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Fawlty Towers - The Complete Collection (Remastered) [DVD] 
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This Special Edition marks the 30th anniversary of one of the greatest situation comedies British television has ever seen. Every episode of the BAFTA-winning sitcom has been fantastically remastered and for the first time ever John Cleese provides audio commentaries on all 12 episodes.
- Remastered version
- Exclusive commentaries by John Cleese
- 2009 Extended Interviews
- Includes exclusive interview with Connie Booth
- Accompanying booklet
- Interviews with John Cleese, Prunella Scales and Andrew Sachs
- Series 1 director’s commentary by John Howard Davies
- Series 2 director’s commentary by Bob Spiers
- Artist profiles
- Out takes
- Torquay Tourist Guide (short documentary film)
- Cheap Tatty Review
- Audio Description & Navigation Option
Starring John Cleese, Prunella Scales, Andrew Sachs and Connie Booth
Series One: Written by John Cleese and Connie Booth. Directed and produced by John Howard Davies.
Series Two: Written by John Cleese and Connie Booth. Directed by Bob Spiers. Produced by Douglas Argent
2009 interviews originally filmed for “Fawlty Towers: Re-opened” for GOLD. © UK Gold Services Limited MMIX
Basil Fawlty, as created and performed by John Cleese, is the rudest, most boorish, most hilariously obnoxious man on the face of the planet. What a natural for a TV sitcom! His screen wife, Sybil (Prunella Scales), put it best in the episode "The Psychiatrist": "You're either crawling all over them, licking their boots, or spitting poison at them like some Benzedrine puff adder." He mockingly replies, "Just trying to enjoy myself, dear." With his gangly frame and contortionist abilities, Cleese brilliantly punctuates Basil's outrageous faux pas with absurd gymnastics and turns Three Stooges-style pokes and kicks into a slapstick ballet. Scales's Sybil is the genial but obliviously chatty voice of reason and Andrew Sachs mangles the English language as the Spanish bellhop Manuel, whose struggles with simple directions results in comic lunacy reminiscent of Robert Benigni. After a six-episode run in 1975, Cleese and co-writer and co-star Connie Booth (who plays Polly, the maid all too often pulled into Basil's ridiculous plans) reunited the cast in 1979 for another six episodes without missing a punch line. Remember to watch the opening credits of each show to spot the creative misspellings on the hotel sign (our favorite: "Fatty Owls"). --Sean Axmaker, Amazon.comSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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).Read more ›
These new audio commentaries are worth the asking price alone as it is just like having John sitting next to you & watching with you. In fact even if you are not a fan of 'audio commentaries' you must make a point of watching 'Basil The Rat' with the Cleese commentary, as John says this is his favourite episode & it does show as his laughter during the episode has to be heard to be believed.
With the new 'Cleese' commentaries it almost like having twelve new episodes of 'Fawlty Towers' to watch as they are so good & as you will hear John is VERY thankful to all the cast & crew who were involved with the show especially: 'Ballard Berkeley'/'The Major' & 'Connie Booth'/'Polly'
In addition the remastered picture & sound is fantastic with some excellent sharp and bright images compared with the previous releases on DVD & videotape.
Finally the interview with Connie Booth/'Polly' is a very welcome addition simply because she has refused to talk publicly about Fawlty Towers or thirty years due to her new career as John explains on one of his audio commentaries, he also says she sends us all her love !
"Fawlty Towers" does more than expose the incompetent, amateurish pomposity and rigid morality which seemed to characterise so many English hotels in the 1970's … particularly those of the seaside variety - 'Kiss Me Quick' hats and saucy postcards, but be back in your room by ten, no hanky panky, and breakfast is at eight!
Basil Fawlty runs his hotel the way some people run a private prison. The patrons are there to do as they are told … unless they can prove a certain social cachet. Cleese satirises the 'Englishness' of the seaside hotelier - racism in his treatment of Manuel and middle class consciousness in his treatment of the Irish labourers, the xenophobia and dreams of imperial glory in his attitude to the Germans, the prim outlook on sex, the cloying efforts to move up the ranks and mix with the upper classes while patronising American money, the horror of illness and death, the sheer terror in the face of psychiatry or even bureaucracy.
The ensemble cast are outrageously funny - incisive wit parallels slapstick comedy and farce in the finest traditions of the English stage.Read more ›
Considering the fact that both seasons (Season 1 - 1975 Season 2- 1979) were made well over 25 years ago, Fawlty Towers still stands very well with its fast, furious, razor sharp witty dialogue and nothing but excellent comic playing. Its an absolute gem!
John Cleese and his then wife Connie Booth wrote all 12 episodes in the two series' that were made in 1975 and 1979. The quality never falters through any of these episodes. John Cleese and Andrew Sachs provide most of the laughs with Cleese playing the permantley harassed and fairly raving mad, Basil Fawlty, the incompentent owner of the appropiatley named Fawlty Towers and Sachs as the Spanish cook who has many hilarious moments with his delightfully fractured English, prompting Basil to continually justify to his baffled guests "Oh don't worry, he's from Barcelona". Classic stuff! Prunella Scales as Sybil Fawlty and Connie Booth as the poor put upon maid have their fair share of laughs too.
Its impossible to select a favourite episode so i'll let you judge for yourselves. A CLASSIC! HILARIOUS! An important contribution to British comedy. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The service was excellent! I received exactly what I wanted, safe and sound and delivered from the UK to Portugal in slightly less than 24 hours. I could not have asked for more.Published 1 day ago by Amazon Customer
I must admit I do have a soft spot for 1970's and 80's sitcoms and Fawlty Towers is quite possibly the best of the lot. Read morePublished 24 days ago by Steve W