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directed by Brian Clemens, Richard Waring (creators)
UK 1972

 

Although co-created by the great Brian Clemens (THRILLER, CAPTAIN KRONOS: VAMPIRE HUNTER, and THE AVENGERS), MY WIFE NEXT DOOR's novel premise of a just-divorced couple who find themselves in a standoff as next door neighbors is realized by co-creator/scripter Richard Waring (THE MANY WIVES OF PATRICK) by checking off characters and situations from the live studio audience sitcom template. After two years of living apart, Suzy (Hannah Gordon, THE ELEPHANT MAN) and George Bassett (John Alderton, ZARDOZ's "Friend") file for divorce. While George celebrates his freedom (perhaps a little prematurely) with his single buddy Henry (Tim Barrett, THE MUMMY'S SHROUD), Suzy mourns her failed marriage but only has to be reminded of everything she hated about her husband whenever her optimistic mother (Diana King, SCHIZO) voices her hopes of their reconciliation. Suzy decides to start anew in one of a pair of attached country cottages she and George had looked at a few years before and is pleased to discover that one of them is still available. Little does she know that George, at the suggestion of his love-starved and long-suffering secretary Liz (Paddy Frost, BATTLE OF BRITAIN) that he find a peaceful getaway, has bought the other cottage. Although they resolve to not communicate with or help one another, they quickly break those rules in trying to annoy each other and squabbling over things each took in the divorce that they find they need and could easily replace like a tea kettle's whistle, a punch bowl, and the like. When they expect their friends to take sides and invite them (without one another's knowledge) to housewarming parties on the same date, their friends refreshingly acknowledge the absurdity of the arrangement and cancel on both of them. The confusion of local village tradesmen over the arrangement is a source of amusement resorted to on more than one occasion, including situations where George mistakes them for Suzy's suitors. On that note, they try to make each other jealous, with George winding up with voluptuous and willing companions (among them BLOOD FROM THE MUMMY'S TOMB's Valerie Leon and GOLDFINGER's Margaret Nolan) at the most inopportune times that Suzy seems responsive to his overtures; although they both treat others terribly (particularly Liz and ZULU's Neil McCarthy) and gloat mercilessly when the other gets caught. When their parents get involved (with George's parents played by ARE YOU BEING SERVED?'s Mollie Sugden and UP POMPEII's Ken Wynne), everything each has said about their child's choice of partner comes out and nearly leads to blows. When Suzy makes George put his cottage on the market, we know he will set about putting off buyers about the condition of the cottage and making his neighbor seem unfriendly, but he goes the extra mile by telling them that Suzy is a nymphomaniac and managing to brilliantly if underhandedly slip in some veiled remarks to the clients and realtor right in front of her face. What could have been a lighthearted but meaningful exploration of the petty cruelties divorced couples inflict on each other when they cannot let each other go really becomes a question of how many times can George deceive Suzy and get caught before she definitively dumps him. Although the twelfth episode seems like a suitable ending, the thirteenth episode seems like something that should have aired earlier or perhaps was written when the producers thought they might get a second series and had to draw things out again. While MY WIFE NEXT DOOR has moments of hilarity, it feels overall awfully ordinary.

Eric Cotenas

Theatrical Release: 19 September 1972 - 12 December 1972 (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 6:17:42 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.6 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: Episodes (with 'Play All' option; 175:06):
� - 1. 'The Nearness of You' (4:3; 29:33)
� - 2. 'What Are Friends For?' (4:3; 29:35)
� - 3. 'Anniversary Schmaltz' (4:3; 29:05)
� - 4. 'For Richer, for Poorer...' (4:3; 28:38)
� - 5. 'Dream Girl' (4:3; 29:05)
� - 6. 'The Absolute End' (4:3; 29:10)

� Disc Two: Episodes (with 'Play All' option; 202:36):
� - 7. 'Total Separation' (4:3; 29:07)
� - 8. 'Undesirable Residence' (4:3; 28:09)
� - 9. 'Pregnant Moment' (4:3; 29:58)
� - 10. 'Second Time Around' (4:3; 28:01)
� - 11. 'A Sense of Movement' (4:3; 28:11)
� - 12. 'Keep Right on to the End' (4:3; 29:10)
� - 13. 'Joint Assignment' (4:3; 30:00)

DVD Release Date: October 19th, 2015
Amaray

Chapters 41

 

 

 

Comments

Simply Media's two dual-layer DVDs do what they can with the seventies masters that sport some unobtrusitve instances of tape damage. The Dolby Digital 2.0 mono track also does what it can with the studio recording with some laughter drowning out some dialogue. The optional English subtitles do have a few rare transcription errors ("Old Home Week" becomes "autumn week"). 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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