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Before moving on to cinema, the Monty Python were known for their
witty, anarchic, politically incorrect sketches which aired on the BBC
as part of the show Monty Python's Flying Circus. The sextet's feature
debut, And Now for Something Completely Different, is a selection of
unseen material, thanks to which the Python's irreverent humor became
known to the whole world.
Throughout the episodes, Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin stage a series of surreal, hilarious and embarrassing situations. These skits have no links whatsoever between them, with the exception of Gilliam's animated sequences, which precede certain segments, and the occasional appearance of Cleese's host, speaking the titular line.
The fact that it's not a proper movie, but a succession of unrelated jokes, unlike their following films, is a partial disappointment. In addition, not all the gags are equally funny. But some of them are really exceptional, the undeniable proof that the Python set the foundations for modern comedy, still not surpassed (The Office is quite close, though). The unmissable bits are The Dead Parrot, The Dirty Fork, The World's Funniest Joke and The Lumberjack Song (ace, even if it can't beat the peerless Always Look on the Bright Side of Life). Those segments will cheer you up like few other movies have managed to (unless it's another Python feature, of course). In fact, perhaps, when the closing credits start rolling, you might be able to actually see John Cleese announce your return to reality:
And now for something completely different...
For someone who had never watched more than 5 minutes of Monty Python
before I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, it had me laughing 95% of the
If I'm honest the parrot scene what I had heard so much about didn't crack me up half as much as the others 'mad grannies' 'guide to hiding' 'the giant cat' etc , this maybe because it was supposed to be viewed without the hype and gets you like the other scenes with its randomness.
If you love things like harry enfield, fast show, monkey dust etc then you will love this film as its like a godfather to them all.
I'd totally recommend as a worth see...7/10.
The Monty Python-groups's first movie is a mere medley of the favorite
sketches from the Flying Circus TV-show. That's why how much you'll
enjoy this movie depends if you have seen these shows. If you haven't,
you'll be in for a delight. The Pythons have a wonderful talent of
mixing different kinds of comedy, from witty word-play to physical
slapstick-comedy to my personal favorite, totally offbeat and crazy
humour. The sketches also usually break the regular pattern of comedy
sketches, there are no punchlines or acted jokes and normal sketches
can end on a cartoon link to the next sketch or to an announcer saying
the movie's title; "And now for something completely different".
If you have seen old MPFC episodes before, there's little more to offer you. There's none of new material, and as the most important thing in the Python comedy is the element of surprise (and fear and almost fanatical devotion to the Pope and...). Old sketches are merely linked together in a new way and made with a slightly higher budget. For example this time in the Dead Parrot sketch they are using an actual stuffed parrot. For fans the greatest point of interest is probably the much cleaned and remastered animations, as well as some new during the closing credits, from the twisted mind of Terry Gilliam.
Best Sketches: I have two favorite sketches, one from the verbal humour dept. and one from the offbeat dept. The Nudge-nudge sketch may resemble the work of other sketch comedians, but the pure wit of Eric Idle leaves them all behind. As for the offbeat-humour, the documentary describing a part of London in fear of a gang called Hell's Grannies is ace!
This is definitely one of the best films I have ever seen! It takes old Flying Circus routines and modernizes them for the big screen and America. E.g. instead of saying "Robin Day's got a hedgehog called Frank" they say "President Nixon's got a hedgehog called Frank." I think that that was a good decision from the Pythonites. It contains such classics as "The Lumberjack Song", "A Dead Parrot", and "How not to be seen". Sometimes you just want to get up with Michael Palin and sing "I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay, I sleep all night and I work all day" and blow up people behind bushes, as well. Definitely a must-see, "And Now For Something Completely Different" is a true classic.
I'm very sad when people don't GET Monty Python, and I believe that the measley 7.2 rating this great movie got is a reflection of this, that's such a tragedy. Everybody who has a good sense of humor must rent this movie, because it is a film classic. The only catch is, you have to be in the right mood where totally random things are funny. Hey--you can't be in a goofy mood and GET a drama, like American History X, for example. So get in a goofy mood, watch this movie, go buy a parrot, and I only have one more thing to say--and now for something completely different.
Admittedly, this is not the best Monty Python film. It's basically just a collection of sketches from the TV show done on the big screen. And it's worth seeing if you're a diehard Python fan. But it's a funny movie if you go in expecting that. For a real tasty of Python on the big screen, check out "Holy Grail" and "Meaning of Life."
For me compilation tapes don't really work, but because each sketch included in this has been acted out again and edited it works really well. This is one of my favourite films. Although many great Python sketches were left out, the ones that were left in were truly some of the Pythons best work. It's a hilarious film thats full of really intelligent humour.
A straight reworking of the best loved sketches from the TV series.The sketches are not as fresh as the originals and feel almost forced and as a consequence lose a lot of the energy that made them so refreshing.The film served little purpose other than to introduce the team's humour to an American audience.
I don't know why I didn't get more out of this. Several isolated times
a stern and sober British Army officer is interpolated and announces to
the viewers that this isn't worth watching because "it's silly -- just
silly." I ruefully found myself often agreeing.
I don't suppose there's any point in trying to outline a plot because there is none. It's a series of sketches evidently gotten from their TV show. I first heard the "dead parrot" sketch on the radio and thought it was hilarious. Now, seeing it on the screen, it seems to have lost much of its voltage. Nor did I find it so amusing when a despondent man leaves a building, stops to think for a moment, and a huge iron weight falls on him and he splats under it.
It's possible that this particular material is already familiar, so that watching the film is like hearing a joke for the second or third time. It's also likely that it doesn't seem so fresh or amusing because some of it is dated. The movie was put together in 1971, when much of Western society was in turmoil -- race riots in the streets, an unpopular war in a country no one could identify on a blank map, gays screaming out of the closet, widespread sexual indulgence, bloodshed in Northern Ireland, pop tunes encouraging revolution, that sort of thing. But it's all gone or at least abated today. So the "Granny gangs" don't resonate the way they did at the time. At the same time, the "upper-class twit" sketch still gets laughs. I mean, hunting live rabbits that are staked out and spread-eagled on the ground! Trying to commit suicide by shooting one's self -- and missing. I'm laughing now, just rerunning it in my mind.
Each of their four features were to improve monotonically, with "The Meaning of Life" nearing perfection of the style. That last one is mature. Well, mature for Monty Python. And it's both engaging and carries a covert theme of the utmost seriousness. The Granny Gangs are long gone, but questions about the meaning of life, or the absence of meaning, still plague us.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
First let me start off by saying that having just recently watched all of the Monty Python movies for the first time, I have to confess I think they're four of the most overrated movies ever made. And I'm British. However ... And Now for Something Completely Different is definitely one of the somewhat better ones. Certain highlights include that of the fruit self defense class and the most elegant twit competition ... and maybe the marriage counselor. But regardless, this movie as a sketch show just feels out of place in the world of comedy movies. Especially for the 70's. And I have to confess I'm really not a fan of John Cleese in this movie, compared to his work in Fawlty Towers It just seems really orchestrated and forced whenever he has to do something remotely funny in this movie. All in all this movie/sketch show was a real let down for me but nowhere near as bad of a letdown as the next two movies were...
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