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Pleasure at Her Majesty's (1976)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Comedy | TV Movie February 1978
Pleasure At Her Majesty's (1976) The very first show in what came to be called the "Secret Policeman's Ball" series took place over three late nights in April 1976 at Her Majesty's Theatre ... See full summary »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Alan Bennett ... Various
John Bird John Bird ... Various
Eleanor Bron ... Various
Tim Brooke-Taylor ... Various Characters
Graham Chapman ... Various
John Cleese ... Pet Shop Customer / The Pope / Various
Carol Cleveland ... Various
Peter Cook ... E.L. Wisty / Various
John Fortune ... Various
Graeme Garden ... Various
Terry Gilliam ... Various
Barry Humphries ... Edna Everage
Neil Innes Neil Innes ... Various
Des Jones Des Jones ... Various
Terry Jones ... Various
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Storyline

Pleasure At Her Majesty's (1976) The very first show in what came to be called the "Secret Policeman's Ball" series took place over three late nights in April 1976 at Her Majesty's Theatre in London. The show was instigated by John Cleese, who volunteered to "round up a few pals" to perform for Amnesty International's benefit. These pals transpired to be most of Monty Python, Beyond The Fringe and The Goodies (three of the U.K.'s most successful comedy ensembles) -- together with leading solo performers. It was a gathering of the British comedic tribes. Cleese titled the show "A Poke In The Eye (With A Sharp Stick)." The film documenting this comedy summit was titled Pleasure At Her Majesty's -- a wordplay on the formal British expression for imprisonment in which convicts are "detained at Her Majesty's pleasure."

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Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

February 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Monty Python Meets Beyond the Fringe See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Amnesty International See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the film version of the Amnesty International stage show "A Poke In The Eye (With A Sharp Stick)". See more »

Quotes

E.L. Wisty: They're not so rigorous, the mining exams, they only ask you one question. They say "who are you?" and I got 75% on that.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Amnesty International's Big 30 (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

 
It could have been a lot better...
5 December 2009 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

The version I saw of this show was much longer than the one mentioned here and in the other reviews. It was 106 minutes and it had quite a few problems that prevent it from being a must-see for fans of British comedy. Part of the problem might just be because in restoring the missing footage, a lot of uninteresting material (especially pre-show preparations) was included. So, instead of a straight filming of the live comedy show (which I'd hoped for), it's more like a documentary of the show. Another problem is no captions or closed captions on the DVD. British audiences may have less need of captioning (as they can probably understand the accents more readily) but this is not the only reason I would have loved captioning--it is because the sound quality is often quite poor and even a Brit might appreciate captions. Finally, the biggest problem is because it is a documentary and not a straight recording of the show, too often the comedy routines are abbreviated or cut in half (inserting irrelevant backstage banter and scenes into the middle of a funny skit--thus ruining the flow). The bottom line it that this is also a pretty lousy looking documentary--seeming random and slapped together.

So is it worth seeing despite these serious problems? Well, it depends on you. If you love British comedy and can accept the show with all its limitations, yes...watch it. There are some very funny skits (my favorite was the scene with the Pope and the painting of the Second to Last Supper). But, if you aren't that familiar with Monty Python, Peter Cooke (who's very good here), the Goodies and the rest, don't bother--you won't appreciate them as much because they simply aren't at their best.


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