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Jackie Gleason

The Toy

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The Toy (1982), starring Richard Pryor, Jackie Gleason, Ned Beatty

The Toy is a comedy starring Richard Pryor —  Jackie Gleason isn’t as much a co-star as a secondary character, but very important —  he’s the antagonist. He plays U.S. Bates, a veritable living caricature of the wealthy millionaire. Some people consider U.S.  Bates  to be racist because he treats Richard Pryor like his personal property, but that’s not correct. U.S. Bates treats  everyone that way — his employees (Ned Beatty shines as a yes-man employee, who will do whatever his boss says — but hates himself for doing so), his butler (Wilfrid Hyde-White, who performs wonderfully as the butler that Bates won in a card game), his third wife (Teresa Ganzel as Fancy), etc. Absolutely everyone — except his young son, Eric, whom he truly loves — but has no relationship with.

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Don’t Drink the Water

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Don’t Drink the Water (1969) starring Jackie Gleason, Estelle Parsons, Ted Bessell

Don’t Drink the Water – a Cold War comedy starring Jackie Gleason and Estelle Parsons that actually retains its humor – read on to find out why!

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How to Commit Marriage

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Synopsis of How to Commit Marriage (1969) starring Bob Hope, Jackie Gleason, Jane Wyman

In How to Commit Marriage, seemingly happily married couple Frank and Elaine Benson (played by Bob Hope and Jane Wyman) are on the verge of divorce.  But they plan to wait until after their daughter’€™s marriage. The groom’€™s father, Oliver Poe (Jackie Gleason) opposes marriage in general. And he dislikes Bob Hope’s character in particular.

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Izzy and Moe

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Plot Synopsis: of  Izzy and Moe, starring  Jackie Gleason  and  Art Carney, courtesy of

 This is the film based on the true adventures of Izzy and Moe. They were two retired vaudeville performers who, being unemployed, decide to become prohibition enforcement agents. They are initially treated with scorn from fellow agents as old men pretending to be cops. That abuse soon stops when the pair refuse to use the standard but futile methods of the agency.  Instead, they employ their theatrical experience to use an amazing variety of disguises and tricks.  They become two of the most effective agents in the force. Eventually, their outstanding string of successful raids and arrests starts drawing the attention of the mob and their bought cops, who desperately plan to stop this pair.

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The Hustler

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The Hustler, starring Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason, Piper Laurie, George C. Scott

Product Description 

The Hustler – Blu-ray – Paul Newman heads a superb cast featuring Jackie Gleason, George C. Scott and Piper Laurie in the riveting film that received an Academy Award nomination as Best Picture of 1961 and brought all four of it’s Oscar nomination. Newman (Best Actor nominee) is electrifying as Fast Eddie Felson, an arrogant, amoral hustler who haunts backstreet pool rooms fleecing anyone who’ll pick up a cue. Determined to be acclaimed as the best, Eddie seeks out the legendary Minnesota Fats (Gleason, Supporting Actor nominee), who’s backed by Bert Gordon (Scott, Supporting Actor nominee), a predatory gambler.

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Gigot [Jackie Gleason]

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Gigot (1962), starring Jackie Gleason

 Simply put,  Gigot is one of the finest films I’ve ever seen.   The phrase that keeps coming to my mind is “Chaplinesque” — €”it’s cliched, and it’s trite, but it’s absolutely accurate.   In  Gigot, Jackie Gleason plays the title role of Gigot, a mute man living in Paris around the turn of the twentieth century.   He is loved by children and dogs, but picked upon by the various adults in the film.  The first third of the film sets his character, as his landlady/employer gyps him of his wages as her janitor.  “You lean too hard on the broom — you wore it out!”  His ‘friends’ make him the butt of jokes, etc.   In fact, the only adult who treats him with any kindness at all is the priest at the local Catholic church.

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Gleason, starring Brad Garrett

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Gleason: The Jackie Gleason Story  (2002) starring Brad Garrett

 Gleason  is a wonderfully done television biography of  Jackie Gleason, starring Brad Garrett, best known for his television sitcoms  Everybody Loves Raymond and Til Death.   I was absolutely flabbergasted by Brad Garrett’s performance.  Not only did he do a wonderful acting job, but he truly made the character of Jackie Gleason come to life.   Given his size, I would never have believed that he could carry off the role of the pudgy comedian Jackie Gleason.  I was totally wrong.

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Requiem for a Heavyweight

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Requiem for a Heavyweight  (1962) starring Anthony Quinn, Jackie Gleason, Mickey Rooney, Julie Harris

  Requiem for a Heavyweight is a very powerful, very hard-hitting movie about boxing.   Rod Serling wrote a teleplay that shows the steamy underbelly of professional boxing — and it’s not a pretty picture.   In short,  Rocky it isn’t.   The movie begins with Anthony Quinn, the ‘Heavyweight’ of the title, losing his final boxing match to (a very young) Cassius Clay.    Anthony Quinn’s character, Louis ‘Mountain’ Rivera, has become punch-drunk and is on the verge of losing his eyesight in the boxing ring.   His corrupt manager (played extremely well by  Jackie Gleason, in a very serious role) needs to find a way to pay back the mob  … and if that means ruining Rivera’s chance at happiness, then so be it.  

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