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  • Jul 11, 2002
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Join the "model of good hospitality" Basil Fawlty and his batch of cronies for the entire series of the classic FAWLTY TOWERS.

A TOUCH OF CLASS - Lord Melbury arrives and Basil (John Cleese) is only too pleased to cash his Lordship's check...

THE BUILDERS - The lobby is in dire need of a face-lift and Basil immediately accepts the lowest quote for the job.

THE WEDDING PARTY - Basil's prudish nature is outraged by an outbreak of promiscuity at Fawlty Towers.

THE HOTEL INSPECTOR - Basil learns that there are hotel inspectors in the area, just after he has been exceptionally rude to a guest.

GOURMET NIGHT - The cream of Torquay society is present for a special gourmet night at Fawlty Towers, complete with Polly (Connie Booth) performing sung highlights from "Oklahoma!"....

THE GERMANS - While Sybil (Prunella Scales) is in hospital, Basil encounters some German tourists and tells them the "truth" about their fatherland.

COMMUNICATION PROBLEMS - Tangling with the intermittently deaf Mrs Richards leads Basil ever closer to a nervous breakdown.

THE PSYCHIATRIST - A visiting psychiatrist seems to find Basil rather fascinating.

WALDORF SALAD - An American guest demands quality service - something Basil is not too familiar with.

THE KIPPER AND THE CORPSE - With a total disregard for Basil's blood pressure, a guest dies in the hotel.

THE ANNIVERSARY - Sybil flounces off to the golf course when Basil has apparently forgotten their anniversary.

BASIL THE RAT - Manuel (Andrew Sachs) insists that his pet rodent is a Siberian hamster. Basil is convinced it's a rat.

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About the reviewer
Byron Kolln ()
Byron has been actively involved in theatre since the age of 12. He has had a great variety of roles (both on-stage and off). In addition he has hosted the long-running "Show Business" programme … more
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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
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Genre: Television, Comedy
Studio: BBC Warner
DVD Release Date: October 16, 2001

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