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Porridge - Series One [1974] [DVD]

4.9 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Ronnie Barker, Brian Wilde, Fulton Mackay, Richard Beckinsale, Sam Kelly
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: 2 Entertain Video
  • DVD Release Date: 1 Oct. 2001
  • Run Time: 175 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005M6OL
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,383 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

All six episodes from the first series of the popular prison sitcom. In 'New Faces, Old Hands' Godber is facing his first spell inside and Fletcher decides to teach him the ropes. 'The Hustler' has Ives try to get involved in Fletcher's gambling exercise. 'A Night In' finds Godber worried about spending his first night in his cell. 'A Day Out' sees the boys excited about the chance of going outside on a work party. 'Ways and Means' has Fletcher try to wangle a nice easy job in the library. And 'Men Without Women' finds the inmates asking for advice from a most-unlikely agony aunt.

Synopsis

This collection presents the entire first series of the classic 1970s comedy Porridge, starring Ronnie Barker and Richard Beckinsale (Kate's father) as prison inmates. Lennie Godber (Beckinsale) is the new kid on the block, and, luckily, tough guy Norman Stanley "Fletch" Fletcher (Barker) is looking out for him. Episodes include: "New Faces, Old Hands," "The Hustler," "A Night In," "A Day Out," "Ways and Means," and "Men Without Women."

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
As a child Porridge always signified the end of fun and bedtime. This was the show your parents wanted to watch and you hated because 'it was just people talking.'
Watching it now (I am 32) this is comedy of the highest calibre. From the wonderfully grumpy seasoned prisoner Fletch (Barker), ex army screw...sorry warden, Mr. McKay, the green, first timer Godber (Beckinsale) and the ever nervous and powerless Mr Barraclough (Wilde) the core of the show is timeless. It's all about men without women and biding your time. It is fully aware the warders are as much prisoners as the convicts ('who's been 'aving your old lady while you've been on nights then?) and for a 70s sitcom highlights some poignant issues.
As with all sitcoms of this era there are some minor racial jokes that are less than 'enlightened' but as they are from the mouths of such realistic characters it always feels the opinion is the characters and never the writers. The dialogue is fast and sharp and flows from the actors as if it was second nature. I have recommended this DVD to a lot of the young 'nerks' in the office and all have loved it. And rightly so, it's a joy.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Enjoyed all 6 episodes so much I immediately went back into Amazon and bought series 2, 3 and the Christmas specials. Have now watched all 3 series and really looking forward to the specials - A must see for anyone with a sense of humour, Ronnie Barker, Richard Beckinsale, and David Jason, how could you go wrong! Enjoy!
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Format: DVD
Only Fools and Horses often gets voted the "best commedy series of all time", but I think it should be Porridge. Such an accolade could be awarded solely for the inimitable Ronnie Barker's performance as Fletcher - in real life a soft and well-spoken, almost timid character, he is hardly type-cast for the role of a sharp-tongued cockney rogue, yet he acts the part so well it is a shock hearing him speak normally. And there is also the ingenious writing of Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais (the writers also behind The Likely Lads and Auf Wiedwersehen Pet), who were at their creative peak, writing well-crafted one-liners that make most of today's commedies appear primitive and dull in comparison (forgiving the occasional slightly politically-incorrect line). And besides the commedy there is the harsh reality of their predicament - the plots and moral undertones of each episode of Porridge so well crafted, that it parrallels the creative geniuses of Ilk and Petrov, Russian commedy writers of the 1920s, with similar portrayals of the social "underclass" imbued with commedy and satire. The superb performances of Ronnie Barker, Richard Beckinsale (Godber), Fulton Mackay (Mackay!) and Brian Wilde (Barrowclough) alone make it the most memorable tv series, as well as being applicable to everyday life - chiefly, keep your nose clean, and don't let the buggers grind you down... or more generally, (in episode 5 "Ways and Means", trying to tame McLaren) - turn the other cheek! It is more than just a commedy, it is a lesson in life!

This DVD sadly excludes the pilot episode of porridge "Prisoner and Escort", to which some reference is made in the series.
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Format: DVD
A wonderful timeless classic. Brilliant performances from Ronnie Barker that'll make you watch this DVD again and again. A definate must see.
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Format: DVD
From a dark dingy prison comes a show you can watch endlessly - and actually feel a warmth towards the main character - a common thief!

That takes good writing, but most importantly great actor's - enter Barker and Beckinsale - a perfect combination. They work so well off of each other, a great testimony to Ronnie as he had the same ifinitey with David Jason in Open all hours.

Life lessons with a smile - excellent.

Sit back - get comfortable and prepare to laugh!
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Format: DVD
Ronnie Barker was far more than just a comedian he was one of the finest character actors this country has ever produced and Fletcher was his greatest creation. Porridge is so re-watchable not just because it's funny, there are lots of funny sitcoms that you'll never want to see again, but because its characters and situations are so believable. We get more from Fletcher, Godber and the rest that just laughs, we get an emotional connection. The series got better with each season but there are no bad episodes here at the start. The standout though is 'A Night In' one of the finest half hours of television you will ever see.

As for the DVD, it's light on extras with just a brief interview with Barker and the show looks how you would expect a show from the era to look i.e no great but very watchable.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Two things struck me about this old favourite. It's not quite as funny as I remember it, and it's actually more serious and poignant. It doesn't glamourise prison life. It is great fun, but you're never allowed to forget that these men have lost their right to freedom. This delicate balance means that the programme resonates in my mind for longer than the laughter. I'm always amazed when I watch Ronnie Barker in Porridge. I have to constantly remind myself that he is Ronnie Barker, the very same Ronnie Barker of The two Ronnies and Open all hours. Such is the mark of the actor. Not only a top, top comedian. The supporting cast is also top class.
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