Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Roy Clarke's Open All Hours The Complete Series|
Actors: Ronnie Barker, David Jason
Genres: Comedy, Television
Arkwright, the brown-coated, stuttering, Northern shop-keeper is forced to open his corner-shop for as long as the law will permit. But, he still finds time for his passions - parting unsuspecting customers from their hard... more »
All at once!
Howie | Arkansas | 03/16/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Open All Hours" (1976 - 1985) is #8 on the "Britian's Best Sitcom" list from a poll conducted in 2004 by the BBC, ITV, and Channel 4. Instead of drawn out, overpriced, single series releases we get the entire program of 4 series (25 episodes) at once this time at a reasonable price! Special features are to include the pilot which aired as an episode of the 1973 series "Seven of One".
Written by Roy Clarke ("Last of the Summer Wine", "Keeping Up Appearances") the series takes place primarily in a small grocer's shop, in Doncaster in South Yorkshire. The owner, a middle-aged, tight-fisted man, will stop at nothing to keep his profits high and his overhead low. He has a pronounced stammer and a knack of being able to sell anything. His put upon nephew is his errand boy, whose attempts at a love-life or even just a social life fall flat. He blames his uncle that he has to be up early to open the shop and stay late to close it.
Nurse Gladys Emmanuel, Arkwright's long-standing fiancée, and only weakness, lives across the road. Arkwright spends an inordinate amount of time attempting to make her marry, or at least sleep with him.
The primary characters in the series are:
Ronnie Barker (Porridge) - Arkwright, the shop owner
David Jason (Only Fools and Horses) - Granville, his nephew
Lynda Baron - Nurse Gladys Emmanuel
Keep your eyes open for Kathy Staff (Last Of the Summer Wine) and Stephanie Cole (Waiting For God) as customers.
Sometimes quaint, sometimes dark, and always with that dry British humor and penchant for the double entendre this is another in a string of fabulously funny sitcoms from across the pond!"
Mr. Mambo | Burnsville, MN USA | 06/24/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I am very glad to see that this hilarious series is finally out on DVD here in our US region. I would rate this as easily one of the top twelve Brit coms of all time (my other favorites being Fawlty Towers, Last of the Summer Wine, The Young Ones, If Wishes Were Horses, Little Britain, Absolutely Fabulous, Are You Being Served, Keeping Up Appearances, As Time Goes By, One Foot in the Grave, and Waiting for God).
Ronnie Barker does a magnificent job as shopkeeper Arkwright, a stout, middle-aged proprietor of a small grocery in an unnamed Yorkshire town. After watching about thirty seconds of Episode 1 you will realize that (1) he has an extremely amusing stuttering habit; (2) he is notoriously tightfisted and (3) he lusts after his neighbor, the plain but amply-proportioned Nurse Gladys Emmanuel. What makes the show for me are the wonderful conversations between the--let's be honest here--very horny Arkwright and the resistant Gladys. He's constantly on the offensive, and nurse Gladys, a single woman caring for her invalid mother, puts up a good fight (she's neither naive nor a prude, and though she'd never admit it, she unconsciously welcomes the attention that this aging would-be lover showers upon her). Of course, the parsimonious Arkwright is very reluctant to open up the wallet too wide, even for the nurse. But as you will see, the promise of a kiss and a caress wins out.
This show is at least thirty years old, but it holds up well. The English, and Europeans in general, have long been much more tolerant of race than us Yanks, and also do not seem anywhere near as hung up about sex. Consequently you have in Arkwright and nurse Gladys a couple of physically unspectacular middle-aged people who DO--particularly Arkwright--think about sex and pursue it. In US shows if you are not beautiful and/or extremely young, you have no sex life.
American viewers will have to listen carefully lest they miss some of the absolutely devastating double entendres which come out of the mouth of Arkwright. You'll find yourself saying "Did he just say what I think he said?" over and over again. I wonder how they got some of his utterances past the censors (oh, that's right, this is a British show, not an American!).
Fans of Last of the Summer Wine will be happy to see Kathy Staff (the legendary battle axe, Norma Batty) popping in and out from time to time as a similarly-tempered neighborhood shopper).
The prolific David Jason plays Arkwright's live-in nephew, who himself is pining for romance and adventure, anything to spice up his boring existence. This was years before Jason appeared in If Wishes Were Horses, The Darling Buds of May, the excellent cop series Touch of Frost, and his latest, Diamond Geezer.
Roy Clarke's OPen All Hours the Complete Series
Howard Roarke | New Jersey | 07/09/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ronnie Barker is a classic as is Jason his side kick. I wish they would put "The Two Ronnies" on DVD for the USA market. My whole family loved this series when it was on PBS many years ago. However, the management at PBS in the NYC area has very strange programing tastes and won't show this or some of the other superior Britoms, like "Yes Minister" and "Yes Prime Minister". Ronnie as Arkwright is the stereotypical English shop keeper. One of my favorites is when someone comes in and asks "Can you give me directions?". Ronnie's character, Arkwright looks at him, appalled and replies, "Give you directions?! GIVE YOU DIRECTIONS?! I could SELL you directions, or of course if you were to make a small token purchase, of course the directions would be free..." Ronnie's portrayal of the stuttering shop keeper is not to be missed. There is clever dialog and double entendre throughout. You will also spot a few other veteran Brit com actors such as the character, "The widow Twanky" (who later plaied the acerbic Diana Trent in the also brilliant "Waiting for God", and I believe the character is "Mrs. Bluett", who is paid by the gem of an actress who also plaid "Nora Batty" in "Last of the Summer Wine".
I have been looking for this series for years on DVD and it finally became available just in June 2009. It is British Comedy at its best!"
A gem of British comedy
K. Cutterbuck | Shropshire, England | 06/06/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"'Open all hours' remains a staple of British comedy, rerun over and over. Although dated in some respects it remains as funny as ever, and much of that is due to Barkers amazing acting. Primarily a character actor Barker infuses laughter and charm and wit into an unlikely lovable character as he did with Fletcher in 'Porridge'
The chemistry between the main actors is beautiful to watch as Awkright fails to charm his way into Nurse Glady's NHS regulation uniform and keep hormone stricken Granville in line.
It is easy to get into as much of the information is repeated in gags I.E Awkrights dislike of spending money, Granville's attempts to chat up girls and dreaming of a life of adventure and excitement. It is suitable for a marathon viewing or just one or two episodes when the mood strikes you. An excellent series from a much loved and missed national treasure."