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Fawlty Towers

John Cleese , Prunella Scales , Bob Spiers , John Howard Davies    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (200 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 62.48
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Fawlty Towers + Black Adder: The Ultimate Edition + Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Special Edition) (Bilingual)
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Product Description


While enjoying your Fawlty Towers holiday, be sure to extend your stay by visiting the deluxe extra features. New to this set are entertaining commentaries by John Cleese, who provides illuminating insights into how these "lovely little farces" were constructed. He expresses genuine affection for the cast and guest stars, is quick to praise exquisite bits of comic business ("This is funnier than I remember"), and is not shy about criticizing his own performance ("I don't think I acted this right"). Also new to this set are newly filmed interviews with Cleese, Prunella Scales, Andrew Sachs, and Connie Booth, who offers some great anecdotes about collaborating with her then-husband Cleese and how some memorable gags were created. Donald Sinclair, the real-life rude hotelier who inspired the character of Basil Fawlty, is given his due, but be forewarned you will hear several versions of the Eric Idle ticking suitcase story. Also appearing are notable guest stars, including Bernard Cribbins ("The Hotel Inspectors"), Geoffrey Palmer ("The Kipper and the Corpse"), and David Kelly ("The Builders"), who talk of their experiences on one of television's towering sitcoms. There is also an odd "Cheap Tatty Review." Holdover features from the previously released boxed set include episode commentaries by directors John Howard Davies and Bob Spiers; archival interviews with Cleese, Scales, and Sachs; a short film about Torquay; disappointingly paltry outtakes; and a helpful Who's Who guide to the series' cast and guest stars. --Donald Liebenson

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars British comedy at it's best Aug. 19 2004
By A Customer
Great fun if you understand British humor and enjoy slapstick comedy that involves unlucky accidents and unfortunate situations for Basil. I love this dvd set...I only wish they had made more episodes!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 Star Laughs Jan. 10 2007
By Graeme
A must own for all Cleese fans. The sheer energy it must have taken to film an episode may explain the regrettably short run. I've watched them over and over and still laugh out loud! I'd have to say that Fawlty Towers ranks amoung the very best British comedies ever produced.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Checking in? Dec 5 2005
Come visit the worst-run hotel in the whole of western Europe (well, except for that place in Eastbourne...)
In a field with many top contenders, 'Fawlty Towers' remains my favourite of all 'Britcoms' - situation comedies originating on British television. Fawlty Towers has a cult following decades after the originals aired; it is sometimes hard to believe that there are but 12 episodes, six hours total. The regular cast is led by John Cleese, veteran of the famous Monty Python comedy troupe, as the irrepressible Basil Fawlty, titular head of the hotel with dreams of class and glory; Prunella Scales is his long-suffering and hardworking wife, Sybil, who recognises that while Basil may think 'the sky's the limit!', in fact, '22 rooms is the limit'. Connie Booth (Cleese's real-life wife) played the level-headed and sensible, overworked maid Polly, and in a role matched only by Fawlty's own bizarre manner, Andrew Sachs plays the loveable and ever-incompetent Spanish waiter, Manuel (he's from Barcelona...). Ballard Berkeley makes Ballard Berkeley makes a regular appearance as the Major, a retired long-term resident at the hotel. Brian Hall joined the cast for the second season as the not-quite-gourmet chef, Terry.
From the very first episode (first aired in 1975) featured a social-climbing Fawlty as perhaps the most rude and insufferable hotel manager in existence, in the resort town of Torquay, on the Channel coast of Britain.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best version yet Jan. 4 2010
By Dogen
Is this the second or third time's it's been "remastered" for DVD? I've been buying this since VHS days and it's never looked better. Cleese's commentary tracks are like listening to a clinic on the subject of farce (except way more entertaining than that sounds). Since this will never come out on Blu-ray it's the best it will ever be.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We're stuck with it! May 16 2010
Nothing really needs to be said about this classic British sitcom, except that it contains some of the most brilliant, most hilarious, and most humiliatingly ghastly moments in the entire history of television.

And "Fawlty Towers Complete Collection" brings together the entire series in all its embarrassing avalanchal glory. It's one of those universally funny TV shows, all about the undignified exploits of a perpetually hostile, repressed and tetchy hotel manager, and the more competant staff who try to keep thngs sane, written with demented zeal ("That's Brahms! Brahms' Third Racket!") and excellent comic acting.

Basil (John Cleese) and Sybil Fawlty (Prunella Scales) run a moderately-sized hotel in Torquay, with the assistance of the clever waittress Polly (Connie Booth) and the Spanish waiter Manuel (Andrew Sachs) whose grasp of English is a work in progress. The hotel is home to a dotty old soldier, fluttery spinsters, and a revolving door of very dissatisfied customers.

Basil Fawlty (Cleese) puts out a snotty ad to attract a "better class of customer," which attracts a pleasant aristocrat. Basil fawns revoltingly over the man, neglecting the other guests. But savvy waittress Polly (Connie Booth) discovers that another guest (who Basil snubs because he's Cockney) is a member of the CID -- and that Basil is in danger of handing his valuable coins over to a con man.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious!! Feb. 23 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Superb acting, and comedic timing is just bang on - every episode is gold! My only complaint is that not more of them were made.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Show but Sloppy DVD Collection Dec 14 2002
By A Customer
POSITIVES: These classic episodes are even more spectacular on crystal-clear DVDs, most of the interviews are interesting, and there are a few good special features (for example, the documentary on Torquay and the real-life nasty hotel manager who served as the model for Basil Fawlty).
NEGATIVES: The people who interviewed the cast members, and the people who provided the episode commentaries, seemed to be totally unprepared for their job, and appeared to be making up their questions and comments as they went along.
BIGGEST SURPRISE: Andrew Sachs is a quiet, intelligent, dignified stage actor with a British accent, completely unrecognizable as the the goofy Spanish bellman/waiter he plays in the series!
MOST UNPLEASANT SURPRISE: Andrew Sachs's interviewer never once asked him to do any lines in his goofy "Manuel" voice and character, so how do we know it was really him? It's kind of like interviewing Mel Blanc and never asking him to do Bugs Bunny.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 8 days ago by ANTHONY MAPP
5.0 out of 5 stars John Cleese Superb
You cannot beat John Cleese for comedy. This series had very few episodes but each one was extremely funny. Read more
Published 16 days ago by Brian
4.0 out of 5 stars ... shot this series on film (like SEINFELD) instead of crappy British...
They should've shot this series on film (like SEINFELD) instead of crappy British videotape (like ARE YOU BEING SERVED?).
Published 20 days ago by Brian Hiltz
5.0 out of 5 stars The funniest show ever
Absolute classic!
Published 1 month ago by Avid Reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Fawlty Towers - What can I say!
A treasure trove of English humour at its best - a little dated perhaps but still well worth the price!
Published 1 month ago by Tony Maxwell
5.0 out of 5 stars Once again I have enjoyed watching some of the funniest skits by the...
Once again I have enjoyed watching some of the funniest skits by the masters of comedy.
If you like British humour this is a must for your library.
Published 1 month ago by Duncan Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Classic!!
This is a classic! British humour has to beat all, and this is no exception. Had the VHS set some years back and when this set came on sale I had to have it to add to my... Read more
Published 2 months ago by RedSkye
5.0 out of 5 stars Be prepared to sit and laugh for a while.
These are some of the funniest shows I have ever watched. You wonder if Basil Fawlty can get into any more trouble and he never disappoints. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Solomon David Dyson
5.0 out of 5 stars AWESOME VALUE!!!!!
Published 2 months ago by gertrude mcisaac
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Totally happy with it.
Published 2 months ago by LSTucker
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