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Morecambe & Wise - Complete BBC Collection [DVD] [1968]

4.9 out of 5 stars 234 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Ernie Wise, Eric Morecambe
  • Format: Box set, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 20
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: 2entertain
  • DVD Release Date: 4 Oct. 2010
  • Run Time: 2865 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (234 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,921 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Morecambe and Wise are the greatest comedy double act ever to grace our TV screens. The fabulous mixture of sketches, musical numbers, insights into their ‘home’ life’ and the play's 'wot Ernie wrote' brought them audiences in the millions.

On stage they were living legends with Eric’s raised eyebrows, Des O’Connor jibes and cheeky catchphrases putting every audience in the palm of their hands. And, of course, the stars – from Shirley Bassey and Elton John to Laurence Olivier and Glenda Jackson – lined up to join in the fun.

This complete series includes nine series and five Christmas Specials and features every memorable moment of Eric and Ernie’s BBC career including the legendary Singin’ in the Rain, the famous André Previn appearances and the acclaimed Breakfast Stripper sketch – as well as every shoulder-and-cheek slap, Luton Town reference and “Not Now Arthur!” in between.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Having purchased other sketch/variety type shows, I was expecting a slow build up to the comic genius I remembered from my childhood. The surviving material from the duos first BBc series reinforced that expectation. While it is undoubtedly funny, it's just not the M&W I remembered. But with the first colour episode, and the introduction of Eddie Braben as their writer, the series just sort of arrives fully formed. Braben did what no other writers for Eric and Ernie did, he based his whole approach around their own off-stage personalities and the three together raised the bar for TV comedy. All the things we remember so fondly are in place and the leads are firing on all cylinders from the opening credits to the first, dazzling curtain call of Janet Webb. This episode also features the great Peter Cushing's debut and the start of one of the longest running gags in comedy history, "I haven't been paid yet". The rest of season two is just as funny. Even the one or two contemporary references that I couldn't follow still made me laugh with the delivery.

The third series builds on this solid foundation and soars into new realms of comedy inspiration. M&W were always a comedy duo, never a double act, as neither ever acted as the "straight man". Each had their own idiocies and balanced the other perfectly. Ernie, pompous, self congratulatory, but with a childlike glee at times, and Eric, irrepressible, down to earth and taking the mickey out of everyone and everything, but never, ever cruel; often acting as a one man comic greek chorus commenting on the action around him. There is no "fourth wall", they involve the viewer completely and as other reviewers have said, even during their bickering, the affection they had for each other is infectious.
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Anyone who is a Morecambe and Wise fan will not need me to tell them how good they were. Their affection for each other spilled over the, "Footlights", and became infectious. I remember as a kid, the family event of watching their shows and delighting in seeing my Grandad crying with laughter, which also became infectious. Therefore when I watch these DVDs I watch with great affection for the two of them. Nostalgic, yes but also still very funny.

I am impressed with the quality of the picture, which seems to have benefited from some digital remastering, or perhaps it's the upscaling of my Blu-Ray player. Whatever it is, it holds up well on the 42" screen and you soon forget the 4:3 aspect ratio. There's very little black and white footage, just some surviving clips from their first series. In fact, my only note of disappointment to date (currently up to Series 4) is that the early footage didn't include the B&W show when they had the Beatles on as guests and Eric kept referring to Ringo as, "Bongo". I know this must survive because I've seen it repeated on the TV recently. Of course it might be on an early B&W Christmas Show, which are grouped together at the end. I haven't watched any of these yet so hopefully my disappointment will be premature.

Needless to say, it's only a small flaw (if one at all) in an otherwise brilliant presentation. Well worth buying.
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After a horrifying New Years Eve party, which involved being sat around forced to watch the unspeakable trash that is Geordie Shore, my twin sister faked illness and we came home to begin watching this. We received the box set for our birthday after seeing Daniel Rigby play Eric in the drama "Eric and Ernie" and watching the Andre Previn episode that is repeated every year at Christmas.

It is simply superb! We're both big modern comedy fans, and being 25, it all happened before we were even born, and we can finally see why Morecambe and Wise are so well loved by the nation. We love the musical turns; house band Kenny Ball and his Jazzmen are (were) fantastic musicians, and a little cheer for the Pattersons, an act that look very out of place by todays standards. It all harks back to a much more innocent, cleaner age of prime-time telelvision and comedy, that is very rare nowadays.

M&W are unbeatable in everything they do. Eric is so quick off the mark, and it makes you wonder how much is ad-libbed and how much is scripted. We love the yellow curtain scenes with Eric's goings on behind it, the short monks sketches never fail to raise a laugh and the 5 second "Sing Something Simple" sketch we watched last night was brilliant! Ernies plays "wot I wrote" are fantastic. Have to look up who some of the guest stars are, as it's before our era, but they're all superb anyway. Did Peter Cushing ever actually get paid?

So many glorious episodes to enjoy. 20 discs!
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I bought this thinking I had seen most of it, but I was wrong, there's far more material here than I had seen. You can see a small part of the first series, which is interesting, but by the second series there's most of the charateristics, guest stars, stage work, scenes at home, the refernces to a wig, and height, the slap round the face.

The main changes from the earlier series is that the musical numbers are allowed to progress, and if you are only a familiar with the later work you still expect Morecambe and Wise to come on and mess about.

My criticisms of the DVDs are no extras, and that the scenes aren't the same as the sketches, so if you are less keen on the 'serious' music, as I am, skipping often skips across sketches as well, also if you are looking for a particular sketch you don't get any indication where it might be!

For less than £50 you get a gem in this box set, enjoy
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