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  • Benny Hill Complete and Unadulterated - The Naughty Early Years, Set Two (1972-1974)
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Benny Hill Complete and Unadulterated - The Naughty Early Years, Set Two (1972-1974)

30 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Benny Hill--Britain's baron of bawdy buffoonery--bursts into full bloom in this boisterous collection from his golden fan-favorite era, The Thames Years! Wildly popular all over the globe thanks to his trademark smirk and affinity for comic naughtiness, Benny rejuvenated the sketch-variety genre with his multi-award-winning THE BENNY HILL SHOW. Satirizing everything under the sun, but sanitizing nothing, Benny and his crackerjack team of entertainers invented a squadron of crazy caricatures: lovable imbecile Fred Scuttle, avant-garde French filmmaker Pierre De Terre, and the verbally challenged Mr. Chow Mein. Backed by Benny's half-dressed flock of frisky foxes, THE BENNY HILL SHOW continues to stand the test of time by making the world laugh itself silly.THE NAUGHTY EARLY YEARS: SET TWO features all 10 riotous episodes from 1972-1974. DVD Features: "Benny Hill: Laughter and Controversy" Episode of A&E’s Award-Winning Series BIOGRAPHY; The Benny Hill Cheeky Challenge Trivia Quiz; "Liner Notes" DVD Insert Booklet; Interactive Menus; Scene Selection

Benny Hill Complete and Unadulterated: The Naughty Early Years, Set Two (1972-1974), a sequel to the delightful Set One (1969-1971), continues opening the vaults on Hill's burlesque and satiric legacy at the Thames Television network. After enjoying stardom on the BBC, Hill made the leap to Thames at the end of the '60s, where he enjoyed creative freedom and the deluxe benefits of a color broadcast. Set Two reveals no slowing down of Hill's prolific imagination, mastery of sketch comedy, or cheeky wit with that old Brit favorite, the sex farce. It does suggest that Hill was willing to gently bite the hand that fed him, however, as several sketches skewer the wisdom of Thames management.

Set Two includes 10 original episodes, never before seen in the U.S. in their complete form. As always, Hill kicks off every show with a "Benny Quickie," or blackout gag, followed by a silly song. ("Oh, Zandoona," a ballad about a willowy young miss, finds Hill--accompanied by house vocal group the Ladybirds--confessing, "Luckily she was blessed with two warts on her chest / Or she'd have no figure at all.") One of the most inspired sketches is an interview with "avant-garde French film director" Pierre de Tierre (Hill), who dismisses heady critical praise from a fawning interviewer. (Calling Pierre a genius for shifting from color to black and white in one of his features, the host is flattened by the filmmaker's response: "No, no. I ran out of color.") Other good things include Hill's impression of singer Shirley Bassey (in a deep-plunging, backless dress, no less), a short film about married thieves (to the tune of Noel Coward's "Little Things"), a lecherous ballet set in a park, and an interview with Hill's crusading, Fleet Steet scandal-monger, Mervyn Cruddy. Another interview, with Hill's slightly dotty Fred Scuttle, is laced with light sarcasm about the state of British TV and, of course, includes much naughty schoolboy humor. (Asked what he would program on a proposed new Thames channel, Fred suggests "A Sale of Two--er, A Tale of Two Cities.") Incorrigible. --Tom Keogh

Special Features

  • All 10 episodes from 1972-1974
  • "Benny Hill: Laughter and Controversy" episode from A&E Biography
  • The Benny Hill Cheeky Challenge Trivia Quiz

Product Details

  • Actors: Benny Hill, Henry McGee, Jackie Wright, Bob Todd, The Ladybirds
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: A&E Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: January 25, 2005
  • Run Time: 500 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00061QJX0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,395 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Benny Hill Complete and Unadulterated - The Naughty Early Years, Set Two (1972-1974)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By M. Borhi on April 10, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I was around 12 or 13 years old when I first came upon these shows on tv late at night. They were completely different from anything else that was on at that hour, & at any other hour on tv in north america; that excited anticipation when the Thames logo & music came up. Just to see & hear that today conjures up those memories of watching Benny Hill late at night. Throughout all those years, growing up in high school, my friends & I would quote all kinds of bits of dialogue from the skits, & not necessarily the punchlines to the jokes. Then, all of a sudden it seems, Benny Hill went off the radar; either because his shows weren't on tv as often, or because my interest in my studies & growing up in general took me onto other things.

Going back to them today, some 20 years later, there is a funny mix of sadness & nostalgia as I watch them again. Don't get me wrong; most of the material I still love, & find very funny, I can watch over & over again, like I did back then with my poor quality vhs tapes. His humour can be extremely contagious.There was an infectious energy in his shows that is even more apparent when watching them today. The man was a genius with impersonations & characterizations. His face implied & told you more than any punchline or line of dialogue really could.

Today I watch these shows with the knowledge I didn't have then; of what happened to his reputation in the later years, how he came to be perceived , how he fell into decline.

What really amazes me is the way he is looked at today; you seem to get one of 3 reactions; 1)people who love him & still find him funny 2)those who roll their eyes at the mention of his name & write him off as outdated 3) those who savagely attack him & blame him for all the world's sexism & misogyny.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Todd Bovair on May 9, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Most Americans were introduced to Benny Hill in the very late '70s / early '80's as a syndicated program sold to independent stations called "The Benny Hill Show". This show was a compilation of sorts- bits and pieces of Benny's Thames TV specials (which averaged about once a month in England) were assembled as episodes for American TV. The skits that involved regional UK humor, very thick British accents, and the 'celebrity' musical acts were generally left out- only skits 'acceptable' for American audiences were included (oddly enough, the bawdy humor and even nudity were deemed 'acceptable'!).
Now, A&E have released Benny's Thames specials complete and uncut. Some may find these a bit unsettling, as some skits can scarcely be understood (due to thick accents and material referencing UK personas little-known to Americans) and the 'celebrity' musical/dancing guests leave much to be desired. Still, these are the specials that the American Benny Hill Show was culled from, and should be of great interest to any Benny Hill fan.
Season one and two are NOT the Benny Hill you may remember. The season two set comprises the specials from 1972-1974, so this was pretty early on. While their are hints of the bawdy humor that would become Benny's trademark, the humor in this set is quite tame really. That shouldn't keep any Benny fans from viewing this set though, as Benny's wit is razor sharp here. Clever comedy songs (as always), Benny's double entendres (when they were still original!), and funny slapstick skits are all here for your enjoyment. This is where Benny really started to become the comedian that is a worldwide legend.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Heidi Crabtree on July 17, 2005
Format: DVD
You either like Benny or hate him. Most women can't stand his so-called "sexism" (curiously they love Sex and the City and Desperate Housewives, which portray women as nothing but slags). I'm a woman who loved these old shows. The skits and songs that are here aren't the same ones that have been released here on videotape, and they sure beat the tar out of that awful "Golden" set. I remember these from the late 70s. There are also quite a few of his commercial parodies here, which I particularly like. Benny tends to repeat some gags over the years, but who cares. The good older things are here. If you liked the tapes that have been released over the years, you'll love this better, it's even funnier. I'm glad someone at Thames dusted off the older, better shows, and put them out for us.
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21 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Robin Simmons VINE VOICE on January 20, 2005
Format: DVD
The ten episodes (almost eight and a half hours) from 1972-1774 broadcasts in the UK, include material never seen in the US. With his trademark smirk and self deprecating humor, Hill rejuvenated the traditional English music hall variety show in all its bawdy buffoonery.

There must be hundreds, maybe over a thousand, bits of business, filmed gags, sketches, visual puns, and wordplay -- most of it from Hill -- in this great looking digital transfer.

The great characters -- Fred Scuttle, Pierre de Tiere, Mr. Chow Mein and Mervyn Cruddy -- are back including Hill's bevy of half clad lovelies. A surprisingly emotional extra is a "Biography" segment on Hill.

Surely there's a place for low brow humor in our sometimes treacherous world and Hill has stood the test of time with his multitude of loopy, self-absorbed characters (in drag and out). Hill was a master of his craft. Go ahead, laugh yourself silly. It's OK.
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Topic From this Discussion
Benny Hill was even advertised as funnier than Monty Python by a local...
Hey, don't knock another's taste......I'd preferred Red Skelton to all that Norman Lear crapola 30 years ago, & STILL DO!!!!!
Nov 11, 2007 by N. N Wahlert |  See all 4 posts
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