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DVD Reviews: Open All Hours - Series One

The Final Say!

Feature Score:
DVD Extras Score

Reviewed by Tory Favro
Review Date: 27 March 2003
Distributed by:
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Running Time: 200 Minutes

Ronnie Barker. You either love or hate him, there doesn't seem to be an inbetween take or leave him. Fortunately for me, I think he is hilarious and whilst the humour on this disc is a bit crass, Open all Hours always manages to make me laugh.

The story is of a stuttering shopkeeper called Arkwright (Barker) and his nephew Granville running a store in a small English town where everyone knows everyone and their business. All Arkwright wants is a quiet day in the store, to make a decent living and to get into the pants of the buxom Nurse Gladys Emmanuel!

The series is full of innuendo and situational jokes and whilst there are things in every episode (there are six episodes on this disc), it's most likely not worth doing a breakdown synopsis of every one. Every single one of them has something funny in it, however I loved when Arkwright bought up on unlabelled canned foods and when they failed to sell, ran a surprise bingo. Basically Arkwright believes he knows what is in any can merely shaking it. Sitting down to a meal of "canned casserole" with Granville, they open a can only to discover pears in it. The written explanation does the joke no justice at all, it has to be seen to be believed. Another favourite was when Arkwright's best friend passes away and Arkwright is forced to swallow his lust for money and general greed to make sure his friend is sent off in the right manner.

The things this man will do to turn a dollar will have you in stitches. The humour should appeal to everyone, though possibly the bawdiness of some of it will put people off who are in their teens. The jokes are just a bit dated though perfectly alright for those who have been on the planet a little longer. I'd be aiming this disc at folks 28 and older, I am not sure that younger viewers would be attracted by it at all unless they've happened across it playing at some stage.

This disc does not have much in way of extras, however it does contain the pilot episode "Open all Hours" that was aired in March 1973 and makes for some interesting viewing.

Open all Hours Series One Features

  • Scene Selection
  • Writer Profile
  • Pilot Episode "Open All Hours"


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