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Fawlty Towers
Last post Fri, Nov 03 2006 by Angelo Clematide, 28 replies.
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Posted on Wed, Nov 01 2006 12:03
by PaulR
Joined on Mon, Dec 22 2003, England, Posts 2370
So what are you favourite moments from Fawlty Towers? Since I was born in Torquay, I think it's my duty to bring this up.

Anyone for trifle?
Posted on Wed, Nov 01 2006 12:11
by hbuus
Joined on Thu, Oct 26 2006, Posts 74
Maybe the episode with "Don't mention the war" in it! Big Smile
But there were many fun moments overall.
Posted on Wed, Nov 01 2006 12:23
by hermitage59
Joined on Fri, Mar 25 2005, The Slavic Cultural Empire, Posts 1050
One of mine was the 'deaf woman'.
And Basil trying to hide his race winings from his wife.

[Indifferent]
[i:d09f9c4039][color=blue:d09f9c4039][size=11:d09f9c4039]Orchestration is the art of making your own choice.....
Genius is the art of making the right choice....[/size:d09f9c4039][/color:d09f9c4039][/i:d09f9c4039]
Posted on Wed, Nov 01 2006 13:29
by PaulR
Joined on Mon, Dec 22 2003, England, Posts 2370
hermitage59 wrote:
One of mine was the 'deaf woman'.
And Basil trying to hide his race winings from his wife.

[Indifferent]


Yeah - she was great in that. That's the 'herds of wilderbeast, sweeping majestically across Torquay' one, right?

The race winnings - yeah. Been there many times.
Posted on Wed, Nov 01 2006 14:43
by nicks
Joined on Sun, Jan 05 2003, Posts 184
Two words:

ees hamstair. Cool
Posted on Wed, Nov 01 2006 15:21
by PaulR
Joined on Mon, Dec 22 2003, England, Posts 2370
I'm very keen on the bit where The Major is describing to Basil Fawlty the time he took a woman to see India - at Lords.

Also, the bit where Fawlty gives his car 'a damn good thrashing'.

The bit where the American says 'and a screwdriver for my wife'.
Posted on Wed, Nov 01 2006 16:25
by Justus
Joined on Thu, Jun 23 2005, Hamburg, Germany, Posts 41
Yes, "the Germans" is great, especially for Germans [Wink]
OPUS 1
Posted on Wed, Nov 01 2006 18:38
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5513
I have trouble deciding, since after all this is the "Sistine Chapel of Situation Comedies." As I told Paul however, the Hotel Inspectors creates what could be conceived of as a perfect crescendo of comedy, with the climactic, fortissimo finale of the double pie/cream pouring upon the obnoxious guest by the even more obnoxious Basil.
Posted on Wed, Nov 01 2006 19:14
by fcw
Joined on Wed, May 11 2005, UK, Posts 153
The whole dead-guest-and-a-fish situation. Unless that's something else.
Posted on Wed, Nov 01 2006 19:52
by PaulR
Joined on Mon, Dec 22 2003, England, Posts 2370
Justus wrote:
Yes, "the Germans" is great, especially for Germans [Wink]


Did you know that Andrew Sachs who played Manuel was German?
Posted on Wed, Nov 01 2006 19:54
by PaulR
Joined on Mon, Dec 22 2003, England, Posts 2370
fcw wrote:
The whole dead-guest-and-a-fish situation. Unless that's something else.


cleese got the idea for The Kipper and the Corpse when staying at the Savoy. He asked the manager what would be the worst scenario for an hotel manager - the manager replied a dead guest.

Cleese named the corpse after the hotel manager of The Savoy in his honour.
Posted on Wed, Nov 01 2006 22:23
by Justus
Joined on Thu, Jun 23 2005, Hamburg, Germany, Posts 41
PaulR wrote:
Justus wrote:
Yes, "the Germans" is great, especially for Germans [Wink]


Did you know that Andrew Sachs who played Manuel was German?


What? Surpriseops:
OPUS 1
Posted on Wed, Nov 01 2006 23:33
by PaulR
Joined on Mon, Dec 22 2003, England, Posts 2370
Justus wrote:
PaulR wrote:
Justus wrote:
Yes, "the Germans" is great, especially for Germans [Wink]


Did you know that Andrew Sachs who played Manuel was German?


What? Surpriseops:


Andreas Seigfried Sachs.

I think he loved The Germans one. The one called the Germans is nothing to do with Germans at all actually. It's to do with prejudice right from the beginning to the end. It's the one everybody always remembers because it's blatant. The Germans come out looking OK in that one. It's Basil that looks bad - that's the whole point and that's why it's funny.
Posted on Thu, Nov 02 2006 00:01
by mosso
Joined on Thu, Jun 23 2005, London, England, Posts 376
There are so many good moments in Fawlty Towers, but "The Germans" was just genius. "So - that's a Prawn Goebbels, a Herman Goering, and Four Cold Meat Salads..."

Also, let's not forget...
"Basil - turn down that racket!"
"Racket??? RACKET???!!! IT'S BRAHMS!!! BRAHMS' 3RD RACKET!!!"
Martin Thornton
<a href="http://www.mosso.co.uk/" target="_blank">www.mosso.co.uk</a>
Posted on Thu, Nov 02 2006 00:10
by PaulR
Joined on Mon, Dec 22 2003, England, Posts 2370
mosso wrote:
There are so many good moments in Fawlty Towers, but "The Germans" was just genius. "So - that's a Prawn Goebbels, a Herman Goering, and Four Cold Meat Salads..."

Also, let's not forget...
"Basil - turn down that racket!"
"Racket??? RACKET???!!! IT'S BRAHMS!!! BRAHMS' 3RD RACKET!!!"


IT"S NOT FUNNY!!

NOT FUNNY! YOU"RE JOKING!

I like the one where the Australian bird comes to stay in The Psychiatrists - and Basil reaches round the corner for the light switch and finds the Australian by mistake - and his wife walks in at the same time. She calls him a brilliantine stick insect and he calls her a quaffered old sow.

The basis of any successful English marriage in a nutshell.
Posted on Thu, Nov 02 2006 00:18
by Guy Bacos
Joined on Sun, Jan 16 2005, Quebec, Canada, Posts 1986
But does anybody know why such a hilarious show had such a short run? What was it, like 10 episodes? Too bad! Crying
Posted on Thu, Nov 02 2006 01:59
by nicks
Joined on Sun, Jan 05 2003, Posts 184
It's a post-imperial British thing. If we start doing anything too well, we get a bit embarrassed about it, and stop doing it before anybody notices too much.
Posted on Thu, Nov 02 2006 06:14
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5513
No, it's great comedy. It has a very short half-life.

Think of the greatest comedians of the screen -

Buster Keaton - he did some of the most innovative films of his time - like Sherlock Jr. - in a visual sense, as well as great comedies that are absolutely hilarious, but was ruined and became an alcoholic when he signed away his rights to MGM.

Charlie Chaplin - his most perfect films were silent, and when sound came in he was completely screwed up, then was trying to do something different with Monsieur Verdoux and The Great Dictator and Limelight, all of which audiences rejected, then he was accused of communism in America, etc.

Harold Lloyd - perhaps the most consistent of the early silent film comedians, but he lapsed into obscurity until recently when (finally) his silents are being re-released with beautiful scores by Carl Davis and other new composers. Films like "The Freshman" and "The Kid Brother" are tremendous examples of the art of comedy in film and can now be seen as if in a grand movie palace of the 20s, with a full symphony orchestra accompanying them.

Mel Brooks (to skip forward a bit) - after Young Frankenstein he was essentially washed up as a force in comedy. Though he still doesn't understand that. Though also, I don't blame him since it is part of the mind-set necessary, I feel, to create this incredibly difficult form of art.

Woody Allen- one of the greatest comedians ever in cinema, but one who had to change into something much more subtle than his early madcap farces. His later films are an amazing blend of drama and comedy. For example look at Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy - inspired partly by Bergman's Smiles of a Summer Night, but with a perfect Allenesque (if I may be so bold) style blending a charming comedy of manners with a visually beautiful setting.

I am pontificating here disgustingly, but the point I was trying to make was that all comedians seem to be unable to just keep on cranking out hilarity. It is a very precious product. (As Golem might say...)
Posted on Thu, Nov 02 2006 06:52
by Peter Roos
Joined on Tue, Jan 07 2003, The Netherlands, Posts 477
Fawlty Towers is excellently well orchestrated comedy [Wink]
Peter Emanuel Roos
www.PeterRoos.com (music)
www.Samplicity.com (IR libs)
Posted on Thu, Nov 02 2006 14:26
by fcw
Joined on Wed, May 11 2005, UK, Posts 153
Guy wrote:
But does anybody know why such a hilarious show had such a short run? What was it, like 10 episodes? Too bad! Crying


As I understand it, John Cleese and his then-wife Connie Booth, who co-wrote the show, decided that they were done with writing about Basil et al after two six-episode series.

It might have had something to do with them getting a divorce at about the same time they finished writing the second series of the show.

Anyway, British TV shows aren't made under the system that prevails in the US, where a 'season' is generally 20-odd episodes, intended to fill a timeslot for the majority of a year. If a show survives for a few years, it can then go into syndication, which is like a second wind for money-making. Aiming for large annual production runs means that US shows tend to be written by teams of writers. This makes it easier to cope when one writer leaves the show.

The commercial imperative that drives US TV production is almost entirely absent at the BBC, which tends to set the tone for all TV production in the UK. Consequently, big production runs generally aren't aimed for in the UK, so there isn't the same kind of pressure in British TV to keep making episodes of a show that has some success until it's past its prime, just to bulk up the numbers.

Because British TV is made and shown differently, most British comedy shows tend to be made in six-episode series instead, and they tend to all be written by the same one or two writers. If those writers quit, it's harder to continue without accidentally creating a different show that happens to have the same actors in it.

But that also means that shows that are really good can seem to end before we expect them to, especially when their creators decide to move on.
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