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Fawlty Towers Set


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Product Details

  • Actors: John Cleese, Prunella Scales, Andrew Sachs, Connie Booth, Ballard Berkeley
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • Number of tapes: 4
  • Studio: Fox Video
  • VHS Release Date: Sept. 29 1998
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (205 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305076464
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,583 in Video (See Top 100 in Video)

Product Description

Amazon.ca

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

Special Features

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

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Aug. 19 2004
Format: DVD
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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Graeme on Jan. 10 2007
Format: DVD
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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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on May 16 2010
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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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By FrKurt Messick HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on Dec 5 2005
Format: DVD
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 By Dogen on Jan. 4 2010
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Fred W. Armstrong on 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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