Monty Python: Almost the Truth - The Lawyer's Cut (TV Mini-Series 2009– ) Poster

User Reviews

Add a Review
12 ReviewsOrdered By: Helpfulness
Above comment is just silly
elMato10 October 2009
You can pass on above comment because when you reach the end and read "They weren't that funny anyway! " you just know that this person doesn't know the meaning of life... errrr, sorry, the meaning of humor and nonsense :)

Just look at the bonus in the DVD of their movies, and you'll see they haven't changed at all :). Still the same spirit, they have the same look in their eyes, they're just very humble, full of nonsense and funny as hell.

If you've never laugh with the Pythons, I don't really think that you can post a comment saying it's boring, not fun, and just for money and that they grew old because even when they were young you missed the point :)
49 out of 53 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Beyond nostalgia....
rcwkr22 October 2009
This series is for hardcore Pythonistas (like myself), casual fans, and those discerning younguns who have yet to be exposed to their wacky, irreverent, and cerebral brand of humour. I am writing this having seen only 4 of the 6 installments, but so far it has been great. Although retrospectives have been assembled at 20 and 30 year anniversaries, this edition has enough new insights and behind the scenes characters to keep it fresh, and by far the most entertaining yet. Sharing with us some snippets of old TV shows and comedians (and in the case of T. Gilliam, cartoonist/publisher Harvey Kurtzman) that influenced them is quite enlightening. I really like the solitary black background interview format, the editors did a terrific job in melding the comments by the surviving 5.....and they all look great. Speaking of great looking, even in her mid 60s, Carol Cleveland is still hot! I also love the comments by the various celebs who are also dyed-in-the-wool fans. Depending on their age, they had similar first exposures to the unique brand of humour as those of us watching the documentary. Might have to buy the DVD for the extras too!
16 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Essential for Python buffs
didi-52 December 2009
Let's get the background out of the way first - this 6 part series for television is the first in- depth profile of the Monty Python group, who recorded their first TV show forty years ago. So the reviewer who complained that the five surviving members of Python look old only really need do their maths - by the end of this year their ages will range from 66 to 70!

Almost The Truth is set out as a series of interviews on six loose themes over the series - as well as Cleese, Palin, Idle, Gilliam and Jones we also hear from Carol Cleveland, Neil Innes, a number of celebrity fans and, in archive footage, the late Graham Chapman. It is a good format and doesn't distract from the tales that, yes, any casual fan will have heard before.

So why is this an essential purchase for Python followers? First, it presents them all with a fair chunk of screen time to share their views on the success of the series, films, etc. Second, it has a couple of rare extras - but nothing to get too excited about. Third, it has the benefit of 40 years distance from the original BBC transmission; now we know that Python had a legacy both in the UK and the US and we can hear about it.

Perhaps the last hurrah of a marvellous comedy troupe - yes they all went on to other things but Pythons they will always be.
9 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Good job, despite the direction
imdb2-556-92398318 October 2010
This documentary took the road most taken: if you're documenting Python, be Pythonesque. That's why it gets an 8 and not a 10. The mini-sketch at the beginning got to be annoying about half-way through it at the first watching. I really didn't need the joke repeated 6 times. (And it is more reminiscent of the opening scene of Gilliam's Brazil than of anything by Python, anyway.) Then there are the animations meant to be homage's to Gilliam's works. Another miss. And there's the cutting-people-off-in-mid-sentence in interviews (which, of the Pythonesque directorial touches is the one that works best, in my opinion). The interviewee-being-seen-in-a-profile motif also detracted from the documentary. In short, directorially it's in a bad shape.

Having said that, the rest of it I loved. It is a candid tale of a troupe who got together only by some strange series of flukes, remained together for as long as they did because their various antics and inter-group quibbling somehow managed to cancel each other, left us an incredibly funny legacy (the highlights of which were done as quick-and-dirty solutions to some odd problems) and finally were fed up with it and went on to do other great things separately.

At no point does it feel like anyone is holding anything back. For example, the group is very open about their complete lack of interest in each other's personal lives, and how that made them not see what was going on in Graham Chapman's life, even when it was too big to miss.

Intermixed with this are well-chosen bits of archive footage (including interviews with Chapman that are edited in to sound just like the interviews with the five surviving members), some perspective interviews with friends and contemporary comedians (as well as some actors and musicians), and mentions of some notable fans (mostly from the music business).

I am a Python fan, but (like the group itself, apparently) never dug into their personal lives, feeling that their body of work should speak for itself. So, to me, much of this was new, and I thought that just hearing the story of George Harrison's house and its connection to Life of Brian -- that alone would have made the watching of this documentary worthwhile... and there's a lot more where that came from.

A solid, well deserved 8.
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
If you're a fan of the Pythons, this is ESSENTIAL viewing!
Oliver Thiele23 February 2010
Almost the Truth is a Documentary about everything you'd want to know about them. From their Childhood life to the sad death of Graham Chapman to the creation of their 3 Feature Films to what they all do now! The interviews are very interesting entertaining and funny as hell! And not only that, but they interview famous people (actors, directors, comedians etc. including LOYD KAUFMAN!) and their own opinions of their best sketches, films and lots more! The DVD includes extended interviews, Best sketches and more! If you are a fan of the Pythons (or comedy for that matter), documentaries or just looking for some entertainment, this is a 6 episode long documentary thats worth your time!

4/5 8/10
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Awesome stuff
PeterRoeder7 November 2009
I just saw all of this documentary. It is a bit confusing about the episodes but I think I managed to sort it all out. It is a very good documentary, and the "greatest hits" selection of sketches from the series is also very good. I have seen all of Python's TV and film work, and this is a good addition to that ouevre. As we know, Graham Chapman is dead, so it is impossible to unite the group again. However, their impact is so big that it cannot be understated. In this documentary we learn for example that Elvis was a big fan of Holy Grail. This is no surprise since he also liked cool stuff such as Bruce Lee movies. Moreover, we hear from Tim Roth and other actors, musicians and comedians who are fans. Also it is interesting to hear from the Iron Maiden musician who was so inspired by Python that it blended into his reality. Moreover, it is interesting to hear from the people themselves who was involved with it and to hear about the backgrounds of the six characters in the group.
4 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
I laughed until I stopped laughing
ellsideous22 October 2009
Its a documentary about a couple of guys. Well more than a couple of guys really as a couple gives the impression that there are about two of them and there is not. There is in fact 6 of them and one of them is now deceased, no more, an ex-python. So actually this is a documentary about 5 guys and 1 dead guy and how they became a group of guys, with the odd female thrown into the mix, that called themselves the Brady Bunch, no wait Monty Python, thats it! I'm a fan, I have been for awhile, ever since I watched one of Terry G's, not to be confused with Terry J, twisted cartoon links and wondered why isn't more comedy like this? 20 something years later, for me it's been longer for the guys, I'm still wondering why there isn't more comedy like this and I have come to the realization that its because....We, meaning I, interrupt this review to say go and see this film if you like Monty Python and if you have never heard of Monty Python, or if you enjoy a laugh and like to see a cow flying through space and if you don't like Monty Python and not 100% certain. If you don't like Monty Python and you are 100% certain, well done for making it this far into the review.
20 out of 29 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
how a show that could've been called "Nobody's Ever Named a Show After 'Cornflakes", and then some
MisterWhiplash18 January 2010
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.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
John Cheese
Rindiana6 January 2011
Okay, the style's rather anonymous and some of the contemporary guest comedians' commentaries - particularly during the second part of this six-part series - are simply worthless and work as useless time-fillers.

Apart from that, the Pythons are at their wittiest and self-revelatory best, with Idle's and Gilliam's interviews being especially interesting.

For fans, this doc's a treasure to behold, though nothing's able to replace the original movies and shows for sheer enjoyment.

Some details about the post-Python goings-on would've been welcome, but all in all this is a solid documentary on one of the most influential and, simply put, funniest comedy teams ever.

7 out of 10 group dynamics
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
It's still too short!!!
cantona_x18 November 2009
What a pleasure to finally watch the whole 6 episode instead of the BBC lawyer's cut!

Since the format is so close to the BEATLES ANTHOLOGY,this should really really expand to 8 episode as well.

flying circus still has lots of stuff to explore (the revolutionary free structure is just touched upon in the doc); meaning of life deserve a single episode as well, at least mentioning Jonsey's fun ride in CANNES...

and so on and so on...

Anyway, I'm extremely satisfied with this set, and it truly truly is must own for any avid python fan!
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Monty Python
JoeB1319 November 2009
Warning: Spoilers
It's a fun movie that walks us through the history of Monty Python and how this troupe revolutionized sketch comedy. There is a bit of sadness here, in that they all look back in retrospect and realized what a train wreck Grahmn Chapman really was. It is interesting to watch the retrospective of these men, now in their golden years, but still recognizing the contribution they've made.

Fun for python fans, absolutely. But even a casual Python fan has heard 90% of these stories before. So I'm not sure what is actually new here. There were personality conflicts, Holy Grail was done on a budget and was an unexpected success, Life of Brian was done as a real feature film, was controversial and didn't make its money back. "Meaning of Life", the boys had just gotten tired of the whole thing, and were phoning it in. They went their separate ways and enjoyed various amounts of success in other venues.
2 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Tired and old.....just like their fans
karyn_tiley27 August 2009
I have recently seen a preview copy of Monty Python: Almost the Truth. All 498 minutes of it! The series is being released to celebrate the 30th? 40th? some anniversary to cash-in on, oops I mean "honour" the ancient comedy troupe. It's cut into 6 episodes, The Not So Interesting Beginning, The Much Funnier Second, And Now, The Sordid Personal Bits, The Ultimate Holy Grail, Lust for Glory and Finally the Last Episode Ever! (For Now). And for those of you who sit through all six without nodding off or doing yourself in from supreme boredom - there's even some extras included on the DVD release.. I think the opening title song on the series (a Shirley Bassey style number in the ilk of a James Bond title track) really sums it up. To quote: So (bleeping)sick of Python. Six sodding hours of Python. No more, no more, bloody Monty, Monty (bleeping),(bleeping) Python. They weren't that funny anyway!

The Boomers will love it…
3 out of 186 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews