on 8 April 2007
Couldn't agree more with the other reviewers about obtaining the complete set from Amazon.de. £38, delivery within 5 days - why isn't this set available in the UK yet?
(The 5 stars relates to the box set)
on 2 April 2007
At last, Monty Python series one comes to DVD - you can't beat it....unless you go to amazon.de and buy the complete box set of series 1-4 (all 45 episodes) for 38 quid, including shipping. Why the big delay in the UK?!
on 29 March 2007
I did not buy this DVD plus Series 2 for the equivalent of EUR 62, including tax and shipping. Instead, I got the 7-disc box with the complete collection of the 4 series for EUR 56, including tax and shipping from amazon.de.
So many of the Python sketches have gone down in history that it's surprising watching the whole 13-episode run of the first series just how much dead wood there is between great moments. It may be that some sketches have dated or simply been repeated ad nauseum by students for so long that familiarity has bred contempt, but certainly there's a lot here that falls flat. But that's the price you pay for moments like the Parrot Sketch, The Lumberjack Song, Mr Hilter, the funniest Joke in the World or the Upper Class Twit of the Year, and it's still a price worth paying. The same can't quite be said for this DVD. Unfortunately, Sony's initial release doesn't give the show the respect it deserves - as with the other three series, the disc has no extras and, more irritatingly, no play all option - you have to go through the menu and the copyright warning on each episode.
on 21 August 2009
As I mentioned in my review for the complete British collection, `Monty Python' is perhaps the most famous sketch show ever to be released on DVD. But tragically however, it is SO famous that as far as I can see, almost every other review for this item seems to assume that everyone in the whole wide world has seen it!
In fact, it is only this arrogant assumption which has driven me to write this review. Because before you can even consider such issues as price or value for money, you first have to decide if the DVD is actually something that you want to buy!
Although I had seen many clips of their sketches, TV documentaries and so forth, I'd never actually watched a complete episode of `Monty Python' until I originally bought this series way back in 2007. So for the rest of this review, I will try to help you decide if `Monty Python' is something that you would enjoy.
If you've ever seen a classic sketch from the original TV series, or indeed, the montage of sketches that was `And Now For Something Completely Different,' (also available on DVD,) then you already have the answer as to whether you'd enjoy the whole series or not.
If you believed that this one sketch was childish and puerile, then the same will almost certainly be true for the rest of the series as a whole. But I must warn you however, even if you absolutely adore every one of the great `Monty Python' sketches, I am certain that a great deal of every episode will leave you feeling cold.
When push came to shove, a large part of each episode of `Monty Python' was 100% pure filler. Because tragically, even six of the greatest comedy geniuses to ever walk the Earth couldn't be expected to fill thirty minutes with solid gold every single week. But baring this in mind, I believe that even the episodes which only have one or two great sketches are worth the price of the series on their own. And although I encourage you to watch the whole series from beginning to end at least once, here is the list of the spectacular sketches which everyone who loves `Monty Python' should see.
Episode 1: "Whither Canada."
Chapter 2: "Italian Lesson."
Chapter 6: "Picasso/Cycling Race."
Chapter 8: "The Funniest Joke in the World."
Episode 2: "Sex & Violence"
Chapter 1: "Flying Sheep."
Chapter 10: "Working-Class Playwright."
"What do you know about it? What do you know about getting up at 5 o'clock int' mornin' to fly to Paris, back at the `Old Vic' for drinks at 12, sweating the day through Television interviews, Press interviews? Then gettin' back `ere at 10 to wrestle with the problem of an homosexual, nymphomaniac drug-addict, who's involved in the ritual murder of a well-known Scottish Footballer? That's a full, workin' day lad! And don't you forget it!"
Chapter 13: "The Wrestling Epilogue."
Episode 3: "How to Recognise Different Types of Tree From Quite a Long Way Away."
Chapter 3: "Bicycle Repair Man."
Chapter 4: "Children's Story."
Chapter 7: "Restaurant Sketch/Dirty Fork."
Episode 4: "Owl Stretching Time."
Chapter 6: "Self-Defence Against Fresh Fruit."
Episode 5: "Man's Crisis of Identity in the Later Half of the Twentieth Century."
Chapter 5: "Police Raid."
Episode 6: "It's the Arts."
Chapter 5: "Non-Illegal Robbery."
Chapter 7: "Crunchy Frog."
Chapter 10: "Red Indian in Theatre."
"Yes, Redfoot make war! When Chief Yellowsnake was leader, and mighty eagle was in land of forefather, we fight Paunee at Oxbow Crossing!...when Paunee steal our rehearsal copies of `Reluctant Debutante."
Episode 8: "Full Frontal Nudity."
Chapter 2: "Army Protection Racket."
Chapter 6: "Buying a Bed."
Chapter 10: "THE DEAD PARROT SKETCH!"
Chapter 12: "Hell's Grannies."
Episode 9: "The Ant, An Introduction."
Chapter 3: "Kilimanjaro Expedition."
"My idea I'm afraid. They were going to build a bridge, between the two peaks."
Chapter 6: "Homicidal Barber."
Chapter 7: "Lumberjack Song."
Episode 11: "The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Goes to the Bathroom."
Chapter 6: "Jimmy Buzzard Interview."
Episode 12: "The Naked Ant."
Chapter 6: "Mr Hilter."
Chapter 7: "The Minehead By-Election."
Chapter 8: "Police Station (Silly Voices.)"
Chapter 9: "Upper-Class Twit of the Year."
Episode 13: "Intermission."
Chapter 2: "Restaurant (Abuse/Cannibalism.)"
Chapter 4: "Albatross!"
Chapter 13: "Attila The Hun."
In conclusion of course, if you've decided that you would like to watch the first series of `Monty Python,' I would suggest that you should consider the complete collection of all four series. (Available here on Amazon.co.uk for less than £30.) But if you do decide that you want to buy this series on it's own, then be warned that the voice-overs on the title menus, repeating the same lines from the same sketches over and over again are `Incredibly' annoying!
on 14 February 2014
Monty Python is one of the most unique comedy sketch shows ever created, and still stands the test of time. Written and starring comedians John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Eric Idle, Michael Pailin, Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam, this first series features such classics like The Restaurant Sketch (the one with the dirty fork), The Killer Joke, Bicycle Repair Man, Crunchy Frog, The Lumberjack Song, The Upperclass Twist of the Year Show, Nudge Nudge and of course The Dead Parrot.
The first series is probably the best of the four series (closely followed by the second series) and really set the bar for all great sketch shows to come.
So all together now.
Lemming, Lemming, Lemming of the BDA!
on 25 July 2010
They're all here, the funniest joke in the world, working-class playwright, marriage guidance counsellor, the dead parrot, the lumberjack song, bicycle repair man, nudge nudge, the first man to jump the channel, the Batley Townswomen's guild, upperclass twit of the year and you ain't seen surreal comedy until you've seen confuse-a-cat.
If you want a Monty Python TV series DVD, this is the place to start.
on 5 May 2011
In the late 60's, there was much evidence of a strong desire to drive a coach and horses through any kind of tradition, and Python was a key manifestation of that. The result was some incontestably funny sketches, but let's not forget, a fair amount of experimental stuff that failed. There's an awful desperation about some of the "nudity" scenes and sexual references in the first series. It's all a bit like looking up "bum" in the dictionary when you're a kid (although admittedly they were doing this smutty schoolboy stuff against a background of censorship and moral outrage.)
What emerges from watching the entire series is that, in the very early days, the Python squad seemed more about being different than being funny. The sketches that really work are the ones where they become less self-conscious about their raison d'etre, and just allow us to enjoy the fact that they are genuinely funny.
When you look at what Cleese, Jones and Palin did immediately after, the comedy remained surreal, but the traditional structure of beginning, middle and end reasserted itself over the "stream of consciousness" that ran through Python.
Their influence is undeniable, but so much of what happened post-Python was about trying to "break the mould" rather than just trying to make an audience laugh, which is after all the objective of comedy. Python succeeded, in my opinion, only because the men struggling to break the mould had genuinely funny bones. But all arguments about comedy structure aside, there's a lot to laugh at.
On a final note, as age creeps on, I find myself far more preoccupied by the lovely Carol Cleveland than the dead parrot!
on 13 January 2011
I bought this item as a Christmas present for my father. He's always been quoting the more famous episodes so it's good to be able to see some other sketches. Plus it's very funny. :)
on 26 January 2008
I followed the advice of other reviewers and went to amazon germany for the set. Thanks to them all, it has just arrived. All they say is correct. Very pleased, thanks.