Marc Comfort | Niigata City; Niigata-ken; Japan | 04/22/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This 2 disc set features six episodes from the 1972 season of this BBC controversial series:- To Garnett a Grandson; Pigeon Fancier; Holiday in Bournemouth; Dock Pilfering; Up the Hammers; and, Alf's Broken Leg - all of which are about 30~32 minutes, plus the bonus 45 minute Christmas Episode, also from 1972. ( Totaling aprox 225 mins ). The sound is obviously mono, but the picture is surprisingly sharp considering it's age. Unfortunately there are no sub-titles or closed captions which is a problem with many of the re-issued British Tv dramas from the Bfs, Acorn, A&E group.
The humour is quite crude, but blisteringly funny in places, albeit racist and anti semantic - I remember first seeing these on a weekday mid-evening time slot whilst I was at hi-school, but now that I understand the humour more, I find it to be quite compelling - even though the political humour is definately dated.
I gave this four stars only as I felt that more episodes could have filled up the disc space...
If you are liberally minded and understand British humour - then you should enjoy this."
The Greatest Britcom Ever
Captain Eddy Smith | Chapmanville, WV | 03/04/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This BBC comedy aired for nine years (1966-1975) and was the model for Norman Lears Hilarious sitcom All in the Family. Be aware the comedy is very different than that of AITF. Alf Garnett, the British Archie Bunker, is far more bigoted and profane. Else (Edith in on AITF) has a totally differnt personality and THEIR EDITH SMOKES. The Garnetts, like the Bunkers, have a "Mike and Gloria" living with them, only here their "Micheal and Rita". Rita is simallar to Gloria, but Micheal is totally different than Mike.
Here is the summary of episodes included on the disc(s),
Disc One (To Garnett a Grandson),
TO GARNETT A GRANDSON, Its off to the hospital to visit daughter Rita and the new grandbaby. The sight of the new baby manages to calm Alf from his normal self, until Micheal brings up the babys new name. Then the squalling really starts.
PIGEON FANCIER, Flush with a tax rebate, Alf decides to celebrate down at the pub. A hotshot neighbour makes things more intresting when he starts to brag about his racing pigeons. To Alf that sounds like a way to double his windfall, if he is not made into a pigeon himself.
HOLIDAY IN BOURNEMOUTH, The Family head for a holiday (vacation as we "yanks" would call it) in the seaside town of Bournemouth. But Alf just can see why the sea in Bournemouth is any better than the water that laps around the docks in Wapping. Alf, naturally gets the worst of the trip as he battles with both sunburn and a fat and noisy hotel proprietress. Later, Alf and Else are sitting by the pool when a boy fiddles with Alfs chair and he falls in the water.
BONUS FEATURES, A bio on Warren Mitchell (Alf) A filmography on Johnny Speight.
Disc Two (Dock Pilfering),
DOCK PILFERING, After ruining everyones breakfast with his normal attitude, Alf heads down to the docks for work. Then Alf discoveres his "silly old moo" of a wife has paid him back.
UP THE HAMMERS (also known as ALF TAKES THE BABY) Alf heads off to a football game, as Rita and Else head for a day of shopping in London. But when "young Micheal" goes missing the panic starts. Later they find out who the real theif is! This is the best episode, my opinion.
ALFS BROKEN LEG, Alf's broken leg is making him more cantankerous than normal. A trip down to the pub might do good for him. But later some michevous kids take advantage of his wheelchair state, and soon everone is laughing but Alf.
BONUS:SPECIAL CHRISTMAS EPISODE, tis the season when the family would really like to deck Alf! The only way they will have a silent night is when he returns from "down the pub" with with sugarplums and a hangover dancing his head.
The Original Missing Link
PatB | UK | 04/01/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I believe I witnessed the birth of the golden age of Britcom. In 1966, when the pilot episode of Till Death was aired, Harold Wilson was the (Labour) prime minister, England had just won the World Cup, girls sported beehives and mini-skirts, and everyone ate organic food without having to pay extra, because in those days organic was the only kind you could get. Remember then?
The battle between Alf and Mike (Alf's son-in-law) is a multi-way battle between old and young, Conservative and Labour, Right and Left, London and Liverpool. (Interesting note: Mike is played by Tony Booth, whose daughter is Cherie Booth who is now married to Tony Blair.)
None of those early episodes are available, and I think the tapes have all been destroyed. It was black-and-white, and very speckly. Or it was on my television. But since you'll never see that pilot episode, I'll just tell you the opening line, which is all I remember of the whole thing.
Alf, Elsie, Mike and Rita are all sitting there listening to the chimes of Big Ben. Alf pulls his pocket-watch out of his waistcoat, looks at it for a moment, then fires the first shot in the long ideological war between himself and his son-in-law: "'Ere! You wanna tell your darling Harold his clock's wrong."
Britcom started there.
Finally ! ! !
Eddie Landsberg | Tokyo, Japan | 10/28/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As a big ALL IN THE FAMILY fan, I've dreamed for years of getting to see this one... TILL DEATH US DO PART after all is the TV show that ALL IN THE FAMILY was based on - - So what would the British Archie Bunker be like and what would the humor be like BRITCOM style ??? I wondered, wondered, wondered and finally one day I'm browsing around AMAZON and lo and behold... TILL DEATH DO US PART has finally hit DVD... so what's it like ??? ...in a nutshell, very different - - Take Alf Garnett (Archie's counterpart) - - whereas Archie is a loveable bigot/ignoramus (perhaps in light of growing up in the depression and and only having a limited education), Alf Garnett is just plain mean and angry... hillarious, but not a nice guy by any means.. He rambles non-stop from begining to end and says one awful thing after another... and even goes so far as... getting the baby drunk (as well as periodically telling it to shut up.) - - If you grew up with a guy like this, you would definitely have plenty of recovery meeting to attend...- - To sum it up: the writing is funny, but the Garnetts are by no means loveable... and this is what makes the show work... You laugh at them, but for sure would NOT want to eat dinner at their place. Alf, in fact reminds me of Ben Kinglsey's charactor in Sexy Beast (sorry for the obscure reference.)
In the end, I guess its unfair to make the comparisons - - TILL DEATH came first... it broke the mold and paved the way... my advice is: this is definitely groundbreaking TV and something different... but as both a Britcom and ALL IN THE FAMILY fan I can't help but be both ENORMOUSLY happy to finally get to see it (hence the 4 star rating), yet at the same time it really takes time to grow on you. (The acting and writing, of course like any BBC sitcome are brilliant.)
In conclusion... great TV if you drop the comparisons.
DVD set features 6 episodes and runs about 3 hours."
H. Kulp | Tennessee | 03/25/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Great comedy. Saw this series in the UK when it first aired. Still funny as ever, although some what difficult to catch all the words given the heavy accents. A bigger bigot that Archie Bunker but just as funny."