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The Galton and Simpson Playhouse - The Complete Series [DVD]
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61 of 62 people found the following review helpful
on 16 December 2008
Network's latest plundering of the comedy archives is this seven-part anthology series made by Yorkshire Television in 1977. Let me drop a few names; Arthur Lowe, Richard Briers, Frances De La Tour, Roy Kinnear, Freddie Jones, Warren Mitchell, John Bird, Henry McGee, and Leonard Rossiter. Top quality actors, with material to match.

In 'Car Along The Pass', dear old Arthur Lowe plays a xenophobic British tourist trapped with holidaymakers in a cable car over the Austrian Alps, 'Big Deal At York City' has Warren Mitchell as a lucky gambler preyed on by card sharps while travelling home by train, in 'Swap You One Of These For One Of Those' Richard Briers is cast against type as a would-be swinger wanting a piece of the so-called 'permissive society', but the cherry on the cake is 'I Tell You, Its Burt Reynolds'. Leonard Rossiter plays an idiot who becomes convinced he has spotted the movie star in a repeat of 'MacMillan & Wife', and despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, refuses to let the issue go. You cannot help but laugh as this man falls apart before your eyes. It was later remade as a vehicle for Paul Merton. Take it from me, the original is best.

You cannot have enough Galton and Simpson D.V.D. releases in my view, and this is long overdue. Shame that none of the episodes became a series ( Alan Simpson retired soon afterwards ). The Arthur Lowe one had the most potential for further development. With 'Dad's Army' still in production at the time it was made, the role of 'Henry Duckworth' was a natural for him. He did however play a not-too dissimilar character in Roy Clarke's 'Potter' two years later.

Some have grumbled about the so-called 'outdated' humour. While not up to the standard of say 'Steptoe' or 'Hancock', it manages nevertheless to outshine anything currently on the box. All I can say is that if you like your comedy full of swearing and body function jokes, do not buy. You will hate it. Fry and Laurie once did a wonderful sketch in which the former played an idiot who took a Jane Austen book back to the shop he'd bought it from and complained it was 'dated'. 'Playhouse' is no masterwork, but not rubbish either. I fail to see how it could have been made funnier if Arthur Lowe had been seen chatting into a mobile phone!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 27 July 2011
I bought this specifically to see again the episode called 'I Tell You It's Burt Reynolds,' with Leonard Rossiter playing a knowitall who becomes obsessed by the absurd notion that a minor, unnamed, actor in a modest TV show is actually the famous Hollywood star. It made me laugh for ages when it first went out, and I was delighted to find it did so again on DVD. The other plays are all amusing to varying degrees, and, as always with Galton and Simpson, they maximise the comic potential by using skilled character actors who know all the tricks of the trade. The picture quality is very good indeed, and, as a whole, this little collection is very entertaining.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 26 March 2014
These seven short comedy vignettes are very entertaining and well worth what I paid on Amazon (bought second hand for £7.55 at the time of writing). The Amazon price of a new copy is now £9.81 (26.03.2014) which is very reasonable.

The video is a good print although a bit grainy and slightly offset from centre with a black line down the left side although I can live with that considering the broadcast dates of the original shows. The sound is good - not at all compressed sounding and there is no line noise or spotting and an absence of artefacts that might spoil the enjoyment of the content. Network have done a good job with the print here.

A good buy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 6 April 2014
Ordered this for cable at along the pass with Authur Lowe, have searched for years. So pleased with this collection
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 3 January 2013
This was bought for my mother as a Christmas present and the whole family ended up watching all 7 episodes back-to-back. The acting is excellent (as you would expect from the featured actors) and despite being from the 70s, most of the plots still felt relevant.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 3 June 2013
Good for anyone who is a fan of 70's playhouse type entertainment with Arthur Lowe, Roy Kinear, Richard Briers and Leonard Rossiter. Not overly exciting but a trip down memory lane.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
My favourite on this collection is "I Tell You It's Burt Reynolds", which shows how masterful Leonard Rossiter is when you compare it to the horrendous Paul Herton remake.
The majority of the plays on this disc are excellent. Well-written and great performances from some legends of British comedy including Roy Kinnear, Frances De La Tour, Arthur Lowe and Richard Briers.

Fans of 70's comedy will enjoy this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 17 May 2015
I reviewing this mainly - and I haven't seen it - that Potter was a good series. It capitalised on the popularity of Arthur Low and was a gentle comedy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 28 March 2015
A little dated now but some funny moments especially Car across the pass.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 November 2014
great bit dry in some places but still 90%funny
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