The Best of The Two Ronnies on DVD – The DVDfever Review

The Two Ronnies

The Two Ronnies: as much a British institution as fish and chips. Ronnie Barker, the fat one with grey hair and Ronnie Corbett, the thin one sitting in the black chair were part and parcel of BBC TV for a long times, after which time Mr. Barker went into retirement and Mr. Corbett went onto Ben Elton’s show to reprise his famous monologues. They had each spent time in sitcoms – Corbett in Sorry (language, Timothy!) and Barker in Open All Hours, alongside a much younger David Jason.

After 21 years, the BBC put together a compilation of shows entitled, “21 Years of the Two Ronnies”. The year later, they repeated it with the new title of… well, I’ll let you guess that one. Last year, they reunited for a “Two Ronnies Night”, although it only lasted two hours and consisted mainly of old clips and reminiscences.

This new disc, a compilation put together in 1983, contains a number of sketches including:

    Harry and Bert Down the Pub
    Cinema Commissionaire (“I stand here all day whether it Claude Rains or Ronald Shiners”)
    Ice Cream Parlour Sketch
    Barber’s Shop Medley, with guest star Sam Kelly (“‘Allo ‘Allo”)
    Corbett’s monologue
    A Life on the Ocean Waves Medley
    The News, which would top and tail their shows like it does on this disc.

What’s apparent though, is that the comedy hasn’t dated particularly well. Perhaps if you’re a massive fan of their brand of humour then it’ll have a great deal of appeal, but for me it has its moments, but does have more misses than hits.

The picture quality is the best thing about this disc though. Obviously, it’s fullscreen-only, but the print is clear of artifacts and it can comfortably be zoomed in to fill a widescreen TV. The average bitrate is an above-average 6Mb/s. The sound is in mono and doesn’t pose any problems.

There are only 4 chapters across the disc, which only serves to break up the sketches, although one of the chapters lasts 20 minutes. There are no subtitles, while the menu is static and silent only offering you the chance to start the programme or select a chapter.

Overall, given the price, the only people who’ll purchase this will be the die-hard fans of the pair and not those who make impulsive purchases.

And I have to ask why Revelation have chosen to release this as a full-price DVD for £19.99 and not a budget title, given that the same video can be bought for a mere £4.99 and has been available for the past five years.

And now it’s goodnight from me and it’s goodnight from them.

The Best Of The Two Ronnies is out now on DVD.


Detailed specs:
Running time: 44 minutes
Year: 1983
Distributor: Revelation Film Group
Region(s): 2, PAL
Released: 1999
Chapters: 4 PAR61033
Sound: Linear PCM Mono
Languages: English
Subtitles: None
Screen ratio: 4:3
Disc Format: DVD5

Producer: Peter Whitmore
Screenplay: John Hyde, Spike Mullins and Gerald Wiley
Music: Ronnie Hazlehurst


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