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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HA HA HANCOCK'S LONG AWAITED HALF HOUR'S on dvd
The impact that tony hancock has had on british comedy can never be understated , his bbc radio shows alone , attracting some of the largest listening figures during the mid to late fifties before hancock made the transition to televison in 1956 .
Here at last on dvd , are some of the first HANCOCK'S HALF HOUR television programms originally transmitted in 1957...
Published on 14 Sept. 2004 by N. lomax

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Disapionted
Although good I was disapionted, just not as funny as I had thought it would be. Maybe Hancock fans would love it.
Published on 18 April 2013 by knittingNanna


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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HA HA HANCOCK'S LONG AWAITED HALF HOUR'S on dvd, 14 Sept. 2004
By 
N. lomax - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hancock's Half Hour - Volume 1 [DVD] [1961] (DVD)
The impact that tony hancock has had on british comedy can never be understated , his bbc radio shows alone , attracting some of the largest listening figures during the mid to late fifties before hancock made the transition to televison in 1956 .
Here at last on dvd , are some of the first HANCOCK'S HALF HOUR television programms originally transmitted in 1957 including a
' hancock's forty-three minutes 1957 christmas special ' this vol.1 captures hancock's genius right at the very beginning of his telivison career , his comic acting complimenting Ray galton and alan simpson's superb scripts , the dvd highlights tony hancock's unique comic talent for which he should be best rememberd ( his personal turmoil late in his career already well documented ) and the bbc should hold there head in shame that it has taken them so long to release this follow up dvd to ' the best of hancock ' released a few years previously.
Fantastic archive comedy from the east cheam maestro ... roll on vol.2
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pioneering sitcom, 24 Jun. 2005
This review is from: Hancock's Half Hour - Volume 1 [DVD] [1961] (DVD)
At last we can see the surviving Hancock's Half Hour TV episodes in the original broadcast order.
Galton & Simpson along with Hancock and the rest of the cast produced the mould for many other series to come and possibly still influences comedy today (Beryl Virtue, Exec Producer of Coupling & many others, worked with G & S in the 50s & 60s).
The original radio series got away from the compulsory music/variety mix that comedy had to fit in with until HHH came along - this show concentrated on characters, plots and intelligent scripts and when this was transferred to TV, there was no looking back.
I find this the only comedy TV or radio show produced in the 50s that is still genuinely funny and not just from a nostalgic ot historical view (like the Goons or Take it From Here). The comedy has not dated in the least.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last the REAL best of Hancock..., 10 Sept. 2004
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This review is from: Hancock's Half Hour - Volume 1 [DVD] [1961] (DVD)
Rather like the way in which "The Deadly Attachment" episode of DAD'S ARMY is elevated to classic status purely for the "don't tell him, Pike" line (when it is in fact one of the lesser episodes of that great series), so too is Hancock's "The Blood Donar" lauded for it's "armful" gag. The fact is that "The Blood Donar", like a lot of the episodes from Hancock's final BBC series, show him offering a stilted performance and suffering from the absence of Sid James (a hero of mine!). To see what made Hancock so good it's far better to look at these earlier shows and see honest-to-goodness GENIUS at work. The timing, the everyman resignation, the sad/indignant impression, all receive far better showings in the earlier episodes presented here.
Although stars of the radio show, Bill Kerr and Hattie Jacques never crossed over to the television medium, but Hancock still has the perfect foil with the presence of Sid. Although early on Sid was still the "shady twister" of the early radio shows, he later develops into a genuinely warm and credible friend for Tony. Hancock's desire to go it alone saw Sid (amicably) leave before the final series and in my opinion, Hancock lost far more than he knew.
It's sad that the BBC destoyed so many of these gems (as they did with a lot of black and white DOCTOR WHO episodes) but it's nice to see them attempting to release all the material they have left (even if the first season is represented by a single episode!)
THE ALPINE HOLIDAY features the only (I think) appearance of Kenneth Williams in the tv series (adopting his "Snide" persona of course!) and also look out for the scenes in THERE'S AN AIRFIELD AT THE BOTTOM OF MY GARDEN when the set begins to fall apart (earlier than planned) and Hancock & guest star Dick Emery have to improvise their way through the chaos. Time to wheel out the tired old cliche "They don't make 'em like this anymore", but use it with absolute and utter conviction. At his peak, Hancock was THE greatest comedian/comedy actor that this country produced - Partnered with Sid James he was unstopable and with episodes like THE MISSING PAGE and THE POISON PEN LETTERS (two of my favourites) still to be released, the best is yet to come.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb survivals from Hancock's early Half-Hours, 2 Jun. 2005
By 
James Hayes "JM Hayes" (Herts., UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hancock's Half Hour - Volume 1 [DVD] [1961] (DVD)
At last! After the complete radio 'Hancock's Half-Hour's on CD, the DVD equivalent of the television series was a logical progression. These shows are important, not only because they provide the earliest extant examples of Hancock's genius gracing the small screen (and in those days it *was* a small screen), but also as a record of the kind of presentation TV viewers experienced in the late 1950s. Given the technical limitations of the times, and the BBC's habit of junking old material, it's something of a miracle that so many telly 'Half-Hour's exist.
'Hancock's Half-Hour Volume One' from BBC Worldwide contains the earliest surviving shows: one from the 2nd Series, five from the 3rd Series - all transmitted in 1957. The high quality of the Galton and Simpson scripts, and the lead performances, goes without saying. Hancock and sidekick Sid James already have the partnership basics established, although at this stage James' character is framed as genial crook-cum-con man, and the more matey tempo of later shows has yet to evolve.
Superb support comes from Hancock's 'repertory company' - Dick Emery, John Le Mesurier, Johnny Vyvyan, and the wonderfully indignant John Vere. Hancock's radio co-star Kenneth Williams also appears in one show - the only surviving TV incarnation of his famous 'Snide' character.
The quality of the recordings is, unsurprisingly, iffy by modern standards, but we are lucky to see anything at all. All these shows were originally performed as broadcast live; there are a few fluffs, but these only add to the charm of the proceedings.
Included on this DVD is a 'Special' - 'Hancock's Forty-Three Minutes' - a Christmas variety programme hosted by Hancock and Sid James, and guest-starring John Gregson. This is sneakily billed as a DVD extra, but it is actually the last outing of the 3rd Series. Indeed, the main carp about this DVD is the dearth of genuine extras. For instance, BBC-TV produced a profile of Hancock in 1985 that would have served as a perfect introduction here.
The episode 'There's An Airfield at the Bottom of My Garden' is notorious because of prop failures that left Hancock struggling to hold the plot and action together. This is explained in Roger Wilmut's 'Hancock Companion' book, so many Hancock fans will know about it; but to anyone unaware of what's happening, it just looks like rather erratic acting. So background information to this episode would have been welcomed by Hancock anoraks - or should that be 'astrakhans'? Nonetheless, this DVD is a must for students of classic British comedy - buy, buy, buy!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What more can be said?, 29 Nov. 2004
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This review is from: Hancock's Half Hour - Volume 1 [DVD] [1961] (DVD)
Back in 1985, here in Australia, 6 video cassettes each with 3 episodes of Hancock's Half Hour were released. For many years I thought those 18 episodes were all that survived. Then I found another two videos, not released in Australia, available on Amazon.co.uk. Oh, the wonders of the internet.
And now it looks like we will finally get ALL the surviving episodes of Hancock's half Hour on DVD! Hurrah!
The DVD is a joy from start to end. What more can be said?
Well, a couple of questions perhaps:
- How many episodes survived?
- Why didn't the BBC clean up the audio on "There's An Airfield At The Bottom Of My Garden". (Its a great episode, but be warned, the audio is very noisy).
- And will we ever get to seee the ATV series of "Hancock? (Lets hope).
Roll on Volume 2 .....
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4.0 out of 5 stars A laugh a minute!, 18 Feb. 2012
By 
Doc Barbara (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hancock's Half Hour - Volume 1 [DVD] [1961] (DVD)
These are early Hancock and show him starting out and gaining confidence, though with a disarming tendency to giggle when he shouldn't. This volume leads on to three others which show him with Sid James in their classic partnership. There is an appealing amateur quality to some of them but all are entertaining and reveal much about the comedian's progress towards greater sophistication of technique. They are also a nostalgia trip as they bring back so much about domestic life at that period. But the standard of humour is variable.
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4.0 out of 5 stars BBC Television presents Hancock's Half Hour, 1 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: Hancock's Half Hour - Volume 1 [DVD] [1961] (DVD)
Following the success of the radio show Hancock's Half Hour, writers Ray Galton and Alan Simpson took the show to television and the result was Tony Hancock becoming one of the biggest comic stars of the 1950s.

This first volume features the 5 surviving episodes of series 2 and 3, as most of the episodes remain lost like most sitcoms released in the 50s and 60s.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hancock clean humour, 22 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: Hancock's Half Hour - Volume 1 [DVD] [1961] (DVD)
worth every penny spent Hancock was a true comic ! Ok maybe the humour is slightly dated now but at least you can be sure if there are children around you wont need to turn down the volume or switch off the dvd ! Good old fashioned clean fun !
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 6 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: Hancock's Half Hour - Volume 1 [DVD] [1961] (DVD)
I bought his item for my Husband he is a Tony Hancock fan and he is delighted with receiving another DVD to add to his collection. Well it makes him laugh!.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hancocks 1/2 hr dvd, 21 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: Hancock's Half Hour - Volume 1 [DVD] [1961] (DVD)
What a great dvd, the sound and picture quality is just like the latest tv/film quality and you would never know it is from the 1960's.
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Hancock's Half Hour - Volume 1 [DVD] [1961]
Hancock's Half Hour - Volume 1 [DVD] [1961] by Alan Tarrant (DVD - 2004)
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