Yellowbeard (1983) Poster


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Yellow beard is worth a look.
ccluff197426 February 2006
I watched this as a kid and it made an impression on me. So much so that I just had to watch it again last week. I was not as disappointed as I was with other movie repeats from my childhood(Popeye comes to mind). Sure things were a bit sketchy and straight up silly at times but it was a fun movie. And of course if you are a Cheech and Chong fan they have a small part too.It ranks up there in the top of my favorite swashbuckling pirate flicks (behind Pirates of the Caribbean) I think it is a classic. "Stagger, Stagger, Crawl,Crawl" will be forever ingrained in the movie quote cache of my brain!(right up there with "Charlie don't surf!")
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Must see (in my opinion)
KeepinThe600sAlive27 February 2004
You may not agree with me, but I absolutely loved this movie. How often can you see this many stars in a movie involving royalty being raped? When you put together Monty Python members (who are excellent), many American comedians, pansies with maps on their scalps, a dirty prisoner who likes jail better than his ex, David Bowie as a human torture shark (with a 10 second cameo), Cheech and Chong, the father from Everybody Loves Raymond (and countless other CBS comedies), and many other amazing roles. I'm very sad to see that the only place you can get a hold of this tape except for waiting for 5 years for a request at Blockbuster (Yes, I requested it in 1995 and didn't receive the tape until 2002) or off of Amazon/E-Bay used (for no less than $35). Bascially, you can't beat Monty Python meets Cheech and Chong comedy.
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Outstanding movie...
edinburghstoryteller7 February 2006
One of my all time favourites. I would have given it 10 out of 10, but that just doesn't seem right and - to be honest - I suspect the filmmakers would agree with me on that one. It's not a movie that tries to be good - in terms of actual quality...if you see what I mean - it just works absolutely beautifully.

Graham Chapman is magnificent as always, John Cleese is the best Blind Pugh character I've ever seen and the story is a joy to be a part of. Taking a more pirate-oriented look at the Treasure Island tale, this movie wantonly stumbles from scene to scene without ever apologising for itself; which I find hugely refreshing. It is laugh out loud funny in parts and just plain good fun in all the others.

Don't listen to the naysayers - this is brilliantly bad and it's well aware of the fact. Don't go see it if you're looking for Oscar worthy stuff, because it is a world away from that. It's low-down, dirty, well-written nonsense of the highest calibre.
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A nonsense pirate adventure!
pmdawn20 March 2008
I'm a big fan of Monty Python, and as soon as I heard about this little known movie I wanted to check it out. It turns out that it was pretty entertaining! Although it's not nearly on the same level of genius as other MP movies, there are a lot of little funny details throughout the movie.

The thin plot revolves around everyone trying to get their hands on Yellowbeard's legendary treasure. Gags ensue. Oddly enough, it works. Graham Chapman is hilarious in his role as a blood-thirsty pirate and so is Eric Idle... But the true star of this film is Marty Feldman (Igor from Young Frankenstein). His character is similar to Igor's, but he steals every scene he's in. There's also a really funny cameo with David Bowie.

I certainly do not agree with John Cleese that this was the worst movie he's ever been in. He's been in a lot of movies much worse than this one, and actually, his character here is pretty interesting and even funny.

The plot is more or less of a Pirates of The Caribbean meets Monty Python, and it was interesting enough to keep me watching. I thought this was better than Jabberwocky and (although it is much sillier) it also reminded me a bit of Erik The Viking.

Cheech & Chong are here and they are disappointing as Spaniards. Chong has a incredibly annoying lisp and his accent just doesn't work, let's say, as opposed to Michael Palin's hilarious performance in 'Life of Brian'. Cheech has an easier time since he's Hispanic, but their roles are simply unfunny, like much of their regular work. That's probably because wasn't any hemp in this movie (aside from the ones on Yellowbeard's hair!) Maybe they should have played stoned pirates or something like that.

I was really surprised that this movie didn't suck. Sure, it's not a work of art or a must-have for Monty Python / Cheech & Chong fans. But chances are, if you're just expecting to have some mindless fun, this movie will do the trick. Just turn off your brain and enjoy. 6/10
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Classicly overlooked gem
ickyy19 November 2006
Such a great movie , with a killer cast so sadly overlooked! Chapman as Yellowbeard and Cleese as Blind Pew are both highlights of those guys work IMHO. Can't find it on DVD though! Sure it's a silly plot but it's the bit parts of all the different greats that make this one of my favorite Comedys of all time...GREATNESS!Marty Feldman was rarely better and Madeline Kahn. But Blind Pew and Yellowbeard definitely here are both just incredibly amazing parts.I just love this movie and sure hope it does come out on DVD at some point! It's weird in a way though because i do like Cheech and Chong but here i could have done without their efforts entirely..
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generic rant from a fat middle-age white boy
A comedic romp featuring many of the old cast from Monty Python. in addition, Peter Cook of Beyond The Fringe fame. The film is not for the serious. A farce about a pirate and his treasure with his former first mate and the British Empire seeking to relieve him of it. Peter Cook steals the show with a fine portrayal of a clueless boozer who has a good heart and tries it really hard. I've been trying forever to find the film on DVD without success. Marty Feldman also has a fine role in the moviea and Cheech and Chong appear in secondary roles with humorous results. Graham Chapman stars as the title character with Eric Idle playing the Queen's representative from the Royal Navy.
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Great writing and All star cast
toronto_bill4 April 2006
Yellowbeard is a rousing comedy about a pirate called Yellow beard who is searching for his treasure.

The cast is a who's who of British comedy icons, along with Cheech and Chong of America.

The writing is very much like the style of Monty Python. Many of Python's member's are in it. Not least of which is Graham Chapman in the starring role as Yellowbeard. Eric Idle and John Cleese also play roles. If you look hard you can see David Bowie in a bit role. Cheech and Chong have quite amusing sequences. As does Marty Feldman, and one of the best Madeleine Khan.

Hard to find....see it if you can.
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A Fun Time
caspian197818 June 2004
I'm sure that the cast of this film knew that the story was flat and the overall idea was kind of stupid. Still, with Cheech and Chong, half the cast of Young Frankenstein, and members of Monty Python, how could you not consider this movie funny? The late, and very great, Graham Chapman stars as Yellowbeard. A comic legend next to his fellow Monty actors, Chapman would die of cancer a few years later. Here, he falls into character like no other. From playing King Arthur, to the mis-understood wanna-be Messiah named Brian, Chapman plays a legendary pirate. The last shot of the movie shows himself timeless, standing high up top of the ship, watching the open seas. Much of the movie plays to be a classic pirate film, when in fact, it is a comedy, the likes that no British comedy team had seen before. Overall, yes, the movie fails on many levels, but it is a classic because of the players involved. Check it out for yourself.
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outstandingly funny
anderbilt9 July 2006
It is so tempting to write a letter full of spoilers since the movie is 23 years old, but I'll refrain because fresh eyes should see this movie and decide for themselves whether or not it works as a comedy. I absolutely loved the movie, and greatly enjoyed the talents of four or five different comedy ensembles being blended together for this movie. It didn't work 100 percent of course, but I'd say most of it worked just fine. If Peter Cook's first scene in the film doesn't have you spitting pop through your nose, check your pulse. My nose still tingles thinking about it. I note the many times that Cheech and Chong are singled out in this comment thread for being different or least funny of the cast. Cheech and Chong movies weren't everyone's cup of tea, but as a longtime C&C fan, I found their work in 'Yellowbeard' to be as good as anything else they've ever done. Except for 'The Corsican Brothers' of course.
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The pirate of pirates
bring11 November 1999
Not being an avid fan of the Monty Python gang, I thoroughly enjoy their "on-the-sides", such as the Time Bandits. Yellowbeard can also be classified as such and is, in my opinion, one of the funniest films ever made. The characterisation, the one-liners, the stereotypes, everything fits and hits where it is supposed to. The strange casting is one of the highlights of the film and I'm sure they all had a very good time making it.

Blues Brothers was not a highly regarded film in its early years but has gained some kind of "cult status". Yellowbeard is sure to follow that path.
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I love this movie
Patrick3 January 2009
I have a certain affinity for this movie of the breed where I can't really recommend it, because it really is not a well-planned, well-directed, or comedically sound film. But it appeals to my inner Python because of its history.

It's a virtual "Who's who" of late 1970s comedy. I could not resist the purchase when it came out on DVD, having myself already read the book and the screenplay. Anyone with a taste for early 80s comedy will appreciate the stellar cast: Chapman, Eric Idle, and John Cleese from the Python cast, Cheech and Chong, and half the cast of Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein. Some may know, also, that Marty Feldman had previously worked with Chapman and Cleese in At Last the 1948 Show, the British sketch comedy show that predated Monty Python.

But, as I said earlier, I can't recommend it because I don't know if I would have enjoyed it so much had I not had such an appreciation for the historical value. The gags are good and there is a lot of clever wordplay, but I mostly just enjoy watching such famous personalities acting alongside each other. It's a good one for the collection, but look elsewhere if production value is what you want.
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Some really funny bits and a talented cast make this an underrated pirate comedy to some extent
Electrified_Voltage28 February 2010
I found a copy of this 1983 pirate comedy nearly three years ago and rented it. The cast features Graham Chapman in the title role, and also includes Eric Idle and John Cleese, all former Monty Python actors, which was how "Yellowbeard" captured my attention. It was also released the same year as Monty Python's final film, "The Meaning of Life". When I first watched this film, I found that it was really funny for a while and then dwindled a bit, but overall, while it was no classic, I thought it was reasonably satisfying as a comedy adventure. This month, I rented it again, from the same video store and probably the same copy, and I don't know if I can describe it exactly the same way now as I did the first time, but if not, it still wasn't much different.

In the late 17th century, the infamous Yellowbeard (based on real-life pirate Blackbeard) is a violent, murderous pirate who is skilled in the art of pillaging around the seas! He is arrested for tax evasion and imprisoned for the next twenty years, but despite years of torture, he refuses to tell anyone where his vast collection of treasure is hidden. One day, his wife, Betty, comes to talk to him and finally tells him that he has a son named Dan who is now twenty years old. Yellowbeard is disappointed to hear that his son has turned out to be nothing like him. Instead of being a murdering, raping pirate like his father, Dan is actually a true gentleman. The British Navy decides to have Yellowbeard's sentence increased by 140 years so he will escape and go for his treasure. The ploy works, as the pirate soon makes a violent escape and rounds up old crew members of his to find it. The only place his treasure map can now be found is on his son's head. Yellowbeard, his crew, Dan, and the British Navy all set out to sea to try and finally find the loot!

I think there were quite a few times when I laughed hard both times I saw this film. One memorably funny part I remember from both viewings is the first scene with the mouthy parrot, and there are so many other highlights, such as the lead character trying to behead his son for the treasure map when they first meet! There are frequent rape jokes in the film, starting with the conversation between Yellowbeard and Betty in prison, in which the pirate mentions how he raped her. After that, the film shows the title character raping women in several scenes. As tasteless as this aspect of the film is, and as much as many would be disgusted by it, I have to admit, it often made me laugh, even though I know VERY WELL that raping is NOT funny AT ALL in real life! When I first watched the film, it seemed like I could give it an 8/10 for a while, but in the end, I couldn't give it any more than a 7. There were times early on when it seemed like an 8/10 for me the second time as well, but once again, it was a 7 in the end. It's not always that funny, and the gags, plot, and cast can't carry the film consistently throughout.

Not only does the cast of this movie feature three former Pythons, it also includes three people who appeared in Mel Brooks' smash hit Universal horror spoof, "Young Frankenstein". These three cast members are Marty Feldman (who unfortunately suffered a premature death during the filming of "Yellowbeard"), Madeline Kahn, and Peter Boyle (the latter two have since died). It also features comedy duo Cheech & Chong, and I'm not too familiar with them, believe it or not. With all these cast members, one might expect this pirate comedy to be a work of comedic genius, but it's not, even though the cast in general put on decent performances. "Yellowbeard" is not exactly what you would call a popular movie, and it apparently bombed at the box office. Also, John Cleese apparently hates it, but as much as I admire him, I'm going to have to disagree with his views on this film. Personally, I think this film is better than "Splitting Heirs", "George of the Jungle", and "Shrek the Third", all films Cleese had a part in, though I certainly don't hate any of those films, either. Well, no matter how despised this 1983 flop may be, MUCH worse comedy films have been done, and I have no problem admitting that I've found a number of scenes memorably funny here.
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Funny, but should have been moreso...
phdyr5116 March 2007
With this cast and budget, should have been much more of a sustained laugh fest. Nevertheless, many of the lines and visuals are classics, and everyone aboard is such a pro that you can forgive the deader stretches. Marty Feldman does a lot with not much material, while Peter Cook's beyond-deadpan mutterings are frequently hilarious. Disappointing were Peter Boyle and Tommy Chong, the latter to the point of inducing nausea. Cheech Marin fares better, but only because his character is written with marginally more dimension. Loved David Bowie's cameo and Madeline Kahn's pluckiness. James Mason, however, looks vaguely uncomfortable (not to mention feeble) in his few scenes, which, sadly, do not contain any glittering gags.

All in all, you will definitely laugh, cringe, and yawn, but won't regret tuning in.
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You'll never get all of the jokes in one viewing!
ShrinkSteve19 July 2003
For those who are seeking a sophisticated plot, Oscar calliber acting, and a smooth flowing movie, look elsewhere. However, if you like to laugh, jump in, the water's hillarious. This movie has so many levels of comedy, you can't get it all in one viewing. You will sell this movie short if you only watch it once. Chapman is over the top with his characterization of the pure testosterone driven Yellowbeard. The supporting cast is mind blowingly funny. If this movie doesn't make you laugh, you need a vacation, and, possibly, a therapist. Favorite lines... "Killin plants!" ... "I must just have a word with this man here!" ... "I could, I could.. Oh what could I do?"

Someone in GB needs to hunt down the closet where the original reels are kept, steal them and print them to DVD. It will be a tremendous loss when this one disappears completely. (remember, VHS has a 10 year shelf life... that is why everyone I've seen looks terrible!)
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it IS funny
erlaharalds1 March 2006
i know there are mixed opinions about this movie, but i think it's funny. i also think it doesn't have that much Python humor. it has some, but very little. but it's still funny. Graham is hilarious, one of his best movies, i believe (although i haven't seen much of his work, only the python stuff). Eric is funny, too. but i might be the only one to believe that. Cheech and Chong weren't funny at, though. Now, i have to mention the scenery, which is amazing. every set looks authentic and real. and the costumes to are beautiful. altogether, it's a marvelous film. and if you don't think so, well, that's your own fault. 10 out of 10
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strictly as an idiot...
biaznitch11 February 2006
Warning: Spoilers
i wouldn't say there are any spoilers in this comment, however there are a few references to little jokes that i found particularly amusing.

I love this film, and have done since i first saw it about 10 years ago. horribly saddened by the fact that i cant find it anywhere on DVD or any other format i taped it from late night TV a few months ago. anyway, in my opinion this film is missing nothing. many would say the dialog is terrible or that the story sucks but personally this is why i love this film. its the little touches in this film that make it so excellent, for instance El Nebuloso's ridiculous headdress being so enormous that he has holes cut in the top of every door in the palace so that he doesn't have to duck in order to walk through them, or the map of the world in lambourn hall showing Africa being both south of Europe and northwest of Asia.

I will however say that the character of Dan is played by possibly the most annoying and least comical actor I've ever seen and that includes avid merrion.
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Yellow Beard
wrinklies17 September 2005
I found this movie extremely funny, no, it was hilarious. I would strongly recommend this movie to anyone who wanted a really good laugh it's British humour at it's very best. One burning question remains is when can we expect to see this classic on DVD? I for one would be queueing up to buy it. The monty python team is a team of geniuses. The plot lines are nothing short of brilliant. The satirical shot of the religious side of the story would certainly of raised a few eyebrows but isn't irreverence one of the corner stones of python stories, you only have to watch "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" to come to that conclusion. All in all it takes class, tradition, the stiff upper lip and all that was britania and turns it on it's head.
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Great skits, great comedy, plot didn't count anyway
Wardo1017 April 2005
This movie is a spoof, and a great one at that. It is so overlooked, and underrated that you know it has to be close to a masterpiece. The comedy comes from many different camps; Python, Mel Brooks players and Cheech and Chong, some times it can be difficult to switch gears. Each comedy troupe involved does at the very least good work for their particular brand of humor and there's some spoofing of others' comedic styles which, I think, was hilarious. I had an aunt that was living in London at the time this movie was made and was visiting when I first rented it, she flew into hysterics at parts I didn't think were funny (I was 14 at the time) which made me take a second look. I learned more about British humor and ultimately expanded my own sense of humor as a result.
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Beyond Funny
vfvaider22 December 2005
Absolutely one of the funniest movies created ever on every level. The obvious slapstick combined with it's unparallel subtlety of subterranean nuances, make it a must watch over and over again, each time finding new gags which are hidden in pain sight. A headliner cast of comedians and serious actors, all having fun with their parts, and still performing their carefully crafted lines which only augment their facial interpretations with expert delivery.

Many references to other swashbucklers and "Treasure Island" add to the spoof enriched with occasional cameos. Not a very deep plot, but you're not laughing at the plot. The characterizations and little bits like the parrot keep you rolling.

The more you watch it, the funnier it gets, and that's about the greatest compliment a film can receive.
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kind of fun
didi-523 February 2003
Python fans might be a little bemused to see Graham Chapman's second solo venture (after the superior 'The Odd Job'). Yellowbeard the pirate is a very, very, funny characterisation and Chapman has a ball in the lead. The supporting cast boasts Madeline Kahn, fellow Pythons John Cleese and Eric Idle, Peter Cook, Beryl Reid, Michael Hordern, Marty Feldman (who died during production), David Bowie, James Mason, and Peter Boyle (fun as 'Mr Moon', an obvious reference to Chapman's pal and Who drummer Keith who was originally planned to appear in this and 'The Odd Job'). As a plot-driven comedy, it falls pretty short, but has its share of funny and inspired moments (I particularly like the candles in the hair, the man with his foot nailed to the ship's deck, and Peter Bull's turn as Queen Anne). The one element I find out of place is Cheech and Chong, who I simply don't like and can't figure out. Yellowbeard, viewed together with the other Python films, falls short of Life of Brian and Holy Grail, but sits comfortably alongside The Missionary and Jabberwocky. In fact it is probably closer to Jabberwocky than any of the others. A nice touch, too, is that the ship is the MGM Bounty, which has its own associations and memories. Ultimately a nice way to remember the late Python genius.
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Brilliantly funny
Peter-160520 January 2006
When is a 'Monty Python Film' not a 'Monty Pyton Film'? They are all there a wickedly funny film, filled to the 'gun holes' of one liners and visual ad-libs.The cast list reads from who's who's of comedy, the plot simple, the story dire. But side splitting funny. Maybe the Captian of the Titanic should have listened??? to the Captain (James MAson) I have is on VCR but need it on DVD as we are wearing it out. Pity it is never listed along side 'Life of Brian' or the 'Holy Grail'. Masterly understated it is a joy to watch time and time again John Cleese, Eric Edle. David Bowie, James Mason, Beryl Ried, Peter Cook and Marty Feldman. Brilliant, as so far as so many 'A' list actors and actresses worked for so little, just to get in on the film. Never reached the intended audience, but has become a cult classic. I defy you not to laugh
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a little bit good and a little bit bad rolled into one
MartinHafer11 January 2006
This film DESPERATELY needed editing and a re-write. As a die-hard Python fan, I had to see this movie and really wanted to like it a lot more than I did. Yes, I knew that not all the Monty Pythoners were in it, but many were and I was ready for big laughs. And, there were quite a few big laughs (particularly in the first half of the movie)--making this film better than many other non-Python films made by ex-Pythoners (such as the dreadful JABBERWOCKY and ERIK THE VIKING--yuck!). However, if you are a huge Python fan, the only Pythoner whose part was worth a nickel was the title character, so ably played by Graham Chapman--he was terrific. John Cleese was fine but was only in the movie for a cameo and Eric Idle was never less funny (except in 102 Dalmatians---YUCK!). As for the non-Pythoners, some were exceptional (Madeline Kahn, the Doctor and a few others) and some were so annoying I wanted to kill them (particularly the unfunny Cheech and Chong--who ruined the last 20 minutes of the film). How could the movie, with so many wonderful moments, also go flat so often? Whatever the reasons (other than Cheech and Chong), the movie just failed to deliver and I feel it was a mostly forgettable experience--with some great moments sprinkled in here and there.
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This is one of the very funny movies you don't wan to miss
Joseph Smith6 January 2006
I already read one comments about this film that made me want to make one of my own because it wasn't fair to discredit this film in any way. Take it or leave it it's still a blast to watch some of the greatest people that ever did comedy in one film. everyone did a grate job from gram.Marty and Madeline( God Rest Their Souls) and even down to Cheech and Chong who all help to make this movie some of the funnest i've ever watched and no one can really say too many bad things about unless they are picky.I hope a whole new generation views this movie and takes it for what its worth, yet another grate movie we would all would be better off watching and enjoying.
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the funniest movie EVER!
justbun4123 November 2005
this is the funniest movie EVER!!!! the one liners are quick and sidesplitting. it's unreal what Monty Python gets away with. no one today could make a movie so funny. my favorite line is when yellow beard tells Betty "if you don't tell me where the map is i'll nail your tits to the table!" it's priceless. so sad that graham is no longer with us! there will never be another group with the chemistry those guys had. and to add Madeline, Peter, and Marty to the chaos that is Python was sheer brilliance! proving yet again that they are the greatest comedy troupe ever. I often give people directions by telling them to "crawl, crawl, stagger stagger, humph, humph,then take a right."unfortunately not a lot of people have seen the movie but those that laugh know exactly what i meant. so whenever i need to laugh i pop it in the video. thank goddess for video!
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Setting the highest of targets for those who come along after.
hammerbourne10 November 2005
I have viewed Yellowbeard at least 200 times over the past twenty years and I still can't believe how amusing I still find it. I have wondered at how effectively Damski was able to utilize the dozen or so comedic talents brought to bear during this film. At one time I thought that Yellowbeard was a product of its time and wouldn't have the legs to impress over a few decades, but I am finding that as I introduce more people to it today they are as impressed as I was the first time I saw the film. I know how hard it is to find a copy of this film but I really must implore everyone with at least a shred of a sense of humor to try this one out. The shear number of fun quotes and scenes within this movie is staggering. If you do find this film as funny as I, try having a Yellowbeard party. Show the film and encourage people to mimic the parts played by each of their favorite characters. You can't imagine how fun this can be. Seriously I am always amazed when I name the movies that I have enjoyed most over the years and how this one stays at the top of my list. I also find the film to be a worthy tribute to the amazing Marty Feldman who died on the set in Mexico during filming. Give this film some time and I am sure you will agree.
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