BENNY HILL SHOW: complete and unedited!

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by AndyMcKinney, Jun 28, 2004.

  1. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    The A&E set is the only set of complete Thames episodes that has ever been released on any home video format.
    World Tour: New York is a special that Benny made a few years after his Thames series was cancelled. This was made for Central television and was supposed to be the first in a new series, until the actor's death shortly after finishing it.
    Golden Greats and Golden Classics are both compilations, and I think are straight reissues of some of the previous VHS compilations.
    Best of Benny Hill from Anchor Bay is the 1974 compilation that was released theatrically in the U.K. Although it's a compilation of TV sketches (many of which were shot on tape), the entire compilation was run through a film recorder so that it could be screened theatrically.
    Finally, that Christmas TV Episodes you mention has nothing to do with Benny Hill. Perhaps it turned up in the search because of having Jack Benny and Beverly Hillbillies in it.
    Whew!
     
  2. Chuck Anstey

    Chuck Anstey Screenwriter

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    In addition to the previously mentioned nudity, I remember that "Supergran vs Dracula" had a woman sitting on a window sill of a 2nd floor with just a bra on. You think she is going to take it off as she turns into the window but she just takes it right off. Then 3 seconds later she turns to go into the room. During the day that was cut before she turned took it off but when syndicated at night they usually left it alone.

    Chuck Anstey
     
  3. stephen la

    stephen la Stunt Coordinator

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    thanks Andy & Randy S.

    I may be picking up that A & E collection
     
  4. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

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    How can u not love Benny Hill? To this day, seeing Benny and Bob Todd(the little old guy) with Fros was one of the funniest things Ive ever seen. I love this show. I watched it every night when I was a kid.

    Gotta have this.
     
  5. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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  6. Brian Thibodeau

    Brian Thibodeau Supporting Actor

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    There are also two British Benny Hill collections available on DVD.
    One is BENNY HILL - DOUBLE HELPINGS, which has some of the same material of the HBO sets, but actually contains episodes not included in those sets:
    Sadly, it's only available as a rental from what I can find, after being a very affordable price for ages:
    http://dvdrental.cd-wow.com/view_dvd...LOVEFILMSEARCH
    And there's also THE BEST OF BENNY HILL which I believe is the same theatrical feature as the Anchor Bay U.S. release.
    http://dvdrental.cd-wow.com/view_dvd...on=LOVEFILMSEA
    By the way, thanks ever so much for that Angels link, Randy. Nice after all these years to be able to put names to faces of more than just Sue Upton and Louise English. Louise was always my favourite. I had the biggest naughty schoolboy crush on her when her shows first started appearing. In fact, I think I still have a naughty schoolboy crush on her, only now it's even naughtier!
     
  7. Brian Thibodeau

    Brian Thibodeau Supporting Actor

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    Just checking Sue Upton's bio at IMDB and it lists her appearing in a 2002 documentary called WHO GOT BENNY'S MILLIONS. I knew Hill was somewhat of a penny-pincher in real life and died without an heir. Has anyone actually seen this show? It sounds interesting and features many people connected with Hill and his show. But now it's got me wondering who DID get Benny's millions?
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0329764/
     
  8. Randy A Salas

    Randy A Salas Screenwriter

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    Brian, here's a blurb about the documentary from the Liverpool Echo:

     
  9. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

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    Thanks for correcting me, ur right.
    I dont think Ive seen BH since the early 90s[​IMG] Looking foward to it.
     
  10. Gary->dee

    Gary->dee Screenwriter

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    My wish has come true.
    [​IMG]
    I didn't even expect to find it but I just happened to see it and snatched it up with the gusto. Don'tcha just love it when you're actually not aware of a new release and you just happen upon it in the store?
    If you're a Benny Hill fan or a fan of comedy in general(you like to laugh right?), this new box set consisting of 3 discs and over 9 hours of programming is a must-have. Released a few days ago(August 24th), http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B0002F6AHA/qid=1093658163/sr=1-3/ref=sr_1_3/002-9839180-7376059?v=glance&s=dvd
    This DVD was originally a movie compilation of clips that came out in the mid-70's, some of which appear in this new boxed set but looking much better. Ironically however, the filmed portions from this DVD still look much better as they appear in this compilation compared to the new DVD set. But the videotaped segments look like crap compared to the same clips in the new set.
    I avoided getting http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B0000714A9/qid=1093658163/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/002-9839180-7376059?v=glance&s=dvd
    The Ladybirds(a trio of female singer) that can be seen in the new set gave way to Hill's Angels and the shows originality and fun were lacking IMO.
    I never picked up Benny's World Tour of New Yorkl but I did see it at my mom's; not a very funny show because again, it was from his later years.
    But enough with going over what's out there. The new set is the one and features what I think are Benny's best years. Eleven episodes, three of which are in B&W because of a technicians strike towards the end of '70 and the beginning of '71 that forced the return of shooting with B&W cameras.
    I'm eagerly anticipating Set Two.
     
  11. Gary->dee

    Gary->dee Screenwriter

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    Here are some screengrabs from both new DVD set and the Best of Benny Hill DVD to illustrate how good the videotaped sequences look on the new set(luckily most of the show was videotaped) and how bad the filmed scenes look compared to the old 'Best of' disc.
    [​IMG]
    Ok so I couldn't resist throwing this in. [​IMG]
    First off, videotaped sketch of 'ye olde wishing well'
    [​IMG]
    The above image is from the new DVD set.
    [​IMG]
    This exact moment is captured from the 'Best of' disc.
    FYI: The muscle man on the right is none other than David Prowse who would go on to portray Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy.
    Now let's compared filmed sequences. Lower Tidmarsh Hospital Service.
    [​IMG]
    New DVD set.
    [​IMG]
    'Best of' DVD.
    [​IMG]
    New DVD set.
    [​IMG]
    'Best of' DVD.
    [​IMG]
    Videotaped sketch from new DVD set.
    [​IMG]
    Same sketch from 'Best of' DVD.
    Ok here's another issue that occasionally rears its head during the new DVD set.
    [​IMG]
    Filmed scene from the new DVD set. Notice those two things at the top?
    No I'm not referring to the woman's tits. [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    'Best of' DVD.
    Every so often a weird but small rectangular box or two will appear in the upper portion of the screen in a corner. I have no idea what they are, maybe someone out there knows. So basically the filmed squences on the new set look like shite compared to the much more detailed and crisper look of the same filmed sequences on the Best of Benny Hill DVD. There also appears to be some slight cropping done to the filmed sequences from the new set. Rather unforunate, but as I said at least the majority of the show was videotaped and that's where the new DVD set shines and where the old 'Best of' DVD suffers greatly.
     
  12. GeorgePaul

    GeorgePaul Second Unit

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    Does anyone know if this set has any of Jane Leeves' episodes on it? Thanks in advance!
     
  13. Randy A Salas

    Randy A Salas Screenwriter

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  14. Gary->dee

    Gary->dee Screenwriter

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    Randy, I suppose it's possible but I doubt it. Channels didn't display their ID's during programs in the 70's as they do now. It wasn't done as far as I know. The habit of putting a station's ID/logo in the corner of the screen came about in the 90's. The only way I could see this being the case is if they got the shows from a source that aired them during reruns when at that point they put their station ID's on the screen, thus needing to block them out. That's entirely possible, I wouldn't doubt that scenario.
    It looks like the filmed sequences get better on disc 3, but still not as good as on the Best of Benny Hill, IMO. Here are some comparisons from The Messenger.
    Video
    [​IMG]
    New DVD set
    [​IMG]
    'Best of'
    Film
    [​IMG]
    New DVD set
    [​IMG]
    'Best of'
    [​IMG]
    New DVD set
    [​IMG]
    'Best of'
    Video
    [​IMG]
    New DVD set
    [​IMG]
    'Best of'
     
  15. Shaw

    Shaw Stunt Coordinator

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    It's great to get the skivvy on this DVD from you guys. I think its important for all of us Benny Hill fans to let A&E know what kind of bonus features we want on the upcoming Benny Hill sets.
    I actually sent them a message to their feedback address and mentioned that it would be really cool to have some audio commentaries with Dennis Kirland and even Henry McGee. I also think that the Hill's Angels segments would really benefit from an audio commentary with Louise English and Sue Upton. That would be the coolest. Or how about a screen test with 16 year old Louise English taking instructions from Benny?
    I also really think that a series of Cast and Crew Bios is a must eventually. Especially for the Angels. As for who is who, I still feel like I'm guessing on many of the names and a series of Bios with info for each Angel, like which routine(s) they appeared in, how old they were when they joined, the years they were there, etc. A photo for each Angel is a must as this would put the argument of which Angel is which to rest and make identification easy. My brother and I still argue which Angel is which.
    Someone here mentioned that Lorraine Doyle was the girl who appeared nude in "The Holiday" segment. I actually believe it is a page 3 girl named Corinne Russel who appeared in a film called "Absolute Beginners". So, as you can see, knowing which Angel is which is difficult unless one of these DVDs can contain the photos and names for each Angel. That would be the best!
    So please, Benny Hill fans, I ask you to give feedback to A&E about bonuses for the DVD sets. They probably won't do anything unless we let them know what we want.
    Someone also posted a link to my Benny site earlier. Thanks. Here it is again for those who missed it.
    Benny's Place featuring Louise English and Hill's Angels:
    http://www.geocities.com/threerandot/angels.html
    I also moderate a Yahoo! group for Benny on DVD:
    Benny Hill on DVD Campaign:
    http://movies.groups.yahoo.com/group/hilldvd/
    Feel free to sign up and post those screen capture comparisons.
    Oh, and I won't get my copy until my birthday on Thursday. The wife picked it up for me, bless her heart. It was $55.99 here in Canada.
    threerandot
     
  16. Mark Oates

    Mark Oates Supporting Actor

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    The little boxes are the old British tv equivalent of the end-of-reel blobs on movies. They used to appear about three minutes before the ad bumpers to alert the other regional independent tv companies in the network that it was time to switch in the local advertising. This was, of course, before UK Independent Television went for network coordination. The speed the boxes strobe at has something to do with the timing.
     
  17. Gary->dee

    Gary->dee Screenwriter

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    Anyone want to discuss why Benny is essentially dissed in England? The documentary on disc 3 of the new set addressed it, and that was made back in 1991, but I experienced it first hand when I was in London earlier this year.
    The cab drivers in England love the guy but the majority of 'uppity' citizens look down on him. When I mentioned to a couple of pals I was visiting in London that I like Benny Hill they looked at me like I had the plague. I had to keep in mind that one(?) of them was gay so perhaps that had something to do with it. Apparently he's too lowbrow. One night while in London I was watching a countdown of the funniest British comedy series in my hotel. Benny was mentioned as part of an afterthought, a sort of condolence as in "these shows didn't make the list because of their baudy, risque humor that isn't tollerated anymore". Another old British show I grew up watching in Australia called "Love Thy Neighbor" was mentioned in the same category. 'Comedies that we regret laughing at when they first aired'.
    If Benny offended, he was an equal opportunity offender. Women, gays, blacks, white, Chinese, the elderly- Benny poked fun at them all. So why the majority of his home country of England turns their nose up at him is beyond me. The man was a comic genius.
    I told one cab driver that I would open a Benny Hill museum in London to honor the man. Naturally he was all for the idea. [​IMG]
     
  18. Randy A Salas

    Randy A Salas Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the explanation, Mark.
     
  19. Mark Oates

    Mark Oates Supporting Actor

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    Benny was vilified in the UK because he stood for everything the "alternative" fraternity hated. There was a huge movement in the 1980s to clear the decks of old stagers and basically anything to do with variety. Michael Grade at the BBC and John Howard Davies at Thames had got all excited over the young upcoming comics from the Edinburgh Fringe and Cambridge Footlights and basically they didn't want their upwardly mobile channels polluted by old farts from the music hall/ clubs circuit. Suddenly folk like Benny couldn't get arrested. Tracy Ullman was instrumental in getting Benny thrown out when she did a sketch about him on her show with Lenny Henry and David (not that one) Copperfield. Ben Elton gets a lot of flak for being anti-Benny but he wasn't that bad - it was the execs to blame.
    I suspect Morecambe and Wise would have been put out to grass if Eric hadn't died. [​IMG]
     
  20. Gary->dee

    Gary->dee Screenwriter

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