This Special Edition marks the 30th Anniversary of one of the greatest situation comedies British television has ever seen. Every episode of the BAFTA winning sitcom has been fantastically remastered and for the first time ever John Cleese provides audio commentaries on all 12 episodes. Episodes Comprise: 1. A Touch of Class 2. The Builders 3. The Wedding Party 4. The Hotel Inspectors 5. Gourmet Night 6. The Germans 7. Communication Problems 8. The Psychiatrist 9. Waldorf Salad 10. The Kipper and the Corpse 11. The Anniversary 12. Basil the Rat
Every episode of the classic BBC BAFTA-winning sitcom in high definition for the first time ever. Basil Fawlty is a much put-upon, hard-working hotel manager whose life is plagued by dead guests, hotel inspectors and riff-raff. Of course his biggest headache is his little nest of vipers' - his nagging wife Sibyl. Together they run their hotel, Fawlty Towers, with a little help from the unflappable Polly, and Manuel, the trainee waiter from Barcelona with marginally more intelligence than a monkey.
Helene Hanff (Anne Bancroft) and Frank Doel (Anthony Hopkins) are lifelong friends who never meet in 84 Charing Cross Road, a unique comedy-drama based on a true story. Hanff and Doel are separated by 3,000 miles of ocean and joined by a passion for old books. Their relationship begins when New- Yorker Hanff orders a copy of Pepys' diary. Doel, as polite and soft-spoken as Hanff is loud and overbearing, fields the request from the titular book shop in London. For the next two decades they correspond without ever actually sitting down for tea and crumpets. Director David Jones (Betrayal) does a reasonably good job of goosing a movie about something as un-cinematic as letter-writing, and the stars have fun chewing scenery on both sides of the Atlantic. The model for this kind of bittersweet relationship is David Lean's Brief Encounter, which, not coincidentally, is glimpsed here when Hanff steps out for a rainy-day matinee. --Glenn Lovell, Amazon.com
The second best comedy ever made, Monty Python and the Holy Grail must give precedence only to the same team's masterpiece, The Life of Brian (1979). Even though most of this film's set-pieces are now indelibly inscribed in every Python fan's psyche, as if by magic they never seem to pall. And they remain endlessly, joyfully quotable: from the Black Knight ("It's just a flesh wound"), to the constitutional peasants ("Come and see the violence inherent in the system!") and the taunting French soldier ("Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!"). Not forgetting of course the migratory habits of European and African swallows... The film's mock-Arthurian narrative provides a sturdy framework for the jokes, and the authentic-looking production design is relentlessly and gloriously dirty. The miniscule budget turns out to be one of the film's greatest assets: Can't afford horses? Use coconuts instead. No money for special effects? Let Terry Gilliam animate. And so on, from Camelot ("it's only a model") to the rampaging killer rabbit glove puppet. True it's let down a little by a rushed ending, and the jokes lack the sting of Life of Brian's sharply observed satire, but Holy Grail is still timeless comedy that's surely destined for immortality. On the DVD: Disc One contains a digitally remastered anamorphic (16:9) print of the film--which is still a little grainy, but a big improvement on previous video releases--with a splendidly remixed Dolby 5.1 soundtrack (plus an added 24 seconds of self-referential humour "absolutely free"!). There are two commentaries, one with the two Terrys, co-directors Jones and Gilliam, the other a splicing together of three separate commentaries by Michael Palin, John Cleese (in waspish, nit-picking mood) and Eric Idle. A "Follow the Killer Rabbit" feature provides access either to the Accountant's invoices or Gilliam's conceptual sketches. Subtitle options allow you to read the screenplay or watch with spookily appropriate captions from Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part II. The second disc has lots more material, much of it very silly and inconsequential (an educational film on coconuts, the Camelot song in Lego and so on), plus a long-ish documentary from 2001 in which Palin and Jones revisit Doune Castle, Glencoe and other Scottish locations. Perhaps best of all, though, are the two scenes from the Japanese version with English subtitles, in which we see the search for the Holy sake cup, and the Ni-saying Knights who want... bonsai! --Mark Walker
Yoiks! Here be the Python's tale of good King Arthur (Graham Chapman) and his knights as they quest for the Holy Grail. Watch as they face great odds and silly sods. See them wage battle against the fierce Killer Rabbit (""Run Away! Run Away!"") and (oh horrors!) see them confront the dreaded Knights Who Say ""Ni!"". Oh these be trying times. Can these good knights pass the test of valour and cut down yon tree with herring? Or will they blow themselves to smithereens with the Holy H
Often hailed as the greatest ever British sitcom, Fawlty Towers is closer to the more elaborate tradition of farce. Comprising two series made in 1975 and 1979, the total of just 12 episodes were painstakingly constructed by writers John Cleese and Connie Booth. Unlike most British farce, however, Fawlty Towers deals with the big themes--death, psychology, xenophobia and even sex-o-phobia (Basil's marriage to Sybil is the most sterile ever depicted in a sitcom).Basil's contempt for his guests is, of course, legendary. It takes little from patrons to unleash his sledgehammer sarcasm: "Rosewood, mahogany, teak? Sorry, I was wondering what you'd like your breakfast tray made out of," he sneers at a guest who dares request breakfast in bed. Like every Englishman, he wants to be king of his own castle and resents having to take in lodgers to maintain the place, especially the open-necked younger generation, whom he regards as sub-human. Mostly, though, Fawlty Towers is comedy of exasperation--who can forget the "damn good thrashing" Basil gives his clapped-out car, or the nervous breakdowns he almost suffers trying to make himself understood to Manuel? It's also comedy of embarrassment. The very fear of losing his dignity generally leads Basil into the most spectacularly undignified of predicaments. His inevitable misery is our sheer delight.--David StubbsSeries 2: Communication Problems The Psychiatrist Waldorf Salad The Kipper and the Corpse The Anniversary Basil the Rat
Doctor Who star Jon Pertwee is your host in this highly popular light-hearted panel game which invites viewers to play detective – pitting their wits against a panel of celebrity sleuths to solve a fictitious murder mystery. Devised by comedians Jeremy Lloyd and Lance Percival the show's brilliantly original formula presents short dramas laden with clues – and a few red herrings – to be pieced together by the panellists who having grilled the suspects point the accusing finger at the likely felon... A star-studded guest panel for this volume includes Prunella Scales Liza Goddard Terry Wogan Dr Magnus Pyke Alfred Marks Patrick Mower and Jimmy Jewel; Tony Anholt Kate O'Mara Josephine Tewson Simon Oates Nicholas Courtney and Denis Lill feature among the casts.
Fawlty Towers remains a timeless example of comic writing acting and characterisation at its very best. This fantastic complete collection set features all 12 episodes from this classic series. Episodes titles: 1. A Touch of Class 2. The Builders 3. The Wedding Party 4. The Hotel Inspectors 5. Gourmet Night 6. The Germans 7. Communication Problems 8. The Psychiatrist 9. Waldorf Salad 10. The Kipper and the Corpse 11. The Anniversary 12. Basil the Rat
And Now for Something Completely Different, Monty Python's first feature, is a reworking of their best skits from the first two seasons of the TV series. Originally made for the US market (where the show had yet to be aired), it was shot on film outside the usual studio sets ("Nudge Nudge", for example, is set in a tavern filled with passers-by). The writing and performances are fine and the film is packed with some of their best bits: "How to Avoid Being Seen", " Hell's Grannies", "Blackmail", "The Lumberjack Song" and "The Upper Class Twit of the Year", among others. Many of the sketches have been shortened, however, and the loss of the overly bright video sheen (the film has a muddy, dull look to it) and the invigorating presence of a live audience leaves the film sluggish at times. They're still feeling out the possibilities of the feature length, which they conquered with their next movie, Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1974). --Sean Axmaker
Anyone can make themselves unpopular - but it takes a past master like John Cleese to be really irritating. The secret he says is to let the other person believe it's all totally unintentional - and that's the first of many tricks of the trade he gives away in How To Irritate People. With the help of fellow Python cohorts Michael Palin and Graham Chapman Connie Booth from Fawlty Towers and Goodie Tim Brooke-Taylor Cleese demonstrates the uncanny ability to keep his victims just the right temperature under the collar...one degree below boiling point! Recorded live in front of a thoroughly irritated audience and including the famed 'Airline Pilot' sketch How To Irritate People is a lesser known classic of British comedy.
This Monty Python Movie Box Set contains all four Python movies: And Now for Something Completely Different (1971), Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1974)--the two-disc set--Monty Python's Life of Brian--including a 50-minute documentary--and Monty Python's The Meaning of Life.
Often hailed as the greatest ever British sitcom, Fawlty Towers is closer to the more elaborate tradition of farce. Comprising two series made in 1975 and 1979, the total of just 12 episodes were painstakingly constructed by writers John Cleese and Connie Booth. Unlike most British farce, however, Fawlty Towers deals with the big themes--death, psychology, xenophobia and even sex-o-phobia (Basil's marriage to Sybil is the most sterile ever depicted in a sitcom). Basil's contempt for his guests is, of course, legendary. It takes little from patrons to unleash his sledgehammer sarcasm: "Rosewood, mahogany, teak? Sorry, I was wondering what you'd like your breakfast tray made out of", he sneers at a guest who dares to request breakfast in bed. Like every Englishman, he wants to be king of his own castle and resents having to take in lodgers to maintain the place, especially the open-necked younger generation, whom he regards as sub-human. Mostly, though, Fawlty Towers is comedy of exasperation--who can forget the "damn good thrashing" Basil gives his clapped-out car, or the nervous breakdowns he almost suffers trying to make himself understood to Manuel? It's also comedy of embarrassment. The very fear of losing his dignity generally leads Basil into the most spectacularly undignified of predicaments. His inevitable misery is our sheer delight. -- David Stubbs On the DVD: each six-episode season is given its own disc with a commentary track from John Howard Davies and Bob Spiers, directors of Season 1 and Season 2 respectively. The third disc has all the additional material, the best of which are new interviews with John Cleese, Andrew Sachs and Prunella Scales. Also included are text biographies of all the leads and the guest stars, a short background featurette on Torquay and the hotel owner who is said to have inspired Basil, a very short blooper reel of outtakes and a brief teaser with Cleese in character entitled "Cheap Tatty Review". Much of this extra material was comfortably fitted onto the individually available Season 1 and 2 discs, so it's a bit of a mystery why a third disc was deemed necessary for the box set. --Mark Walker
A collection of wacky teams compete in the Swiss Alps for the richest prize in history 135 million dollars. Anything goes!
Monty Python goes to the movies in this DVD boxset packed with three of their classic cinematic adventures. Enjoy And Now For Something Completely Different', Monty Python and the Holy Grail' and Life of Brian'. And Now For Something Completely Different Monty Python's Flying Circus is regarded as a milestone In British Comedy, This, their first feature film, is an anthology of the funniest sketches from the legendary BBC television series. Pick one of your favourites from among many, including the famous Say No More, Nudge, Nudge sequence, the Hell's Grannies and The Dead Parrot. Monty Python and the Holy Grail After a chance meeting with a rather irate God, King Arthur and his Knights of The Round Table are set the sacred task of retrieving the all powerful Holy Grail. On their long quest they encounter a number of terrifying hazards the taunts of the abusive French Knight, disgruntled peasants, the Knights who say Ni' and the deadly rabbit with the big pointy teeth. (Double Disc Set) Life of Brian The Pythons deliver a scathing, anarchic satire of both religion and Hollywood's depiction of all things biblical with their third film. The setting is Judea 33 A.D., a time of poverty and chaos, with no shortage of messiahs, followers willing to believe in them, and exasperated Romans trying to impose some order. (Double Disc Set)
More Stories from Jackanory. Featuring four wonderful narrations of classic children's stories taken from the hugely popular BBC series Jan Francis reads J M Barrie's Peter Pan while Penelope Wilton goes on a special journey in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Peter Davison reads Lewis Carroll's enchanting tale of Alice Through the Looking Glass and the heart-rending adventure of a little pig called Wilbur is told by Connie Booth in Charlotte's Web
Hailed as "genre-breaking stuff" on its release in 1992, this is the tale of a London estate agent who find he's the son of a Yorkshire pig farmer.
A remake of one of Conan Doyle's most famous and popular Sherlock Holmes stories. Is Sir Charles Baskerville's strange death the result of demonic forces and a family curse? Sherlock Holmes searches for a more earthly explanation when Sir Henry Baskerville receives a death threat upon his arrival from America. In this eerie mystery hounds are howling on the moors... a killer is on the loose... and Holmes is on the case.
A Jewish Londoner working for his mother's catering firm sets of on a journey of discovery, after learning that not only was his birth was the result of artificial insemination but a mix-up at the lab means that his real father is in fact a Yorkshire pig farmer. Winner of multiple awards including Edinburgh IFF's Chaplin Award and joint awards for Best Newcomer from the Evening Standard British Film Awards and the London Critics' Circle Film Awards.
Francis Ashby, a senior Oxford don on holiday alone in the Alps, meets holidaying American Caroline and her companion Elinor, the blossoming Irish-American girl she adopted many years before. Ashby finds he enjoys their company, particularly that of Elinor, and both the women are drawn to him. Back at Oxford he is nevertheless taken aback when they arrive unannounced. Women are not allowed in the College grounds, let alone the rooms. Indeed any liaison, however innocent, is frowned on by the upstanding Fellows.
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