7.0/10
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197 user 146 critic

Time Bandits (1981)

Trailer
3:09 | Trailer
A young boy accidentally joins a band of time travelling dwarves, as they jump from era to era looking for treasure to steal.

Director:

Terry Gilliam
Reviews
Popularity
3,416 ( 418)
1 win & 8 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Cleese ... Robin Hood
Sean Connery ... King Agamemnon / Fireman
Shelley Duvall ... Dame Pansy / Pansy
Katherine Helmond ... Mrs. Ogre
Ian Holm ... Napoleon
Michael Palin ... Vincent
Ralph Richardson ... Supreme Being
Peter Vaughan ... Winston the Ogre
David Warner ... Evil Genius
David Rappaport ... Randall
Kenny Baker ... Fidgit
Malcolm Dixon ... Strutter
Mike Edmonds ... Og
Jack Purvis ... Wally
Tiny Ross ... Vermin
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Storyline

A young boy's wardrobe contains a time hole. Through this hole an assortment of little people (i.e. dwarfs) come while escaping from their master, the Supreme Being (Sir Ralph Richardson). They take Kevin (Craig Warnock) with them on their adventures through time from Napoleonic times to the Middle Ages to the early 1900s, to the time of Legends and the Fortress of Ultimate Darkness where they confront Evil Genius (David Warner). Written by Zaphod <aaa@scs.leeds.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

...they didn't make history, they stole it! See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Writer, Producer, and Director Terry Gilliam came up with the idea for the ogre's ship to be a hat on top of a giant's head from a painting by Brian Froud. Also, a lot of tall men were initially considered to play the giant before wrestler Ian Muir was eventually cast in the role. See more »

Goofs

The floor of the bottomless chasm is visible while the bandits are swinging on ropes. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Announcer: Yes, folks... Moderna Designs present the latest in kitchen luxury. The Moderna Wonder Major All Automatic Convenience Center-ette gives you all the time in the world to do the things you really want to do... An infrared freezer-oven complex that can make you a meal from packet to plate in 15 1/2 seconds.
Kevin's Mother: Morrisons have got one that can do that in eight seconds.
Kevin's Father: Oh?
Kevin's Mother: Block of ice to Beef Bourguignon in eight seconds. Lucky things.
Kevin: Dad, did you know that the ancient Greek warriors ...
[...]
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Crazy Credits

At the end of the credits the scene where the Bandits have their photo taken is replayed. See more »

Alternate Versions

The 110 min. American theatrical release was cut by 6 minutes from the original 116 min. European version. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Family Guy: Seahorse Seashell Party (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Dream Away
(uncredited)
Written by George Harrison
Performed by George Harrison, Dave Mattacks, Alan Jones, Mike Moran, Ray Cooper, Billy Preston, Syreeta, and Sarah Ricor
Produced by George Harrison, Ray Cooper, and Phil McDonald
See more »

User Reviews

 
Imaginative fantasy about time travels in which our heroes take on several adventures and dangers
11 January 2014 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

This wonderful flick deal with a little boy (Craig Warnock won the role after a wide search for the right child actor) and six dwarfs (Kenny Baker , David Rappaport , Jack Purvis , among others) who are chased by the Supreme Being through time and space . As the kid accidentally joins a band as they jump from time-period to time-period looking for treasure to steal . All of them travel back in time via a map that charts a course through holes holes in the fabric of the universe . Along the way they meet historical characters such as Napoleon (49-year-old Ian Holm plays the 26-year-old Bonaparte) , Robin Hood (John Cleese , though Michael Palin wrote the role of Robin for himself, but Cleese wanted to play him), Supreme Being (Ralph Richardson) and King Agamemnon (the gold masks of Agamemnon's priests are replicas of a king's deathmask, found by Heinrich Schliemann at Mycenae in 1876 , it is in Museum of Atenas). At the end the motley group contends the Evil Genius (David Wagner , the apparatus on his head was influenced by H.R. Giger's work on Alien) .

This is an imaginative , glamorous , chaotic fantasy based on the wonderful trips carried out by a group of adventurers along with a young English schoolboy . Fantastic film contains sense of adventure , thrills , and lots of imagination . From start to finish fantasy , action and delightful adventure are continued . Exciting and interesting screenplay written by Michael Palin and and Terry Gilliam of Monty Python fame . Marvelous special effects are visually stunning and magnificently realized with no computer generator . Starring a considerable cast of top-names performers such as John Cleese as Robin Hood , Shelley Duvall as Dame , Ian Holm as Napoleon , Michael Palin as Vincent , Ralph Richardson as Supreme Being and David Warner as Evil and a young Jim Broadbent as a TV host . Special mention to Sean Connery as King Agamemnon and Fireman , Gilliam did not originally intend to cast Sean Connery as King Agamemnon , he merely wrote in the screenplay that when Agamemnon took off his helmet that he looked "exactly like Sean Connery." To Gilliam's surprise, the script found its way into Connery's hands and Connery subsequently expressed interest in doing the film.

This big-budgeted , under-appreciated film achieved a limited hit at box office and panned by some critics ; however , today is very well considered . Colorful and glimmer cinematography by Peter Biziou . Thrilling as well as evocative original music by Mike Moran . The motion picture was imaginatively directed by Terry Gilliam . Terry shot the film in low camera angles throughout in order to give the audience the perspective of a dwarf or a child . Gilliam is an expert on wonderful , surreal atmospheres (Adventures of Baron Munchausen , Brazil , Fisher king , Doctor Parnasus). He is member of the comedy group "Monty Python" along with John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, Eric Idle and Graham Chapman. ¨Time bandits¨ might be described as an extraordinary fantasy full of imagination and color . It's a tale for teens and adults in which entertainment and amusement are guaranteed . Rating : Good , better than average . Worthwhile watching .


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Handmade Films Website

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 November 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Time Bandits See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,507,356, 8 November 1981

Gross USA:

$42,365,581

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$42,368,025
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

HandMade Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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