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Customer Review

34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Only...But Darn it!, October 12, 2008
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This review is from: Peter Cook & Dudley Moore: The Best of... What's Left of... NotOnly... But Also... (DVD)
I loved Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, especially together. This DVD showcases the beautiful black and white [and some color] program they were well known for, not so much here in America back in the mid 1960's, but mostly in England. Being a John Lennon fan since 1964 it is wonderful to see a near mint copy of the visualization of the poem from his first book, In His Own Write, that being, Def Ted,Danoota and Me.
For fans, old and new alike, it breaks your heart when you read in the enclosed booklet that the BBC erased [wiped is the technical term] the master video tapes in the early 1970's due to some silly notion that they, the BBC, couldn't afford new reels of videotape and Peter Cook himself offered to BUY NEW REELS in order to keep the BBC from wiping the tapes, hence, the program, Not Only..But Also, would be eliminated like it never had been in the first place.
I don't really know how the material on this DVD survived, it must have hidden itself in a warehouse somewhere under the title "BBC Documentary:
How To Tell When It's Raining".
Shame on them for destroying the masters of this funny, funny, series.
Now, with both men gone forever, if you enjoyed their unique humor as I have, buy this DVD and enjoy what once was. We'll never see their likes again. Darn it!
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 22, 2013 3:59:39 PM PDT
Joey D says:
Producer/director Joe McGrath broke several rules by making pirated copies, filming off a tv screen in 16mm. Many steps down in quality, but that's how these few shows survived.

Posted on May 18, 2013 1:04:25 PM PDT
Same thing happened here in the US with the Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson. NBC burned YEARS of the early days of the show, so they wouldn't have to worry about storage. (Morons)

In reply to an earlier post on May 18, 2013 6:47:06 PM PDT
That's true, K. C. I only learned THIS WEEK that the John Lennon and Paul McCartney appearence episode from May 1968 [which I saw the night it was broadcast, I was 18 then] was erased by NBC ! Sad.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 4, 2014 5:38:12 PM PDT
Sheesh!! That is so effing sad.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 16, 2014 1:14:23 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Oct 16, 2014 1:15:10 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 5, 2015 12:00:57 PM PDT
Not Only... But Also was *not* preserved by being filmed off a tv screen. A lot of what survives was the film inserts for particular programmes, kept separately in the BBC Film Library (videotapes at the Corporation were under the care of the Engineering Dept). The rest was returned to the BBC by overseas broadcasters. In fact, while about 3 hours of material are clipped together on this DVD, at least another 3 hours (or more) of NO..BA... material survives in the BBC Archives. It's a shame this has not ever been released.

Posted on Aug 14, 2015 12:32:31 AM PDT
Bruce Hart says:
Hi, I was lucky enough to see them in London in 1961 when Beyond The Fringe had just begun. I also was horrified to discover that the BBC had destroyed the tapes. One theory I have heard was that someone in the BBC did not like their satire and so the tapes were destroyed. Peter Cook's offer was rejected and that was scandalous. I agree with your comment that we will never see their likes again but do seek out Moore's Dvds with him playing at jazz concerts with Ray Brown as his piano skills were amazing.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 7, 2016 7:34:22 PM PST
T. Charles says:
It is depressing that the dismal suits at the BBC saw fit to wipe most of "Not Only But Also," to record "Are You Being Served" (probably the worst 'comedy' (sic) show of the last 50 years). However, some good quality sketches viewable on YouTube miraculously survived; two hilarious ones with Peter Sellers, and another with John Lennon.
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