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The Secret Policeman's Ball -- Trailer for the boxed set of these comedy concerts


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Billy Connolly (writer)
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Release Date:
June 1980 (UK) See more »
A series of benefit concerts to raise money for Amnesty International. Performances include comedy skits... See more » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Deserves to be carved in stone See more (5 total) »


Paul Abrahams ... Himself (Piano Player)

Rowan Atkinson ... Various Roles
Chris Beetles ... Beetles and Buckman
Mike Brearley ... Himself
Eleanor Bron ... Various Roles
Rob Buckman ... Beetles and Buckman
Ken Campbell ... Himself
Suzanne Church ... Herself

John Cleese ... Himself - Various Roles

Billy Connolly ... Himself

Peter Cook ... Various Roles
Anna Ford ... Herself
Clive James ... Himself
Clive Jenkins ... Himself

Sylvester McCoy ... Himself

Michael Palin ... Various Roles

David Rappaport ... Himself / Various Roles
Tom Robinson ... Himself
Marcel Steiner ... Himself

Pete Townshend ... Himself
John Williams ... Himself

Terry Jones ... Himself / Various Roles (uncredited)

Directed by
Roger Graef 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Billy Connolly  writer

Produced by
John Cleese .... producer (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Pascoe MacFarlaine 
Clive Tickner 
Ernest Vincze 
Other crew
John Cleese .... stage director


Additional Details

Also Known As:
Portugal:94 min | UK:94 min (theatrical version) | UK:60 min (TV premiere)
Sound Mix:
Australia:PG | UK:AA (theatrical rating) | UK:15 (video rating)

Did You Know?

Monty Python members Michael Palin and John Cleese promoted The Secret Policeman's Ball (1979) (TV) in a rare joint television interview with Michael Billington broadcast on BBC TV on 22nd June 1979.See more »
Schoolmaster:All right, quiet. Ainsley. Babcock. Bland. Carthorse. Dint. Ellsworth-Beast Major. Ellsworth-Beast Minor. Fiat. German. Havenut. Haemoglobin. Jones M. Jones N. Kosygin. Loudhailer. Mattock. Nancyboy-Potter. Nibble.
Schoolmaster:I have a detention book. Orifice. Plectrum. Poise. Sediment. Soda. Taah. Taah? Under-Manager. Wicket. Williams-Wicket. Williams-Witcherley. Witcherley-Wicket. Witcherley-Williams. And Witcherley-Williams. Wocket. Zob. Hmmm, absent. All right, your essays...
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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful.
Deserves to be carved in stone, 23 November 2006
Author: hgallon from Derbyshire, UK

It is perhaps a shame that Britain does not have something like the American Congress's official list of historically significant works of art. If there were, this show deserves framing as an iconic series of performances.

"The Secret Policeman's Ball" was the second benefit performance for the charity, Amnesty International. It followed the earlier "Pleasure at her Majesty's" in 1976. The Ball featured a most effective mix of old and new blood; from the old stable, several of the Pythons, Peter Cook at the height of his comic and satirical powers; from the new stable, Billy Connolly and Rowan Atkinson.

There were some old favourites among the acts (the "Four Yorkshiremen" and Python's "Cheese Shop"), but some of the new acts and sketches were inspired. In particular, Rowan Atkinson's sardonic "Schoolmaster", and Peter Cook's "Entirely a Matter for you", written specially for the occasion.

There is a minor musical landmark, with Pete Townsend (of the Who) reportedly forced to play acoustic rather than amplified for the first time in his life, alongside classical guitarist John Williams.

In later years, the subsequent Policeman's Balls were seen as a showcase for new talent with the result that several acts became over-the-top and hammed.

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