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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
All-New Commentary by John Cleese on Each EpisodeThe PBS Special, Fawlty Towers RevisitedAll Special Features on the current Fawlty Towers Complete CollectionAll-New Commentary by John Cleese on Each EpisodeThe PBS Special, Fawlty Towers RevisitedAll Special Features on the current Fawlty Towers Complete CollectionAll-New Commentary by John Cleese on Each EpisodeThe PBS Special, Fawlty Towers RevisitedAll Special Features on the current Fawlty Towers Complete CollectionAll-New Commentary by John Cleese on Each EpisodeThe PBS Special, Fawlty Towers RevisitedAll Special Features on the current Fawlty Towers Complete Collection --This text refers to the DVD edition.
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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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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The first couple of episodes were so corny I almost stopped watching and never started again. By the end of the series I was watching to see how ridiculous Mr. Fawlty was being. Read morePublished 22 days ago by cantraveller120
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