177 user 136 critic

Time Bandits (1981)

3:09 | Trailer


Airs Wed. Oct. 26, 11:00 AM on TCM

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


4,703 ( 236)
1 win & 8 nominations. See more awards »



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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 <aaa@scs.leeds.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


All the dreams you've ever had and not just the good ones 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?


Terry Gilliam: [burst] horse and rider from closet See more »


When Agamemnon drops the bullhead, he's just wearing his soldiers dress, next shot he's wearing a red coat over his shoulders. 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 Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos (2002) See more »


Wine and Roses Waltz
Music by Paul Lewis
De Wolfe Music Ltd
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.

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