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  • On The Buses - Series 1 and 2 (4 Disc Box Set) [DVD] [1969]
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On The Buses - Series 1 and 2 (4 Disc Box Set) [DVD] [1969]

152 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Anna Karen, Bob Grant, Stephen Lewis, Reg Varney, Doris Hare
  • Writers: Ronald Chesney, Ronald Wolfe
  • Format: PAL, Black & White
  • 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: 4
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Cinema Club
  • DVD Release Date: 12 Aug. 2002
  • Run Time: 320 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (152 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006AFGL
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 79,358 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Containing Episodes:

Series One - Episodes 1 to 3 : The Early Shift, The New Conductor, Olive Takes A Trip

Series One - Episodes 4 to 7 : Bus Drivers' Stomach, The New Inspector, The Canteen, The Darts Match

Series Two - Episodes 1 to 3 : Family Flu, The Used Combination, Self-Defence

Series Two - Episodes 4 to 6 : Aunt Maud, Late Again, Bon Voyage

Video Aspect Ratio : 4:3
Main Soundtrack: English Mono
Subtitles: None


Set around a London bus depot, On the Buses starred Reg Varney as Stan, an ageing bachelor and driver of the No 11 bus who still lives with his mum (Cicely Courtneidge in the first series, Doris Hare in the second), his plain sister Olive (Anna Karen) and disgruntled brother-in-law Arthur (Michael Robbins). At work, he fraternises with the laddish and lecherous Jack (Bob Grant), with whom he pursues innumerable (and improbable) giggly, mini-skirted "clippies" (conductors) and cheeks the beady-eyed and punctilious bus inspector, Blakey (Steven Lewis)

The first series was broadcast in black and white in 1969, and the show eventually ran until 1973. Eventually, On the Buses would be both celebrated and reviled for its leery, pre-feminist sauciness, and for the exasperated gurning of Lewis' little Hitler-esque inspector. The first series in particular, however, is more keen to develop the theme of Stan as Mummy's boy, with Lewis only a secondary character. Much of the comedy derives from gender role reversal--Stan and Arthur forced to do the household chores when Olive and Mum fall ill ("Family Flu"); "The Canteen", in which the busmen decide to run the canteen themselves; or "The Darts Match", in which Stan and Jack are bested at darts by--imagine--a pair of dollybird clippies.

Despite its immense popularity, On the Buses hasn't dated well. Like the buses themselves, the jokes don't arrive very often and when they do, they're visible a long way off. The studio audience whoops cathartically at anything remotely alluding to sex--even a bared male nipple--making you wonder at the repressed nature of British society in 1969. In later decades it would come to be treasured as somewhat creaky kitsch by audiences nostalgic for an age of politically incorrect innocence.

On the DVD: On the Buses has no extra features here. The original black and white versions have scrubbed up reasonably well, although defects such as fading sound and poor dubbing have proven beyond amendment. --David Stubbs

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Cheers on 25 Dec. 2010
Format: DVD
I loved the 1970's and thought the world would always be like that. Holiday on the Buses particularly is utter perfection. The opening scene with the tits and the crash, that had my friends and I whooping and punching the air as children, Blakey and Butler's banter upon meeting each other at Pontin's gate, the scenes with Arthur Mullard, the disco scenes at Pontins, the 70's theme music, the clothes, the wallpaper, the carpets, the attitudes. This for me, is the greatest film ever made. Has me howling with joyous laughter, but also with sadness that those days have gone forever. I advocate the death penalty for anyone who attempts to remake this.
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72 of 79 people found the following review helpful By Scott Fraser VINE VOICE on 17 Mar. 2007
Format: DVD
The On The Buses TV series is one that I have always looked upon with nostalgia and fondness but recently having bought the boxset of the entire series I find that my memories are playing tricks, the show is not as good as I remember, it is still very funny and entertaining but it feels a little outdated.
The three movies on the other hand are perhaps the only spin-off adaptations to a comedy show that are better than the parent series itself.

The films manage to come up with three nicely contrasting storylines that admittedly do use various elements of plots from the tv shows, such as Stan messing up a radio control system and Olive being given a job in the bus canteen and so on, but unless you know the history of the show this doesn't really matter.

The first film 'On The Buses' deals with the idea of female bus drivers threatening the jobs of their male counterparts and Stan and the team dreaming up all kinds of plans to get rid of them, this is probably the most faithful film in regards to the format of the tv series in that it does feel like an extension to the show.

'Mutiny On The Buses' is by contrast a film comprised of set pieces or smaller plotlines, such as Stan's engagement, Olive's pregnancy, Arthur losing his job and being trained by Stan to be a bus driver, a new horrible manager taking over at the depot and even a trip to windsor safari park and many more. Most of these plots could have be used as a basis for a film in their own right but the fact that they are all in there and that they do form a coherent story is amazing. It is because of the fragmented approach to the film that it is most likely the weakest of the three but it is still very enjoyable.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Robert James on 22 Feb. 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Instead of watching the rubbish that's broadcast today, I thought I'd buy these classic feature films of the 70's.

Starting with 'On The Buses', this is 70's Britain, when women were starting to take on normal jobs...a far cry from the housewife of the 60's. Luxton & District take on women drivers and calamity ensues. Quite un-PC but very very funny, in a 'Carry On' style.

Next is 'Mutiny On The Buses. This follows the story from the previous film, and visits Windsor Safari park in the process.

The third of the trilogy is 'Holiday On The Buses', filmed at Pontins in Prestatyn, North Wales. An absolute hoot from start to finish, with lots of scrapes throughout.

The whole idea of a family being bonded together as such is now quite dated, and the high street scenes of the first two films prove how far we have come with the advent of out-of-town shopping centres, although I'm not sure this is a good thing. The film quality and sound quality is great on these disks but there are no extra features. Obviously in the 70's extra features weren't deemed neccessary so these weren't made. I don't have a problem with this. Extra info can be found on Google and various fan sites. The big attraction for me is the fantastic capture of life in the year I was born, with gorgeous footage in all 3 films of the early 70's. References made to non-PC topics are refreshing, and an indication of where we've ended up following years of political correctness.

Long live Blakey, Butler and Harper. The acting was great, the script was pretty good and the quality was good too. Instead of 'paying-per-view', buy this 3 film set and have a good laugh!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 30 April 2005
Format: DVD
I absolutely love "on the buses". I was a bit too young when it was first shown but have really enjoyed this DVD set. The cosy meals round the dining room table - seeing the streets as they were in the early 70's before everyone "customised" their victorian terraces. This is a brilliant series, but why can't we have all the episodes so that we can choose "the best of". There were 7 series altogether so when are we going to get the next ones?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mac a' Ghobhainn on 28 Jan. 2005
Format: VHS Tape
I've only given this video 4 stars because, although the content is classic, the quality is not quite so good. A poor 'print' to be sure. I believe there's plenty of 'On the Buses' stuff now on DVD and I would recommend you buy that instead of this video.
Otherwise, the material is brilliant. There are four epsiodes on the tape:
1. GOING STEADY, in which Stan takes a fancy to Blakey's niece Sally (with hilarious consequences).
2. THE NEW UNIFORMS - in which Stan and Jack are mistaken for airline 'peelots' by two Swedish girls.
3. BREW IT YOURSELF - After drinking some of Stan's home-made beer Arthur actually finds Olive attractive.
4. THE CISTERN - Toilet troubles for Stan when the old cistern packs up and a new one has to be fitted PDQ. A DIY disaster if ever there was one.
All in all a fine example of late 1960s British comedy.
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