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Fawlty Towers: Volume 2

John Cleese , Prunella Scales    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Fawlty Towers: Volume 2 + Fawlty Towers: Volume 1 + Fawlty Towers, Vol. 3
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Product Description

Amazon.ca

John Cleese has always maintained that Fawlty Towers was inspired by a real hotel that was run by a proprietor who treated guests as an inconvenience to running a business. No one in the world, however, can possibly match the sheer insolence and incompetence of Basil Fawlty, perhaps the most brazenly rude character in the history of customer disservice. "Gourmet Night" is Basil's brilliant idea to raise the quality of the clientele of his dingy little establishment, but when his new cook gets blind drunk, he responds by importing the food from another restaurant, with the usual Fawlty foul-ups. Basil's fevered flogging of his sputtering car is a surreal series highlight. In "The Germans," perhaps the best-loved episode of the series, John Cleese hits all-time heights of impertinent provocation when his wife, Sybil, is in the hospital for an ingrown toenail (much to Basil's glee). Simple instructions not to mention "the war" to the German guests sends Basil into a flustered frenzy of conversations that all wind back to WWII, culminating in his stork-like goose step as he offers his impersonation of Adolf Hitler. "Communications Problems" finds Basil once again plotting behind his wife's back, this time for a little off-track betting. His horse comes in, but his effort to hide his winnings becomes complicated when a guest is robbed and Basil's sneaking and sudden handful of cash make him the prime suspect. Complicating matters is dotty Major Gowan, the reality-impaired resident whose forgetfulness only lands Basil in worse trouble. Basil's prudish hypocrisy gets a workout in "The Psychiatrist" when a handsome young chap sneaks a girl into his room. Compounding Basil's strange behavior is the discovery that another guest is a psychiatrist, sending Basil into a tizzy as he is sure the man is analyzing his every utterance. As his attempts to catch the adulterers in the act turns into a bedroom farce, Basil finds himself caught in a position both compromising and absurd--his duck-walking climax has to be seen to be believed. --Sean Axmaker

Product Description

Check in to the most popular BBC comedy of all time, where merriment and madness are on the house. Newly remastered for better-than-ever viewing, this disc contains four classic episodes, as well as interviews, behind-the-scenes and cast bios. John Cleese stars as Basil Fawlty, the sharp-tongued, short-tempered owner of Fawlty Towers, a hotel plagued by crisis, chaos and bizarre characters.The Kipper and the Corpse: When a guest dies, Basil?s only concern is hiding the corpse-and the old kippers-from the other guests - but the body winds up everywhere. Waldorf Salad: An outspoken American guest demands a Waldorf Salad and a level of service quite unavailable at Fawlty Towers. The Anniversary: Sybil thinks Basil forgot their wedding anniversary again. Actually, he?s planned a surprise party but is left inventing excuses when she decides to play golf. Basil the Rat: Manuel insists his pet rat is a Siberian hamster. Basil knows the health inspector won?t agree and vows he?ll never set eyes on the rat-but the rat has other ideas.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Fawlty Towers was the Doug Flutie of comedy series - a lot from a small package. This short-lived British series of only 12 episodes (I keep waiting for "lost" episodes, though I guess there aren't any) is such a consistently funny series one can't help but worry about losing control of bladder functions.
The Germans may be the cream of the crop from the series, with inspired performances from Cleese as a concussive twit who keeps accidentally mentioning the "War" in the midst of his German guests: replete with his famous Nazi walk (ala house of silly walks), a talking moose from Barcelona, a fire emergency and a spat with an ugly nurse.
Gourmet Night is another great episode which epitomizes the arrogant British spirit Cleese is poking fun at throughout the series. As he mentions in the included interview, the series is based on an actual innkeeper he and the other Pythons had the ill fortune to encounter in their travels.
I don't feel the other two episodes are quite as strong, but they still outclass almost all sitcoms besides maybe Seinfeld. The extras are well worthwhile - the interviews are recent and very interesting. They cover more than just the Fawlty Tower series, so they will be of interest to Python fans as well.
The sound and picture are an improvement over the BBC and PBS airings I recall, as well as my 15 year old VHS copies. No wonder.
Cheers.
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Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  140 reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The strongest episodes of one of the best comedy series ever Oct. 21 2001
By Timothy F. Halloran - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Fawlty Towers was the Doug Flutie of comedy series - a lot from a small package. This short-lived British series of only 12 episodes (I keep waiting for "lost" episodes, though I guess there aren't any) is such a consistently funny series one can't help but worry about losing control of bladder functions.
The Germans may be the cream of the crop from the series, with inspired performances from Cleese as a concussive twit who keeps accidentally mentioning the "War" in the midst of his German guests: replete with his famous Nazi walk (ala house of silly walks), a talking moose from Barcelona, a fire emergency and a spat with an ugly nurse.
Gourmet Night is another great episode which epitomizes the arrogant British spirit Cleese is poking fun at throughout the series. As he mentions in the included interview, the series is based on an actual innkeeper he and the other Pythons had the ill fortune to encounter in their travels.
I don't feel the other two episodes are quite as strong, but they still outclass almost all sitcoms besides maybe Seinfeld. The extras are well worthwhile - the interviews are recent and very interesting. They cover more than just the Fawlty Tower series, so they will be of interest to Python fans as well.
The sound and picture are an improvement over the BBC and PBS airings I recall, as well as my 15 year old VHS copies. No wonder.
Cheers.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I would like to welcome you war...you ALL... Aug. 18 2005
A Kid's Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Ah, Fawlty Towers. One of the many reasons I love England. I WOULD write a review on the complete collection, since I have that, but I will settle for Volume Two, because I think that these three episodes are the best of the whole series.

First of all, let's talk about Fawlty Towers in general. The acting is absolutely hilarious and the characters are well-made. The jokes and hair-rising situations are both ironic and slapstick, leaving families in stitches. I watched Fawlty Towers when I was eleven. I'm almost fifteen now and I still can't resist watching Fawlty Towers over and over again. I think what I like best about Fawlty Towers is the brilliant irony that loves to kick Basil Fawlty in the behind. It makes you want to curl up with a pillow and squeal with embarrassment for poor Basil Fawlty, and yet you can't take your eyes away from the screen because you're just too busy laughing at the brilliant faces Basil is making.

Now the three episodes specifically.

Gourmet Night: A new chef, called Kurt, comes to work at Fawlty Towers and the Fawltys absolutely love him. So Basil and Sybil decide to host a Gourmet Night, with some of Torquay's well-respected people. Kurt, however, has an arguement with the Spanish waiter, Manuel. This leads to him being unavailable and Basil must find a way to get food for his gourmet night, or else it will go all wrong. Utterly hilarious! The irony in this episode really comes back and kicks him in this episode! Basil's temper gets the better of him in this episode (which we should all enjoy) and his desperation for an idea leads to ridiculous situations. in some shows it might seem stupid, but in a comedy like this you just KNOW it's fine. Bear in mind that "if you don't like duck, you're rather stuck!"

The Germans: Sybil has an ingrowing toenail and therefore must spend her night at the hospital. Basil is delighted, FINALLY being in charge. Despite the fact that Sybil keeps on CALLING him to remind him mainly to hang up the moose and to ring the firebell at twelve for a fire drill. And it is only evident that everything falls to pieces, and Basil finds himself in hospital. Convinced that the waitress Polly can't handle the hospital herself, Basil, who has concussion, returns to welcome the Germans, and makes a whole mess. This is not as ironic as Gourmet Night, but it really makes you feel the frustration Basil feels when confronting the hotel guests about the fire drill. Even so, you laugh because you cannot BELIEVE how difficult it must be! Plenty of sticky situations keep you roped in, and the extremely forgetful Major will keep you laughing on and on! "I speeak Eeenglish very well!"

Communication Problems: Ahh, more frustration than the Germans! Mrs Richards, a deaf old woman who refuses to turn her hearing aid on, is not enjoying her stay. First of all, she claims the room is inadequate. Second of all, she is convinced some of her money (75 pounds) has been stolen, and is irritated by the fact that the Fawltys will not call the police immediately. Meanwhile, Basil has been given a rather good tip about a certain horse running in a race called Dragonfly. Sybil, however, had made him quit gambling on horse races when they got married. This means that Basil has to keep quiet about it throughout the episode, and this is a rather difficult thing to do. Why, oh WHY did he ask Manuel to put the bet on for him? Another hilarious episode. The chemistry between Basil and Mrs Richards is absolutely brilliant. "Basil can't win, even if he wins," as it says on the back of a Fawlty Towers DVD box. I agree. The two plots (one with Mrs Richards, the other with Dragonfly) cleverly combine into a delicious mixture that will keep you giggling on and on. There are plently of wonderful one-liners (the same for all of the other episodes!) and again, the irony is wonderful!

Thanks for reading this review!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Your war... you all... Feb. 6 2006
By E. A Solinas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Sometimes the guests at Fawlty Towers are more trouble than they're worth.

Basil Fawlty finds that out the hard way in the second volume of "Fawlty Towers," which is arguably the best comedy ever aired. And these classic episodes -- "Gourmet Night," "The Germans," and "Communication" -- are definitely some of the high points of this all-too-brief series.

Basil (John Cleese) and Sybil (Prunella Scales) are planning a "Gourmet Night" with the creme-de-la-creme of Torquay society. Unfortunately, the new cook has a crush on Manuel (Andrew Sachs); when the waiter rejects him, he gets drunk and passes out. Now Basil frantically tries to salvage the gourmet night, with no chef, a dying car and a roomful of increasingly peevish guests.

The "Germans" are coming! While Sybil recovers from surgery, Basil plans a fire drill, and arranges for a pair of German couples to stay at Fawlty Towers. But the fire drill goes horribly wrong, and Basil ends up hospitalized with a head injury. Undaunted, he heads back to his hotel to greet the Germans -- except he can't stop babbling about the war...

"Communications" break down when an autocratic lady arrives at Fawlty Towers -- she's practically deaf, and isn't satisfied with anything. As if that weren't infuriating enough, she soon loses some money and insists that the staff must have taken it. Meanwhile, Basil gets a racing tip from a customer, and decides to bet ten pounds on the horses...

Anyone who's sick of the recycled sitcoms ("Hot Young Urbanites Fall In Love and Have Misadventures") that pepper the TV landscape might want to try Fawlty Towers. The humour is still fresh after all these years, the writing is good, and the actors were great at physical comedy.

The dialogue is especially sharp in these episodes, especially when a confused Manuel tries to talk to the oblivious deaf woman: "No no, 'que' what." "K Watt?" "Si!" "C.K. Watt?" "Yes!" And as witty as the hilarious scripting is, the "Germans" episode wouldn't be the same if it weren't for Basil's bizarre behavior and rubber-legged Hitler walk.

Basil's social-climbing continues without much actual result. Partly it's because his bootlicking is so obvious, and partly because he's not very good at it ("How is your lovely daughter?" "She's dead"). And John Cleese seemed to be having lots of fun as the nastiest hotelier in the world. Sachs has some even funnier scenes as the hapless Spanish waiter Manuel, and Booth gets to be the "normal" one who tries to tone down the madness.

Fawlty Towers reaches its peak in the second volume, with the Germans, deaf harpies and a roast duck. Too bad the series was so short.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laughter is good for the soul May 14 2013
By Kathy Blassingame - Published on Amazon.com
and this show makes me laugh. The instructions require that I write an additional fourteen words for this review,. Done.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Always funny April 25 2013
By pwherman - Published on Amazon.com
No matter how many times we watch the same show, we laugh out loud. John Cleese is a comic genius.
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