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It Ain't Half Hot Mum - Complete Collection [DVD] [1974]

Windsor Davies , Melvyn Hayes    Suitable for 12 years and over   DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (193 customer reviews)
Price: £16.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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It Ain't Half Hot Mum - Complete Collection [DVD] [1974] + Hi-De-Hi Complete Collection [DVD] [2013]
Price For Both: £49.95

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Product details

  • Actors: Windsor Davies, Melvyn Hayes
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 9
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: 2entertain
  • DVD Release Date: 4 Oct 2010
  • Run Time: 1647 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (193 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003ZUXZAY
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 534 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

All the episodes from series one to eight of Jimmy Perry and David Croft's It Ain't Half Hot Mum, first broadcast in 1974. The series follows the exploits of a Royal Artillery Concert Party during the Second World War. Created by David Croft and Jimmy Perry, it seemed a natural follow-up to their smash hit Dad's Army. Another ensemble piece, it drew on both writers' wartime experience in India and set the action in Deolali: a British army camp 100 miles north-east of Bombay where everyone's gone "a bit doolally".

The concert party is a rag-tag collection of soldiers who'd rather sing, dance and drag up to entertain the troops than be sent forward to the front line. Characters include effeminate drag artist Gunner 'Gloria' Beaumont (Melvyn Hayes); the diminutive Gunner 'Lofty' Willie Sugden (Don Estelle) who possesses a hauntingly beautiful singing voice and ineffectual Colonel Reynolds (Donald Hewlett). However, the show's stand-out personality is the bombastic, eye-rolling Battery Sergeant Major Williams (Windsdor Davies).



Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
105 of 108 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of laughs 6 Nov 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Ok, so maybe this show has a bad reputation for not being PC, but it was still funny. Was it racist for a man born and raised in India, who spoke Hindi as his first language, to put on face paint and the mannerisms of the poeple his childhood? I don't know... but isn't racism all about intending insult or injury?

Was it more or less racist for men born in Bangladesh and Pakistan, to do the same thing? Who was the more Indian out of these?

Surely racism is all about discrimmation, and treating someone from a different culture as somehow less of a human being.

"It Aint't Half Hot Mum" doesn't do this.

Yes, it uses racial stereotypes, and yes it gets laughs from them, but this wasn't about discrimmination or hate - it was about laughing at our differences. The jokes about shouty Sargeant-Major Tudor Brynne 'Shut Up' Williams are no different to the jokes about the effeminate Bombardier 'Gloria' Beaumont, the well educated 'La-De-Dah' Gunner Graham or Char Wallah Muhammad.

It'll be a sad day when we can't laugh at ourselves and our differences.
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57 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best ever!!!! 11 April 2011
Format:DVD
It ain't half hot mum is amongst my favorite comedies of all time. Some say it has racist elements - perhaps but me and my family are Indian and we all love it. The quality of the writing is superb and the performances by all the cast are amazing especially Michael Bates who pulls off an amazing central Indian character (being born in India and speaking the lingo helps obviously) and Windsor Davies who I think doesn't get enough credit for his long amazing career. Unlike modern productions - every season is brilliant - there a few continuity errors here and the unforgivable move by the producers of not giving Michael Bates' character a mention when the actor sadly passed away. Even George Layton's character got a mention after he left but apart from that it's a series that I will watch again and again and again without ever getting bored of it. Outstanding!!!!!!
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forgotten Gem! 7 Oct 2011
By Alex W
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
One of the greatest sitcoms this country has ever produced, yet it is almost entirely forgotten by the public and programming bosses. It doesn't get the credit or airtime it deserves, most likely due to the "PC brigade" picking fault with the way an Indian-born, Hindi speaking white actor Michael Bates played the native bearer.

This is a must have in any collection, it will keep me laughing for years to come. I was absolutely delighted with the price and the speed of delivery.

I do agree with one of the other reviewers in that the BBC should be ashamed of themselves for using a later series cover photo for the entire collection as it does not feature Michael Bates as Ranji Ram, who was undoubtedly the star of the first few series until he sadly passed away.
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71 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Hole Show. 31 July 2011
By Bobby Smith TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Oh what heavenly blessings from heaven this is - the adventures of Royal Artillery Concert party in the (yeuch - spit) jungles of India and Burma. What top hole fellows they are, battling against the heat, the flies, those Japanese and even dear old Sergeant Major Shut Up. If you want to see us Englishmen dressing up as women and officers pretending to be clever dickie, then this is the show for you.
Our leading Gunner, Beaumont Gloria, makes a fine woman, it brings tears to the eye when the English dress up as she-maidens from harem. So pretty, she could be married to my sister-in-law, half removed triple cousin.
Then we have little Lofty, a small man with a voice like big water buffalo when seeking female buffalo to mate with - "oh o ho ho".
Other members of fine concert party include Gunner Graham, he with university education at towns of Oxford and Cambridge - where all the English lah dee dahs go to become jolly good fellows.
Gunner Parkins, a man blessed with looks of proud lion, is the jewel in our crown, a man produced from the loins of Sergeant Major Shut Up - or so it says in tea leafs of stinking char urn. What a fine pair of shoulders he has, so rounded, so manly - how the Japanese can ever defeat such people I do not know.
These courageous men are not donkeys led by lions, oh no no no, they are led by two brave men, Captain Ashwood - he with lovely English accent, a chip off the old blocky of Blighty wood and the joyful Colonel Reynolds - a man who loves women, his pipe and passing the buckeroo.
Oh dear me, I have forgotten one missing ingredient in this show, the man who reminds us to do parade ground drill and puts the bull into us. I am talking about our Sergeant Major - a man who should be politician - as he likes sound of own voice very much.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very funny sitcom 3 Feb 2014
By A.McGrath TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
I'm glad that despite the best efforts of the PC crazed and hypersensitive oligarchs who seem to have taken over the world in which we now live, and have decided that this sitcom is unsuitable for mainstream TV, we can at least own and view this very funny comedy in the comfort of our homes.

It seems strange, that despite being 'anathema and out of date', the industry that is 'Political Correctness', allows it to be sold and hasn't banned such controversial material from dissemination. Perhaps its high sales rating provides the answer or maybe, normal people don't find it offensive and accept it for what it is, a satire on personal experience. Kenneth Williams describes in this DVD, An Audience With Kenneth Williams, what an officer thought of his concert party in exactly the same way as the sergeant major in this one. Kenneth also makes light of it in the same way.

Back in the world of the sane and balanced, Michael Bates is brilliant as Rangi Ram, he couldn't have been bettered in this role - period! His sad death at the end of Series 5 in 1978 was a great loss to the show. Windsor Davis, as someone once described him, 'the best shouter ever' is also excellent and very funny. Michael Knowles, hilarious. In my opinion Perry and Croft's funniest sitcom.

As a nice extra, 'Whispering Grass' with Messrs Estelle and Davis, the unlikely 1975 UK number-one hit single is also included. This song, along with Laurel and Hardy's 1975 No 2, 'Trail of the Lonesome Pine' always raises a smile. Buy, enjoy and reminisce.
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Episode missing 1 1 Dec 2012
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