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French & Saunders - At the Movies [DVD]
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A compilation of what Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders do best: mercilessly funny spoofs. Baywatch, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, Misery, Silence of the Lambs, Alien 3, The Piano are just a few and all are truly hilarious
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"A compilation of what Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders do best: mercilessly funny spoofs. Baywatch, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, Misery, Silence of the Lambs, Alien 3, The Piano are just a few and all are truly hilarious"
...and so I was expecting a DVD of all these clips, perhaps taken from the two part BBC compilation of the same title.
However, I now have it and was disappointed to find out that it was exactly the same as the U.S. release. (Also the same as the BBC video 'The Best of series 4')
This means no Baywatch, no 'Baby Jane' and no Piano. Plus a myriad of other sketches.
However, as a compilation, it still serves as a decent smorgasbord of entertainment with some of the best moments from the duo's fourth series. Personally, I would prefer complete episodes, series by series, but for now, this should satisfy the appetite of anyone who hasn't bought the U.S. editions.
Why would a compilation with this title omit their best movie parodies (Exorcist, Whatever Happened to Baby Dawn, The Sound of Music etc) yet include lots of sketches which are not remotely connected with the movies?
I am a strong supporter of the BBC ethic and its method of funding - but some of their efforts on the commercial front show a distinct lack of sense. Instead of funding new series of F&S - which ceased to be funny some time ago - they could exploit the back catalogue to the benefit of those who remember their peak years, and fund more innovative new programming instead which wouldn't get a chance on commercial tv.
Instead, I can only dream of "French & Saunders: the early years" or even better "The complete French & Saunders" DVDs. Still, no doubt these titles would be as misleading as F&S at the movies or the many "Best of..." BBC compilations which are anything but.
Sounds great if you love F&S's excellent parodies of films. Until you discover this DVD covers 5 films only (Misery, Silence of the Lambs, Aliens, Thelma & Louise, and, from the 1999 Christmas Special, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace). And great parodies they are too, even if they are split up into about 3 sections each. But the point is that the majority of the sketches on this DVD are NOT film-related.
Most of the rest of the material is so old, that without the DVD inlay, I would have had trouble figuring out what they were about. Bizarrely, the DVD even includes a sketch about gossipy women comparing Princess Diana to Fergie, (and later a completely unrelated one mentioning Dodi Fayed). Yes, that's right, sketches about people who were dead by late 1997, being released in 2005. There are sketches called "House of Idiot" parodying a TV series called "House of Elliot" which apparently ran from 1991-1994, and a music video sketch that was utterly lost on me until I finally figured out that the inlay title "Dickens Daughters" was a pun on Shakespears Sister - remember them?
There ARE a few sketches that don't only relate to "hot topics of the early 90s", like "The Elizabethans" "End of School" or the Fat Men sketches.
A little note on the back says "Previously available on BBCV5246" My online research shows this was the now-deleted VHS tape "French and Saunders Best of Series 4" released in 1994. From its cover photos, it certainly also included Thelma and Louise, Silence of the Lambs and Misery.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Funny but disappointing that "whatever happened to baby Dawn" isn't on this DVD, even though the Amazon description says it is.Published 10 months ago by Mr Robert Lloyd-Jones
Fabulous series from a great duet. Just as funny 102nd time around. Never get tired of seeing the classics.Published 11 months ago by Joyce Graham