8.8/10
71,794
156 user 26 critic

Fawlty Towers 

TV-PG | | Comedy | TV Series (1975–1979)
Hotel owner Basil Fawlty's incompetence, short fuse, and arrogance form a combination that ensures accidents and trouble are never far away.
Reviews
Popularity
1,121 ( 52)

Watch Now

on Prime Video

ON DISC

Episodes

Seasons


Years



2   1  
1979   1975  
Top Rated TV #53 | 5 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

Stuck in the middle of World War I, Captain Edmund Blackadder does his best to escape the banality of the war.

Stars: Rowan Atkinson, Tony Robinson, Stephen Fry
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

In the Tudor court of Elizabeth I, Lord Edmund Blackadder strives to win Her Majesty's favour while attempting to avoid a grisly fate should he offend her.

Stars: Rowan Atkinson, Tony Robinson, Tim McInnerny
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

In the Regency era, Mr E. Blackadder serves as butler to the foppish numskull Prince George amidst the fads and crazes of the time.

Stars: Rowan Atkinson, Tony Robinson, Hugh Laurie
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  

Comedy that follows two brothers from London's rough Peckham estate as they wheel and deal through a number of dodgy deals as they search for the big score that'll make them millionaires.

Stars: David Jason, Nicholas Lyndhurst, Roger Lloyd Pack
The Black Adder (1982–1983)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

In the Middle Ages, Prince Edmund the Black Adder constantly schemes and endeavors to seize the crown from his father and brother.

Stars: Rowan Atkinson, Brian Blessed, Elspet Gray
Father Ted (1995–1998)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

Three misfit priests and their housekeeper live on Craggy Island, not the peaceful and quiet part of Ireland that it seems to be.

Stars: Dermot Morgan, Ardal O'Hanlon, Frank Kelly
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

The original surreal sketch comedy showcase for the Monty Python troupe.

Stars: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam
The Office (2001–2003)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

The story of an office that faces closure when the company decides to downsize its branches. A documentary film crew follow staff and the manager David Brent as they continue their daily lives.

Stars: Ricky Gervais, Martin Freeman, Mackenzie Crook
Short | Comedy | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

After a genial spirit shows the benevolent Ebenezer Blackadder visions of his unscrupulous ancestors, he resolves to mend his generous ways.

Director: Richard Boden
Stars: Rowan Atkinson, Tony Robinson, Miranda Richardson
Red Dwarf (TV Series 1988)
Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

The adventures of the last human alive and his friends, stranded three million years into deep space on the mining ship Red Dwarf.

Stars: Chris Barrie, Craig Charles, Danny John-Jules
I'm Alan Partridge (1997–2002)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Alan Partridge a failed television presenter whose previous exploits had featured in the chat-show parody Knowing Me, Knowing You with Alan Partridge, and who is now presenting a programed on local radio in Norwich.

Stars: Steve Coogan, Phil Cornwell, Simon Greenall
Short | Comedy | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

At a New Millennium Eve party, Blackadder and Baldrick test their new time machine and ping pong through history encountering famous characters and changing events rather alarmingly.

Director: Paul Weiland
Stars: Rowan Atkinson, Tony Robinson, Stephen Fry
Edit

Cast

Complete series cast summary:
John Cleese ...  Basil Fawlty 12 episodes, 1975-1979
Prunella Scales ...  Sybil Fawlty 12 episodes, 1975-1979
Andrew Sachs ...  Manuel 12 episodes, 1975-1979
Connie Booth ...  Polly Sherman 12 episodes, 1975-1979
Ballard Berkeley ...  Major Gowen 12 episodes, 1975-1979
Gilly Flower Gilly Flower ...  Miss Agatha Tibbs 12 episodes, 1975-1979
Renee Roberts Renee Roberts ...  Miss Ursula Gatsby 12 episodes, 1975-1979
Brian Hall ...  Terry 6 episodes, 1979
Edit

Storyline

Inept and manic English hotel owner and manager, Basil Fawlty, isn't cut out for his job. He's intolerant, rude and paranoid. All hell frequently breaks loose as Basil tries to run the hotel, constantly under verbal (and sometime physical) attack from his unhelpful wife Sybil, and hindered by the incompetent, but easy target, Manuel; their Spanish waiter. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

19 September 1975 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Das verrückte Hotel - Fawlty Towers See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(12 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

4:3
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Andrew Sachs was German by birth and was asked to dub his own lines into German when the series was exported. Being a native German speaker, he had no problem with the script, but it took him quite a while to work out how to speak German with a Spanish accent. See more »

Goofs

In some episodes, the boom mic becomes visible and the cameraman corrects this by, among other things, zooming in on the scene. See more »

Quotes

Basil Fawlty: Your *name*, please, could I have your name?
Lord Melbury: Melbury.
[the phone rings; Basil picks it up]
Basil Fawlty: [to Melbury] One second please.
[to phone]
Basil Fawlty: Hello?... Ah, yes Mr O'Reilly, well it's perfectly simple. When I asked you to build me a wall I was rather hoping that instead of just dumping the bricks in a pile you might have found time to cement them together... you know, one on top of another, in the traditional fashion.
[to Melbury, testily]
Basil Fawlty: Could you fill it in, please?
[to phone]
Basil Fawlty: Oh, splendid! Ah, yes, but *...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Fawlty Towers hotel sign has its letters missing, or scrambled up to make new words. The sign presents a different error with each episode. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Python Night: 30 Years of Monty Python (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Fawlty Towers
Written by Dennis Wilson
Performed by Dennis Wilson Quartet
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Checking in?
12 December 2005 | by kurt_messickSee all my reviews

Come visit the worst-run hotel in the whole of western Europe (well, except for that place in Eastbourne...) In a field with many top contenders, 'Fawlty Towers' remains my favourite of all 'Britcoms' - situation comedies originating on British television. Fawlty Towers has a cult following decades after the originals aired; it is sometimes hard to believe that there are but 12 episodes, six hours total. The regular cast is led by John Cleese, veteran of the famous Monty Python comedy troupe, as the irrepressible Basil Fawlty, titular head of the hotel with dreams of class and glory; Prunella Scales is his long-suffering and hardworking wife, Sybil, who recognises that while Basil may think 'the sky's the limit!', in fact, '22 rooms is the limit'. Connie Booth (Cleese's real-life wife) played the level-headed and sensible, overworked maid Polly, and in a role matched only by Fawlty's own bizarre manner, Andrew Sachs plays the lovable and ever-incompetent Spanish waiter, Manuel (he's from Barcelona...). Ballard Berkeley makes Ballard Berkeley makes a regular appearance as the Major, a retired long-term resident at the hotel. Brian Hall joined the cast for the second season as the not-quite-gourmet chef, Terry.

From the very first episode (first aired in 1975) featured a social-climbing Fawlty as perhaps the most rude and insufferable hotel manager in existence, in the resort town of Torquay, on the Channel coast of Britain. Sybil tries to maintain a reasonable level of service, but Fawlty's snobbishness permits him to be gracious (indeed, excessively fawning) toward those he considers 'worthy', which in this episode turns out to be Lord Melbury, who ends up not being Lord Melbury, but rather a confidence trickster, and Fawlty's revenge scares away the real 'posh' guests, whom Fawlty sends off with the hilarious shout, 'Snobs!' In each of the episodes, there is a crisis - one gets the sense that the life of Fawlty is non-stop crisis, with his wife and Polly forever picking up the pieces, Manuel always complicating things, and the others wandering around in a state of disbelief (or, in the case of the Major, perpetual daze). The twelve episodes highlight all the things that could wrong at hotel in classic comedic fashion - the institution of a Gourmet Night falls flat when the not-quite-recovering alcoholic chef starts drinking the night of the main event; a guest dies in the middle of the night, and Fawlty tries to slip him out unnoticed; remodelers install and remove the wrong doors; the health inspector unexpected shows up and gets served a bit of rat with his cheese.

However, nothing quite matches the kinds of situations Basil can get himself into. When trying to plan a surprise anniversary dinner for his wife, she leaves the hotel thinking that Basil has forgotten again, and Basil dresses Polly up as a sick-bed-bound Sybil to fool the guests. When Polly's friends check in for a wedding over the weekend, Basil suspects the group of free sexual expression (highlighting his own repression); this theme is carried over to a glorious extreme in the episode about the visiting Psychiatrist.

'How does he make his living?' Basil protests. 'He makes his money by sticking his nose into others' private parts, er, details...' This is also the episode where Sybil finally confronts Basil about his double-sided hotel manner toward guests: 'You're either crawling all over them, licking their boots, or spitting poison at them like some Benzedrine puff adder,' she declares. He replies in perfect form, 'Just trying to enjoy myself, dear.' As the psychiatrist will comment near the end, there's enough material for an entire psychiatrist conference. Indeed there is, as this is slapstick humour with a difference. Intelligent and witty while utterly chaotic and beyond the pale, one is treated to the moose-head incident and the ingrowing toenail as well as Fawlty's unique form of automobile motivation (how many of us have ever been tempted to whack away at a stalled car with a stick!) and a nice performance of Brahms (his 'third racket', to be precise). One must not overlook the little details, either, including the ever-changing sign in front (the actual hotel used for the exteriors unfortunately burned down many years after the show), and the fact that the interior and exterior layouts of the building cannot correspond (shades of 'The Simpsons' whose furniture layout changes from scene to scene).

It is almost inconceivable that the two series, each of six episodes, were four years apart (1975 and 1979), as they flow rather seamlessly together. Popular on television networks worldwide, it can be seen variously on BBC America and local public television channels, often during the fund drives, when the most popular pieces are shown.


65 of 70 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 156 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed