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The Great McGonagall (1975)

William Topaz McGonagall, the world's greateset poet. Unfortunately the whole of the rest of the world disagreed. His talent made him a sort of Victorian Chris Evans but without the cash.



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Credited cast:
Mrs. McGonagall
Mr. Giles / MacDuff / Hercules Paint / British Soldier / Policeman / McLain / Sheriff / Judge
Mr. Stewart / Second-Lieutenant Rotlo / Supposed John Brown / Gentleman / Revolutionary / Cardinal / Policeman
Army Sergeant / Lord Tennyson / Doctor / Native Messenger / Policeman / Fop
Prince Albert / Rev. Gilfillan / Publican / Balmoral Policeman / Stagehand / Ruffian / Mr Stewart's Assistant / British Soldier / Fop
King Theebaw / Policeman / Clerk of the Court / Mr Stewart's Assistant / Zulu Chief / Ruffian / Fop
Charlie Young Atom ...
Postman / Policeman / Sleeper in the Snow / Theatre Announcer / Drinker (as Charlie Atom)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Luie Caballero ...
Man with parrot


The tale of an unemployed Scotsman, William McGonagall whose ambition was to become England's Poet Laureate. One minor drawback is that his poetry is terrible. Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Biography | Comedy


PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1 June 1978 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

El gran McGonagall  »

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Did You Know?


The title is a reference to the character played by W.C. Fields in The Old Fashioned Way (1934). See more »


William McGonagall: But for my age I too would have joined your army.
Queen Victoria: Oh come now, Mr McGonagall. You're only 45.
William McGonagall: Aye, that's my age but I do not...
Queen Victoria: Oh come now, join up. Join up and travel to distant and exotic places. Meet interesting and exciting people, and then kill them.
See more »


O Tannenbaum
Traditional tune, lyrics by Ernst Anschütz
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User Reviews

Well... it does have Peter Sellers.
16 May 2004 | by See all my reviews

Interesting in an history of British comedy sense. It has a Goon Show cast does Monty Python skit feel. Unfortunately, it takes a concept that would have been appropriate for a five minute skit and stretches it out an additional hour and a half. A fine supporting performance by Peter Sellers and sporadic gratuitous female nudity (while appreciated) are insufficient to save this from being an albeit quirky and unique but simultaneously mediocre and repetitive low budget comedy.

As an aside, the video copy of this film that I purchased features a full cover picture of Peter Sellers and in the short synopsis on the reverse states that Sellers stars as The Great McGonagall. For the benefit of those of you who have yet to see the film, this is entirely incorrect. Peter Sellers plays the relatively small roll of Queen Victoria and Spike Milligan stars as McGonagall.

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