: : : Fawlty Towers - The Complete Collection

Story

Basil Fawlty, as created and performed by John Cleese, is the rudest, most boorish, most hilariously obnoxious man on the face of the planet. What a natural for a TV sitcom! His screen wife, Sybil (Prunella Scales), put it best in the episode "The Psychiatrist": "You're either crawling all over them, licking their boots, or spitting poison at them like some Benzedrine puff adder." He mockingly replies, "Just trying to enjoy myself, dear." With his gangly frame and contortionist abilities, Cleese brilliantly punctuates Basil's outrageous faux pas with absurd gymnastics and turns Three Stooges-style pokes and kicks into a slapstick ballet. Scales's Sybil is the genial but obliviously chatty voice of reason and Andrew Sachs mangles the English language as the Spanish bellhop Manuel, whose struggles with simple directions results in comic lunacy reminiscent of Robert Benigni. After a six-episode run in 1975, Cleese and cowriter and costar Connie Booth (who plays Polly, the maid all too often pulled into Basil's ridiculous plans) reunited the cast in 1979 for another six episodes without missing a punch line. The four-volume collection contains all 12 shows, interspersed with interview segments featuring Cleese discussing the genesis of the series and anecdotes about the individual episodes. Remember to watch the opening credits of each show to spot the creative misspellings on the hotel sign (my favorite: "Fatty Owls"). --Sean Axmaker

DVD Features

  • Available Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Commentary by director
  • New and archival talent interviews
  • Who's who guide to Fawlty Towers
  • Guest ledger of the series' cameo appearances
  • Number of discs: 3

Cast

John CleeseBasil Fawlty
Prunella ScalesSybil Fawlty
Andrew SachsManuel
Connie BoothPolly Sherman
Ballard BerkeleyMajor Gowen
David KellyO'Reilly
Bernard CribbinsMr. Hutchinson
Geoffrey PalmerDr. Price

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