Monday, December 18

Fawlty Towers – John Cleese as Basil Fawlty

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John Cleese and Fawlty Towers is one of my favourite sitcoms from the seventies. It was made by BBC and the first episode was shown in 1975 on BBC2 and considering there were only twelve episodes made, it is still very popular, even today. The story takes place in an imaginary hotel in Torquay, Devon, UK and was written by John Cleese and Connie Booth. Fawlty Towers has also been voted top sitcom a few times by the industry experts including the British Film Institute. 

I think Fawlty Towers is probably the best thing John Cleese has ever done in TV and Movies that is; there are not many sitcoms from that era which have stood the test of time. It has many strong characters that developed well throughout the twelve hilarious episodes, for me it was the relationships between Basil Fawlty (John Cleese), his wife Sybil (Prunella Scales) and Manuel (Andrew Sachs). It seemed like every time Basil would do something wrong Sybil would chastise him and then Basil would take it out on Manuel’s head or by turning him upside down. 

Conny Boothe, who played Polly the waitress was reasonable good but not what I would call a strong character but it seemed to work as did all the characters in Fawlty Towers, Major Gowen (Ballard Berkeley) was quite funny, he always seem to be on a different planet than everyone else and when there was a disaster in the hotel he would either shrug it off or try to turn it into a military campaign. You also have the chef, Terry (Brian Hall) although he only appeared in the second series of Fawlty Towers his cooking methods and attitude made quite an impact in the kitchen and restaurant where there were many comical disasters. 

FawltyTowers has two more regular guests, Miss Tibbs (Gilly Flower) and Miss Gatsby (Renee Roberts) they were two old ladies who went everywhere together as if joined at the hip and they certainly added to the whole pleasant atmosphere of Fawlty Towers. These two old ladies were definitely, as we used to say, “Away with the fairies” but were pleasant to watch. It was so funny watching Basil Fawlty get into so many embarrassing and unbelievable situations and then trying to get out of them without his wife Sybil, finding out, and what a brilliant piece of comic acting Prunella Scales gave. Manuel appears to be a bit of a lovable idiot and is very funny, he also takes a lot of physical punishment from Basil Fawlty when things go wrong. 

If you like simple and inoffensive slapstick humour, you will probably enjoy Fawlty Towers and if you are fan of John Cleese you will like him as Basil Fawlty and this must be top of your list to watch. These twelve episodes will appeal to the whole family and I thoroughly recommend Fawlty Towers for lots of funny viewing. I hope that you find the above helpful in some way and you enjoy watching Fawlty Towers.

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