Customer Review

115 of 116 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "My God".....a comedy classic given the box set treatment it deserves., 3 Mar. 2007
This review is from: Rising Damp: The Complete Collection [DVD] (DVD)
One of the great TV comic creations Rigsby, the sexually frustrated penny pinching land lord of "Rising Damp" was played with incomparable brio by Leonard Rossiter. Rossiters triumph , and make no mistake that despite some fine supporting efforts this is Rossiters show, was to make a character who is by turns lecherous , bigoted, ignorant , meddlesome and at times openly racist so sympathetic . Stalking the dilapidated boarding house (remarkably all the drama took place within those four walls) in some un-named Northern University town, cradling his mangy moggy "Vienna", often bursting in unannounced into his tenants rooms Rigsby should have been a figure who elicited nausea in the audience but remarkably we shared his desire for him to consummate his desire for Miss Jones. Rossiters performance is a true triumph and just to show it was no flash in the pan he did it again with Reginald Perrin.

The pilot episode for Rising Damp aired in 1974 and led to it running over four series and 28 episodes until 1978. Scripted by Eric Chappell the inspiration for the series came from a play Chappell wrote in 1970 called "The Banana Box" which featured a seedy character called "Rooksby". The play toured with the main character being played by Wilfred Bramble before Rossiter took over where it was eventually noticed by executives from Yorkshire TV who commissioned the pilot.

A massive ratings hit "Rising Damp" was aided considerably by the ensemble cast. Frances De la Tour is a wonderful mixture of vulnerability and frustrated longing while Richard Bekinsale shone as the immature gauche medical student Alan and Don Warrington brought a touch of class as sagacious "son of a tribal chief " Philip who as well as being as recipient of Miss Jones frustrated longings constantly turned Rigsby,s ignorance and prejudice back on him always having the last laugh, something that the purveyors of the oft used jibe that this series itself was guilty of racism conveniently forget.

Though these four provided main characters for the series there were line up changes throughout the run with Gay Rose as Brenda temporarily replacing Frances De la Tour during the second season and Richard Bekinsale dropping out for the final season ( he died of a heart attack shortly after) The movie made in 1980 had Richard Strauli in the role of Alan and isn't up to the standard of the series , the half hour format suited it far better and the movie feels like one idea padded out way beyond endurance though it's still funnier than any sitcom of recent times.

Happily an episode from the first series "Stand Up And be Counted" missing from some DVD releases is included here as well. Everyone will have their own particular favourite episode .Mine is "Things That Go Bump In The Night" where Alan convinces Rigsby the house is haunted by "The Grey Lady" but the boxing match is tremendous as is the one where Philip kids Rigsby into thinking burning a special wood will win Miss Jones over with it's aphrodisiac properties. The third series does rely overly on drafting special guest stars but taken as a whole this a magnificent collection and without doubt the finest comedy series ever produced by ITV. If only there was a comedy with half its wit and characters in today's schedules. Even then though, there is no one around today who could match Rossiters performance. A true comedy classic and at this price an absolute bargain.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 30 Jan 2012 19:36:27 GMT
Joe Bloggs says:
Interesting that you say that Rigsby's ignorance and prejudices are turned back on himself. Maybe you should question the reason why comedies and TV in general constantly use the typical racist stereotype - i.e. a white person. Why not see that as also being ignorant and prejudiced, or don't you think that black or Asian people are capable of racism? In Love Thy Neighbour the racist was white. In Till Death Us Do part the racist was white. In Rising Damp the white man is a borderline racist. Tell me, can you name on programme, comedy or otherwise, where the racist has been black/Asian?? Again, it just goes to prove that non whites are exonerated from the accusations of racism - which isn't surprising when you consider that the media is chock full of hypocritical, self hating left wingers. Hypocrites to the last.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jul 2012 20:12:55 BDT
This is pure idiocy.

Posted on 17 May 2013 19:04:58 BDT
uncle joe says:
Oh miss jone miss jones

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jul 2013 20:21:14 BDT
P. G. Croft says:
We know all that matey, so why make a big fuss over it, it's history? Why pick on that single issue when the guy is doing us all a thorough favour by highlighting all the great attributes of this superlative show, which had very few ( if any) equals, let alone betters. Lets just enjoy the freedom we had in the 1970's, before all that was good in our world class comedy shows, had the life squeased out of them.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Jan 2014 01:17:02 GMT
nodz says:
daily mail worshipping vile tory voting boring front room warrior

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Jan 2014 12:14:10 GMT
Last edited by the author on 15 Dec 2014 15:50:39 GMT
P. G. Croft says:
NoDroneZone--? Shouldn't it be-NothingToContributeZone--? P G Croft.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Dec 2014 13:41:09 GMT
well said you must stand for ukip you get my vote

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Dec 2014 15:38:09 GMT
P. G. Croft says:

Posted on 15 Dec 2014 16:11:43 GMT
Last edited by the author on 15 Dec 2014 16:23:37 GMT
P. G. Croft says:
Having been invited to make a further comment--NO PROBLEM--Russell Clarke --Sir, you did an BRILLIANT job, of capturing the most excellent immagery, of a wonderful witty comedic creation--from a much lamented part of a lost and golden era. British comedy ? renowned throught the WORLD, in many languages, and understood by ALL. To those narrow minded sour idiots, who haven't a thread of humour in their being--and who are responsible for the gutless saps who scurry around the BBC corridors, denighing the corporations once great and brave predecessors, those who, with great courage, raised 'Aunty's' skirts above her ankles, after fifty years of existance. I know an Indian chap, lives nearby, who just adored 'It ain't Half Hot Mum', and told me it was a massive hit in--INDIA--many people viewing, remember the British Army during WW2, and many fought alongside them, say that that comedy show was very accurate, and not in the slightest offensive to them. Further, the Spanish loved Fawlty Tower's, and didn't get upset about the 'Spanish' caricature character---'Manuel'--SO--stick that where the sun don't shine--all you suedo racist band wagon jumper's. Finally--I totally agree with the praise heaped on the supporting cast of 'Rising Damp', in particular, I thought 'MIss Jones', was a De La Tour De Force------sorry-----P G Croft UK
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