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The Strange World of Gurney Slade [DVD]
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Both firmly of its time and spectacularly ahead of it, The Strange World of Gurney Slade is to television comedy what The Prisoner has become to television drama - brilliantly inventive, startlingly surreal and unlike anything previously seen on television. Anthony Newley stars as an actor who walks off the set of a banal sit-com and into a fantasy world of his own imagination. In this surreal odyssey through his own personal alternative reality he indulges in random conversations with both animals and inanimate objects it s a world in which characters can step out of advertising posters and where he can hear the most intimate thoughts of passers by. An unpredictable, absurdist fantasy, Gurney Slade created an indelible impression upon anyone who saw it. Created by Newley and written by the highly talented Sid Green and Dick Hills (who were soon to become key writers for Morecambe and Wise) this series has been newly transferred from the original 35mm film elements specifically for this release.
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Top customer reviews
If you want to investigate the roots of British alternative comedy, this is a must.
Now after all these years I can finally see it, and it doesn't disappoint.
It's originality for the time is thoroughly breathtaking, and Mr Newly is cast perfectly for the role, for which he was also one of the shows creators.
It got moved to the late night graveyard slot after episode two because most of the audience just didn't "get it".
But the strange world of Gurney Slade, is a better world.
Originaly broadcast by ITV from 22 October to 26 November 1960.
This is a chance to rediscover the great Anthony Newley, one of Britains most creative and inovative Artists - terrible underrated and neglected (till today). He was not only a great actor, entertainer and composer, his work was always in front of its time and therefore mostly misunderstood and derided. Through his whole work he always dealed with surrealism - like here in "Gurney Slade", but also in his later works, like the undervalued " Can Heironymus Merkin ever forget Mercy Humppe and find true Happiness".
After so many years give Anthony Newley the recognition and appreciation he finally deserves !!
Now Network has delivered the TV Heaven package of all time in a fabulously restored six episode Gurney Slade DVD with extraordinary extras. Absolute full marks to Network for sourcing the original 35mm master, which literally glows with cameraman Donald Long's exquisite black & white photography. As an original captive of the show, I'm delighted to see new and future generations at last having access to Anthony Newley's magical masterclass. In particular, it'll be interesting for comedy historians to see how it influenced Tony Hancock's early 1960's `everyman' persona, as in for example 'The Blood Donor', and subsequently the Python era.
Those who have followed Newley's work will rightly consider him a posthumous national treasure, and his performance as Gurney Slade is as faultless as all his other brilliant performances from child star beginnings to Las Vegas headliner. Just prior to Gurney, Newley jump started his adulthood as a chart topping pop star with songs like `Why' and `Do You Mind'. These great tracks were gracing the nation's Dansette record players at the beginning of Newley's incredible career, and set him up as the next big thing that just never went away. His colossal body of work has rarely been equaled by a single British performer, and his legend is right up there with the likes of Charlie Chaplin and Noel Coward.
Watching Newley perform is like watching a ballet - every movement perfectly fluid and unselfconscious, and his dialogue appears to be picked fresh out of the air. Second only to Gurney Slade is Newley's Oscar deserving role in the movie 'The Small World of Sammy Lee', and for aficionados the newly released DVD of this unsung masterpiece should clearly be on their shopping list ('The London Box Set' - Optimum Home Releasing). For the moment though, if you ain't seen 'The Strange World of Gurney Slade' - click the Amazon `Buy Now' button, and prepare to enjoy your socks off!
Thanks again to Network for this incredible release, and a plea to bring us more of the same from this era. How about properly rescuing Merton Park Studios' 'Scotland Yard' / 'Scales of Justice' / 'Edgar Wallace' shorts? There's a salivating fan base out here eager for a proper restoration of these UK classics! Just asking.
Blimey! Network listens! No sooner said than done, the three classic British B movie series from Merton Park Studios as detailed above, are in their new release line up. Forget the gas bill, these absolutely have to be on one's Amazon shopping list!
Next up for Network? How about The 1957 BBC children's series 'The Silver Sword'? All seven episodes are currently languishing in the BFI vaults, being the only full children's TV series of the period to have survived.
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I can't imagine what the reaction to this short lived TV series was like, when it came out in 1960.Read more