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At Last the 1948 Show

27 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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(Jul 26, 2005)
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Editorial Reviews

Just two series were made before it became no more and it became a revolution that was destined to change the face of TV comedy forever… 'At Last The 1948 Show' (actually broadcast in 1967). Bursting onto the nation's small screens in an explosion of unrelated and often surreal sketches, its main perpetrators were John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Marty Feldman and Tim Brooke-Taylor and what 'At Last The 1948 Show' began the inestimable Monty Python would one day finish in mind-blowing style.... This 2 DVD set features the recently rediscovered episodes of the classic 'At Last The 1948 Show' series.

Special Features

  • Exclusive New Interviews with Terry Jones and Tim Brooke-Taylor

Product Details

  • Actors: John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Marty Feldman, Aimi MacDonald
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Tango Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: July 26, 2005
  • Run Time: 172 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009GX1ZQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,883 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "At Last the 1948 Show" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By John Geoffrion on August 23, 2005
Format: DVD
Cleese and Chapman have pretty much always been my favorite Pythons, and the chance to see them alongside the wonderful Marty Feldman (always Igor in Young Frankenstein to me) and Tim Brooke Taylor was too good for me to pass up.

The material here is brilliant. This is the sort of anti-authoritarian, incisive, satirical stuff in embryonic form that would find its full form a few years later as Monty Python's Flying Circus. There's even a skit, The Four Yorkshiremen, that the Pythons would regularly perform in their live shows. And since the shows were recorded virtually live, its wonderful to see when something goes wrong, such as the Policemen in Drag, where they're all obviously struggling to keep from laughing. I also bought the "Do Not Adjust Your Set" collection, which is aimed at younger children, and doesn't appeal to me as well, although it does contain Palin, Idle, Jones, and occasionally Gilliam.

There is some surviving video from twelve of the thirteen episodes from its 1967 broadcast, and it seems like most of this material is spliced together from those bits to form the five 'episodes' packaged here. I don't know if this contains all the surviving material.

As is most surviving TV shows from this era, the image quality (being a film copy of a video original) is poor. Many contemporaneous episodes of Doctor Who, for example, have been restored to near-original condition with the use of VidFire technology, and certainly this show is just as meritorious of restoration.

I dock this one star for the packaging. At just over two hours, why this couldn't be fit onto a single DVD is beyond me. No commentary, no subtitles, a hard-to-read menu screen.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By J. C Clark on December 19, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Would any one want to see this if the careers of John Cleese and Graham Chapman had ended here? Mostly, I think not. There are some good laughs, and a one hour package could be made that would be tremendously amusing. But having to watch the lovely Aimi MacDonald over and over, feeling as if her inanity and tedium is sucking the oxygen right out of my room, is painful. And like Monty Python, sometimes the boys don't seem able to distinguish between a funny idea and a funny sketch. The Nazi game show host probably sounded wildly funny, watching it is excruciating.

So, an early incarnation of the Four Yorkshiremen, one-upping each other with tales of their miserable childhoods, is possibly funnier than the later MP version. Marty Feldman, playing Michael Palin, Eric Idle and Woody Allen, is often brilliant, demonstrating a breadth unseen elsewhere. The Chartered Accountant Dance with a previously unknown to me Tim Brooke-Taylor is glorious. Several clever sight gags show up unexpectedly, providing surprising mirth. And a genuinely clever skit of Scotsmen at the ballet is well executed. I liked much of this, and don't regret seeing it. But comedy for the ages? Nooooo, I think not. I'll share my copy with friends, but if it somehow never finds its way back, I'll not be terribly disappointed.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Robert I. Hedges HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on December 6, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"At Last The 1948 Show" was a short-lived television show long believed lost. Recently several of the shows were rediscovered and rushed to market as this two DVD set. The show is most interesting to fans of "Monty Python," as Graham Chapman and John Cleese star in the show, and many of the sketches written by the duo later appear in differing (although frequently not differing that much) forms in "Python."

As a "Python" fan, I was surprised how much I enjoyed Marty Feldman in this show: I expected him to be a weaker spot, but I think that he, along with Chapman and Cleese were the unquestioned stars of the show. I have to admit that I never found Tim Brooke-Taylor to be terribly funny or talented, and costar Aimi MacDonald was, while easy on the eyes, painful to watch. In her defense, MacDonald was normally used in simplistic linking bits (that Terry Gilliam's animation would largely perform later in "Python") that were not especially well written and seemed like afterthoughts. Considering this was only a couple of years before "Python" it is amazing to see the relative lack of production values, although I understand that the picture quality itself in the broadcast episodes was much better.

Overall, I gave the series four stars: it is historically significant, and frequently funny, but some of the material is flimsy at best and poorly executed, especially by Brooke-Taylor and MacDonald. I recommend this to fans of "Monty Python's Flying Circus" and other period British comedy: others likely may find it dated and boring.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mark Dillman on August 22, 2005
Format: DVD
"At Last the 1948 Show " + "Do Not Adjust Your Set" = "Monty Python's Flying Circus". Really.

There are skits on these DVD sets that are as funny as those by Monty Python.

I have read since the 1970s that British viewers of Monty Python recognized the cast from earlier TV series such as these. Pythons John Cleese and Graham Chapman (along with Marty Feldman!) starred in "At Last the 1948 Show" (with a few small parts by Eric Idle). Pythons Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin starred in "Do Not Adjust Your Set".

"At Last the 1948 Show" was, as seen on these DVDs, very much an on-stage skit program with lots of dialog. In contrast "Do Not Adjust Your Set" had a lot more outdoor location scenes and special effects for more of a visual gag-type program.

"Monty Python's Flying Circus" was the next step in a growing community of comedians in the U. K. Surely this is what British viewers must have thought, at least some. Here in the U. S. the initial exposure of Monty Python came with no advance warning. It was a delightful shock. In fact most of everything Monty Python had released by the mid-1970s (TV series, movies, books, records, live stage show) was dumped on the American market at about the same time. It was pretty amazing. We just didn't get to work-up to Monty Python by first viewing TV series such as "At Last the 1948 Show" and "Do Not Adjust Your Set".

After the years of reading about the numerous pre-Python TV series it is nice to finally see some.

It might be worth noting that the picture and sound quality of the shows (particularly in the case of "At Last the 1948 Show") were probably a bit clearer than seen on these DVDs. I am very sure that what are seen here are cinescopes of the original programs.
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