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Tony Hancock - The Very Best of Hancock [DVD]

Tony Hancock , Duncan Wood    Universal, suitable for all   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
Price: £4.79 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Tony Hancock - The Very Best of Hancock [DVD] + The Very Best of Steptoe and Son [1962] [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Tony Hancock
  • Directors: Duncan Wood
  • Producers: Duncan Wood
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: 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: U
  • Studio: 2 Entertain Video
  • DVD Release Date: 1 Oct 2001
  • Run Time: 126 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005M6OM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 14,347 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

DVD Special Features:
Exclusive interview with Ray Galton and Alan Simpson; Scene Selection;
Artist Profiles


The Very Best of Hancock isn't just a miscellaneous compilation of his television work, rather it is five of the six episodes from Hancock's last season with the BBC in 1961. Writers Ray Galton and Alan Simpson followed Hancock to television after making him a star on radio, and it is to them as much as to Hancock's lugubrious persona that these few shows owe their classic status. In a conscious effort to throw the spotlight more firmly on himself, Hancock had parted company with his radio cohorts in the transition to TV, and here for the first time he also dispensed with stalwart comedy partner Sid James. Thanks to Galton and Simpson, however, the gamble paid off handsomely and these shows remain some of the best sitcoms ever created for British television. No longer a resident of Railway Cuttings, East Cheam, here we find Hancock in Earl's Court in the first episode, "The Bedsitter". Whether trying vainly to live the life of a carefree bachelor, playing an old country character in a thinly disguised version of "The Archers" ("The Bowmans"), wrestling with the complexities of valve radio ("The Radio Ham"), annoying everyone in an awkward situation ("The Lift") or giving that famous pint of blood ("The Blood Donor"), Galton and Simpson provide Hancock with every opportunity to exercise his wonderful pomposity and pretentiousness with scripts full of comic invention and eminently quotable lines. Hugh Lloyd and June Whitfield are among the supporting cast.

On the DVD: The disc includes a good recent interview with Galton and Simpson, who talk about their sometimes difficult relationship with the star. After Hancock used cue cards while recording "The Blood Donor", they reveal, he decided never to bother learning any lines again, even though this had a detrimental effect on his ability to use comic facial expressions ever afterwards. The picture and sound quality are what might be expected from TV of this vintage. --Mark Walker

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
48 of 48 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best of the British 19 May 2003
By Ian
Anthony Hancock was undoubtedly one of the greatest British comic character actors of all time. His character portrays a melancholy, pompous and argumentative man whose high aspirations are always undone by his own ineptitude. Some of the funniest moments on The Very Best of Hancock occur when Hancock’s limited intelligence and unique view of the world and his rightful place in it is brought to light.
Hancock’s talent is catered for brilliantly by the writing talent of Ray Galton and Alan Simpson whose brilliant scripts include such classic lines as, “a pint. Why that’s very nearly an armful... I’m sorry I’m not walking round with an empty arm for anybody.” The Hancock show ran until 1961, achieving record viewing figures. This DVD contains 5 hilarious episodes including two of his best and most famous, the classics “The Blood Donor” and “The Radio Ham”.
The recent interview with Galton and Simpson included on the Special Features gives a fascinating insight both of Tony Hancock and the show.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute genius, every show a solid gold gem! 31 Oct 2001
By A Customer
At last Hancock gets onto DVD. Five of the final 6 shows he did for the BBC (Why couldn`t they have included the final show?). Aside from that the shows are absolute gems. I`ve lost count of the number of times I`ve watched them over the years and they still make me roll around with laughter. This DVD is a must for everyone`s comedy collection. Don`t think about buying it, just buy it I promise you`ll never regret it;0)
Come on BBC, where`s the next Hancock DVD????
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You're never alone with a pilchard 8 May 2007
In what was effectively the final series of Hancock's Half Hour (named simply Hancock because the running time was cut to 25 minutes with a view to overseas sales), Tony Hancock got rid of the astrakhan, the homburg, East Cheam and even Sidney James - but the pretentious, vainglorious and vulnerable Hancock persona remains. Here he is at the height of his powers: alone in a bedsit trying to get to grips with Bertrand Russell, stuck in a lift with John le Mesurier, getting the boot from a radio show suspiciously reminiscent of the Archers, trying to help a mariner in distress ("Yellowjack!") and, most famously, giving "very nearly an armful" of blood.

It is indeed a pity that the BBC opted to issue a "best of" containing five episodes out of six, leaving The Succession: Son and Heir as the only surviving episode not on DVD (though - whisper it - it's not a great episode). Nonetheless, the five shows on this volume provide terrific entertainment and a masterclass in comedy.
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47 of 51 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Finally, the master commedian is digitized 28 Dec 2001
By A Customer
The master of british comedy, but never recognised as such. I have been listening to Hancock's comedy since my parents introduced me to his acerbic tongue when I was only 7 years old, now 30, I have attempted collected every tape, CD and video available and I must say that I was a little disappointed that only his "solo" material was included this, hopefully first of many, DVD collection.
The two original classics that everyone remembers, Blood Donor and Radio Ham, are here in glorious digital quality. The picture quality is excellent, but very little attempt has been made to enhance the sound, and I found myself turning the volume up quite a bit more than normal. Included is my favorite, The Lift. Hancock in absolute storming mode, even with only one small gaff, he basically delivers the lines with such confidence, it makes you wonder how he could ever have doubted his amazing talent.
The interview with Galton and Simpson, while good, it seems as though it was an attempt to "lets capture their thoughts on tape again, as they may not be around for much longer". They tell us nothing we didn't already know, plus it lets slip that it the inclusion of the rather meagre "The Bowmans" episode was only put on to apease Galton and Simpson, as this was their favourite episode to write.
While this is a very good collection, I feel it it really only worthwhile, if you are a die hard fan, if you fancy simply trying on Hancock for size, I would advise you to look into the VHS collections, as this include Hancock's "cross to bear" the late, great Sid James, another great British (South African?) comedic genius, the perfect foil for Hancock's vented frustrations.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars At Last There Here! 11 Aug 2003
At long long last we have a nice little DVD with five of the best Hancock's Half Hour, dititally restored and a resonably good sound quality. Obviously the picture cannot be like a modern day film but its pretty close to the mark concidering. It would be nice, somtime in the future to see a DVD with the entire Hancock's Half Hour series, including the ones with Sid James such as The Cold, The Economy Drive and The New Nose. But for now fan will have to make do with this. The episodes which are on this DVD are: The Bedsitter, The Bowmans, The Radio Ham, The Lift, The Blood Donor.
Altogether this is a nice little DVD and deserves a place on anyones shelf.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comic Gold 23 Feb 2012
First starting out on radio Hancock was soon to take itself to tv. With good comic scripts by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson it works just as well in either format. As these appeared before I was even born I came to Hancock due to my dad having records and then videos of the shows. This dvd contains five classic episodes.

The Bedsitter

This episode only shows Hancock as he finds himself at a loose end with nothing to do, all alone in his bedsit.

The Bowmans

In a parody of The Archers we find Hancock as an actor in the hit radio show. When he is axed from the show due to his always trying to overact, and his continual changing of accents little does the Beeb realise that it will cause such an uproar.

The Radio Ham

Hancock has started up his own radio in his bedsit. Whilst talking to others he comes across a Mayday call. Of course with Hancock, there is no way that it will be that easy to save someone.

The Lift

As Hancock forces himself into a lift, being the ninth person whereas the lift should only hold eight, then you just know it will break down.

The Blood Donor

My personal all time favourite. Hancock decides to give blood, and is rather worried when he finds out that it will be a pint. Of course just giving blood and then forgetting about it isn't in Hancock's books.

All these episodes are in black and white, and to be honest the picture isn't 100% perfect, but these are taken from old recordings and are perfectly watchable. If you are already a fan then you probably already have these episodes in one format or another. If on the other hand you are not, then it is high time that you saw these.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by J Fisher
5.0 out of 5 stars tony hancock
what a very funny man tony hancock was.a great pity he is no longer with us.
Published 3 months ago by barry g
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Hancock ever
When only Hancock will do. This is a well wort a watch.
Published 4 months ago by JAY
5.0 out of 5 stars class
forget what he was like in real life bit of sad person i think but these tv moments are a such a gem
Published 7 months ago by littleguy
5.0 out of 5 stars Hancock
This product was good value for money, and arrived on time with no hassles. There was no hidden costs and overall I am more than satisfied.
Published 8 months ago by T. M. Dennis
5.0 out of 5 stars Tony Hancock - The Very Best of Hancock [DVD]
DVD was a Christmas gift for a friend who is absolutely delighted with it. It was exactly as described and made the perfect gift. Would highly recommend.
Published 9 months ago by anon
3.0 out of 5 stars Reflections
Delivery was on time and the DVD was in very good condition. Although Tony Hancock is better left to memory rather than brought into the modern day.
Published 9 months ago by Michael McNamara
5.0 out of 5 stars DVD
Haven't watched it yet, but husband very pleased as it was a birthday present he opened on Monday. Am sure it will be brilliant. Can't wait to watch it. Thanks
Published 13 months ago by Mrs. Rk Atkins
5.0 out of 5 stars Who could ask for more?
Great comic talent sometimes comes from great suffering. Tony Hancock was the epitome of the great British comic tradition. His equal will be hard to find.
Published 16 months ago by J. Severy
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant !
Loved this ! Tony Hancock was a comic genius I remember watching these when I was a child and they're still funny ,the blood donor is a classic well worth buying , !
Published 18 months ago by Isobel mayes
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