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  • This is probably one of the best situational comedies ever made and in my opinion few other television programs compare to it. It is hard to say what is so good about this little show as the main character is a rude prick, the story lines are rather simplistic, and the characters pretty much cardboard cut outs of class stereotypes (this is a British show after all), but each episode is a nearly perfect choreographed dance of escalating frustration with an impeccable touch of absurdity.

    From brick walls appearing in doorways to mishaps during fire drills, from guests dying overnight to getting the right food for a gourmet, from class issues to just plain old mayhem this show has got it all. It is all in a meager 12 episodes, but that is what makes each episode absolutely priceless with hardly a dull moment. A classic in every sense of the word. 10/10

    Not rated, suitable for everyone.
  • Come visit the worst-run hotel in the whole of western Europe (well, except for that place in Eastbourne...) In a field with many top contenders, 'Fawlty Towers' remains my favourite of all 'Britcoms' - situation comedies originating on British television. Fawlty Towers has a cult following decades after the originals aired; it is sometimes hard to believe that there are but 12 episodes, six hours total. The regular cast is led by John Cleese, veteran of the famous Monty Python comedy troupe, as the irrepressible Basil Fawlty, titular head of the hotel with dreams of class and glory; Prunella Scales is his long-suffering and hardworking wife, Sybil, who recognises that while Basil may think 'the sky's the limit!', in fact, '22 rooms is the limit'. Connie Booth (Cleese's real-life wife) played the level-headed and sensible, overworked maid Polly, and in a role matched only by Fawlty's own bizarre manner, Andrew Sachs plays the lovable and ever-incompetent Spanish waiter, Manuel (he's from Barcelona...). Ballard Berkeley makes Ballard Berkeley makes a regular appearance as the Major, a retired long-term resident at the hotel. Brian Hall joined the cast for the second season as the not-quite-gourmet chef, Terry.

    From the very first episode (first aired in 1975) featured a social-climbing Fawlty as perhaps the most rude and insufferable hotel manager in existence, in the resort town of Torquay, on the Channel coast of Britain. Sybil tries to maintain a reasonable level of service, but Fawlty's snobbishness permits him to be gracious (indeed, excessively fawning) toward those he considers 'worthy', which in this episode turns out to be Lord Melbury, who ends up not being Lord Melbury, but rather a confidence trickster, and Fawlty's revenge scares away the real 'posh' guests, whom Fawlty sends off with the hilarious shout, 'Snobs!' In each of the episodes, there is a crisis - one gets the sense that the life of Fawlty is non-stop crisis, with his wife and Polly forever picking up the pieces, Manuel always complicating things, and the others wandering around in a state of disbelief (or, in the case of the Major, perpetual daze). The twelve episodes highlight all the things that could wrong at hotel in classic comedic fashion - the institution of a Gourmet Night falls flat when the not-quite-recovering alcoholic chef starts drinking the night of the main event; a guest dies in the middle of the night, and Fawlty tries to slip him out unnoticed; remodelers install and remove the wrong doors; the health inspector unexpected shows up and gets served a bit of rat with his cheese.

    However, nothing quite matches the kinds of situations Basil can get himself into. When trying to plan a surprise anniversary dinner for his wife, she leaves the hotel thinking that Basil has forgotten again, and Basil dresses Polly up as a sick-bed-bound Sybil to fool the guests. When Polly's friends check in for a wedding over the weekend, Basil suspects the group of free sexual expression (highlighting his own repression); this theme is carried over to a glorious extreme in the episode about the visiting Psychiatrist.

    'How does he make his living?' Basil protests. 'He makes his money by sticking his nose into others' private parts, er, details...' This is also the episode where Sybil finally confronts Basil about his double-sided hotel manner toward guests: 'You're either crawling all over them, licking their boots, or spitting poison at them like some Benzedrine puff adder,' she declares. He replies in perfect form, 'Just trying to enjoy myself, dear.' As the psychiatrist will comment near the end, there's enough material for an entire psychiatrist conference. Indeed there is, as this is slapstick humour with a difference. Intelligent and witty while utterly chaotic and beyond the pale, one is treated to the moose-head incident and the ingrowing toenail as well as Fawlty's unique form of automobile motivation (how many of us have ever been tempted to whack away at a stalled car with a stick!) and a nice performance of Brahms (his 'third racket', to be precise). One must not overlook the little details, either, including the ever-changing sign in front (the actual hotel used for the exteriors unfortunately burned down many years after the show), and the fact that the interior and exterior layouts of the building cannot correspond (shades of 'The Simpsons' whose furniture layout changes from scene to scene).

    It is almost inconceivable that the two series, each of six episodes, were four years apart (1975 and 1979), as they flow rather seamlessly together. Popular on television networks worldwide, it can be seen variously on BBC America and local public television channels, often during the fund drives, when the most popular pieces are shown.
  • This is pure comedy. It is genius. It is hilarity that transcends the boundary of comedy. Fawlty Towers is the kind of comedy that has you on the floor gasping for air in a puddle of your own tears. John Cleese has created one of the defining characters of comedy in Basil Fawlty. Manuel Sachs is superb as Manuel, the confused waiter from Barcelona. Prunella Scales is brilliant as the tyrannical wife. Connie Booth is very good as Polly, the hassled waitress. Put it all together inside a small hotel in Torquay and you get one of the greatest, most alluring comedies ever to grace the screen. The only bad thing about Fawlty Towers is that they didn't make more.

    Fawlty Towers will always be tearfully, heart stoppingly, deadly, and disasterously funny.
  • Just saw again the first four episodes of John Cleese's wonderful, wonderful Fawlty Towers, the dysfunctional hotel run by the inimitable Basil Fawlty (Cleese), and his battle-wagon wife, Sybil (Prunella Scales). Amazing how many belly laughs and guffaws the show can still inspire, and this is probably my third or fourth viewing (still, it's been years).

    Even more amazing is the short documentary on the realBasil Fawlty--Donald Sinclair, manager and owner of the Gleneagle, an ex Navy commander who (as Ray Marks, present manager of the Gleneagle puts it) thought running the Gleneagle "would have been a wonderful job, if it wasn't for the guests. The guests spoiled his job."

    According to legend, the Monty Python troupe once booked rooms at the Gleneagle, in the seaside town of Torquay; they still remember some of the things Sinclair did to them there. Pythoner Eric Idle carried an alarm clock inside his briefcase at the hotel reception; when Sinclair heard the ticking he said "My God, there's a bomb in there!" and threw it off a cliff. Later, Pythoner Terry Gilliam sat down to a meal and ate American style, cutting up the food first before picking up the pieces with his fork; Sinclair, passing by, picked up Gilliam's knife and snapped "we don't eat like that here!"

    Eventually the entire Python troupe moved to another hotel--all except Cleese, who stayed. Apparently, he thought there was an idea for a TV show here somewhere.

    It wasn't only the Pythoners that suffered; one guest asked for a drink at the bar, to which Sinclair replied by slamming down the grill and saying "the bar's closed." When his friend invited him to a nearby hotel to drink, Sinclair informed him that if he isn't back by 11 pm, the front door will be locked. He comes back late, and just as Sinclair threatened, the front door was locked. "This is ridiculous," he said, "my wife and daughter are in there," and started banging on the door; a light turned on in a window, and Sinclair popped his head out and said "I told you I'd lock the doors by 11!" The guest replied: "If you don't open the doors I'm going to knock them down!" Three or four minutes later, Sinclair opens the door, lets him in, bangs the door behind him loud enough to, as the guest put it, wake everyone in the hotel, and yells "Don't let that happen again!"

    Sinclair was also hard on the hired help. He hated builders, and would yell and curse at them; one Greek waiter was so fed up with Sinclair's treatment of him he jumped into a taxi and demanded to be driven to London. Rosemary Harrison, who once worked for Sinclair, describes how when one waiter, tired of waiting for Sinclair to make the tea, took a teapot meant for another table. Sinclair stopped the serving of breakfast and "went up and down the tables like a policeman, questioning the guests. He came across a set of teapots at a table for two. He realised because of their size they were meant for a table for four, and he asked the guests for a description of the waiter."

    Sinclair was apparently so appalling that when his wife had to go out shopping, she would lock him up in their room, and say to the staff "don't let him out, he's only going to upset you." Ian Jones, owner of the nearby Coppice Hotel, said "fugitives from the Gleneagle used to come knocking on our door, pleading accommodations."

    He was, as Cleese would put it, "the most wonderfully rude man I have ever met."
  • If you were to look up some of the most hysterical moments on the BBC, you would no doubtably come across two names. Those names would be John Cleese and Ricky Gervais. While Gervais recently found comedy through his program called 'The Office', Cleese has been providing wit, wisdom, and down-right hysteria for the past several decades. While away from his namesake (Monty Python), you can find Cleese comfortable in several other roles that showcase his bubbling talent. One of those programs just happens to be the funniest bit of crumpet called 'Fawlty Towers'.

    Remembering this show when I was a child and was on our local PBS station, I eagerly bought it when it was released on DVD about a year ago. Since then, I have watched random episodes here and there but never fully taking in the enjoyment from watching it all. So, today I decided to sit down and watch this series from beginning to end and I have yet to finish laughing. If this program doesn't define comic genius, I don't know what does. Never have I witnessed a show that has continually been fresh, hysterical (I cannot use that word enough), real, and outlandish all at the same time. Normally, with our current television programming, you need to pick or choose which it will be, but thankfully 'Fawlty Towers' is all of these and many more.

    Cleese remains in top form as Basil Fawlty, the owner/manager of the B&B that just happens to have his hands and over-worked imagination in everything. With the aid of his helpers Manuel (he's from Barcelona) and Polly (co-writer Connie Booth and ex-wife of Cleese), Cleese always seems to find himself in a heap of trouble with his wife Sybil (the dragon of the hotel). Armed with physical humor and a snake-like banter, we witness everything from a dead body, hotel inspectors, a failed anniversary party, a moose head, and a Himalayan rodent of sorts happen to this simple, everyday, B&B. This is not only a few of the episodes you will find in the complete set, but also the daily stress that Basil finds himself falling into daily.

    This series, again, is hysterical. Cleese is the master of his trade while proving that he can manage any task thrown in front of him. While some will argue that he overshadows the rest of the cast, I would say 'hogwash' to that. My two favorite characters in this series were Major and Manuel. The comedy that they provide cannot be found on television today. All I need to say is thank God for the BBC.

    Grade: ***** out of *****
  • Fawlty Towers is one the best, most popular but sadly slightly overshadowed comedies in Britain. it has the ingredients for perfect comedy and contains perfect characters. It is about this misanthropic arrogant man, Basil Fawlty, played brilliantly by the genius John Cleese, who is totally in the wrong job. He runs hotel and is rude to nearly everyone within a ten mile radius of him, but determined to make a success of his business. His wife Sybille played by Prunella Scales, whom he despises to the nth degree because she rules him with a rod of iron. Then there is Polly the waitress played by Connie Booth, the most intelligent character in the show who always ends up sorting out all the problems and keeps the hotel running. There is Manuel played by Andrew Sachs, the lovable gormless Spanish waiter who Basil bullies and tries to kill in nearly every episode. Other additional characters are the batty Major Gowen played by Ballard Berkeley, the dotty old ladies Miss Gatsby and Miss Tibs played by Renee Roberts and Gilly Flower and Terry the chef played by Brian Hall. All played very well.

    One thing this programme didn't do like others is go on for series after series and eventually become far-fetched like several British sitcoms seem to do (cough, Last of the Summer Wine). It only ran for two series and left the audience starving for more. I think that it was a wise move not to do more, even though I would have loved it if they had. This is probably what John Cleese might be best remembered for in Britain, he not only stared in it he wrote it as well with wife Connie Booth. He based the character on a hotel proprietor in while staying at a hotel in England with the Python Gang.

    I have no issues with this show at all, brilliant work. This kind of stuff needs to be treasured in Britain because it captures British humour perfectly. Whether you know the show or not, treat yourself to a DVD of series one or two (or both if want) and enjoy. And to those of you who haven't seen it before, I guarantee that you'll be in stitches within the first ten minutes of any episode.

    QUOTE:- Basil Fawlty (trying to start his car)-Come on! Come on, start....START YOU VICIOUS BASTARD!
  • This is quite possibly the funniest set of videos I have ever seen. There were situations here that had me laughing so hard my sides ached. What makes it so magical is an incredible sense of timing topped with Cleese's flawless physical humor. To add to this a supporting cast who can literally "dance" around these two aspects makes for a symmetry so perfect that it'll leave you in tears. I would recommend any one of the videos in this set.
  • Based on an actual hotel Cleese and the MP gang stayed at once, Fawlty Towers is a hilarious British sitcom with great characters and situations. Probably the most famous episode is the one with the Germans, as I hear it referred to the most.

    Basil Fawlty (Cleese) is a grumpy hotel manager, with his domineering wife Sybil, the hotel maid Polly (co-creator and Cleese's wife at the time of the show Connie Booth), the Spanish waiter Manuel ("I learned classical Spanish, not this strange dialect he's using"), and the hotel's longest standing resident, the Major. Witty dialogue and hilarious slapstick situations make this a great show.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Like most people, I love Fawlty Towers and I personally think that it's one of the best ( if not THE best ) sitcoms around. John Cleese and Connie Booth really did leave the world a terrific example of how comedies should have been done. Fawlty Towers puts most comedies today to shame. This is because Fawlty Towers was very original. It was beautifully written and constructed, it had an incredibly fast pace and had characters that we loved. There is more material and humour in one episode of Fawty Towers than there is in an entire series of most comedies today. John and Connie had fantastic ideas and most importantly they knew how to present them. They took longer than 6 weeks to produce just one script. That explains why they were so good. The writers of Are you being served? for example took just 2 days to produce a script. That explains why they were so poor. I think a lot can be learned from the making of Fawlty Towers. I think the most important thing to learn though is to call it a day when you're at your peak. John and Connie were very wise to do that and because of that Fawlty Towers will never become tired. It's a shame no other comedy writers have ever done it.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    It shames me to have to admit that I missed the first three 'Fawlty Towers' episodes on its original run as I was hooked on the I.T.V. series 'Beryl's Lot' ( starring Carmel McSharry ). My first encounter with Basil was Episode Four - 'The Hotel Inspectors'. Even now I can feel the pain in my side from laughing too hard. I spent the next few days telling everyone how great this show was.

    'Fawlty Towers' takes place in a hotel in Torquay, run by the world's rudest man - Basil Fawlty ( John Cleese ) and his henpecking wife Sybil ( Prunella Scales ) who has a laugh like someone machine-gunning a seal. The permanently overworked staff includes American art student Polly Shearman ( Connie Booth, then Cleese's wife ), Cockney chef Terry ( the late Terry Hall ) and, of course, Manuel ( Andrew Sachs ), a Spanish waiter whose command of the English language leaves a lot to be desired. Among the regular guests are the senile Major Gowen ( Ballard Berkeley ). What gives the show much of its humour is that Basil is snobbish and quick-tempered, barely disguising his contempt for the guests.

    'Fawlty' was based on the late Donald Sinclair, owner of 'The Gleneagles' in Torquay. He was so rude that the Python cast, there on a location shoot, moved out! Cleese remembered him when writing for the L.W.T. sitcom 'Doctor At Large'. The episode 'No Ill Feeling!' was a success and it was clear that there was a series based around its setting and characters.

    The show debuted on B.B.C.-2 less than a year after the final season of 'Monty Python'. It was not an immediate hit. Repeats came to the rescue. When it moved over to B.B.C.-1 on Sunday evenings a year later, ratings skyrocketed.

    It got off to a fantastic start with 'A Touch Of Class' in which Basil is taken in by a confidence trickster ( Michael Gwynn ). Other classic episodes include 'The Hotel Inspectors' ( boasting a marvellous guest performance from Bernard Cribbins ), 'Gourmet Night' in which Basil tries to make the hotel famous for its cooking, and, memorably, 'The Germans' with a concussed Basil offending a party of Germans by making constant references to the war.

    It was a triumph, yet a second season did not appear until 1979. The first was a tough act to follow, but the second managed it. Memorable episodes include 'Communication Problems' with Joan Sanderson as a fussy old woman who uses her deafness to get her own way, 'Waldorf Salad' in which a loud American ( Bruce Boa ) tries to bribe Basil into keeping the chef working, 'The Kipper & The Corpse' has Basil trying to conceal the fact one of the guests has died, and the final edition - 'Basil The Rat' - involves the staff hunting for an escaped rodent before a Health Inspector is due to call.

    It goes without saying that 'Fawlty Towers' is the most perfectly realised British sitcom of them all. Excellent scripts superbly performed by a top-notch cast. It has not diminished with the passage of time.
  • Of all you'll ever see on the telly or the silver screen this has got to be the best. If you don't own this series you'll regret it - for if you rent it you'll be hard pressed to return it and everything you rent will be downhill afterwards.

    Donald Sinclair goes into history as the most brilliantly rude hotelier ever and John Cleese and then spouse Connie Booth go into history as the best sitcom writer duo ever. The teleplays were meticulously written and rewritten and the acting is better than superb.

    This series has been voted best television series of all time so many times now it's not funny. Odds are you will never laugh as hard as you do when you see this. And you won't tire of it quickly either.
  • BearLover12 February 1999
    I consider this series one of the best comedies ever produced! Outstanding humor, exquisite physical comedy. It doesn't get any better than this!
  • An interesting thought about the famous Basil Fawlty occurs to me on reflection - if his dear wife Sybil ("my little nest of vipers"), his put-upon chambermaid/receptionist/waitress Polly and his unfortunate Spanish waiter Manuel all died tomorrow, he'd never be able to cope running the hotel. He'd internally explode or offend the guests just that little bit too much, and that would be the end of Fawlty Towers.

    If Basil died, on the other hand, I don't think Sybil, Manuel and Polly would worry at all about carrying on without him. Although he's a hotelier, Mr. Fawlty clearly doesn't like people at all. He exploits the fact that the slightly deaf and constantly complaining Mrs. Richards has her hearing aid switched off to ask, "Is this a piece of your brain?". Obviously sexually repressed, Basil can't come to terms with the liberated 1970s that he lives in. He goes out of his way to avoid giving an unmarried couple a double room, then spends the night "checking the walls" for woodworm and having misunderstandings with a pretty Australian guest, leading Sybil to respond with "If you're going to grope a girl, have the gallantry to stay in the room with her while you're doing it!". With lines like this, you can see why it took Connie Booth and John Cleese weeks to write each episode.

    Basil himself is an interesting physical character. I think it particularly helps that John Cleese is well over six feet in height, because when Basil gets in a rage he seems trapped in his own body. Anyone else would be throwing things and flailing their arms about and screaming, but Basil, being emotionally (and certainly sexually) repressed, doesn't seem to know how to handle his anger and his physical struggle is very funny to watch.

    There are a wonderful host of interesting characters for Basil to bounce off - a small guest named Mrs. Hall that he doesn't notice, a highly-strung ("Yes, he should be") teenager who demands salad cream instead of fresh mayonnaise and the priceless builder Mr. "lick o'paint" O'Reilly, as well as the better builder Mr. Stubbs ("That's a supporting wall! God help the floors above!"), the Major and the old ladies who seem to live in the hotel.

    If Basil Fawlty was still alive today (though I imagine he'd have long since expired of a heart attack or astronomically high blood pressure), I'm not sure if he'd have retired or if he'd be clinging on to his treasured establishment until he dropped down dead. I'd like to think that Sybil could outlive him - perhaps in a twist on Basil's reference to the film "How To Murder Your Wife" she'd have gone mad and killed him - so whether she'd be in prison or retired or mourning the loss of Basil, I can't tell but I hope she'd enjoy her retirement.
  • Dave-J723 August 2014
    That John Cleese should attempt farce after the ground-breaking success of Python is testimony to both his bravery and to his comedic genius and that he should succeed so dazzlingly is damn near miraculous. Most Beeb shows were written by very experienced professional writers and Cleese and his partner Connie Booth (Polly) had no experience at all of this sort of show, so to succeed so amazingly is indeed, astonishing. This was voted the best British programme, of any sort, ever, in a poll conducted by the British Film Institute and voted for by Industry professionals. Better than the Attenboroughs, better than the great dramas and better than Python, amongst many others. No finer accolade could be attached to any show, anywhere, anytime.
  • Fawlty Towers is just flat out fantastic. What else is there to say? I mean, is there another comedy series as funny, as well acted, as frustrating, and as smart as Fawlty Towers? In my opinion, no! People say shows like Black Books, Seinfeld, Friends, Modern Family, The Office and The Big Bang Theory are the best sitcoms ever. Yes, many of these are great, but none of them, I repeat, none of them are as hysterical as Fawlty Towers! If you like John Cleese as an actor, or if you like British comedy, or if you like sitcoms in general, I can guarantee that you will love Fawlty Towers!

    I know this may sound like a bit of a rant, but, in my opinion it is the only way to convey how amazing Fawlty Towers really is!

  • When i was young my parents showed me Fawlty towers and i must say i didn't really understand it. But then a couple of days ago I found the old videos and decided to put it on, and i couldn't stop laughing. John Cleese is a comic genius and all the actors play their roles superbly. Also before watching the videos i never knew how much my parents quoted fawlty towers, and its not had to see why when the script is so witty and original. I have to say though that the funniest episode is the Germans, where Mr. Fawlty gets a nasty bump on the head and has to go to hospital. When he gets back he discovers that a family of Germans are staying in the hotel which leads to some very funny results. 10/10
  • Warning: Spoilers
    A few years ago someone boldly declared that John Cleese is not funny. What planet is she living on? John Cleese has the acrobatics of Jim Carey, Buster Keaton, and Roberto Benigni. Witness his goosestepping in front of the German guests. John Cleese has the fastest timing imaginable. Witness when it turns out that "the little crumpette" is really the guest's 76 years old mother. (P.S. - I noted that the guest and the older gentleman psychiatrist next door were real life father and son). Fawlty turns from scorn to politeness with complete ease and spontaneity. The jokes on the show are completely ridiculous and hilarious. Cleese plays Fawlty. He is an extremely unpolitically correct manager of a hotel in Torquay, England. Torquay (near Cornwall) is in the southwestern part of England. There are real palms trees at the ocean level. Fawlty is a nasty man, who says exactly how he feels. This is probably how most hotel workers feel after 15 years, but don't usually say how they feel outloud. Fawlty is supposed to represent the rural Tory mentality of the 1970s. There is a great supporting cast. Connie Booth, co-writer of the episodes, plays English enough to not realize that she is from Indianapolis, Indiana. Andrew Sachs plays a very convincing Spaniard. Of course, Fawlty treats Manuel like absolute dirt, representative of how lowly regarded EU workers are in England. The only fault of this show is that there were only 12 episodes. I would have loved to be rolling on the floor at many more episodes. Instead, I just roll on the floor when the Major says "you silly Moose".
  • Charlie_Runkle6928 September 2006
    Warning: Spoilers
    this is a fantastic comedy, and probably the best ever. it is so good because only 12 episodes were ever made, and i think it would have lost some of its value if it had made more episodes. john cleese is in his finest element here, and some of his comments are fantastic ( eg is this a piece of your brain? and ah, so, you want to go to a chemist, ai!" prunella scales is also a very fine actor who manages to manage her dignity whilst her husband basil can never seem to get out of trouble. Manuel is also a highlight, but i think his character would have gotten very tedious if more episodes had been made.Polly also brings a lot to the table, and i like how she is portrayed as intelligent, breaking the dumb blonde stereotype.

    with respect to the guy from Boston who wrote a review, yes the characters are stereotyped, but you must remember that this was made in 1975! certainly now these sorts of characters have been overdone, but not back then ( this was when a movie about sharks was the best think since sliced bread). thinking retrospectively, i think the characters were perfect for the time they were cast.

    favorite episodes are definitely the episode where the chef gets drunk and basil has to go and get a duck from another restaurant, and of course the horse racing episode which is probably one of the funniest things i have ever seen on TV. their are countless references to both world wars and international relations in general which makes for very witty comedy ( yanks- see not friends or married with children!) an interesting point of note is that back in this time there is little on screen affection between the actors shown. for example, i don't remember scales and cleese kissing, in fact i only saw physical contact between them in one episode! contrast this to today where an average episode of say the o.c has at least two minutes of making out every episode.

    overall this is a great comedy that i would recommend to anyone to watch. 10/10
  • birdoberoi4 January 2007
    According to me, this is a perfect comedy. There is nothing which can be improved upon, whether it is the script, cast, props, editing, direction... anything at all! Everything works brilliantly! I caught ALL the episodes one Sunday on TV... Don't remember which channel, though! Suffice to say, I just sat in front of the TV, helpless with laughter! Now, I am desperately trying to find the complete set on DVD.

    John Cleese could not have been better as Basil Fawlty... I mean, he was born to play that role! Basil Fawlty has to be the most irritatingly funny character ever created. All the other characters are also very well cast, whether it is Andrew Sachs (Manuel), Prunella Scales (Sybil Fawlty), Connie Booth (Polly) or any of the others...

    If you haven't come across this, please rectify the situation and find it! Trust me, you will not regret it!
  • After have been using catch frases from the series during the last few years, i decided it was time to buy the whole series on DVD.

    As often it's only the highlights you remember, and the jokes tend to be a bit mote extreme as they are retold during the years. Never the less, the episodes still hold world class! It was fanaticly funny to see them all again and the jokes are fantastic! I admit that not all of them was as funny as i remember them, but to my suprice, some of them was even better. That might say something about my memory or sense of humor, or it might say something about the authors and actors extremely well done work.

    Anyways, these three DVD's including extras are well spent money and the interviews add some extra depth to the story. So go ahead and enjoy Fawlty Towers once more!
  • I mean it. The cast are amazing. John Cleese is the funniest man on the earth and he shows it in the TV series. Fawlty Towers is a brilliant comedy with every episode being amazing.

    My favourite episode is the Germans, where German people come over and basil (john cleese) starts a argument and says "me? You started it!" German Man "We did not start it"! Basil "yes you did you invaded Poland!" After that he does the memorable "Hitler" style walk around the hotel. A classic episode.

    Fawlty Towers is without dought the best comedy ever. Its even better than Mr Bean or Monty Python. If you do not believe me, you have got something wrong with you.

    10/10 Superb!
  • piedera24 March 2015
    This is by far the best comedy I have ever seen. It simply does not age. John Cleese, Andrew Sachs as well as the rest of the cast are stellar. Cleese should have done some more comedy writing at this stage of his career because he is simply good at it! It is real fun to watch this stressed-out hotel manager in Torquay coping with the problems the world (his guests, his wife and his team) put upon him. I had some good laughs watching Monty Python's "Flying Circus", but this is John Cleese himself at his best. Honourable mention goes to Andrew Sachs as Manuel who still makes me fall from my sofa almost 40 years later. Oh yeah, and I DO remember this series anytime now I have to stay at a hotel. Some really come close to Fawlty Towers.
  • One of my all time favorite comedy series. I must have seen those at least ten times and still I would watch it again. I know almost every line out of my head. Every character in this show fits perfectly to make this British comedy an old time classic. Basil Fawlty (John Cleese) is absolutely brilliant as the super nervous hotel manager that always tries to get the upper class in his establishment. Riff-Raff is not for him. Sybil (Prunella Scales) his wife on the other hand just wants to run the hotel normally. Her bossy attitude towards her husband Basil is hilarious. Polly the maid (Connie Booth) looks like the most normal person in this series. Manuel (Andrew Sachs) drives Basil completely bonkers, he's from Barcelona and doesn't get anything that Basil is trying to explain to him. Those four run the show but the other characters are all funny as well. I like every episode but "The Germans" must be my favorite one. If you never watched this show then I can only highly recommend it. You don't know what you are missing.
  • I grew up listening to my parents laugh their head of at this British comedy, and re-laugh 10 years later. Who does not have that box set?

    The series is set in a fictional hotel called Fawlty Towers and set in the seaside town of Torquay, on the "English Riviera". The plots centre around eccentric, rude and total Gob Shite owner Basil Fawlty (John Cleese), his bossy wife Sybil (Prunella Scales), a sort of normal chambermaid Polly (Booth), and hapless Spanish waiter Manuel (Andrew Sachs).

    The show revolves around their attempts to run the hotel amidst farcical situations and a bunch of seemingly crazy guests who drive Basil to an Acting extreme which is quite unforgettable. (Especially the Hitler impression) You know it, want it and should have it in your collection of Great British Comedy……...
  • Although his work on other things such as Monty Python and A Fish Called Wanda are incredible, nothing beats the genius of his writing and performing skills in this rather amazing sitcom! What amazes me is that the vulgar character of Basil Fawlty was NOT a thought up character, but he did actually exist in real life. And what was even more surprising was that the BBC thought that the pilot script was so bad that it would never become a remembered thing on TV...well...look at where the show stands now, eh? It's classed as one of the best sitcoms in television history.

    Basil is played at an outstanding rate by John Cleese as is the supporting cast of Prunella Scales as the "nest of vipers" wife Subil, Connie Booth as the faithful and reliable waitress Polly and, of course, Andrew Sachs as the hopelessly dim and hard of understanding Spanish waiter, Manuel.

    Clearly the show has many classic moments, but for me, there are four things that stand out. One, the scene where Basil beats up his car with a large branch, two, his impression of a German Soldier, three, his struggle to get the corpse out of the hotel and finally, the deaf old woman who complains about the room. Although each episode itself contains side achingly funny situations that still seem original today in spite the fact that it was made back in the mid/late 70s.

    Like most people, the sad feeling is that only 12 episodes were ever made. Not even a Christmas special was made. Might have been interesting to see what Christmas life in Fawlty Towers would have been like. Maybe Basil's Christmas is anything but relaxing with his henpecking wife at him all the time, Manuel burns the turkey, Polly runs off with one of the guests perhaps...many ideas for a final 13th episode. LOL! The writing is excellent, the performances are excellent, the setting is excellent, the episodes are excellent...clearly an excellent piece of British TV situation comedy.
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