Fawlty Towers: The Complete Collection Remastered
DVD | Box Set
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Fawlty Towers Remastered Special Edition (DVD)
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.]]>
Basil Fawlty, as created and performed by John Cleese, is the rudest, most boorish, most hilariously obnoxious man on the face of the planet. What a natural for a TV sitcom! His screen wife, Sybil (Prunella Scales), put it best in the episode "The Psychiatrist": "You're either crawling all over them, licking their boots, or spitting poison at them like some Benzedrine puff adder." He mockingly replies, "Just trying to enjoy myself, dear." With his gangly frame and contortionist abilities, Cleese brilliantly punctuates Basil's outrageous faux pas with absurd gymnastics and turns Three Stooges-style pokes and kicks into a slapstick ballet. Scales's Sybil is the genial but obliviously chatty voice of reason and Andrew Sachs mangles the English language as the Spanish bellhop Manuel, whose struggles with simple directions results in comic lunacy reminiscent of Robert Benigni. After a six-episode run in 1975, Cleese and cowriter and costar Connie Booth (who plays Polly, the maid all too often pulled into Basil's ridiculous plans) reunited the cast in 1979 for another six episodes without missing a punch line. The four-volume collection contains all 12 shows, interspersed with interview segments featuring Cleese discussing the genesis of the series and anecdotes about the individual episodes. Remember to watch the opening credits of each show to spot the creative misspellings on the hotel sign (our favorite: "Fatty Owls"). --Sean Axmaker
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
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
What makes Basil such a fascinating character are his contradictions. He fawns over British lords and ladies, but openly shows contempt for everyone else. He has a dominating personality, yet is henpecked and afraid of his wife. Similarly, the show's dialogue is very witty, yet a good deal of the comedy comes from physical humor. "The Germans" episode is my favorite, when Basil admonishes his staff to not mention the war. After getting hit on the head several times and suffering from a concussion, he can't refrain from mentioning Hitler and the war. Basil's walk - a combination of the Minister of Silly Walks and a goose-stepping Nazi - is the most outrageous, hilarious and memorable scene in the entire series. The remastering of the series is superb; the show looks like it was filmed in high-definition. Every episode includes a commentary by John Cleese. The bonus disc includes 2009 interviews with John Cleese, Connie Booth, Prunella Scales, and Andrew Sachs, as well as older interviews with Cleese, Sachs and Scales. Also included is a short documentary about the seaside resort of Torquay, the real hotel that Fawlty Towers is based on, and the hotel's late owner, who inspired the character of Basil Fawlty. The disc concludes with artist profiles, some brief out-takes, and a cheap tatty review. I highly recommend spending some quality time at Fawlty Towers.
Some of the humor has historic aspects that may not now seem appropriate or funny, just like standup comedy of 90 years ago is not as funny to today's audiences. However, there are many zany, crazy moments, and plots that defy logic, sanity and improbable successes that somehow end up as success in the mind of the oblivious Basil Fawlty. This man's particular paradigm of life as it should be, is meant to be enjoyed by all. These twelve shows and cast of many delightful characters will provide you lots of fun. Enjoy.
I did read that Prunella Scales who played the wife, was the co-writer of the show with John Cleese,and was also his real life wife. I thought that Connie Booth, who played the waitress, was in fact his real life wife and the cowriter with Mr. Cleese. Am I wrong? I stand to be corrected , if , in fact I am incorrect. Just curious.