend it to anyone else in general.
I want to point out that I spent a long time going over this set; and that I really wanted to enjoy it. I love Bob Hope! My concern, though, is that I found myself far too distracted from the entertainment provided on the disc, due to the issues I've been talking about. When you compare the cost of these five non-remastered NBC retrospectives compared to purchasing about 3 or 4 of Bob's best movies on DVD, then I don't think the average consumer would make this TV set his first choice for Bob Hope material.
It is true that this material is not currently available in any better condition. If you are a huge Bob Hope fan, and want to enjoy the laughs of his television career, then there is no doubt in my mind that you will make every effort to get past the video, audio, and navigational problems on this DVD set and mostly enjoy what's there. But have no doubt: you aren't getting it for the quality. You'll be getting it just for the memories. (read entire review)