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Hallelujah! The Complete Collection
Hallelujah The Complete Collection
Genres: Comedy, Television
NR     2009     5hr 55min

Saving souls has never been so funny. Beloved actress Thora Hird--honored for lifetime achievement by the British National Comedy Awards--stars as Emily Ridley, a feisty Salvation Army captain who refuses to go gently in...  more »


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Movie Details

Creator: Thora Hird
Genres: Comedy, Television
Sub-Genres: Comedy, Comedy
Studio: Acorn Media
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen
DVD Release Date: 04/28/2009
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 5hr 55min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 4
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Harold Wolf | Wells, IN United States | 05/09/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It is hard to say which part is funnier; the eccentric cast, soul-winning gone awry, or money contribution collection techniques dreamed up by the odd lot of this 3-woman Salvation Army corp. This British television series from 1983-83 takes the hilarious, and somewhat irreverent, look at the Salvation Army from the inside. Through 15 episodes, Captain Emily Ridley (Thora Hird) steamrolls her misguided way through her administration of a soul-seeking band and do-gooders. Her less than successful, but well intentioned, plans and activities keep the episodes hopping.

She is sent to Brigthorpe, a small Yorkshire town as a form of the Salvation Army (aka Sally Ann) plan to mothball the Captain and her failures. She takes with her a niece and SA colleague, Sister Alice Meredith (Patsy Rolands) who tries to put a better light on the mistakes of the Captain, also her Auntie. Opening in a defunct Bingo parlor, they first convert the aged Dorothy Smith (Rosamund Greenwood-a lovable grandma-type much like Granny of the Beverly Hill Billies). This local white-headed gal is willing to join any organization that might introduce her to a man. She's not dead yet.

Away the 3 go, like silly old female Musketeer Christian Soldiers, or 3 tract-toting Senior Stooges. Alice and Dorothy follow Capt. Emily like she is the tambourine pied piper. Even when they feel less than confident in the Captain's plan.

Dorothy proved to be such a delight, she nearly upstaged the other 2 stars. The one negative to this series: at the beginning of the second DVD and it's 8 episodes from 1984, Dorothy is missing. The Capt. and Alice have been moved on to an even more remote position in the Blackwick Citadel on Mill Street. Capt. Ridley still refuses retirement. Regional HQ send her to Blackwick because they have all but given up on that failing location with its clientele of the outrageous and severely dysfunctional. Can the Captain and Songster Alice turn it around? Win souls? Raise $? Will retirement finally be forced upon Emily?

Alice converts the first Blackwick soul, Benjamin (David Daker), a local derelict that turns to the SA couple because Alice reminds him of his former best friend, a dog. He joins the soul-seeking program, replacing Sister Smith, and fills those pretty big, black, shoes quite well.

The final "Christmas Special" episode is worth half the collection's cost. It is an outrageously funny abomination of the Dickens' "Christmas Carol" story of "Bob Scratchett" and his "Tiny Tom" from "Sewer Street." What a jollification for ending the 2-year series.

There is a serious bonus explaining the history of the Salvation Army.

No subtitles available, but the reverse on your remote works to get the occasional needed phrase repeated. That's important sometimes, because some of the verbal gags are so quick, you'll need a rerun, so you can laugh a second time. Cleaver use of scripture memorization by the lady Captain who also has the habit of looking heavenward when talking with the boss--God. Or asking forgiveness for what she just did or said.

You will enjoy some of the picturesque shots in small-town England.

This is not dry but goofier British comedy. Perhaps it's what Red Green would be like if he was an old spinster heading up a Salvation Army group rather than a loony lodge.

The Likable Captain Ridley
Dennis B. Sibley | USA | 05/25/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"As a uniformed bandsman (Tustin Ranch Salvation Army Band, Southern California) and member of The Salvation Army, I found "Hallelujah!" Season One delightful and very funny. The jokes are fast, thus I laughed more during the second and third viewings than the first. Captain Ridley's character of caring for the lost and her human frailties lends credibility to her character which makes her all the more likable. Captain Ridley's can do attitude and her one on One faith and relationship with The One is in essence what attracted me, after being introduced through Salvation Army Band music, to The Army and it is that essence keeps me there. Though Captain Ridley is so called misguided, the words of another reviewer, she does have success when dealing with those in need. The script is excellent. Just thinking about the show makes me laugh. The set's attention to detail is superb. "Hallelujah!" embodies the words of Meredith Wilson's Banners and Bonnets, "Could you love the unloved, never reckoning the cost, Giving them comfort and care? Could you seek the unloved, in the legion of the lost, Sharing their grief and despair? That's the creed of an Army, a God fearing Army, With banners and bonnets they come. Yes, to love the unloved in the spirit of the Lord, Marching with trumpet [cornet] and drum....""
Kathleen A. Heider | 06/12/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Delightful series for Dame Thora Hird. Very different from her character in Last of the Summer Wine, but somehow more of the Thora as she lived life."