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French & Saunders: At the Movies

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Product Details

  • Actors: Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, Simon Brint, Rowland Rivron, Patrick Barlow
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: Feb. 5 2002
  • Run Time: 30 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005UERL
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #66,655 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Ab Fab creators Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders star in this highlights program of the best skits and spoofs from their fourth season. Includes send-ups of Alien, Misery, Silence of the Lambs, stuffy costume dramas, and of course the royals.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: DVD
"French and Saunders" are Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders, two incredibly talented British comedic actresses/writers. This collection of spoofs and skits comes courtesy of the BBC.
While featuring several movie spoofs ("Misery", "Silence of the Lambs", "Thelma and Louise", etc) that is not the only genre lampooned by these gifted writers/actors.
In addition to films, they also try their hand at spoofing music videos (their take on Guns-n-Roses "November Rain", with Jennifer Saunders taking on the Axl role and Dawn French that of Slash, is absolutely hysterical), fashion models, high-brow mini-series (Upstairs Downstairs), the Royals, etc.
Of the film spoofs, the "Thelma and Louise" and "Silence of the Lambs" parodies stands out, as does a priceless take on "Star Wars:Phantom Menace". The "Star Wars" spoof is part of the BONUS selections on this DVD.
With tongue firmly in cheek, these two woman break down the fourth wall barrier and often interact out of character with each other, with uproarius results.
Among other topics, they turn their sharp wit to comment on the obvious superiority of Princess Diana over Sarah Ferguson (the DVD is dated 1994, which explains why the "Star Wars" skit is considered BONUS material) and how supermodel Jerry Hall "has it all".
The skits and lampoons here are right on the money, with detailed sets reproductions and props (many an inside joke on props are peppered throughout). Details count with any parody and are much appreciated here - From the costumes, down to the uncanny reproduction of Sigourney Weaver's voice (as portrayed by Jennifer Saunders) in the "Aliens" parody.
Jennifer Saunders has a gift with voices.
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Format: DVD
I give them a high rating because I am an Anglophile and understand British slang very well. I suspect your mileage may vary, especially if you are unfamiliar with British idiom. If you subscribe to BBC America and like British comedy, pour yourself some tea (or warm beer) and sit down with this one.
British comedians, Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders perform a series of sketches that are delightful send-ups of popular movies, such as "Silence of the Lambs" and "Thelma and Louise". They are supported by their usual stable of very funny people, most notably, a surprisingly butch commando in the "Alien" sketch. (Ms. Burke appears in "Absolutely Fabulous" as the nearly unintelligible Cockney go-getter who rushes into magazine meetings, throwing catch phrases at her ditzy staff and then rushing out.)
There are a few things that Americans might find puzzling, like a parody called "House of Idiot", but if you've watched PBS at all, it is not a stretch to figure out what they are doing.
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I really like Jennifer Saunders in "Absolutely Fabulous" and love Dawn French as "The Vicar of Dilby" but did not find this set of spoofs by the two actresses as entertaining as their later series. For an evening of mild entertainment for the average Anglophile, one can't beat the price, however, and while these episodes are not the best these two actresses have done, on their worst nights they are far funnier than most current U.S. sitcoms (and there are no commercial interruptions!).
The "take-offs" included in this DVD remind me of the old "Saturday Night Live" episodes on U.S. tv. You had to be of the times to fully appreciate the humor. Episodes built on current events have a way of becoming rapidly dated. For example, the scenes involving discussions by two "royals-watchers" of Fergie, Lady Di, and Dodi Fayed made me feel a bit sad although they were probably very funny at the time.
Several U.S. movies are spoofed, as was noted elsewhere -- "Misery" "Thelma and Louise" "Aliens" and "Silence of the Lambs" but I did not see the others mentioned by the British reviewer. Perhaps the British and U.S. versions of this DVD differ? The soap opera spoof of the Collins sisters (Jackie and Joan--where they really sisters?) and "The House of Elliot" ("House of Idiots") were quite good. I watched bits of "The House of Elliot" but could never get into it and now I know why. I usually love period pieces, but sometimes they are a bit much.
All in all, this is a good buy, especially if you are interested in the early works of two very gifted British actresses. Jennifer Saunders has to have one of the most plastic faces around and in some ways her talents as an actress exceed her talents as a commedienne and writer.
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Format: DVD
Dawn French & Jennifer Saunders emerged on the British comedy scene as one of the new crop of performers who began at the "Comic Strip" club. This clan produced great TV comedy throughout the '80s & '90s, much to America's indifference: "The Young Ones (the most successful of the bunch stateside)," "The Comic Strip Presents...," "Bottom," "Filthy, Rich, & Catflap," and "French & Saunders." Then, Jennifer Saunders wrote and starred in a program based on a sketch from a "French & Saunders" show called "Absolutely Fabulous." Of course, it became an worldwide hit and put Saunders on the map. "AbFab" is unquestionably brilliant and Edina Monsoon a fantastic creation but the fact that Yanks love "AbFab" while remaining ignorant of "French & Saunders" is like having people love John Cleese's "Fawlty Towers" while never having seen his work in "Monty Python's Flying Circus." "French & Saunders," being a sketch show, covers a wider range of subjects and humor than "AbFab" and reveals Dawn French as a formidable talent on her own and a perfect compliment to Saunders. Many of the shows parody popular films and musical acts and, while some pieces may be very dry, others are rather vulgar and savage. Personally, I think these shows are greater than "AbFab" in that there is so much more in them - including the full breadth of Saunders talent (both women have an endless stream of diverse characters inside them). Grab this disc and discover what they already know overseas: that French & Saunders are the greatest comedy team of the past 20 years!
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