The Phil Silvers Show (1955–1959)

TV Series   |    |  Comedy, Family


Episode Guide
The Phil Silvers Show (1955) Poster

Sergeant Ernie Bilko is the ultimate con man. He runs the motor pool at a small Kansas U.S. Army Camp. Colonel Hall, nominally in charge of the base, tries to keep Bilko's plans in check. ... See full summary »

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8.5/10
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Photos

  • Allan Melvin in The Phil Silvers Show (1955)
  • Lucille Ball and Phil Silvers in The Phil Silvers Show (1955)
  • Diana Dors and Phil Silvers in The Phil Silvers Show (1955)
  • The Phil Silvers Show (1955)
  • The Phil Silvers Show (1955)
  • The Phil Silvers Show (1955)

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Cast & Crew

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Creator:

Nat Hiken

Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


25 March 2007 | ccthemovieman-1
10
| This Series Didn't Win All Those Emmys For Nothing - A Great TV Show!
On the Collector's Edition DVD, there are 18 episodes from the Bilko television series, a series that won numerous Emmy awards and sure entertained me, my family and friends in the mid-to-late '50s. Silvers starred as the con man of the Army, a sergeant whose love of money and thrill of gambling or pulling some con job seemed to supersede everything else in his life. Yet, as shallow as he often appeared, inside was a compassionate person with a heart (although they wasn't always evident!).

Almost all of Ernie Bilko's schemes worked for awhile but failed in the end, but he was never deterred. He would just look up to the heavens, say "Why me? Why? Why!" and go on to the next scheme the following week.

It wasn't always humorous to see him lying, cheating, conniving, giving false praise to old ladies like Colonel Hall's wife and friends, pulling rank on hapless new recruits, etc., but most of the time it was because we knew it wasn't done maliciously. Almost all of his stunts were designed with one purpose: to gain money, although sometimes he gave it back when his conscience got the best of him.

The cast surrounding Phil Silvers also was outstanding. The names of the characters live on forever in the mind's of Bilko fans like me. I didn't need to watch this DVD to remember names like "Col. John Hall and his wife Nell, Duane Doberman, Rocco Barbella, Rupert Ridzik, Francis Grover, Fielding Zimmerman, Dino Paparelli, Joan Hogan, Henshaw, Fender, Kadowski and others.

To be honest, I didn't find the show 50 years later to be as funny as I had remembered it, but what is? I had such fond memories that I probably elevated it too high on the pedestal. Still, this DVD provided many hours of nostalgia and laughs and when it was over, I was sad to see it end. I just hope they put out another edition on DVD.

Critic Reviews


Did You Know?

Trivia

Never before available, but now available on the season one, five-DVD set, is the unaired pilot called "You'll Never Get Rich" from Nat Hiken's private collection archives. This never broadcast pilot had the late Jack Warden in the role of Corporal Steve Henshaw. When the real pilot was aired, it was re-titled "The New Recruits" with newcomer Allan Melvin replacing Jack Warden as Corporal Henshaw. It kept the same storyline of Bilko needing to raise money in order to get in a big poker game. Melvin stayed with the series throughout it's entire run.


Quotes

MSgt. Ernest G. Bilko: You said "but". I've put the finger on the whole problem. You're a "but" man. Don't say "but". That little word "but" is the difference between success and failure.


Goofs

Sgt. Bilko routinely wore his decorations incorrectly, and differently from one show to the next. He nearly always wore his Combat Infantryman Badge with the lower wreath overlapping the top row of ribbons; the lower edge of the CIB should always be about 1/4" above the top edge of the top row of ribbons. Also, he nearly always wore a unit commendation ribbon centered below his other ribbons, just below the top edge of his left breast pocket flap; unit commendation ribbons on Army uniforms were worn just above the top edge of the right breast pocket flap (although that style of "Class A" uniform is now long obsolete). Also, Bilko sometimes wore a unit commendation ribbon above the pocket flap of his right breast pocket, and sometimes wore the same ribbon below that same pocket flap; all unit commendation ribbons on Army uniforms were worn together, just above the right breast pocket flap.

Storyline

Plot Summary


Genres

Comedy | Family

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