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Fawlty Towers Set

John Cleese , Prunella Scales    VHS Tape
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (184 customer reviews)
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Basil Fawlty, as created and performed by John Cleese, is the rudest, most boorish, most hilariously obnoxious man on the face of the planet. What a natural for a TV sitcom! His screen wife, Sybil (Prunella Scales), put it best in the episode "The Psychiatrist": "You're either crawling all over them, licking their boots, or spitting poison at them like some Benzedrine puff adder." He mockingly replies, "Just trying to enjoy myself, dear." With his gangly frame and contortionist abilities, Cleese brilliantly punctuates Basil's outrageous faux pas with absurd gymnastics and turns Three Stooges-style pokes and kicks into a slapstick ballet. Scales's Sybil is the genial but obliviously chatty voice of reason and Andrew Sachs mangles the English language as the Spanish bellhop Manuel, whose struggles with simple directions results in comic lunacy reminiscent of Robert Benigni. After a six-episode run in 1975, Cleese and cowriter and costar Connie Booth (who plays Polly, the maid all too often pulled into Basil's ridiculous plans) reunited the cast in 1979 for another six episodes without missing a punch line. The four-volume collection contains all 12 shows, interspersed with interview segments featuring Cleese discussing the genesis of the series and anecdotes about the individual episodes. Remember to watch the opening credits of each show to spot the creative misspellings on the hotel sign (my favorite: "Fatty Owls"). --Sean Axmaker

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Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best version yet Jan. 4 2010
By Dogen
Format:DVD
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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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We're stuck with it! May 16 2010
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fawlty Towers Sept. 19 2010
By Tanya
Format:DVD
Fawlty towers is soo funnnny, I use to watch this when I was a kid and now its great to have all of them to share with family and friends.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't mention the war March 31 2009
Format:DVD
This series, written by John Cleese and, his then wife, Connie Booth is based on John's actual experiences at a hotel when he was doing some location work for Monty Python. With only 12 episodes, this series packs more comedy 'gold' than five seasons of most US sitcoms. These episodes demonstrate how great writing and a solid cast can deliver one of the best TV series ever. The shows revolve around Basil Fawlty, a hotelier who is not satisfied with the calibre of guests or staff at his establishment and who tries, unsuccessfully, to control his environment. His wife, the chamber maid, chef and the ultimate comic foil - Manuel - the waiter/bellman of hotel all manage to push Basil to the edge of a nervous breakdown over and over again, not by intentionally sabotaging Basil's plans, but trying to execute them with the perfection that Basil demands, but no one can deliver. This show demonstrates Cleese's capacity to deliver lightning fast dialogue along with his uncanny physicality, and when combined with stellar performances by the actors playing his wife and Manuel make one laugh out loud. I'd be remiss if I didn't compliment the background players, the guests and trades people that Fawlty has to deal with. They lend a certain chaos and charm to an already amazing program. If you are assembling a library of the best comedy available, this has to be in your top five or ten selections. For me, the German Tourists episode has always been a favourite. I was married to a lady of German descent, and when we visited Germany I was instructed "don't mention the war". I had to explain why this made me laugh so hard... you'll get it when you see the episode
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great DVD Set - if you have binoculars June 23 2004
Format:DVD
Love this series which is, IMHO, the funniest sitcom series ever shown on either side of The Pond. There's no disappointment in re-watching all the wonderful episodes.
There is, however, beaucoup de frustration with the way in which the links were designed. You have sit right in front of the TV, no more than 4' away to read the postage-sized stamps which indicate episodes, commentary, etc. (I still can't read them.)
Still, once you get going, it's hours of laughter, great performances, and great writing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a comedy classic!! July 28 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
- love great comedy. For someone like me who is very picky with comedy, I choose the classics. That said, wnen it comes to classic comedy, BBC delivers with "Fawlty Towers" I'd recomend this series to anyone who loves to laugh
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just love it July 16 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I just love the Fawlty Towers and the actors, so funny always have a good laughter.
Would recommend all my friends to get it.
Thanks so much
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Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars I cannot play this product on my CD player
I did not know that a cd from a European country cannot be played on a North American player. This product does me no good.
Published 2 months ago by Chris Collis
4.0 out of 5 stars British comedy at its best!
A classic. "Don't mention the war"

John Cleese at his best.

Apparently the inspiration for this show came from a stay John Cleese had in Torqui.
Published 3 months ago by Bill Kalogerakis
5.0 out of 5 stars fawlty Towers
He's very fast, is John Clees! Agility , the way he works with butler is something to behold . wife excellent too.
Published 4 months ago by john m dawson
5.0 out of 5 stars Basil Fawlty at his finest. The Complete Series
So funny. Can watch this one over and over and over...............This is a classic that anyone with any sense of humour will laugh out loud. So silly.
Published 4 months ago by Jane Ulmer
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent purchase
Excellent quality, fast prompt delivery, very happy about my purchase. Finally I can enjoy my favorite British comedy on a high quality DVD
Published 5 months ago by Rene
5.0 out of 5 stars One fo the Best Comedies Ever!
Fawlty Towers is one of the most superb comedies ever written. The writing and execution show the genius of John Cleese and Connie Booth as they bungle their way through... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Dr. P. Phillips
5.0 out of 5 stars Cleese is a comic genius!
Fawlty Towers stands on its own as a comedic standard towering above the often mediocre genre that can only aspire to this level of finely tuned insanity that has crippled many... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Neuro
5.0 out of 5 stars Endless hours of hilarity!
We used to watch this on t.v., now we can watch it anytime and anywhere! These are so funny we'd crack ourselves up just talking about it!
Published 11 months ago by Sheila Lavallee
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic in many ways
This set is an excellent value. It is funny, amusing and informative. I enjoyed the extras -- always nice to see how things came to be. Read more
Published 12 months ago by deirdre harvey
5.0 out of 5 stars Delivered as ordered
Bought this for my husband who loves this show. Same as watching on TV but very nice to have the whole set in case we are in the mood to watch 2 or 3 shows.
Published 13 months ago by Corker
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