IMDb > The Secret Policeman's Ball (1979) (TV)

The Secret Policeman's Ball (1979) (TV) More at IMDbPro »

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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:
One of Cook's Brightest Moments...and Atkinson's First 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 ... Syveste McCoy (as Sylveste McCoy)

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 
Camera and Electrical Department
Trevor Brooker .... camera assistant
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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Movie Connections:
In the Air TonightSee more »


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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
One of Cook's Brightest Moments...and Atkinson's First, 22 August 2008
Author: Jeff Hatfield from United States

Out of all the Secret Policeman's Balls, this one is the most entertaining and funniest. This is usually the one I watch because it has my favorite comedians all together in top form. Eleanor Bron is great in the "Dear God" sketch, with her rambling dialog being very entertaining. "Cheese Shop" wasn't as good as the Python version, but you can't really expect that....they pull it off very nicely, though. The "Pregnancy" sketch is a nice short one. That Eleanor Bron is really good.

Notable praise goes to Rowan Atkinson, though. Considering that this was even before "Not the Nine O'Clock News" first being broadcast, this must have been a real important night for him. His "Schoolmaster" sketch is a delight. Also, him in Dudley Moore's shoes for the "End of the World" sketch makes it take off. For once, someone other than Peter Cook is the funniest part of a sketch! He also handled the "Four Yorkshiremen" sketch very well with other Pythons. Kudos for Rowan Atkinson; this is his breakthrough moment in comedy.

But you can't watch this and say that Peter Cook didn't steal the show because he quite simply steals every show! The "Interesting Facts" sketch really blew the whole thing open at the beginning. Cleese never laughs during a sketch, but Cook gets him to. Cook always leaves them in stitches. But, the real shining moment of the night is the "Entirely a Matter For You" sketch lampooning the Jeremy Thorpe case. If you don't know about the case before watching it, do the research. It'll actually make it funny. It's actually one of the funniest sketches ever made. It's sooooo perfect and Peter Cook is in top form during this. Just another reason of a million why Peter Cook was such a genius. You really don't know comedy if you don't know about Peter Cook.

Such a fantastic DVD that I watch constantly. It's brilliant, just brilliant!!!

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