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directed by John T. Chapman (writer), John Junkin (additional material)
UK 1962

 

One of the classic British sitcoms mostly lost to the BBC's practice of wiping recordings to reuse tape stock, the BBC's HUGH & I has its share of laughs but is less interesting as a compendium of stock sitcom situations than the comic half of a composite portrait of London suburban life formed in conjunction with its soap opera contemporary CORONATION STREET running on ITV. Set primarily at 33 Lobelia Avenue in Tooting where live widow Aida Scott (Vi Stevens, I SEE A DARK STRANGER), her unemployed, snobbish, high-strung son Terry (Terry Scott, BLESS THIS HOUSE), and slow-witted lodger Hugh (Hugh Lloyd, QUADROPHENIA). Senile neighbors on the one side Griselda Wormald (Patricia Hayes, SUPER BITCH) and her deaf brother-in-law Cecil Wormald (Jack Haig, 'ALLO 'ALLO) - replacing her husband Arthur (Cyril Smith, I BECAME A CRIMINAL) after the first series - constantly dropping in to watch television, and the Crispins - argumentative father Arthur (Wallas Eaton, THIS SPORTING LIFE), snobbish mother Ethel (Mollie Sugden, THE LIVER BIRDS), and sexpot daughter Norma (Jill Curzon, DR. SYN, ALIAS THE SCARECROW) - putting on airs and flaunting status symbols while breeding whippets in the kitchen. Common scenarios include get-rich-quick schemes that prove costly ("Fully Incomprehensible"), disastrous home repairs to save money ("A Sink of Iniquity"), attempts to elevate their station by finding ways to mingle with high society ("Brace of Peasants", "Putting on the Ritz", and "The 19th Hole"), attempting to one-up the Crispins ("Love Thy Neighbor"), outings and holiday upgrades gone wrong ("April in Paris" and "A Place in the Sun"), and chaos brought about by Terry's well-intentioned but arrogant attempts to elevate others ("Here Comes the Bride" and "Prison Visitor") or events ("A Fete Worse Than Death"). Scott and Sugden are both prone to malapropisms and are often the "butt" of jokes about their appearances, while double entendres and misunderstandings stemming from them are usually related to Curzon's shapely figure and Terry's and the Crispins' misperception that the timidly infatuated Hugh is a sex maniac. Guest stars include Sugden's later ARE YOU BEING SERVED co-star Frank Thornton (THE LAST OF THE SUMMER WINE), future Miss Marple Joan Hickson (THE WICKED LADY), TO THE MANOR BORN's Anthony Sharp, and a recurring Fred Emney (THE ITALIAN JOB) as inebriated aristocrat Lord Popham.

Eric Cotenas

Theatrical Release: 17 July 1962 - 6 August 1963 (UK TV)

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DVD Review: Simply Media - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

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Distribution

Simply Media

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 9:00:31
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.4 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
Subtitles English HoH, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Simply Media

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
� DISC ONE:
� Series 1 Episodes 1-6 (4:3; 2:59:38)

� DISC TWO:
� Series 1 Episodes 7-8 (4:3; 1:00:58)
� Series 2 Episodes 1-5 (4:3; 2:05:29)

� DISC THREE:
� Series 2 Epsidoes 6-12 (4:3; 2:54:26)

DVD Release Date: 7 September 2015
Amaray

Chapters 57

 

 

 

Comments

One of the classic series lost to the BBC's practice of wiping recordings to reuse tape stock, Simply Media's three-disc set features the surviving episodes from the first two series. Reportedly, only twenty-four episodes of out of seventy-one service, although only one episode appears to be missing from the first series here (only one episode has survived of the the follow up series HUGH & I SPY). Quality of the kinescope recordings is as good as can be expected given the rarity. The first episode has a vertical line on the left side of the frame throughout, other episodes have horizontal lines occasionally, "April in Paris" has persistent frame damage during a shot, and close-ups are often clearer than long shots (of which many scenes are composed). It is highly unlikely that anything better will be found. The episodes are split up by series in the menus but the numbering does not take into account the missing one, and the scene selections (three per episode) are split by act break.

The Dolby Digital 2.0 mono audio is clear enough but the optional English subtitles contain a handful of errors that cannot be blamed on the malapropisms of some of the characters. Stud-farm becomes "stunt farm", Mantovani becomes "Matt Giovanni", "a nuthouse" becomes "another house", although the television show LARAMIE may indeed have been mispronounced as "Larabee" by the aged Mr. Wormald. There are no extras.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Simply Media

Region 2 - PAL



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