Dad's Army (3pc)

Dad's Army (3pc)

DVD (Dolby 5.1 / 3 Pack)

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Dad's Army (3pc)

In 1940, following the fall of France, the defense of England on the ground fell to the Home Guard, a civilian army made up of men too old or otherwise eliminated from service in the proper armed forces. They were well-intentioned, and many were veterans of World War I, but they were also under-trained and under-armed, which may have been just as well, given their lack of training. One shudders to think what they could have done about an actual German invasion effort, but as it turned out, they were never needed en masse, and they did free up large numbers of more able soldiers from the need to patrol the home front. Dad's Army, created by Jimmy Perry, was a very popular British series starting in 1967 that looked back fondly on the Home Guard from the point of view of a single unit based at Walmington-on-Sea. The officious Captain Mainwaring (Arthur Lowe), a banker pressed into service in the guard, finds himself saddled with a platoon of aging pensioners and national service rejects, who can't even salute properly (a major concern for the captain) and tire if they're at attention for more than a few seconds. His platoon leader, Sgt. Wilson (John Le Mesurier), does his best, but as he's in his sixties, he's not much help -- the platoon includes a colorful array of characters, including the dour Scotsman Frazer (John Laurie), Walker (James Beck) the witty Cockney, Arthur Ridley as the very aged Private Godfrey, and Clive Dunn as the inept but well-meaning Corporal Jones. The series ran for a decade in England and surfaced on public television in America in 1988. The plots are an amalgam of humorous situations, some almost certainly based on the reminiscences of the real Home Guard, while others are pure fantasy. In the first episode, Mainwaring gets taken aloft on the cable of a runaway barrage balloon, with his men and a local air raid warden (Bill Pertwee) and the vicar (Frank Williams) in pursuit; the second has the crew trying out river patrol in a rowboat and ending up in the middle of the English Channel and landing in France ("We've invaded France!" one of the men exclaims proudly); the third has Mainwaring's men preparing for a training exercise against a rival platoon, led by a very comical Colonel Blimp-type (Geoffrey Lumsden), and getting lots of mileage out of one man dressed up as a fake tree and another in a hard-helmet diving suit. The humor at times reaches inspired levels of absurdity, and every one of these actors can deliver a line for all it is worth -- "Permission to worry you, sir," spoken with all sincerity, is a typical introductory phrase for the corporal addressing the captain. The program is steeped in nostalgia on a multitude of levels, for the war but also for English history and an England that was close to vanishing in the 1960s and 1970s. Luckily, there were still actors around who could portray the roles with some authenticity, and Perry had a real love of his subject. The most interesting single episode, and the one steeped in several levels of humor, is "The Two and a Half Feathers, in which Corporal Jones recalls his experience in the battle of Omdurman in the 1898 Sudanese campaign. The show presents memories of wartime shortages and rationing, but also intersects in plot with the The Four Feathers, which is very much an "in" joke, as supporting player John Laurie played a very prominent role in the 1938 film version of that story. The tone of the series ranges from light-hearted to serious, but it's always respectful, in a knowing way, of the generation it is remembering and parodying. The nine hours of viewing is best done over time for best appreciation of the program. Each episode gets a single chapter marker, and the menu is so simple as to be downright primitive. The transfers are good for videotape sources from the late 1960s and 1970s, with a few minor flaws showing up in very isolated spots. One wishes that there were original broadcast dates indicated for the individual programs, and one wonders which seasons the shows came from, but it's difficult to complain of a package as packed full of programming as this.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/24/2000
UPC: 0066805919299
Rating: NR
Source: Bfs Entertainment
Time: 9:00:00

Scene Index

Side #1 -- Boots, Boots, Boots
0. Scene Index
1. The Day the Balloon Went Up [26:27]
2. Sons of the Sea [27:11]
3. Don't Forget the Diver [29:04]
4. Asleep in the Deep [28:16]
5. Boots, Boots, Boots [28:37]
6. A Soldier's Farewell [28:22]
Side #2 -- Big Guns
0. Scene Index
1. Big Guns [30:20]
2. Menace From the Deep [30:52]
3. The Bullet Is Not for Firing [34:06]
4. Mum's Army [29:08]
5. The Armoured Might of Lance Corporal Jones [30:18]
6. Put That Light Out [30:13]
Side #3 -- Fallen Idol
0. Scene Index
1. The Two and a Half Feathers [29:22]
2. The Test [29:34]
3. Fallen Idol [29:23]
4. The Deadly Attachment [30:17]
5. If the Cap Fits... [28:44]
6. The Honourable Man [29:21]

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Dad's Army (3pc) 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
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