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Don't mention the War!

Posted by Lewis on April 24, 2003

In Reply to: Don't mention the War! posted by C Salway on April 24, 2003

: Does anyone know the origin of this phrase? It's being used regularly in the papers at the moment!

"The Germans" episode of Fawlty Towers starring John Cleese. Cleese the hotel manager has been in hospital with concussion - he discharges himself and returns to the hotel. a group of Germans have come to stay and in his confusion, he keeps mentioning the war (mainly WWII).

Basil Fawlty says to Polly in conspiritorial toens "Don't mention the war. I did it once but I think I got away with it" (which he delivers to his off-screen wife Connie Booth who plays the chambermaid who in effect runs the hotel)

He returns to the dining room and the older German says "Please stop mentioning the war, you're upsetting the girl" (who is in tears)

Fawlty says "You started it" and then the rebuff "No we didn't" from the German triggers the line

wait for it

"Yes you did - you invaded Poland" (cheers and applause!!!!)

A remarkable series about a man on the edge. Like "Falling Down" with slapstick and humour.