Customer Review

319 of 324 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fawlty Towers - With Added John Cleese!, 4 Nov 2009
This review is from: Fawlty Towers - Remastered [DVD] [1975] (DVD)
There's little one can say about 'Fawlty Towers' that hasn't been said already - 30+ years later, it is still regarded as one of the finest comedies ever produced, the envy of so many writers and performers, and beloved by millions. The care and attention lavished on the writing of the series by John Cleese and Connie Booth, as well as their fantastic performances (aided and abetted by Prunella Scales and Andrew Sachs) have helped the show achieve its iconic status. The shows are endlessly repeated on TV, and released on video and DVD. So, what makes this new DVD set worth your time and money?

The original DVD release of 'Fawlty Towers' was several years ago, and whilst the overall package was good, the picture and sound quality of the episodes was not as good as it could have been, particularly when it came to the outdoor scenes shot on film. For this new release, the episodes have been given fresh transfers, with both the videotape and film elements sourced from superior materials, and restored where appropriate - all are now completely unedited, including a line (" Is it your legs?") mysteriously absent from earlier DVD releases. In short, this set is a definite improvement on earlier releases, and is probably about as good as the series will ever look on DVD.

All the extras from the previous set are retained here - including cast interviews, commentaries from Series 1 director John Howard Davies and Series 2 director Bob Spiers, out-takes and other bits and pieces - but with the addition of some very exciting new material. Firstly, there are extended versions of the interviews conducted with the cast for the 2009 retrospective documentary 'Fawlty Towers: Re-Opened' (including Connie Booth, not featured in the earlier interviews). Secondly, and most exciting, is the addition of exclusive commentaries on every episode by John Cleese. These are, for me, the set's big selling point, and happily, they don't disappoint. Solo commentaries can be awkward and even dull at times without anyone else for the commentator to discuss things with, but Cleese is on fine form here - very well-prepared and insightful, he's full of interesting anecdotes and observations, and there's never a dull moment across the 12 episodes. Additionally, he draws attention to little details, jokes and background performances that one might easily have missed, and one's enjoyment of the series is greatly enhanced as a result. I don't think it would be overstating it to say these are some of the best commentaries I've ever heard on a DVD.

Put simply, this is an essential purchase for fans of great British comedy - and even if you've already bought the series on DVD before, the improvements and additions to this set make upgrading to this remastered edition very worthwhile.
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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 7 Jan 2010 12:04:47 GMT
(" Is it your legs?") what Episode is that said in

Posted on 11 Jan 2010 18:44:49 GMT
M. Lead says:
Are the out takes uncensored? I believe the swearing was cut on the previous UK box set.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Jan 2010 09:18:02 GMT
A. Foxley says:
Not sure. I'd assume they were the same as the previous set. I'm not entirely sure the out takes exist in any other form.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Jan 2010 09:18:32 GMT
Last edited by the author on 20 Jan 2010 09:18:54 GMT
A. Foxley says:
'The Kipper and the Corpse' is the one with the 'legs' line, I think.

Posted on 3 Mar 2010 22:00:11 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 3 Mar 2010 22:03:40 GMT]

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Dec 2011 19:26:03 GMT
I think it"s 'The kipper and the corpse" too. Just after Mr Leoman asks for his breakfast in bed. And just before 'rosewood, mahogany, teak? What would you like your breakfast tray made out of?' Priceless!

Posted on 16 Jan 2012 15:19:03 GMT
The outtakes are now bleeped. They were uncut on the previous boxset.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Mar 2014 11:59:51 GMT
P. G. Croft says:
How b****y rediculous edditing NONE swear words--they might have been in the Victorian era---but like ALL such words---with repetition, they become pointless cussing. I used to be threatened with a cuff round the ear'ole for saying sod, in the 1950's, now it's almost endearing--like 'little devil' is. We are getting as bad as the USA for hypocracy.

Posted on 3 Aug 2014 13:26:33 BDT
clarity says:
Thanks for the knowledgeable, very helpful infos.
I agree with the commentator who criticizes the ridiculous editing... To think that this DVD edition features a box on the back cover that seriously reads, "Contains a single use of bleeped strong language"!

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Aug 2014 15:59:42 BDT
P. G. Croft says:
Clarity---That's the world we live in now--the media is gorged on war and attrocities, mass murderers, and child pornography,but when it come to ancient comedy shows, silly simple cuss words are deemed offensive if not subversive, by gutless namby pamby PC hypocrits, of colossal proportions--BAH ! HUMBUG !! ( or is that offensive now? ) P G Croft UK.
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A. Foxley
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Location: UK

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