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Rising Damp - Series 1

9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Leonard Rossiter, Richard Beckinsale, Frances de la Tour. This popular British sitcom brings together a group of misfit tenants who manage to make the bigot landlord, Rupert Rigsby, meaner than ever. Includes 7 debut-season episodes. 1974-75/color/173 min/NR/fullscreen.

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First broadcast in 1974, the British sitcom Rising Damp was an instant and enduring success. It starred Leonard Rossiter as the miserly and lovelorn landlord Rigsby who is constantly needling young lodger Alan (Richard Beckinsale), a science student whose long hair and earrings are symptomatic to Rigsby of the modern age. He's also in love with Frances De La Tour's dowdy spinster Miss Jones, though his tentative advances are forever rebuffed. She in turn carries a torch for Philip (Don Warrington), the elegant son of an African chief who also resides at Rigsby Towers.

Some aspects of Rising Damp have not aged well, principally Rigsby's stream of racist jibes at Philip. Although these were doubtless well-meant and supposed to illustrate Rigsby's foolish bigotry, one suspects that it might have been a convenient cover for 1970s audiences to enjoy racist humor. However, Rossiter's Rigsby--stuttering, stammering, bent perpetually over backwards--remains a great comic creation, embodying all the festering prejudices, small-mindedness and self-delusion of the lower middle class Little Englander. --David Stubbs


Special Features

  • Production notes
  • Cast filmographies

Product Details

  • Actors: Leonard Rossiter, Francesca De La Tour, Richard Beckinsale
  • Directors: Len Lurcuck, Ronnie Baxter, Ian MacNaughton, Vernon Lawrence
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Unknown)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: ACORN MEDIA
  • DVD Release Date: January 10, 2006
  • Run Time: 173 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000BVM20O
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #140,971 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Rising Damp - Series 1" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Tiggah on December 3, 2005
Rising Damp is a classic 1970's British Comedy starring the talented and comical late Leonard Rossiter (The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin--who died of heart failure in 1984, aged 58) as Rigsby, the crotchety, self-important, and highly-strung live-in landlord of a run-down boarding-house-style apartment. Rigsby is constantly scheming to attract the attention and affection of his tenant, Ruth Jones (Frances de la Tour). But Rigsby is hopelessly inept, and although Ruth tries to be polite, it is obvious (at least to the viewer) that Rigsby doesn't stand a chance. Furthermore, Ruth has her eye on another tenant, Philip (Don Warrington), a young black African college student. Philip, however, is about as interested in Ruth as Ruth is in Rigsby.

Philip shares a room with Alan (the late Richard Beckinsale (of Porridge) who tragically died of heart failure in 1979; he was only 31), an open-minded young medical student. Rigsby has a very low opinion of both Alan and Philip and is constantly insulting them. Rigsby takes his jabs where he can find them. With Alan, they're aimed at his long hair and tight trousers; with Philip, they're directed at his tribal African ancestry. Though hardly politically correct, Rigsby's jabs at Philip are counterbalanced by the fact that Philip is so obviously Rigsby's superior in every way, be it intellectually, socially, culturally, financially, or romantically. Actually, one cannot help feeling a little sorry for Rigsby. He's so critical of everyone else (save Ruth, who can do no wrong in his eyes), yet he is completely oblivious to his own shortcomings.

Four series were made in all (1974-1978), and this dvd set consists of the entire first series plus the pilot (1974-75) for a total of seven 25-minute episodes.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Margaux Paschke VINE VOICE on July 15, 2006
I won't summarize as the previous reviewer did a great job. I highly recommend this series. It was televised in the 70s and it stands the test of time - how many comedies can pass that test? Just be prepared for racist humor that was acceptable back then, the misery landlord is very Archie Bunker. Leave it to the British to make a very funny comedy that doesn't need a laugh track. No regrets buying this set as repeated viewings still makes me laugh. I enjoyed this series and look forward to the next.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Stalwart Kreinblaster on October 19, 2007
Having seen and loved Reginald Perrin (sadly unavailable in the u.s.) I was curious to check out this series and was quite delighted.. Leonard Rossiter's comic work is first rate and his role as Rigsby is a gas..
Also an interesting document of its times, 'rising damp' may not be politically correct but I really don't care.. it is a very fine and funny series.. and besides the show doesn't side with Rigsby's racism so much as laugh at it..
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Angus the Dog on November 12, 2010
The above commentary by David Stubbs completely misses the point. Rigsby says racist things to Phillip just as Archie Bunker says racist things to and about everyone. Does one suspect that Americans enjoyed and still enjoy the racism of Archie Bunker? If so, why is the program still so highly regarded?

Shows like All in the Family and Rising Damp were progressive in their time because they brought issues like racism to the foreground and presented them as entirely negative. They were part of a movement that was trying to change the world, and in many ways they succeeded. The fact that they may not please the current PC police is not important. Who cares what these self-appointed moral guides think is incorrect? Under what authority do they make their claims anyway?

I was in Britain during the run of this program and everyone, including the critics, saw Rigsby's pokes at Phillip to be instructive. After all, Phillip is a well-educated and sophisticated man, and his responses to Rigsby indicate that he doesn't take these attacks as anything more than a manifestation of Rigsby's ignorance. The point, then, is clear to any viewer: Rigsby is an idiot and if you agree with him, you're an idiot. This is anti-racism.

Ignore the PC police. Enjoy the show. It's wonderful.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By mythmaker on November 3, 2009
This British comedy, which used to play on A&E during the mid-1980s and probably on PBS before that, has been largely unknown in the US in recent years. Worth buying for Leonard Rossiter's performace alone.

NOTE FOR COMPLETISTS!
This release (Region 1, Acorn) is the ONLY worldwide release of the series at this time that include not only the vintage Yorkshire Television frontcaps and endboards, but also includes the original "part one" and "part two" ad-break captions. The UK release has these edited out.
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