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The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy (1981)


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9 used from CDN$ 21.97

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Product Details

  • Actors: Alan J.W. Bell, Martin Benson, Sandra Dickinson, David Dixon, Simon Jones
  • Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: 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: 2
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: BBC / Warner Home Video
  • Release Date: April 30 2002
  • Run Time: 190 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005YUNJ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #73,378 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Amazon.ca

The production values aren't the greatest here, but this adaptation does capture some of the ebullient, hilarious anarchy of Douglas Adams's book. Arthur Dent discovers that his friend, Ford Prefect, isn't human at all but an alien on assignment, writing for the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Many of Adams's delicious asides are dropped off here, like the woman who figures out the meaning of life right at the moment that she gets blown up with the rest of the Earth, but it retains what it can. Sure, the book was better, and the realization of Zaphod Beeblebox and Trillian are, well, just different, but it's a great introduction to the series for the uninitiated. --Keith Simanton

Special Features

A suitably eclectic, if not to say eccentric, collection of extra features makes this a wholly satisfying two-DVD set. On the second disc there's an hour-long "making of" documentary from 1992 featuring contributions from the cast and crew, including Douglas Adams; and then there's even more in a 25-minute section entitled "Don't Panic!" A fascinating behind-the-scenes peek at filming as the clock runs on studio time and a look at the recording of the original radio series complete the first part. Then navigate to the "Outer Planets" to find outtakes, a deleted scene, Zaphod's animatronic second head on the BBC series Tomorrow's World, Peter Jones's witty and rambling introduction to the first episode, and more. The series itself is presented in standard 4:3 ratio and remixed Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo or the original mono. --Mark Walker

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Greg Slade on Dec 2 2008
Format: DVD
I love science fiction. In fact, I love it so much that I will even watch cheesy, low-budget, so-bad-it's-funny productions like the 1979 version of H.G. Wells' The Shape Of Things To Come. So when, flipping through the channels one fateful day, I came across a British production with shoddy props and laughable effects, I stayed to watch rather than flipping on. As it turns out, it was a PBS marathon of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and in fairly short order, I was laughing myself silly. Instead of something laughably bad, I had discovered something hysterically funny. You see, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a bit of that inspired, lunatic British comedy which many people love, and the rest just don't "get." It's not about the effects, nor about the production values. It's not even about the plot or the acting. What makes me laugh till it hurts is the utter deadpan attitude with which Adams skewers any target careless enough to cross his path:

"The Encyclopaedia Galactica defines a robot as a mechanical apparatus designed to do the work of a man. The marketing division of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation defines a robot as 'Your Plastic Pal Who's Fun To Be With'. The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy defines the marketing division of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation as 'a bunch of mindless jerks who'll be first against the wall when the revolution comes.'" (p. 73)

There are so many digs, at so many of the insanities of modern life, that it's simply not possible to do justice to the work. It overflows with wit, and even if you only catch one joke in three, you'll be holding your sides.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By StevenJM on Feb. 10 2002
Format: VHS Tape
The video is based on the TV series, which is based on the books and the radio play. The radio play is hilariously satirical and very creative. The TV series was on PBS years ago and pops up every so often. Great story. The characters in the TV series don't quite measure up to the radio play but are good anyway. The story does measure up and the cheesy special effects only add to the fun. It's a Monty Python-esque view of space and travel in general with great commentary on our society and its peculiarities. The Hitchhiker's Guide is all you need to travel the universe and is essential when your planet is destroyed to make way for a hyperspace bypass. The Guide is many things: a primer on Vogon poetry, a guide to using the Babel fish, and a calming influence with it's friendly "don't panic" on the cover. The best character in the show may be Marvin the paranoid robot but Arthur Dent, Ford, Trillian and Zaphod are just right for fans of the books and play. The restaurant at the end of the universe is the place to be seen. All this and mice make the world go 'round. Zany and original. A definite find! It really can't be fully explained within the limits of a short review. Now if someone will only put out the radio show on CD!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Gabrielle LeBlanc on Dec 27 2007
Format: DVD
It has THE cheesiest effects ever -ok, maybe not cheesier than Dr Who, but certainly on par- But it beats the movie remake by a galaxy! It gives much more of the storyline and captures the light-hearted humor of the novel; the characters are much more sympathetic and it is just all-around way more enjoyable than the grim, plodding, and non-sensical movie version.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rob Slaven - slavenrm@gmail. com TOP 50 REVIEWER on Jan. 25 2014
Format: DVD
I usually review books so forgive the lack of detail, but I have the following bullet points...

* This version follows the book very closely. It's more or less what the reader would wish for.
* The extras.... I've perused them but I can't bring myself to care very much. For the person who has read the novels, just assume the second disc doesn't exist.
* Ages ago I had this series on Betamax. Yes, you read that correctly. Betamax, the format that preceded VHS. The digital remastering of this isn't perfect but it's much better than Beta.

In summary, the first disc of this is what I wanted. I'll ignore the second disc with its extras.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gary Fuhrman TOP 50 REVIEWER on Nov. 3 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
First, to answer the questions i would ask about this item before buying it: The first disc (190 minutes) contains all 6 episodes from the original TV series; image and audio-wise, it's what you would expect for a TV production of that vintage. The other disc (130 minutes) contains an hour-long making-of documentary from 1993, another 20 minutes of outtakes from it (mostly reminiscences from the cast and crew), a very nice profile of Douglas Adams done shortly after his death, and several other "backstage" items that will interest fans of the series -- and at this price, who else would buy this DVD set? It's cheaper than the 14-CD set of the complete radio series (which of course was the original format of the show) but rather expensive for its content. If you're a Douglas Adams fan and like to read, then the books are a better deal. But the TV version does have its own excellence (especially in the way it adds graphics to Adams' script) and is worth watching repeatedly. And this certainly is a major improvement over the old VHS tape of it. Just don't forget your towel!
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