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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wodehouse Playhouse is a classic!
I have been waiting 25 years for this classic BBC series! From the moment I saw the first episode, "Unpleasantness at Bludleigh Court", I was hooked on the series. (Witnessing two verse-spouting, chiffon-swirling poets forced to share an estate with blood-thirsty Sir Francis was hilarious. When he snarls 'Ever shot a Gnu?' at the poetess, she squeaks 'I have never even...
Published on March 2, 2003 by Book Reviewer

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7 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars WODEHOUSE BUTCHERED
Breathless with anticipation after reading little but good reviews of these DVDs, we watched the first episode, the 25 minute THE TRUTH ABOUT GEORGE yesterday evening. This story was first published in England in the STRAND magazine in 1926, then in book form (by Herbert Jenkins & Co) in the first collection of Mulliner stories in 1927. It concerns George Mulliner,...
Published on June 2, 2003 by MICHAEL MARCUS


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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wodehouse Playhouse is a classic!, March 2, 2003
This review is from: Wodehouse Playhouse, Series 1 (DVD)
I have been waiting 25 years for this classic BBC series! From the moment I saw the first episode, "Unpleasantness at Bludleigh Court", I was hooked on the series. (Witnessing two verse-spouting, chiffon-swirling poets forced to share an estate with blood-thirsty Sir Francis was hilarious. When he snarls 'Ever shot a Gnu?' at the poetess, she squeaks 'I have never even spoken harshly to one.') In every skit, Pauline Collins and John Alderton possess a comic timing so brilliant a Swiss watch would be envious! And I'm not the only one who appreciates them. Friends of mine (who firmly believe the Lord created Sunday for golfing) were in stitches over "Rodney Fails to Qualify". Another friend watching 'The Truth About George' (as Alderton, 'stammering like a soda-water syphon' tries to propose to Pauline, the parson's crossword addicted daughter) said afterwards her sides hurt from laughing. Rent, buy or borrow this series at once! Not only will it give you the most hilarious 210 minutes of laughter you've had in a long while, it will also induce the distributor of this awesome series to deliver the rest of the Wodehouse Playhouse skits. Enjoy!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AT LAST!, February 12, 2003
By 
GEORGE RANNIE "GWRJWMCL" (DENVER, COLORADO United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wodehouse Playhouse, Series 1 (DVD)
At last these wonderful televised Wodehouse stories are comercially available!!--I also watched them in the 80s falling on the floor and completely out of breath from laughter. They are the funniest story adaptions that have ever been done!
I truly believe there is nothing that has ever been shown that is as funny as the "Portrait of a Disciplinarian" I was able to tape that episode in the 80s and I have subsequently viewed it about every month since that time. Upon each viewing I'm in a heap on the floor from laughter. (I've viewed "Portrait" so many times that I almost know every line verbatim, and it is still very funny to see) Another hysterical episode is "Bludeigh Court" (John Alderton is a scream in that one).
Pauline Collins has to be, next to Maggie Smith and Prunella Scales, the funniest actress that has ever been. She is just wonderful in all of these Wodehouse series. Why she isn't a "household name" I will never know!
Trust me, you will love this DVD presentation; however, please let me warn you to be prepared to call the Paramedics if you are prone to "lose your breath" from gails of laughter--you will need them!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Goodbye, my old VHS tapes!, March 9, 2003
This review is from: Wodehouse Playhouse, Series 1 (DVD)
Blessings upon the heads of those at Acorn Media! At last I can retire some of the VHS tapes on which I taped these off the air back in the mid-80s. These episodes constitute some of the funniest half hours ever televised, and "The Truth About George" never fails to leave me breathless with laughter, even after multiple viewings. To have these at last on pristine DVDs is a rare treat indeed, and I can't wait for Acorn to release the remainder of the series.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Mulliners are as funny as the Woosters, February 13, 2003
This review is from: Wodehouse Playhouse, Series 1 (DVD)
You all know how hysterically funny the Bertie Wooster/Jeeves stores are, both on the page and on the screen. Well, P.G. Wodehouse wrote about many other characters, notably the Mulliner Family, from which series several of the episodes on "Wodehouse Playhouse" have been drawn. If you remember the feisty Sarah the maid and the amorous ambitious chauffeur Thomas in the "Upstairs, Downstairs" series, you will recall with what chemistry Pauline Collins and John Alderton played those roles. In this series, they play a different role in each half-hour episode, sometimes with Alderton as the Mulliner, sometimes Collins, now and then neither.

Series One is now available, holding on its two DVDs (AMP 5939) seven very funny tales, six of which are about goofy Englishmen and women living up to what Americans expect of them. For example, in "Portrait of a Disciplinarian," Reggie Mulliner and his ex-fiancee meet at their former Nanny's and are treated as before, as children to be punished. But what else would we expect of a British Nanny? The Hollywood spoof "The Rise of Minna Nordstrom" does not quite fulfill its potential, but the "The Truth About George" certainly does. But even in its weakest moments (and there are not many of those), this series is still funnier than anything else visible on American prime time. So grab up this one and look for the other series as soon as they are available.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just buy it!, June 27, 2003
By 
Irreverent "irreverent" (La Crosse, Wisconsin, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Wodehouse Playhouse, Series 1 (DVD)
These episodes are superbly produced, directed, costumed, and especially acted. The stars are a married pair of fine British comic thespians, who were also outstanding in their seriocomic roles in "Upstairs, Downstairs." Supporting casts are uniformly superb.
I found Wodehouse's intros priceless. Even as a nonagenarian, he was worth almost the price of the whole set -- so droll, so amused with appreciation of human folly, so skilled at a twinkly-eyed but not unduly harsh presentation of foibles. Every word he said was both easy (for me) to understand and well worth hearing. How marvelous to have this personal record of a great humorist! I only wish we had seen more of him. What I wouldn't give to see Oscar Wilde or Jane Austen or several others similarly introduce performances of their works!
This set is also a great bargain. Perhaps the sound and picture are not up to today's standards, but they did not distract from my enjoyment in the least. The "Jeeves and Wooster" set is indeed better Wodehouse than this set, only because J&W is perfect while this one is merely close to perfect, but both are worth at least five stars to this picky reviewer. Anyone who does not like Wodehouse and his marvelously framed understated absurdities deserves to spend eternity watching Hollywood potboilers and US sitcoms.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long awaited!, January 10, 2003
By 
K. L. Jackman (Ypsilanti, MI United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wodehouse Playhouse, Series 1 (DVD)
I saw these on TV waaay back in the 80's and have been waiting for someone to release them on DVD or video ever since then. They are delightfully daffy--and who better than Pauline Collins and John Alden to bring them to life. Love the British? Love a good chuckle? Buy it!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars British highbrow humor at its finest, October 8, 2003
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This review is from: Wodehouse Playhouse, Series 1 (DVD)
It's unfortunate that the first episode involved stuttering. This must be a painful memory for some people, and they can hardly be expected to react favorably. But in fact, it is NOT treated cruelly here, and John Alderton's extremely likeable character can only bring sympathy for suffers of the affliction.
For any viewer who has not this particular slant on the work, this is a gem. And the other 12 episodes, on this and the second series DVDs, are priceless as well. John and Pauline Collins are a comedy team made in heaven. Their timing is exquisite and their ability to play so many different characters and make them all quite distinguishable from each other is nothing short of amazing.
Don't let anything deprive you of the pleasure of watching these comedies. They can be enjoyed over and over again. And yes, do buy the Mulliners stories too. They've been collected in book form and are a treasure.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Absolute Pipterina!, February 4, 2004
This review is from: Wodehouse Playhouse, Series 1 (DVD)
I say old thing, I didn't even know about this series until I happened upon it here on Amazon. Once I read all the other great reviews I had to have it. Now that I've seen it, I have to review it because it's a jolly good classic. I must say, 6/7 of the episodes are "the tree upon which the fruit of my love hangs." (however, the Minna Nordstrom episode fails to qualify) Before receiving this series, I had already collected all the Jeeves and Wooster DVD sets. I hadn't expected this one to be quite as good, but I actually find that I watch it even more often. As a matter of fact, I probably watch this one the most of all the DVD's I own! John Alderton and Pauline Collins are excellent actors and play the different characters swimmingly. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves British comedy. There are also 2 other seasons out on DVD that I'm looking forward to getting. (hint, hint) If they're anywhere near as good as this season, I know I will love them. Toodle-pip!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What the Heck Ever Happened to Pauline Collins?, January 20, 2003
By 
bsomers "bsomers" (West New York, NJ United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wodehouse Playhouse, Series 1 (DVD)
After a commercial breakthrough with SHIRLEY VALENTINE, this wonderful actress has all but disappeared (a memoir, one or two small roles in films). She is one of the three funniest women on the planet (to go with Maggie Smith and Penelope Keith) and this great series is a perfect introduction to her talents.
Best line: "I stand by manure!" "Yes, we've noticed. . . "
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alderton and Collins at their best, October 24, 2003
By 
Joshua Koppel (Chicago, IL United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wodehouse Playhouse, Series 1 (DVD)
Alderton and Collins (known for their roles in Upstairs, Downstairs and the comedy series No, Honestly) are in to form in this collection of the classic show.
Each half-hour episode stars the pair in a classic P.G. Wodehouse story. The stories help show the range of these talents. Alderton can be a stuttering Milquetoast, swishy poet, a prestidigitator, blustering producer, or even a forceful suitor. Each episode is introduced by P.G. Wodehouse himself.
The Truth About George is about a stutterer trying to overcome his impediment so that he can propose to the woman he loves.
Romance at Droitgate Spa tells of snobbery amongst the ill and a romance beset by a mad magician.
Portrait of a Disciplinarian has to childhood friends visiting their addled but still stern nanny for tea.
Unpleasantness at Bludleigh Court has two poets in love overcome by the blood curse of the house full of hunters.
The Rise of Minna Nordstrom tells of how a chambermaid rose to stardom in Hollywood during Prohibition.
Rodney Fails to Qualify has a mild golfer competing for a woman's love with a non-golfing poet.
A Voice from the Past tells of a mix-up with a correspondence course and childhood memories of stern teachers.
Each story is a classic and will be enjoyed by Wodehouse fans (Jeeves & Wooster, Blandings Castle, Mulliner, etc.) and fans of British humor.
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Wodehouse Playhouse, Series 1
Wodehouse Playhouse, Series 1 by David Askey (DVD - 2003)
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