Probably the most hysterically funny British sit-com in history; if not the best, then certainly amongst the Top 5 for sit-coms, including those produced in America. Sheer brilliance. So many memorable moments are loaded into each episode, it's hard to believe only 12 episodes were created in total. Indeed, many friends (and myself) would have sworn there were 20, perhaps 30 episodes overall since it's unimaginable John Cleese and his co-creator / co-writer / ex-wife Connie Booth could have crammed so much insanity into a mere 12 episodes, but somehow, magically, they did.
And the casting could not have been more perfect. Cleese, Scales, Booth, and Sachs are complete pros, utterly and insanely funny, unbeatable as a team, with flawless timing, mugging, and line delivery. Even the guest stars (Joan Sanderson as the hard-of-hearing Mrs. Richards anyone???) delivered brilliant performances throughout the dozen episodes. Nope, tt doesn't get any better in the casting department.
A shame they couldn't have produced a third, or even a fourth, series of 6 additional episodes each, although seeing as only a dozen Fawlty adventures exist, perhaps that's part of the reason this series is so damned special.
BRILLIANT! Brit-Comedy--nope, scratch that--ALL-Comedy at its best!!!
This is a fantastic show! The lines are really clever and funny and it is a great example of British humour. The characters are all really good and my favourites are Basil and Manuel. I would have liked it to go on longer but then it might have spoiled it if it went on too long.
I think the episode with the Germans is my favourite. I love all the comments he makes about the war and that he thought he got away with it. That episode was what Fawlty Towers would be most famous like who doesn't know about that episode and the walk John Cleese did as an impersonation of a German soldier.
With Basil constantly rude, abusing and berating behaviour towards all of the guests and especially Manuel. And Basil's fear of Sybil, the Major with his mind wandering all over the place. While throughout all the going ons of Fawlty Towers hotel of Torquay, there's Penny, about the only sane person in the whole place. All of these combined makes Fawlty Towers the hectic, mad and hilariously funny show it is. The scripts were fantastic with you constantly laughing, no matter how many times you have seen each episode. Even though it only ran for twelve episodes, this show has gone down as one of the greatest comedies of all time - with good reason for it too.
John Cleese is a brilliant comedian. The show 'Fawlty Towers' is rife with sarcastic wit and will leave you teary-eyed. I was very disappointed to see it end after a relatively short amount of episodes (I think this was due to the marital relationship b/t Connie Booth and John Cleese, though I'm not certain). I'd suggest this show to anybody of any age group or comedic taste. You will find the protagonist, Basil Fawlty, placed in flawlessly hopeless scenes of dramatic irony which he himself induced. These episodes usually leave his hotel guests (he runs a hotel after which the show is named) viewing Fawlty as either a lunatic or an owner of the most insanely backwards hotel in the whole of Western Europe.
John Cleese is amazing! I absolutely love this show. It is hilarious, and even after watching the same episode over and over it does not get old. It is the subtle jokes and sarcasm that makes this show stand out for me. If there was some way to bring it back then I would but it is so unique that no other actors could do it justice. The casting is perfect and the episodes are written well. The timing of the actors is just right for comedic brilliance. I can't think of another show that is like this one. I cant get enough of it.
I noticed that a friend on this site had this show under his favs, so I downloaded the series.Great show.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. Best 70s show. ever.
Meet Basil Fawlty; pompous and misanthropic owner of Fawlty Towers who lives under the thumb of womanly and slothful but undeniably dictatorial wife Sybil, Manual is the Spanish Porter who endures not only the pain of not speaking English but the constant physical abuse from Basil and Polly; the level – headed waitress who arguably is the owner of the hotel by default. The series was somewhat short – lived with its termination after only 12 episodes; some say it was because of the separation of creators and lovers; John Cleese and Connie Booth who plays Basil and Polly correspondingly and some say it's because they wanted to ensure the quality of each episode what ever the catalyst, this show could not of been done better. Like Cleese's Monty Python the show has a certain low - key charm, you'll often notice the walls wobbling or the microphone's shadow and all sorts of technical glitches but the quality is alsways gold. John Cleese (love him or hate him) completely inhabits the miserly and snobbish Basil Fawlty, Prunella Scales never disappoints as the dainty yet domineering Sybil Fawlty but it's Andrew Sachs as the hapless, Spanish porter Manuel who always shines on Fawlty Tower's cheap set, although Connie Booth is delightful as Polly she's been cursed with the dreariest of the four characters and sadly any scene with her drags. Although the four main actors take centre stage there're several underrated supporting actors that also made the show legendary; the senile Major Gowen; the longest – standing resident at the hotel whose day – to – life seems to revolve only around drinking and newspapers, the equally batty and Basil - adoring old ladies Miss Gatsby and Miss Tibbs and the cockney chef Terry. Although only 12 episodes were made all of them ensure the unforgettable quality of the show but the most favoured episode clearly stands as "The Germans" which not only displays the all – around comic genius of John Cleese but introduces the world to the immortal line "Don't Mention the War." Fawlty Towers is the defining moment in British television.
Fawlty Towers is without doubt the funniest show ever. Mr Fawlty the hotel manager is a very funny man and all the way through I can't stop laughing at him. The reason why I have givin it 9 out of 10 and not a perfect 10 is becuase they did not make enough episodes, they only made 12 when they could have made about 25 like on Open All Hours. But becuase of how funny it is I rate it 9 out of 10. My favorite bit i'd say is when Mr Fawlty's car breaks down and he hits it with a branch.
As the story goes, John Cleese based his character on the inhospitable owner of a hotel while staying with the Monty Python crew. Amazing that such a bad impression can make a truly classic British comedy about the hilarious high-jinks at Fawlty Towers.
Although it is dissappointing that there are only 12 episodes, each one is a comic jem. Enough so that I own the DVD collection, and do not tire over rewatching them many, many times.
This could be considered a bad sit-com (or perhaps a bad-sit-com: because each episode starts w/ a BAD SITuation, only getting worse, invoking plenty of COMedy. The characters each add their own dynamic, which the comedically-talented cast all execute perfectly. There is the sour, sarcastic owner, Basil; his wife, Sybil, who nags and tortures her husband to the point that he nicknames her "the dragon"; the good-natured but unfortunately language-barriered waiter/bellboy Manuel; and Polly, the maid/waitress that is often the glue that keeps the whole place from falling apart. And with each episode there is also a colorful array of guests who all cause problems and exasperate Basil.
I've been watching this show since I was ten years old, and I still love it. It has the very best qualities of British humor - a combination of slapstick and dry, sarcastic wit. I enjoy John Cleese especially, and I prefer his performance here as opposed to Monty Python. It's less goofy and more witty. All the characters play off of each other very well, and the writing is very, very good. All of the episodes are classic, and I can watch them over and over again without getting tired of it. Even though it was made in the '70s, the comedy is timeless. It also appeals to all ages, from little kids who laugh at the slapstick to older adults (parental warning: all episodes but The Wedding Party and The Psychiatrist are appropriate for young viewers).
This is a classic amoung classics. No show can compare to what John Clese created in this program. I think that it is much better than his work in the Monty Python series and sort of see it as a precursor to what Ricky Gervais created with the office. While there is alot of "slap-stick" humor, the best of it comes from his intelligence as a comic. The bits he creates are non comparable to anybody elses in that they were way ahead of his time. I see the office in a simular way in that in both cases it is the Boss that keeps screwing things up and is many ways is the actually laughing stock of the show. The rest of the cast (besides his wife) are always trying to cover for him and his crazy antics. Beside that point, this is deffenitly worth getting the DVD and sitting down to watch. The comedic presance is unparelled.
there is a couple that run a hotel that is rather fawlty, the hotel name is somthing towers thus the name fawlty-towers.
the worker is called manwell he is from Spain (barcalona). He isn't very bright so he isn't very good at his job and he gets in all sorts of troble.
A guest that is at the hotel all the time is a formar army guy ( in one episode someone dies and he acts rather calm for an old man). and theres an lady with a dog ( that manwell hates) that are regularly at the hotel
I have only seen a few episodes of Fawlty Towers but i have to say it is a great comedy. I think this is the early version of Seinfeld and the 2 shows have some similarities. Fawlty Towers is set in a hotel/restaurant and it is around the time of the late 70's. The characters are really funny and although i haven't seen much of this tv show it is very well written and act. Today's television needs more shows like Fawlty Towers or Seinfeld because these shows are absolutely hilarious and practically about nothing in particular. Fawlty Towers = Good Show.
Fawlty Towers is one of those rare shows that can make me laugh out loud. John Cleese is excellent in it, he plays the rude and short tempered hotel manager. This is definitely among the greatest shows in history. I strongly recommend this show. It has so many classic lines and quotes, sometimes I forget which show it is from.
Fawlty Towers is probably the second best TV show to come out of the BBC (Monty Python's Flying Circus being #1)
John Cleese was brilliant as the sacasticlly rude inn keeper who does nothing to hide his distain for everyone around him save his wife, who he insults under his breath or behind her back. Starring with Cleese is Connie Booth (Cleese's then wife)as Polly the chamber maid who keeps things running at the inn.
Fawlty Towers is british comedy at it's best. A combination of well written characters and physical comedy that never fails to make me laugh no matter how many time I watch.
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."
Fawlty Towers was a great show! Pretty much every episode is a calssic in it's own way. The story of a clumsy hotel owner and his insane staff. This show is a classic! One of my favorites! That's also because I think that John Cleese is a genius!
This british comedy is based on the life of Basil Fawlty. He is a clumsy, bumbly man. He always seems to find a way to foul things up whether it's messing up the dinner for all of his guests or insulting them. His staff doesn't do any better. There is Manuel the spanish? cook can barely speak english so Basil is always yelling at him. Basils wife seems to be the more reasonable one of the bunch. She is always trying to keep her husband in line. If you like British comedy then you will love this show. It is nonstop laughs. Especially if you are a fan of John Cleese. They still play it every once inawhile on BBC but not enough!
I remember Fawlty Towers from its initial run in the US. I was delighted to see John Cleese again, having enjoyed him as part of the Monty Python troupe earlier on. Nothing, however, could have prepared me for the stunning hilarity in store for me! The brilliant comic writing and timing of Cleese's "Basil" and Connie Booth's "Polly" was nothing short of perfect; add to the mix Prunella Scales' turn as "Sybil", Basil's wife and eternal antagonist, and Andrew Sachs' marvelous turn as "Manuel", and you have the formula for what was for me a comic ensemble that is unsurpassed even to this day. Clearly the writers took their time to create perfect little comedic art pieces: I have watched each of the episodes about a dozen times, and never fail to laugh out loud with every viewing. I truly wish there had been more episodes coming from this group; but knowing that will not come to pass makes me treasure the show all the more. Comedy such as this, that doesn't lose its appeal over the years, is hard to come by; when you do find it, you must savor it, and when possible, share it with others. I highly recommend this show to anyone who wants a good, deep, neverending laugh.
It was really famous then and its extremely famous now. A brand new boxset has just come out of Fawlty Towers with amazing new features. But Fawlty Towers had lost something between the four year series gap. Series One
Series One had a sense of something new. A touch of class was a great kick off showing a fake Lord coming to stay at a hotel but was in fact a confidence trickster. The Builders was another example of the magic when it was a fight between OReily and Stubbs to build a couple of door. Basil hired oReilly who messed up really bad. It was a very humerous half hour. My favourite episode from the first series would have to be Gourmet Night. first the car doesn't start up, then it;s gormet night, the chef gets drunk, they get their friend to do, manuel steps in the turkey, basil goes back to friends, car breaks down on way back, finds out its trifle. It really is humourous.
Now we must come onto Series Two
My favourite episode is Waldorf Salad who a americian is ordering it but british people don't know what it is and basil is the only chef. It all goes wrong and he ends up leaving the hotel. It is the funiest one is the series but there is a lot more power in series one than in series two. Series Two is longer and more black comedy but Series One is just plain, great comedy. I love both series but if one was better than another, series one would be it,
Fawlty Towers is a classic comedy show. It's funny, and it has good storylines. Most comedy shows have humourous moments, but usually the storyline is missing or not strong enough to make a show out of. This is one of the comedy shows that I can watch, laugh and enjoy. My laughs are rare, so if a show can get me to laugh, then it's good at comedy, however, a good comedy also includes a good storyline. The best thing about Fawlty Towers is that after most episodes end, I wish that they were still going. That's something that any writer should be proud of.
John Cleese at his creative peak. It\'s great writing and general hard work of the entire cast made this gem the ultimate Sit-Com. Add to the fact that they had the good taste to end it before it went bad unlike so many shows today and you have the perfect example of it\'s genre. Having grown up with re-runs of the show back in the early 90\'s it\'s striking how Basil\'s misantrophic outlook and general strive to climb the social ladder and his unavoidable failure to do so still feels so current to me. Id recommend the show warmly to anyone.
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 nineth 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.
Fawlty Towers is one of the funniest shows I have ever saw.
I especially like the eposode about the rat that Basil thought was in the hotel.It was really funny when he was running around like a chicken with his head cut off.How he tried to keep it from his wife.It was really funny when he got out the gun to try to shoot it and how he tried to hide the fact that there was a rat in there.The cast was so good at what they did.Always had you laughing.They were the best.I wish it would come back on TV.I used to watch it on BBC but if left the air sometime ago.That was ashame.Good show.I always enjoyed the show.
One of the best comedies that came out of England is "Monty Python's flying circus." Now a member of the troupe has created "Fawlty towers." the series take place at a hotel resort, where the manager is rude, his wife is a bully and the stuff has no clue. Fresh writing and a talented cast has given the series a lift. I love the series as a teenager and I still do today. Not enough episodes of the show were filmed, but It does't matter I love the show and the humor is econd to none. Not even American TV comedy can come close.
The genesis of Fawlty Towers came when John Cleese and the rest of the Pythons went filming in the Southwest of England in May 1971. They were scheduled to spend two weeks at the Gleneagles in Torquay, but cut their stay to one night. It all had to do with the "wonderfully rude" hotel manager, the late Donald Sinclair. Sinclair hated all the guests who had the shortsightedness to stay in the Gleneagles. Worse, Sinclair was only 5'4" and was married to a large, domineering wife.
For years the main characters have remained in the story. Others came and went sometimes for short periods and sometimes for many episodes. They helped to make the story more exciting.
Some of the main characters were Basil, Sybil, Terry, Polly, Manuel, Miss Tibbs, The Major and Miss Gatsby.
Each episode is a story on its own but it forms part of the whole story.
One of the most perfect sitcoms I've ever seen. I suppose the fact that there were only 12 episodes made allowed the writing to be sharp - well also look at who was doing the writing. That IS the sad part of current sitcoms, people churning them out so quickly that they can't possibly be consistantly laugh-out-loud funny. But with Fawlty Towers, you could tell they took the time to craft each episode. This series was especially one of favorites because I've worked in hotels for a while, and so it always pleased me when I saw Basil say or do something to a guest that I wished I could have said or done at one point. Not to be mean, but you know how rude people can be - and to see Basil forget that "the customer is always right" was refreshing every time.
This show worked on many levels but John Cleese being completely over the top is what held it all together, stuff you\'d never see Dick Louden do (from the classic \"Newhart\"). I\'m glad to see it\'s holding up after all the years, and getting the respect that it deserves.
And they quit when they were ahead - no shark jumping necessary!
I love this show!!!!!! It charts the hilarious accounts of hotel owner Basil Fawlty (John Cleese), his wife Sybil Fawlty (Prunella Scales), a waitress/cleaner employed at the hotel Polly Sherman (Connie Booth who was John Cleese's off-screen wife for ten years until their divorcre in 1978) and the Spanish waiter Manuel (Andrew Sachs). Basil is a far from accomdating person and spends his time arguring with the guests. In "The Hotel Inspectors" he even knocks one unconscious! Sybil is a very welcoming person but also has little time for the hotel due to her constant ridiculing of her husband and her hours of talking with Audrey her friend. Polly is perhaps the shows only sane character. She likes to see herself as a painter more than a waitress and spends her time in the hotel covering up Mr.Fawlty's mishaps. Manuel is a waiter Basil hired from Barcelona due to his tight pocket. Manuel speaks little English and has a lot of trouble following simple orders. Togheter these four characters make up a show which even after 25 years continues to shine out as one of the world's best British comedies.
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