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4.5 out of 5 stars
The Stanley Baxter Collection [DVD]
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68 of 68 people found the following review helpful
on 20 August 2005
For those of us who grew up in the seventies, Stanley Baxter will always be a comedy genius. His impressions were wonderful, his scriptwriter superb and he had budgets to dwarf most other comedy shows. These days some of his targets may be forgotten (even I can't quite remember who Fyfe Robertson was - and Reg Varney's memory is only kept going by the occasional late night showing of Holiday on the Buses!) but because he went for the 'biggies', many are still instantly recognisable. The first person ever to impersonate the Queen (albeit renamed The Duchess of Brendagh), he would gleefully take on Rex Harrison, Judy Garland, Malcolm Muggeridge, Patrick Moore, Jimmy Cagney, Liza Minnelli and Sir John Gielgud. The sheer range of impressions was both brave and breathtaking: everyone from Bruce Forsyth to Jacques Cousteau, from Mary Whitehouse to Dr Jacob Bronowski. Without Stanley Baxter, there would be no Not the Nine O'Clock News, no Spitting Image, no Dead Ringers and probably no League of Gentlemen or Little Britain either. The innuendos had a throwaway harmlessness but were, especially for the time, unbelievably filthy: would the Two Ronnies have ever dared to portray a deceased Maurice Chevalier singing the lyric '...where I used to spread my joie de vie now Brando spreads butter in Paree'? My favourites are the two George Formby songs, including They Can Get Away with Murder on the Telly - pure notalgia, pure comedy!
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71 of 71 people found the following review helpful
Stanley Baxter has to be the most underrated of all the comedians. He was a genius, and someone has now had the foresight to issue this invaluable two DVD set of his brilliant tv spectaculars. How talented he was. His array of characters is astounding and, although some people might not know some of the people impersonated, there are still a score of personalities that will be known amongst them; Cagney, Chevalier, Durante, Minelli, Miranda, to name a few. The musical numbers are out of this world, and his send-up of, 'Upstairs, Downstairs' and, in particular, 'The Towering Quake '75', (surely one of the funniest send-ups ever put on screen), are comedy at their very best. Many, many thanks, for letting us re-live the many-splendoured talents of Stanley Baxter, an underrated Genius.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 29 September 2009
It's easy to see why television couldn't afford Baxter. His lavish sets and costumes were almost equal to those of Hollywood in its hey-day.

Having seen Baxter's shows when originally broadcast, time has not dulled appreciation of his considerable talent, nor unfortunately, has any greater engagement with his performance been experienced. Then and now, the viewer is left feeling that the shows were done so elaborately mainly for his own entertainment, rather than his audience's. This is a pity, because his hard work and inventiveness have rarely been equalled since and the man was a true genius of his art. He performs most, sometimes all, of the characters in his sketches and routines and wrote some of the material himself. Each show is packed tight and skilfully performed, but while there is some British-themed content, the American style of presentation and his obvious taste for the golden days of Hollywood are a bit too strong.

Baxter was a good mimic, though younger audiences will not know of the real-life characters he impersonates - Malcolm Muggeridge, Joan Bakewell, Fyfe Robertson and a variety of thirties Hollywood stars. He also portrays well-meaning vicars, pushy studio producers and parodies various advertising styles. His portrayal of different cultural and racial types is unlikely to receive much warmth from a modern audience, regardless of his original good intent. Hence this collection is likely to appeal only to those who enjoyed him the first time around.

This is a two disc set, with a show from each of the years '73, '74, '75, '76, '79 and 82. Picture and sound quality good, but no extras.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 15 March 2013
I had forgotten just how good Stanley Baxter used to be. He has an uncanny knack of not only sounding like the people he is portraying but looking like them as well. His "Parliamo Glasgae" is still wonderful no matter how many times you replay it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 1 January 2014
Worth buying, very funny and so well produced . He must have had the best legs for a man! Priceless.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 27 May 2013
So funny, would recommend for the older generation. Lots of viewing time for the money and the old jokes are the best.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 27 February 2013
Genius as always - very pleasant trip down memory lane. Nobody can compare with him. Laughed a lot and enjoyed
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 22 January 2014
Surely one of the true comic geniuses of twentieth century entertainment. This is a tour de force of light entertainment. Not only does he look like the people that he is portraying, men or women, but he even sounds like them. Bravo, Stanley !!
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on 27 December 2014
Memories. This man is so clever. But be aware this is 70s comedy and on rare occasion not entirely politically correct, if that sort of thing worries you.
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on 21 July 2015
Perfect item, even though previously used, (you coul've fooled me...looks brand new). Fast delivery also. Very pleased.
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