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Fawlty Towers - Series 1 [1975] [DVD]

John Cleese    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
Price: 6.01 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Fawlty Towers - Series 1 [1975] [DVD] + Fawlty Towers - Series 2 [1979] [DVD] [1975] + Open All Hours - Series One [1976] [DVD]
Price For All Three: 15.82

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Product details

  • Actors: John Cleese
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: 2 Entertain Video
  • DVD Release Date: 8 Oct 2001
  • Run Time: 180 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005NGUO
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,140 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Often hailed as the greatest ever British sitcom, Fawlty Towers is closer to the more elaborate tradition of farce. Comprising two series made in 1975 and 1979, the total of just 12 episodes were painstakingly constructed by writers John Cleese and Connie Booth. Unlike most British farce, however, Fawlty Towers deals with the big themes--death, psychology, xenophobia and even sex-o-phobia (Basil's marriage to Sybil is the most sterile ever depicted in a sitcom).Basil's contempt for his guests is, of course, legendary. It takes little from patrons to unleash his sledgehammer sarcasm: "Rosewood, mahogany, teak? Sorry, I was wondering what you'd like your breakfast tray made out of," he sneers at a guest who dares request breakfast in bed. Like every Englishman, he wants to be king of his own castle and resents having to take in lodgers to maintain the place, especially the open-necked younger generation, whom he regards as sub-human. Mostly, though, Fawlty Towers is comedy of exasperation--who can forget the "damn good thrashing" Basil gives his clapped-out car, or the nervous breakdowns he almost suffers trying to make himself understood to Manuel? It's also comedy of embarrassment. The very fear of losing his dignity generally leads Basil into the most spectacularly undignified of predicaments. His inevitable misery is our sheer delight.--David Stubbs

Series 1:
A Touch of Class
The Builders
The Wedding Party
The Hotel Inspectors
Gourmet Night
The Germans

Product Description

Starring: John Cleese, Prunella Scales, Connie Booth, Andrew Sachs. Directed by: John Howard-Davies. First broadcast in 1975, Fawlty Towers has remained a timeless example of comic writing, acting, and characterisation at its very best. This DVD features all six memorable episodes from the first series: A Touch of Class - Lord Melbury arrives and Basil is only too pleased to cash his Lordship's cheque... The Builders - The lobby is in need of a face-life, so when Sybil's back is turned, Basil goes for the lowest quote job. The Wedding Party - Basil is outraged by an outbreak of promiscuity at Fawlty Towers. The Hotel Inspectors - Basil hears that hotel inspectors are in the area, just after he has been exceptionally rude to a guest. Gourmet Night - The cream of Torquay society is present for a special gourmet night at Fawlty Towers. The Germans - While Sybil is in hospital Basil tells some German tourists the "truth" about their fatherland... DVD Extras: Director commentary. Digitally remastered.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First class, side splittingly funny 23 Aug 2001
A superb epitomisation of great British wit, sarcasm and farce. One is never sure whether to laugh at Basil or to feel embarassed for him. The episode with the Irish builder will have even the most humourless of people in tears of laughter. A must buy for anyone with a sense of humour and a perfect introduction for those that haven't. Comedy does not get better.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Much has been written about Fawlty Towers. I do not intend to repeat all of this in depth, but confine myself to saying that this mid seventies comedy series from John Cleese and Connie Booth was one of the most perfect comedies ever made. Characters and performances were pitch perfect, the set up ideal for a variety of hilarious situations. It made the irate hotelier and his Spanish waiter into national icons. Part of the genius was that it wrapped up after 2 series, so there was no tailing off in quality or changes in cast that afflict so m any other classic comedies. It's just Fawltless, mixing elements of farce and absurdism to provide 12 episodes of howling laughter.

This 2001 DVD release OK. It contains all six episodes from series one on a single disc, with no real extras. The picture quality is OK. But these days there is the definitive 2009 remastered version box set of both series plus loads of extras at a very reasonable price, and I would recommend you purchase that set rather than this. So almost Fawltless, 5 stars for the superb comedy, but you're better off getting the 2009 release.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Fawlty batch of DVDs 21 Nov 2007
By Sam156
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I would like to second the reviewer who said the final three episodes on this DVD would not play. I wish I had read that before. I ordered the DVD, final three would not play. So I got it replaced by Amazon. Guess what? Final three would not play on that DVD also. What a nuisance having to send it back and wait forever for a refund. Beware of this DVD!
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars DVD is a disgrace 27 Oct 2007
Maybe this is a coincidence (not likely), but several people I know own this DVD (including myself) and on every one the final three episodes DO NOT PLAY! There is some kind of fault with the menu screen and when you select "The Hotel Inspectors", "Gourmet Night" or "The Germans", the opening music plays but nothing else comes up. Add to that a complete lack of extrras and second rate presentation, I simply cannot say anything positive about it! Of course the show itself is great but unless you want to waste your money on three episodes, get the boxset with everything on.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Faulty Fawlty 8 Sep 2008
I have just played my THIRD copy of Fawlty Towers Series One. and like the others I cannot play the last three episodes

This is scandalous and I am amazed that the BBC and the Hut and Blah - my suppliers - have not taken action

Disgruntled Fawlty Fan - it wouldn't be so bad if the progs were rubbish - but they are GEMS

Regards to all sufferers

Ron Ellis
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
John Cleese is fantastic in this comedy following the life of the bitter and sarcastic hotel owner, Basil Fawlty. This is certainly in the top two best comedy series ever created. The writing is spot on and the performances all combine to create one of the most effective comedy combinations ever. This series will literally have you crying with laughter at Basil's ridiculous antics as he tries to entice a better quality of guest to his hotel to satisfy his snobbish tendencies. Watch it once and be hooked forever.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No Playback on 3 Episodes 1 Aug 2008
From the other reviews it seems this is a common problem. I also bought the DVD and cannot play the last 3 episodes. Very dissapointing, as this is probably the best sitcom of all time!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Loved it 22 Feb 2005
I am a huge fan of this TV show. Although I wanted to say that this dvd does not have any extras. I brought it and was dispointed that it didn't have any.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very pleased
Published 1 day ago by Barry Pankhurst
1.0 out of 5 stars FAULTY not FAWLTY!
One of the best and most loved comedies of all time ruined by faulty DVDs. Mine, like several other reviewers comments would not play the last three episodes. Read more
Published 1 month ago by SW rocker
Gift - excellent choice . Having been a fan of the series for years it is good to reflect back and reminise with simple buit great humour. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Barbara Coop
5.0 out of 5 stars Old favourites
Loved this series when it was first on TV and continue watching it now on these discs. Wonderful comedy and situation. So cleverly written and acted out. Read more
Published 6 months ago by DawnRosa
5.0 out of 5 stars Fawlty Towers series 1
Loved the series when it was on TV and really enjoyed watching it again on DVD. The clothes worn by the cast are obviously dated but that doesn't detract from the sheer genius of... Read more
Published 6 months ago by J A Blacker
5.0 out of 5 stars Great classic humour!
A great classic Brittish show, very funny and recommended for everyone. It is a pity that it wasn't very long-lasting
Published 7 months ago by rutor23
5.0 out of 5 stars still great
Yes, its still side splitting funny as it always has been.
Watch and enjoy the hilarious antics at the infamous hotel!
You wont be disappointed!
Published 7 months ago by R. S. Mann
5.0 out of 5 stars dvd
haven't stopped watching this dvd laughing all the time was given it as a present well worth the money thanks
Published 11 months ago by lynn westlake
4.0 out of 5 stars I know... I know... I know... Oh, I know!
Hotel owner Basil Fawlty's incompetence, short fuse, and arrogance form a combination that ensures accidents and trouble are never far away.
Published 12 months ago by Lord Anon
4.0 out of 5 stars Fawlty Towers
A timeless classic that has stood the test of time. It is as funny today as it was in the 70s
Published 12 months ago by Mrs Hilary J Liggins
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Difficulty finding Episodes 4 to 6? 1 8 Sep 2008
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