Low budget comedy sketch series purporting to show the programming of a low key regional television service. Written by Eric Idle of 'Monty Python's Flying Circus' fame. A popular feature ... See full summary »
Rutland Weekend Television takes a look at the Pre-fab Four: Dirk, Barry, Stig and Nasty; better known as the Rutles. This documentary follows their career from their early days in Liverpool and Hamburg's infamous Rat-Keller, to their amazing worldwide success. A parody of Beatlemania and the many serious documentaries made about the Beatles. Written by
Alexander Lum <email@example.com>
Eric Idle mentions in his "memoir" available on the DVD what the actual Beatles thought of the film. According to him, George Harrison was very supportive and encouraged him, Paul McCartney was disapproving at first but relented when he found that Idle grew up near Liverpool (though his wife Linda always loved it), Ringo Starr liked the happier scenes in the film, but felt the scenes that mimicked sadder times hit too close, and John Lennon (along with Yoko Ono) adored it and refused to return the videotape and soundtrack he was given for approval. He told Neil Innes, however, that "Get Up and Go" was too close to The Beatles' "Get Back" and to be careful not to be sued by ATV Music, owners of the Beatles catalogue's copyright at the time. The song was consequently omitted from the 1978 vinyl LP soundtrack. See more »
In one of the movie scenes where The Rutles descend an outdoor fire exit/staircase, there is a 1970s VW Rabbit parked near the base of the stairs. The scene supposedly took place in the mid-1960s.
It would indeed be out of context in the "60s. However, the movie doesn't state the actual years when The Rutles ruled. Looking at "A Hard Day's Night" movie, we'll see a Beetle parked in the exact same location as the Beatles run down the same stairs. This was just one more genius private joke in this extremely references-dense movie. See more »
Stig, meanwhile, had hidden in the background so much that in 1969, a rumor went around that he was dead. He was supposed to have been killed in a flash fire at a waterbed shop and replaced by a plastic and wax replica from Madame Tusseaud's. Several so-called "facts" helped the emergence of this rumor. One: he never said anything publicly. Even as the "quiet one," he'd not said a word since 1966. Two: on the cover of their latest album, "Shabby Road," he is wearing no trousers, an Italian way ...
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Stanley J. Krammerhead III, Jr., Occasional visiting professor of applied narcotics at the University of Please Yourself Ca. See more »
Eric Idle's now-classic spoof of The Beatles grew out of his mid-seventies BBC TV series Rutland Weekend Television, which featured a fictional rock group called the Rutland Stones. A bit of creative thinking (and the genius stroke of bringing in the brilliant musical parodist Neil Innes) later, and the Rutles were born. This film, made on a tiny budget but displaying a greater range of ideas and imagination than a dozen current-day Hollywood blockbusters, tells the story of Dirk, Nasty, Stig and Barry, the 'pre-fab four', from their beginnings at the Rat Kellar in Hamburg through their first hit singles, their movies A Hard Day's Rut and Ouch, Che Stadium, tea addiction, Sgt Rutter's Only Darts Club Band, Surrey mystics, the lawsuits, the marriages, Rutle Corps and the final break-up of the band, with a glimpse of their post-fame lives.
The film is an acquired taste, requiring a certain knowledge of the Beatles' career and a liking for Eric Idle's droll sense of (mostly verbal and very British) humour, but if you enjoyed THIS IS SPINAL TAP, then this should bring a smile to your face. Despite it being Idle's project, he is very nearly upstaged at every turn by Innes, who not only offers a letter-perfect pastiche of the Beatles' songs (the highlights being 'Doubleback Alley', 'Piggy In The Middle', 'I Must Be In Love' and 'Cheese and Onions'), but also an uncanny performance as Ron Nasty - the way he walks, talks, slouches, poses and arranges his features are almost scarily close to the real Lennon, particularly his delivery of the line "I'd like to own a squadron of tanks". Everyone will have their own favourite moment, but the superb recreation of the psychedelic animation style of YELLOW SUBMARINE wins it for me every time. The cameos by Mick Jagger and Paul Simon are rather pointless, and they do disrupt the fantasy, but George Harrison is spot-on as a journalist and the Saturday Night Live players are good in their cameo roles. How could anyone resist Bill Murray the K?!
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