The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash (TV Movie 1978) Poster

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Man, this is mean!
Shaolin_Apu21 September 2006
Although parodies never actually rise to the level of their victim they may be lethally funny at least. Some days ago when I was watching the Beatles Anthology, I suddenly started to remember scenes from this movie and I noticed that was laughing to myself. This only indicates how 'The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash' works other way around too.

Although the Rutles is a very funny comedy itself it does require that you know both Beatles and Monty Python relatively well. Otherwise you might lose something very essential. On the other hand 'The Rutles' can be watched many times again and again without losing a bit of its fascination and there aren't quite many films that can compete with that quality - and even less comedies! For a comedy there is a noteworthy section of famous persons presented as the supporting cast. When making 'The Rutles' Eric Idle was at the top of his fame and he received really good support for this film which is one of those ultra rare examples on how to create Pythonesque comedy and do it even better than the Monties.
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not quite the Beatles ...
didi-531 July 2004
This affectionate spoof of The Beatles rise to fame and fortunes after their split was a collaboration between a couple of Pythons, some of the SNL cast, and Neil Innes of the Bonzo Dog Band. It's an interesting combination, which grew from bits in the Rutland Weekend Television show.

With a soundtrack featuring the likes of 'Ouch!' (instead of Help!); 'Get Up And Go' (instead of Get Back), and an animated 'Cheese and Onions', you just know this is going to be silly. The thing is that the songs by Innes are just brilliant, as memorable as anything the Fab Four did.

But The Rutles are The Prefab Four, so let's concentrate on their story. Eric Idle has the most roles to play as well as being the Rutles' version of Macca, and narrates the thing throughout. Neil Innes is the Lennon equivalent, complete with cute Scouse accent, while John Halsey (as Barrington Womble, forever known as Barry Wom) is the Rutles' Ringo, and Rikki Fataar is the George equivalent, Stig. Their story basically equates to the Beatles' - except that their manager Leggy Mountbatten goes to Australia, where they have to resort to contacting him through the Ouija board (and by letters); they form a company to produce other acts - which fails - and end up playing their last gig on a London rooftop. There's even a spoof of the broadcast which featured 'All You Need Is Love'.

The SNL guys - Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Gilda Radner, and John Belushi - fit in just fine. Alongside them are Mick Jagger and Paul Simon playing themselves talking about the Rutles ... as well as a sneaky appearance from Python friend and financier George Harrison as a reporter.

If you're a Beatles fan or a fan of anyone connected with this, you'll love it.
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Men In Tight Trousers!
ShadeGrenade19 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
A memorable sketch in the second season of 'Rutland Weekend Television' was a parody of Richard Lester's 'A Hard Days Night' ( 1965 ). Shot in monochrome, it featured a Liverpuddlian pop group called 'The Rutles' - consisting of Dirk McQuickly ( Eric Idle ), Ron Nasty ( Neil Innes ), Barry Wom ( John Halsey ) and Stig O'Hara ( Rikki Fataar ). When Idle hosted an edition of the Python-influenced 'Saturday Night Live' a few years later, he showed the sketch as the pay-off to a running gag about The Beatles coming together again. It caused a sensation. 'S.N.L' viewers sent in Beatles' album covers, amended to read 'Rutles'.

Idle and 'S.N.L.' producer Lorne Michaels then teamed up to make a special programme about the group, a spoof documentary charting its rise and fall. Idle played a number of roles, including an inept interviewer. In one of the best visual gags, he is talking whilst walking down a street, then has to run to keep up with the camera car. Most of the 'S.N.L.' cast joined in the fun, such as Bill Murray as loud-mouthed disc jockey 'Bill Murray The K', Gilda Radner as 'Emily Pules', John Belushi as 'Ron Decline' ( based on the Beatles' manager Allen Klein ). Idbe brought along most of the 'Rutland' gang, such as Gwen Taylor, Terence Bayler ( as 'Leggy Mountbatten' ), Bunny May, Henry Woolf, and Carinthia West. Several real-life pop stars appeared as themselves, including Mick Jagger and Paul Simon ( not to mention George Harrison! ). Idle's Python colleague Michael Palin cropped up as the litigation conscious 'Eric Manchester'.

The reaction was positive, although some die-hard Beatles' fans failed to get the joke. "The final impression conveyed by this dismal programme was that of the talentless sneering at the talented" was how one such person summed up 'All You Need Is Cash' in a letter to 'The Radio Times'. He'd missed the point completely. Eric Idle and Gary Weis' film is not a mickey take of the group themselves, but rather the media circus that surrounded the Beatles. Archive footage is seamlessly blended with new material to create an exhilarating comic portrait. Those who saw Tony Palmer's 'All You Need Is Love' series will appreciate Idle's spoof even more.

Special mention must be made of Neil Innes as the Lennon figure, Ron Nasty. So brilliant were his Beatles pastiches ( particularly 'I Must Be In Love' and 'Doubleback Alley' ) that they were released as an album, then on C.D. ( Lennon objected to 'Get Up & Go' on account of its similarity to 'Get Back'. It was not released until years later ). And as for 'Yellow Submarine Sandwich', well, it takes your breath away!

Not all of the film works, for example, the joke made of Brian Epstein's death manages to be both tasteless and not particularly funny, but this remains Idle's finest post 'Python' project to date.
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Four Lads Who Shook Their Heads
Rags to riches story of Dirk (Eric Idle), Barry (John Halsey), Stig (Rikki Fataar) and Nasty (Neil Innes): The Rutles. We follow their journey from humble Merseyside beginnings in Liverpool's Cavern Club to global superstardom under the secure (if somewhat shaky) hand of their manager, 'Leggy' Mountbatten. This intriguing and revelatory voyage to the highest echelons of the pop world and subsequent (and almost obligatory) mass litigation features several contributions from celebrity fans of the pre-fab four; ready to reveal to the waiting world exactly 'how it was'!!!

Brilliant mock-umentary stands as a glowing beacon to the Beatles (including a self-deprecating cameo from producer Harrison) with an astute collection of marvellous mickey-takes of the fab's more pivotal moments performed by four actors clearly having the time of their lives. (Idle and Innes are inspired). All this interweaved with Innes' uncannilly excellent soundtrack (inc. the sublime 'Let's Be Natural') makes for a must see film for true devotees of Beatles and comedy alike.
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Vynil Punching Heavyweight Evangelistic Boxing Kangaroo
Warning: Spoilers
I adore this show and cannot recommend it highly enough to Beatles fans. Not only does it wonderfully de-mystify certain elements of the Beatles legend by bringing them down to earth with a resounding THUD!, but is surprisingly respectful of the reasons why Beatles fans 'luv' them so much. Even the persistent "Paul Is Dead" rumor gets the Python treatment, with no offending party from the cluttered baggage compartment of annoying Beatle minutiae going unmolested.

The starting point is the music, composed by Monty Python affiliate Neil Innes, who also sang/performed on the recordings and plays 'Ron Nasty', sort of the evil twin Doppelganger to John Lennon. I am surprised to see comments from others relating their disappointment with his songs, which is sort of the point. I am afraid they were snookered into expecting actual substance -- My take on it is that Innes was drawing attention to the mundane nature of Beatles music in general, and how perfect it was for their time. Everyone was so stoned back then that the ordinary-ness sort of got wafted up in a billowing cloud. People assigned meanings or depth to songs that were essentially just pop tunes about falling in love, taking dope, enjoying nature and questioning authority. And once you think about it, things haven't really changed that much. Innes is only saying that pop music itself is usually disappointing, which is funny 'cos it's true today even more than back then.

My favorite songs from the Rutles -- "Doubleback Alley", "Let's Be Natural", "Cheese & Onions", and especially the wonderful "I Am The Walrus" parody "Piggy In The Middle", which even has a backwards secret message -- are remarkably aware of their source material, not only in terms of melody but lyrical content. By not trying to match what the Beatles did but to almost mirror their intent to state the opposite, Innes created some genuine classics that almost stand on their own without the Beatle comparisons. Familiarity with the source material is what makes it hilarious: The chanting of "This Little Piggy Went To Market" at the conclusion of "Piggy In The Middle" couldn't be more appropriate, equating Lennon's original word imagery with childhood rhymes and nonsense words. Which is precisely what Lennon had done in the first place. Throw his critics & scholarly fans a curve ball by constructing a song out of complete gibberish, then daring them to waste their time trying to find a deeper meaning. And amazingly, that is *exactly* what they did. Innes deserved an Emmy + a Grammy.

The look of the show is probably even more perfect. All four of the Rutle performers actually do physically resemble their Beatle counterparts and use it to their advantage. Eric Idle's mugging, eye rolling and cloying as 'Dirk McQuigly' is the closest thing to a cheap shot in the piece. One can understand why Sir Paul McCartney may not have been too thrilled by the portrayal, which is not exactly flattering: Dirk comes off as an idiot. Neil Innes appears and sounds remarkably like John Lennon at times -- I love how he bobs up and down during the Ed Sullivan and Command Performance sequences, as well as his gleefully sadistic Ron Nasty character, kicking a sound technician off the roof before the "Get Up And Go" performance, holding a press conference to inform reporters they are "daft", or stating that his life's aspiration is to "Command a battalion of tanks." One of the biggest laughs to be had is the global TV hookup for "Love Life", which underscores how ridiculous the original Beatles piece was, especially those stupid, colorful psychedelic costumes. They look 100% silly, and after seeing it once you'll never look at the video of the "All You Need Is Love" performance the same way.

Yet as with the musical content, the ridiculous nature of the 1960's itself is what Eric Idle & Neil Innes were focused on rather than making fun of legendary Beatles incidents. The board tapping at Bogner section is a brilliant poke at the mysticism fad that the Beatles found themselves wrapped up in, and one of my favorite moments is where Ron Nasty and his Nazi wife sit in a bathtub and comment the fascinatingly perverse truism that "Civilization is nothing more than an effective sewage system." Which works not only as a perfect parody of the John & Yoko 'Bed-Ins' and Bagism philosophies, but is also a pretty damn accurate assessment of modern life. And then there is the "Piggy In The Middle" performance, which is a sight to behold for any fan of "Magical Mystery Tour", a masterpiece so ahead of it's time that not even the Beatles seemed aware of what the point of it was. I love the double-takes that the masked Dirk McQuigly gives to the costumed nuns and Meter Maids who meander through the set at the end of the song, sort of like they wandered into the shot from a totally different film. Which is a pretty accurate observation on what "Magical Mystery Tour" was all about: Spontaneous happenstance whereby ordinary, stupid, childish elements were juxtaposed on film to create a sort of visual tension that defines psychedelic surrealism better than any other 1960's media event I can think of. That Innes & Idle had figured that out by 1978 is nothing short of remarkable insight into popular culture.

But the bottom line caveat on THE RUTLES is that if you are pre-disposed against The Beatles, Monty Python, 1960's nostalgia and unapologetic non politically correct humor, this probably won't be the CITIZEN KANE of rock parodies -- THIS IS SPINAL TAP still holds that brass ring. But for those of us with an appreciation for those things this is a wonderful diversion and actually could have been expanded to a feature length film & not overstayed it's welcome. They left us wanting more, and that's showbiz. "Hey Diddle Diddle" indeed.

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Better Than Spinal Tap
pbbuffyhugs19 September 2009
Absolutely hilarious spoof of The Beatles. Eric Idle's finest 70 minutes and a spin off of his mid 70's TV show "Rutland Weekend Television" (Please BBC repeat this series). The songs are so clever - "I Must Be In Love' could've been an actual Beatles single it's that good. Neil Innes wrote the soundtrack which was deemed so good it was released as an album and 2 singles were released in the UK. The film follows so closely the actual events of the Beatles and George Harrison was so impressed with the script that he agreed to appear in the film. "Piggy in the Middle" (with absolutely spot on John Lennon-esq lyrics) perfectly recreates "Magical Mystery Tour" or in this case "Tragical History Tour" and the Yellow Submarine cartoon section looks so damn good that it will have you looking out for it next time you watch that film. "Love Life" is a perfect recreation of the television event of 1967 and by this point Neil Innes looks and sounds exactly like John Lennon. Everything is covered here, Lennons infamous "Bigger than Jesus" quote and it even mocks Apple (a pealed banana.) My favourite bit is Eric Idle tracing the musical roots of the Rutles, talking to 'Blind Lemon Pie' and finding out he should be talking to the bloke next door is one of the funniest few minutes of film I've seen - especially when he goes round there... "He's lying, he's always lying. Last week he said he invented the Everly Brothers." It's pant-wettingly funny. Regarded as a cult item now this is right up there with Spinal Tap but this is so much funnier, if you love the Beatles (who doesn't?) then you need to see this, one of the cleverest and most affectionate spoofs ever made. Buy the album too - for a parody the songs are superb.
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My review of The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash...
kblackwell-224 November 2000
A perfect blend of Monty Python and Saturday Night Live in this mock-umentary about the greatest rock group of all time, The Beatles. Eric Idle is hilarious as the interviewer/narrator, with cameos from some big-named stars, such as Mick Jagger, George Harrison, John Belushi, Michael Palin, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Lorne Michaels, Gilda Radner, Paul Simon and more. An instant classic if you love Monty Python, SNL, or the Beatles....
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Funny, but could have been even better
rcraig6218 May 2003
If you're a fan of the Beatles or of Monty Python's Flying Circus (and I happen to be both), it's hard to dislike this classic take-off of the Beatles phenomenon masterminded by Python's Eric Idle and composer Neil Innes that lampoons the Fab Four so precisely that the attention to detail for Beatlemaniacs will be even more impressive than the wit.

Some of the gags are priceless ("Their first album took twenty minutes to record. Their second took even longer."), but that's nothing compared to Idle's spoofing of familiar Beatles set pieces: the John & Yoko chaacters press conference for peace held in a shower, the Rutles looking "shocked and stunned" in their reaction when told of their manager's demise, and the playful banter with the media (Q: Do you feel better after seeing the queen? Rutle: No. You feel better after seeing the doctor. Rutle: Not my doctor, you don't.) And, in the traditional Python style, it's a documentary that spoofs documentaries. In one scene, narrator Idle finds himself chasing after a tracking shot that goes speeding away without him.

But the thing about it is that really satisfies on the level of the obsessed Beatle fan who knows absolutely everything there is about the Beatles' story. The Kaiserkeller is referenced as the Rat Kellar, an old hotspot crawling with rats, the Beatles' detested music publisher Dick James gets a dig ("a music publisher of no fixed ability"), the thievery going on at Apple, Ringo's fascination with the I Ching, and even Allen Klein appears (John Belushi, wearing Klein's trademark turtleneck sweater). Amidst all that, the true highlight (as was the case with the Beatles' movies themselves) is the music. Neil Innes' parodies of Beatle songs are dead-on in style and substance without ridiculing or plagiarizing them ("A Girl Like You" is close to "If I Fell", but not quite). He also gives a more-than-credible performance playing the John Lennon character. On the negative side, I thought Idle kind of glossed over the disintegration of the band- a period ripe for comic parody, and the bit about Idle in New Orleans interviewing old blues singers who supposedly inspired the band is a total throwaway. Besides, weren't the Beatles inspired by R & R pioneers like Chuck Berry and Little Richard rather than Muddy Waters? I think that's Idle's one slip-up to Beatle history.

This movie will be compared, perhaps unfavorably, to This Is Spinal Tap. I think they're about even. But for the definite word on Beatles (or Rutles) commentary, this is it. And the songs are even better than the jokes.
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I must be in luv
ericsinla16 August 2003
I just picked up this Dvd and I can't stop watching it. It brought back such good memories. The first time I saw this I must have been 13 and I had just become a Beatles fan. I was like "what the ...?" I then bought the soundtrack on vinyl ( which I still play ) Its just great to see all those people up there having fun, Neil Innes and Erics Idle are brilliant.
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The First Rockumentary, brilliant, especially the music
rw26618 January 2014
This is not for the younger crowd (unless you are a big Beatle Fan) a very,VERY funny but affectionate spoof of Beatlemania insanity, it's not an actual spoof of the Beatles in fact it pays homage to their enormous talent, just the sleazy side of the music biz.

The video and a lot of the jokes are a bit dated but although the costumes and re-creations of the original merchandise are really good the best thing about this parody is the AMAZING music, Neil Innes sounds just like John Lennon and their original songs sound exactly like the Beatles. The lyrics are hysterically funny and I think Lennon gets the worst of the ribbing especially on songs like "Cheese & Onions". George Harrison fully backed the project & makes a few small appearances and put up a lot of his own money to back the project.

I used to play Rutles tracks at parties and night clubs and people thought they were bootleg or unreleased songs, I mean they really liked them.
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A rel gem!
rbass41813 November 2007
I remember watching the NBC broadcast debut of "The Rutles: All You Need is Cash," during the spring of 1978. Even though it was highly promoted that week, and featured cameos by Lorne Michaels and nearly every member of the red-hot Not Ready for Prime Time Players, ratings for the special were abysmal, possibly even the very bottom of the Nielsen list. People I talked to had absolutely no idea what to make of it at all. Go figure. This wonderful piece, which grows better with further perspective on the 60's (and Beatlemania), paved the way for fake documentary genre pioneers, "Zelig," and "Spinal Tap," and fortunately found an audience through home video. Even though "The Rutles" is very much an Eric Idle project, it is often overlooked that this film was largely directed by Gary Weis, who was responsible for the wonderful, ground-breaking short films that appeared on the early episodes of "Saturday Night Live." Hats off to Neil Innes, whose songs and arrangements were absolutely dead-on, not just musically, but technically correct in every detail as they evolved through the Beatles chronology.
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Its terrific
matwsussx14 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This is one of the funniest things i have ever seen and as much as i adore the Beatles i do enjoy this gentle dig at them. And even after only a few viewings you can tend to blur and mix what actually happened in Rutles "history" with what happened in the Beatles legend. Eric Idle plays about half a dozen roles including the gormless reporter in some very clever digs at cheap documentaries but his Dirk McQuickly/Paul McCartney is just fantastically funny, especially when he does that trademark McCartney innocent and trite wide-eyed look whilst singing "With a girl like you". But its as much Neil Innes film thanks to his underrated Lennon performance and of course his songs. Listen each song carefully and you'll hear two or three different Beatles tunes mixed together whilst sounding totally original themselves. Moments to cherish include the rooftop gig and the Magical Mystery Tour spoof, and the attention to detail is fantastic right down to the Rutles wearing identical costumes and clothes to what the Beatles themselves wore in each phase of their musical story. Throw in some nice cameos and you've got the perfect musical spoof.
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Deeply Impressed...
applescruffy14 September 2002
...With Neil Innes!

Generally I thought the movie was great. There were some very funny moments in it. My favorites; the Bath In and when George Harrison is interviewing Micheal Palin and behind them the strangest things get stolen. Recognizing all the famous (and less famous) Beatle moments and footage was a lot of fun.

But the best thing about the movie was Neil Innes. Not only did he write those great songs in the movie, but he also gives an incredibly accurate performance of John/Nasty. Every move he makes, every word he says, the way he looks, the way he sings, the way he talks... He IS John there. Wonderful, even in all the serious movies that featured someone portraying John, I have never seen anyone do so very well.
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Lets see The Beatles+Python's+Groundbreaking format=Funny!
droopfozz23 August 2001
The very first comedic mockumentary (2 years pre-Spinal Tap) this is a very funny film, with great music, it happened on accident Eric planned on making another film with Neil, but the music sounded to much like A Hard Day's Night. This film is so acurate in its homage to Beatlemania George, (Stig) who is also in this movie) quotes it 5 times in the Beatles: Anthology Book. Hilarious and a cult classic.
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The Rutles: All You Need is Cash is a brilliant mockumentary of the Beatles-like group
tavm24 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
After years of reading about this movie, I finally saw The Rutles: All You Need is Cash on YouTube just now. Monty Python member Eric Idle created and wrote this mockumentary about a Beatles-like group originally as a filmed sketch on "Rutland Weekend Television". That sketch would eventually make its American debut on "Saturday Night Live" when he hosted the show during its second season. Lorne Michaels, producer of that show, liked what he saw and agreed to help produce a television special of this group for a 90 minute prime time spot. So with Idle and Gary Weis-"SNL" filmmaker at the time-directing and Rutles member Neil Innes writing the tunes-inspired by the Beatles songs, of course-and cameos by the likes of Mick Jagger, Paul Simon, fellow Python Michael Palin, and "SNL"ers like Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Gilda Radner, along with writers/bit players Al Franken & Tom Davis, and Michaels himself, oh, and also former Beatle George Harrison who I didn't recognize in his makeup, this was quite a funny and entertaining show that I enjoyed highly especially when they played with certain happenings like having their manager quit to go to Australia for a teaching position instead of killing himself or mentioning Bob Dylan introducing them to a strange substance-called tea! There's plenty more funny stuff but I'll just now say that I loved The Rutles: All You Need is Cash and highly recommend it if you love The Beatles and great comedy.
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The life and times of the Pre-Fab Four.
Joseph P. Ulibas30 August 2005
Warning: Spoilers
The Rutles: All You Need is Cash (1978) was a hilarious parody of the Beatles. Eric Idle and Gary Weis directed this made-for-t.v. movie about those lovable mop topped musicians who had the world in their hands during the sixties. Originally, the Rutles appeared on Saturday Night Live (that's why members from S.N.L. have small parts in the film). The producers loved the skit and had Eric Idle and company direct and write a t.v. movie version.

We follow the host (Eric Idle) who interviews people who knew the infamous and reclusive Rutles. From their days when they played small clubs with a fifth member (Who hung around in the back with an unplugged guitar raving it up) to when they were famous world wide. But one plant changed their lives and affected their music. That plant was "tea". Yes, they became tea addicts and it influenced their music greatly. But inner struggles brought the band down from within. In the end, the group split in four different ways. The co-leader of the group Dirk McQuickly left to form his own band Punk Floyd (with a giant safety pin in his head).

The funny music was written by Eric Idle and Neil Innes. A few years ago, the Rutles released a collection of songs "Archeology" and reformed briefly (without Eric Idle). Whilst the band no longer plays, their "music" lives on. Features Neil Innes, Ricky Fatar, John Halsey, Bianca Jagger, George Harrison, Michael Palin and the S.N.L. gang.

Highly recommended.
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Rutle for your life.
dbdumonteil4 January 2005
It's impossible to love the Beatles -Is it possible not to adore the Beatles anyway?- and not to enjoy this marvelous mad yet very precise spoof on their whole oeuvre.All along this "all you need is lo..sorry cash" ,you are treated to the delights of hilarious jokes (we are more popular than God ,sorry ,Rod (Stewart)) and the songs are sheer genius.Not only they capture the Beatles atmosphere,but they are also quite infectious,superbly tuneful with zany but witty lyrics.I particularly dig "ouch"("help")and "piggy in the middle" (I'm the walrus")but the masterpiece is undeniably "Cheese and onions" which is not really inspired by a Beatles song,but manages to sound Beatler than the Beatles themselves.

Mick Jagger and Paul Simon (among others ) appear in the flesh and their tongue-in -chick comments (rather sarcastic for the former,a bit wistful for the latter) are a plus for the movie.

Word to the wise:it's worth to buy the CD which features 20 songs!and in 1996,when the Beatlemania,fueled by the release of the anthology series ,was even stronger than in the golden sixties ,the Rutles made a follow-up called "archaeology" that almost outdid the first 1978 release .You will love "Shangri la "("Hey jude" ) "We're arrived"(back in the USSR" .And Eric Idle ends the Rutles saga on an almost sad touch with his "Back in 64" ("When I'm 64" ) .Blues,folks,beaucoups of blues.
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Eric Idle's best
Hippie_Chick15 July 2003
An excellent movie for Eric Idle and Beatle fans alike. The soundtrack is absolutely brilliant. Beatles fans will appreciate the movie more, because of many small in-jokes. Many familiar faces from Saturday Night Live appear, as well as a surprise appearance by George Harrison!

It follows the careers of the Pre-Fab Four, Barry, Stig, Dirk, and Nasty. See their beginnings in the Cavern, the tea drinking days of Sgt. Rutter's Only Darts Club Band, and their eventual breakup after the release of Let It Rot. Learn more about the Rutles than you ever wished to know!
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The brightest spot in Eric Idle's filmography
craigjclark18 May 2001
His work with Monty Python aside, Idle has never been able to top this, one of his earliest and best-known solo efforts. "The Rutles" is a brilliant parody that gets a lot of mileage out of its limited budget (as Idle points out on the DVD's commentary track) and Idle's penchant for wordplay.

Neil Innes's songs are also a highlight. Many have so many antecedents that they can be taken as good songs in their right ("Hold My Hand," "Cheese and Onions," "Doubleback Alley").

Fans of the Beatles and Monty Python (and also "Saturday Night Live") will be sure to get a big kick out of "The Rutles." One can only hope that Idle doesn't follow through on his threat to make a sequel.
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This movie was a brilliant forerunner to mocumentaries like Spinal Tap, capturing the style, and the cheese (and onions!), of the rockumentaries of the early 1970's. Much in the way Mel Brooks skewered Hitchcock in High Anxiety, this tribute goes more than skin deep. The more you know of the Beatles, the better to appreciate the Rutles.

Although it was originally shown on US Television as a TV Movie, All You Need Is Cash could easily have been released and made a run at the art house and college circuit.

The icing on the cake is the music. Crafted with wit, style and love, many of the songs could easily be mistaken for true Beatles tracks. In fact, I have my Rutles CD mixed in with my Beatles CDs for when I want a grin *and* good music.

In short, I highly recommend this film to anyone ...especially anyone who has a good knowledge of the Beatles and their history.
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I Laughed My Head Off
denis88819 November 2013
Hilarious! This is the very word to describe this absolutely delightful Beatles-parody movie, with excellent roles played by all people involved, with Neil Innes, Ricky Fataar and Eric Idles being all-time great! Heavy British accents, funny hapless manners, excellent humor, clever wordplay, smashing gags, funny skits and deliciously delightful songs all form a heavy stew which is tasty, smells excellent, breaks mightily and provides a sheer 90-minute joy for watchers. This is a highly recommended movie for all Beatles fans who will immediately recognize all the familiar hints and innuendos. Allusions are very smart and the jokes are sometimes a bit too heavy but still zany and hefty. Even if you are not a Beatles fan, you can deeply enjoy Monty Python humor here, too. Fresh, breezy, fast, funny, often risky - this is a tremendously satisfying film for all people
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A very funny faux-documentary with surprisingly good parody music.
Tommy Nelson10 November 2007
The Rutles was a band in the 60s with members Dirk McQuickly, Ron Nasty, Stig O'Hara and Barry Womb (formerly Barry Womble), and 8 years after the breakup of this "band" this documentary is made. This is actually a very funny movie, but won't appeal to everyone.

The thing that stood out most in this movie was how accurate the movie and song parodies were. If you've seen the Beatles films or know the songs that these songs are based on, then you'll find it funny, or if nothing else amusing. Other than the music, there is also a surprisingly amount of hilarious Monty Python like humor from Eric Idle as the interviewer. The only real problem I had with the film was the special guest stars. They tried to fit guests in, and usually they had to extend out cameos that worked better as 20 second roles, which ended up becoming 2 minutes just to give well known people a role. Many members of SNL, Mick Jagger, Paul Simon, and even George Harrison have small roles. Some of them were unneeded, but nonetheless it was nice to see familiar faces.

So sit down with a cup of tea and check this one out.

My rating: *** out of ****. 70 mins. Not rated, contains mild language.
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Breakthrough form, some great moments, but it drags and feels dated, too...
secondtake22 December 2012
The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash (1978)

This might be a necessary rite of passage for those who love the Beatles, or those who love "This is Spinal Tap" and other mockumentaries. Because this set the pattern, and a rather low bar of professionalism, for all that followed. It's not a great movie but it has great moments.

Those moments include the extended interviews with Mick Jagger (and to a lesser extent Paul Simon). When each of these people first appear it's a thrill, when the reappear the surprise is gone and you realize the surprise is most of it. That the famous real stars were willing to get in on the gag is a great twist of fictional history.

There are also other little snippets--not enough of them, but good ones, like Bill Murray being a crazy (typically) radio announcer, and an odd and overacted scene with John Belushi. Dan Aykroyd and Gilda Radner show up and so even does Bianca Jagger. These are quick and fun cameos, and the more of these the better.

Central throughout is Eric Idle, the director and writer, and the one consistency in it all as the traveling reporting telling the documentary tale of the Pre-Fab Four. Some of the camera tricks are really funny, and the general dead pan delivery is good.

All of this is great stuff and it's a lot, and if you could make a shorter mockumentary with the cream of the movie you'd have a pretty solid film. What drags it down is partly avoidable, party not: all the songs. We hear a good 15 or 20 Beatles-style homages or send-ups with these four mimics, and it's always interesting for ten seconds, hearing the slight twists to the famous riffs or melodies, seeing how they set the stage (with a little real footage now and then to make it even more real). But it wears thin after a minute, and sometimes the full three minutes is played out and it's just too long. And it happens a lot.

It's a fun ride and if you can chill or chitchat during some of the drawn out parts you'll quickly be jerked into attention by some new twist.
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