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Time Bandits (1981)

PG  |   |  Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy  |  6 November 1981 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 42,996 users  
Reviews: 169 user | 137 critic

A young boy accidentally joins a band of dwarves as they jump from era to era looking for treasure to steal.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
King Agamemnon / Fireman


A young boy's wardrobe contains a time hole. Through this hole an assortment of short people (i.e. dwarfs) come while escaping from their master, the supreme being. They take Kevin with them on their adventures through time from Napoleonic times to the Middle Ages to the early 1900s, to the time of Legends and the Fortress of Ultimate Darkness where they confront Evil. Written by Zaphod <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


...they didn't make history, they stole it! See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

6 November 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Aikavarkaat  »

Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)


$42,365,600 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (original release)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In 1996, Terry Gilliam and Charles McKeown collaborated on a script for Time Bandits 2, bringing back most of the original cast, with the exceptions of David Rappaport and Tiny Ross who had passed away a few years before, and owing to Jack Purvis being paralyzed from a car accident, his character was written to be in a similar state. But following the death of Purvis, the project was shelved indefinitely. See more »


When Wally is finished cutting the sections of rope from the cage, you can see that the cut section is about two feet long. However, when the rope begins to break while they are swinging Strutter to the next cage, the cut section is only about 6 inches. See more »


[first lines]
Announcer: Yes, folks... Moderna Designs present the latest in kitchen luxury. The Moderna Wonder Major All Automatic Convenience Center-ette gives you all the time in the world to do the things you really want to do... An infrared freezer-oven complex that can make you a meal from packet to plate in 15 1/2 seconds.
Kevin's Mother: Morrisons have got one that can do that in eight seconds.
Kevin's Father: Oh?
Kevin's Mother: Block of ice to Beef Bourguignon in eight seconds. Lucky things.
Kevin: Dad, did you know that the ancient Greek warriors ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the credits the scene where the Bandits have their photo taken is replayed. See more »


Referenced in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993) See more »


Dream Away
Written by George Harrison
Performed by George Harrison, Dave Mattacks, Alan Jones, Mike Moran,
Ray Cooper, Billy Preston, Syreeta and Sarah Ricor
Produced by George Harrison, Ray Cooper and Phil McDonald
See more »

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User Reviews

God's "employees" off for a bit of white collar crime.
28 June 1999 | by (Papillion NE) – See all my reviews

A terrific little fantasy that, not surprisingly, has flavors of Monty Python. My children and I first saw it in the early '80s on a night ferry from Harwich to Zeebrugge. I've seen it a few times since, and marvel at the creativity that went into the film. God's "employees" trying to use a map of the universe to track down treasure is the theme; running around through time trying to find the treasure is the game. The cameos by Cleese, Connery and the rest are some amusing highlights, but the Time Bandits themselves really make the story. The climactic scenes with the Evil Genius made me think more than a little of the Sorcerer's Apprentice.

I think it is a well done bit of fantasy for older children and adults; it helps to know a bit of history going into it. I wouldn't let my six-year old granddaughter see it -- at least not yet -- but she and her sister probably will love the adventure in a few years.

32 of 36 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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