Beyond the Fringe

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Overview

During the 1960s, comic actors Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Alan Bennett, and Jonathan Miller created the stage show Beyond the Fringe. Decades after the end of the show's successful run, a filmed record of the production was discovered. Originally recorded for television broadcast, this particular edition of the show offers footage that was not aired during the premiere broadcast. Included are the classic skits "Man Bites God," "One Leg Too Few," and "Aftermyth of War."
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Overview

During the 1960s, comic actors Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Alan Bennett, and Jonathan Miller created the stage show Beyond the Fringe. Decades after the end of the show's successful run, a filmed record of the production was discovered. Originally recorded for television broadcast, this particular edition of the show offers footage that was not aired during the premiere broadcast. Included are the classic skits "Man Bites God," "One Leg Too Few," and "Aftermyth of War."
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Special Features

Closed Caption; Background notes; Cast bios; Original Broadway Playbill (DVD-ROM)
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Donald Liebenson
Although it's more than 40 years old, this preserved gala farewell performance of the groundbreaking Beyond the Fringe revue is anything but an antiquity. It's dated in spots, yes, but Beyond the Fringe is still a magnificently funny mix of the surreal and the clever: Serious fans of British comedy see it as the link between The Goon Show and Monty Python's Flying Circus. The Oxford- and Cambridge-educated Fringe foursome -- Jonathan Miller, Alan Bennett, Peter Cook, and Dudley Moore -- were among the satiric vanguard in England, and it's easy to see why in these performances. Classic sketches include "Aftermyth of War," an epic send-up of war's absurdity, and "One Leg Too Few," in which a one-legged man auditions for the role of Tarzan "I've nothing against your right leg," the director lets him down gently, "the trouble is, neither do you". Sketches such as "The Great Train Robbery" are sublime in their silliness. "Do you feel that thieves are responsible," Bennett asks Cook. "Good heavens, no," Cook responds. "I feel that thieves are totally irresponsible." Cook was the master of his prattling domain, and "Sitting on the Bench," in which a coal miner methodically explains why he did not become a judge, is one of his grandest moments. With apologies to Python, Beyond the Fringe is something of a holy grail for fans of British comedy.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/4/2005
  • UPC: 054961799091
  • Original Release: 1963
  • Rating:

  • Source: Acorn Media
  • Time: 1:56:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Alan Bennett
Peter Cook
Jonathan Miller
Dudley Moore
Technical Credits
Duncan Wood Director
Alan Bennett Screenwriter
Arnold Brown Executive Producer
Peter Cook Screenwriter
Johnny Dankworth Score Composer
Jonathan Miller Screenwriter
Dudley Moore Screenwriter
Donny Silverman Producer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Beyond the Fringe
1. Intro: West End [2:08]
2. Home Thoughts From Abroad - The Cast [6:11]
3. Royal Box - Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Alan Bennett [6:15]
4. Man Bites God - The Cast [4:46]
5. T. E. Lawrence - Alan Bennett [5:48]
6. Bollard - The Cast [2:28]
7. Art Gallery Director - Jonathan Miller [2:08]
8. Deutscher Chansons - Dudley Moore [2:54]
9. Words... and Things - Jonathan Miller, Alan Bennett [8:09]
10. The Great Train Robbery - Alan Bennett, Peter Cook [4:27]
11. And the Same to You - Dudley Moore [4:28]
12. Aftermyth of War - The Cast [11:17]
13. Civil War - The Cast [7:19]
14. Real Class - The Cast [1:22]
15. Little Miss Britten - Dudley Moore [1:26]
16. The Weill Song - Dudley Moore [2:41]
17. One Leg Too Few - Peter Cook, Dudley Moore [4:46]
18. Studio Five Interviews/Black Equals White - The Cast [6:01]
19. Sittingon the Bench - Peter Cook [9:00]
20. Bread Alone - The Cast [4:11]
21. Take a Pew - Alan Bennett [7:12]
22. So That's the Way You Like It - The Cast [7:41]
23. The End of the World - The Cast [3:24]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Beyond the Fringe
   Play Feature
   Sketch by Sketch
   Special Features
      Behind the Fringe
      The Men Behind Beyond
         Jonathan Miller Biography
         Alan Bennett Biography
         Dudley Moore Biography
         Peter Cook Biography
      DVD-ROM Content
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Fresh after forty years!

    I have been involved with BEYOND THE FRINGE since 1965, and have appeared in or directed half a dozen productions--still, it's a joy to see the original cast in all their loony glory--even though the quality of the recording is a bit dicey. Five minutes into the show, it won't be difficult to see that these geniuses influenced The Goon Squad, Monty Python, and some of the Saturday Night Live regulars. Comedy, really GOOD comedy, survives the years--and forty years has done nothing to BEYOND THE FRINGE!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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