Join Monty Python members as they discuss BBC censorship, unwanted celebrity status, member Graham Chapman, Python controversy, each other and Cleese's departure. Interviews with Terry Gilliam, John ...
Rowan Atkinson and the cast of legendary comedy series Blackadder are back for this one-off documentary special to mark 25 years since the original BBC transmission in 1983. Featuring ... See full summary »
This documentary series consists of six episodes. The running time per episode is just under one hour; so the total running time of the show would be 5 1/2 to 6 hours. The 1h 47min running time listed here on imdb only refers to a special cut shown in one particular cinema, for one night only; this 107min. listing is therefore a bit pointless. See more »
how a show that could've been called "Nobody's Ever Named a Show After 'Cornflakes", and then some
Monty Python's last work was Meaning of Life in 1983, but generations have been affected by them and their own whatever-you-call-it-style. It's incredibly smart and incredibly stupid in the same sentences or breath. While a song may be making light of philosophers throughout the ages, it's always put with a joke that is completely crude and tasteless. And there's always a seg-way or some way of cutting a joke off at the knees before the expected punchline to something else. You never know with the show or the movies - even if you've seen them two or ten or fifty times, you're always on the edge of something about to happen. Or you just love to see a man running away to his death chased by a horde of topless women.
This is the story of 'Python', all five surviving members interviewed plus archival clips of Graham Chapman (his interview bits fill in just about right with the rest of the other testimonies about everything else, even as the enigma of the group). From their humble upbringings they just wanted to do silly comedy things, just go wild with it, and from their starts in the 1960s they somehow all got together by accident and decided to do a show with no title (Monty Python came after about a hundred other titles were considered). The show gained its audience with young people, and it became a controversial but bonafide hit. This then led to the movies, first the hit-or-miss And Now for Something Completely Different, followed by their most notable films 'Holy Grail', 'Life of Brian' and 'Meaning of Liff' (Life, sorry).
The documentary is basically essential for any Python fan, even if you know most of these stories or recollections or talk about who thought what of another or a bunch. For newcomers or those who just want to know who these guys were at the time, it's really quite revealing, and often very funny by themselves. The clips chosen are all pretty much the fantastic choice clips from the show (can't ever go wrong with the Fish Slapping sketch or the Ministry of Funny Walks, albeit Mr. Hilter isn't featured), as are from the films. Best of all are some of those archival footage bits spliced in, specifically from an interview done right during the fuss over Life of Brian when Cleese and Palin were on a show with two old super-Christian headmaster figures (how they get there's is simple and thrilling in its hilarity).
No flaws are left unturned really, at least in the scope of a career retrospective that runs just shy of two hours. But we also see just how, maybe despite all that shouldn't of worked, everything did click for at least most of their time as a team. For any sketch that might fall flat five others would just make one keel over in laughter. That they also had attention to detail as artists- we hear Pasolini mentioned as a big influence on the work of the 'Terrys', directors of the films- is also useful and cool to hear. And in case you're wondering if any real goodies are here that can't be seen anywhere else, watch as Eric Idle prepares a song with John DuPrez, perfectly lovely until "F*** Christmas" comes out of Idle's mouth. Python was a mix of gentle innocence and throw-bombs-at-society craft, and it's a fitting tribute and history.
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