The Secret Policeman's Third Ball (1987)

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Credited cast:
Joan Armatrading ...
Chet Atkins ...
Kate Bush ...
Jim Cleese
Phil Cool ...
Ben Elton ...
David Gilmour ...
The Secret Policeman (voice)


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September 1987 (UK)  »

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Watch this for the music, not the comedy...and certainly NOT for Monty Python
14 May 2011 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

I have seen the Secret Policeman films billed as "Monty Python" films, but none of them featured all the troop. The first had most, the second only a couple and this one was no better. In fact, John Cleese (the brains and driving force behind the first concert) was only on hand for a 'guest appearance'. Overall, instead of a focus on comedy (like the initial Secret Policemen performances), this one is mostly on pop music--with mostly lesser comedians to provide the secondary focus. Now the comedy isn't completely bad--it's nice to see Lenny Henry, Ben Elton, Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie when they were younger. But this is mostly NOT their 'A-material'. And some of the comedy consists of unfunny interviews by Ruby Wax of the musicians--as, I said before, the focus really is on the music. But, if you are NOT there to hear Mark Knopfler and Chet Atkins, Bob Geldoff, Lou Reed and the rest of the musicians, some highlights of the comedy include a neat skit where Henry impersonates a blind blues musician. And, to put some perspective on how unfunny the rest is, Emo Philips is among the funnier acts. But, with him, Knopfler and the rest, you will no doubt recognize that this British production is almost equally American this time. And, as a result of all the changes, it hardly seems to be a descendant from the first Amnesty benefit film. Overall, a bit better than the last film in the series but not much....

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