Fawlty Towers: The Complete Collection Remastered
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Coming to Special Edition DVD for the first time, it's the complete Fawlty Towers collection with all-new commentary from John Cleese! Hot off the runaway success of Monty Python's Flying Circus, John Cleese embarked on his now-legendary sitcom, Fawlty Towers, creating one of the most memorable and best loved characters in all of British comedy, Basil Fawlty. 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 the trainee waiter from Barcelona with marginally more intelligence than a monkey, Manuel.]]>
Also on the discs
While enjoying your Fawlty Towers holiday, be sure to extend your stay by visiting the deluxe extra features. New to this set are entertaining commentaries by John Cleese, who provides illuminating insights into how these "lovely little farces" were constructed. He expresses genuine affection for the cast and guest stars, is quick to praise exquisite bits of comic business ("This is funnier than I remember"), and is not shy about criticizing his own performance ("I don't think I acted this right"). Also new to this set are newly filmed interviews with Cleese, Prunella Scales, Andrew Sachs, and Connie Booth, who offers some great anecdotes about collaborating with her then-husband Cleese and how some memorable gags were created. Donald Sinclair, the real-life rude hotelier who inspired the character of Basil Fawlty, is given his due, but be forewarned you will hear several versions of the Eric Idle ticking suitcase story. Also appearing are notable guest stars, including Bernard Cribbins ("The Hotel Inspectors"), Geoffrey Palmer ("The Kipper and the Corpse"), and David Kelly ("The Builders"), who talk of their experiences on one of television's towering sitcoms. There is also an odd "Cheap Tatty Review." Holdover features from the previously released boxed set include episode commentaries by directors John Howard Davies and Bob Spiers; archival interviews with Cleese, Scales, and Sachs; a short film about Torquay; disappointingly paltry outtakes; and a helpful Who's Who guide to the series' cast and guest stars. --Donald Liebenson
Top Customer Reviews
Fawlty Towers was a series of 12 episodes made in the 1970's about a hotel in the little town of Torquay, England (pronounced Torkee). The episodes all revolve around the mishaps and misunderstandings and flat out irrational behavior of the hotel owner Basil Fawlty played by John Cleese of Monty Python fame. Cleese does a wonderful job melding physical comedy, sarcasm, and British wit, but of course he doesn't do this alone.
Prunella Scales (former RSC actress) plays Basil's wife Sybil Fawlty while Cleese's wife in real life Connie Booth plays Polly, the hotel maid/receptionist/waitress. Andrew Sachs plays Manuel, the Spanish waiter who does a fabulous job playing opposite Basil Fawlty and aggravating him to the point of frustration. Note that every character at one point in the series explains Manuel's funny behavior with the excuse "He's from Barcelona."
There are a few other regular characters such as the Major who is an old, rather senile war veteran and the two ladies who are also old and rather senile.
As I said earlier, there are 12 episodes. Each one is very original and I never get tired of watching them. The following is a short summary of each of the episodes.
A Touch of Class - Basil places an ad for the hotel to attract upscale clientele. A Lord Melbury makes reservations at the hotel, but he isn't who everyone thinks he is.
The Builders - Basil hires O'Reilly, a cheap Irish builder, to rennovate the hotel, but when he and his wife leave for an outing and Polly leaves Manuel in charge, everything goes wrong.Read more ›
Here is exactly all the wonderful little bits of fun that await you on the Fawlty Towers complete collection on 3 DVDs:
These are features every disc shares: Main menu options - Play all episodes, Episode selection, Scene selection, Subtitles (English, German, French). Special features: Director's Commentary, Helpful Staff (Bios of main cast), Guest Registry (Bios of other cast members), Trailers - French & Saunders, Father Ted, The League of Gentlemen, Wallace & Gromit, and BBC America.
Disc One - 4 Episodes: A Touch of Class, The Builders, The Wedding Party, and Hotel Inspectors. Special Features: Interview with John Cleese (1), A visit to Torquay (Home of Fawlty Towers), Footage of the Fawlty Towers hotel, Customer Service tips (Clips)
Disc Two - 4 Episodes: Gourmet Night, The Germans, Communication Problems, and The Psychiatrist. Special Features: Interview with Cleese (2), Interview with Andrew Sachs (Manuel), How to manage your staff (clips)
Disc Three - 4 Episodes: Waldorf Salad, The Kipper and the Corpse, The Anniversary, and Basil the Rat. Interview with Cleese (3), Interview with Prunella Scales (Sybil), Out-takes, Tips for a successful marriage (clips)
Things I learned from Fawlty Towers:
1. One nail isn't strong enough to hang a giant moose head on your wall.
2. When your car doesent work, sometimes it helps to attack it with a tree branch.
3. If you take a guest breakfast in bed and speak to him and he does not move or speak back to you - he may be dead.
4. A burglar alarm and a fire alarm sound quite a lot alike.
Each episode deals with Basil's various problems at the hotel, problems which he never fails to make much worse by saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, leaving Manuel in charge or generally being himself. The laughs ramp up to fever pitch very rapidly and each episode ends with rapturous cheers from the studio audience. There were only ever 12 episodes recorded of this classic series, but each one has incredible quality. As Cleese explains in part of his interview, attempting to equal the highlights of each series just got too much for the writers and performers.
Here is a quick summary of the premise of each episode and what to watch for:
"A Touch of Class" - this was the first episode ever recorded and deals with Basil's attempt at attracting "a better sort of clientele" to the hotel. Watch for Basil's changing attitudes toward Lord Melbury and the man in the biker jacket, while the standout scene is Basil's seating of Lord Melbury "in his usual seat" in the dining room. Best line: "A lemon squash, a gin and orange and a scotch and water please.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Finally, to own all these comedy classics. Like fine music, watchable again and again.Published 5 days ago by Douglas B. Jones
Love this John Cleese classic. Item was priced well, and arrived fast.Published 7 days ago by Tom Jr
"There is too much butter on those trays."
If you love British humor, and watching John Cleese get in ridiculous situations do not pass go, just buy it.
I absolutely love Keeping Up Appearances and Are You Being Served? Having read about this series being the "best British comedy of all time" or something like that I was... Read morePublished 9 days ago by Notelexxsenob
We recorded a few shows off of our PBS. Now we have the whole series on dvd! We can watch at our leisure. Such a funny program!Published 12 days ago by Amazon Customer
|Topic||From this Discussion|
|Any big improvement over the previous set?||
The only notable improvements are the extended interviews and some tweaking to the picture and sound quality. I own the original set as well and it's comparable, so I wouldn't be in any rush to get this if you already have the first set.
Oct 21, 2009 by Ben Rowland | See all 7 posts
|Does this include the Pilot episode?||
The old one did not and based on what I see this does not either, are you sure we are talking about the same series?
Nov 7, 2015 by Eric Pregosin | See all 5 posts
That sounds more like him just being punny, it does not sound like he eluded to a specific episode, otherwise he would have given more info.
Nov 7, 2015 by Eric Pregosin | See all 2 posts
|Benny Hill considered funnier than Monty Python by two TV stations||
Hill was indeed much funnier than Python!
11 days ago by Bob | See all 3 posts