The drawback is that some feats, as neat as they are, just aren’t very interesting. Like the lady who made the large yarn ball. Some of the footage shown is of people and places that time forgot, which consist of old hermits who lived on the same out of the way farm all their lives. Looking back at 1930s America that doesn’t seem that hard to believe. But at the time I’m sure folks were wowed by it. The information is presented quickly and at times is a bit hard to digest or get a handle on, making it a bit difficult for those that want to go and actually check Ripley’s facts. An interesting note here is that Ripley did have a fact checker, one of the best and most dedicated in a linguist named Norbert Pearlroth, who had been with Rip since his early newspaper days. So I’m sure most of the facts stand true, believe it or not.
The two-disc DVD is a good look at Ripley and the legacy he created. We see in these 24 short films the beginning of the latter-day television shows, one hosted by Jack Palance is the one I remember most, which continued to bring these odd feats, strange places, and people right to our doorsteps and into our homes. The major drawback to the two-disc set is that there are no special features at all. Not even a five-minute look at the life of Robert L. Ripley, which would have been the best part of the set, giving us a bit more information on the man and what he created. It would have been nice to further explore the T.V. shows that came later, the museums and “odditoriums” he opened and which house many of his finds and art work. If you want to know more you have to search it out which is okay but it seems like a missed opportunity to make this set even better by adding just one more short film on Ripley himself. I say rent this one for its bits of good facts, displays of oddities, and historical significant but overall not really worth the loot, especially with no extras.
Believe It Or Not.
Available to order through Warner Bros. Archive.