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The Secret Policeman's Ball (1979)

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A series of benefit concerts to raise money for Amnesty International. Performances include comedy skits and musical numbers by a varied cast of mostly British performers. Featuring several... See full summary »

Director:

Roger Graef

Writer:

Billy Connolly
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The Monty Python troupe perform a combination of classic sketches and new material at the Hollywood Bowl.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Paul Abrahams Paul Abrahams ... Himself (Piano Player)
Rowan Atkinson ... Various Roles
Chris Beetles Chris Beetles ... Beetles and Buckman
Mike Brearley Mike Brearley ... Himself
Eleanor Bron ... Various Roles
Rob Buckman Rob Buckman ... Beetles and Buckman
Ken Campbell Ken Campbell ... Himself
Suzanne Church Suzanne Church ... Herself
John Cleese ... Himself - Various Roles
Billy Connolly ... Himself
Peter Cook ... Various Roles
Anna Ford Anna Ford ... Herself
Clive James Clive James ... Himself
Clive Jenkins Clive Jenkins ... Himself
Sylvester McCoy ... Syveste McCoy (as Sylveste McCoy)
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Storyline

A series of benefit concerts to raise money for Amnesty International. Performances include comedy skits and musical numbers by a varied cast of mostly British performers. Featuring several Monty Python members, Rowan Atkinson, and Peter Cook. Written by Anonymous

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Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

June 1980 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Maailman hulluin ilta See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(theatrical) | (TV premiere)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to a 22nd June 1979 interview by Michael Billington on BBC-TV five days before The Secret Policeman's Ball (1979) was held, John Cleese said that the "Secret Policeman's Ball" title was created by Martin Lewis. Cleese said, "It's Martin Lewis' title, I can pin that one on him. But I thought it was quite funny". See more »

Quotes

[aside]
Judge: I hope you brought a toothbrush.
Judge: [aloud] Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, it is now my duty to advise you on how you should vote when you retire from this court. In the last few weeks we have all heard some pretty extraordinary allegations being made about one of the prettiest, about one of the most distinguished politicians ever to rise to high office in this country - or not, as you may think. We have heard, for example, from Mr Bex Bissell - a man who by his own admission is a liar, a...
See more »

Connections

Followed by The Secret Policeman's Ball: The Music Edition (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

In the Air Tonight
Written by Phil Collins
Piano accompanied version Performed by Phil Collins
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User Reviews

 
Uneven but funny...
5 December 2009 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

This film is on the same disk as PLEASURE AT HER MAJESTY'S--and both are benefit performances by various British comics on behalf of Amnesty International. Unlike PLEASURE, however, THE SECRET POLICEMAN'S BALL has the addition of a few musical performances--which, in my opinion, detract from the comedy--though I am sure some will love seeing and hearing them. Like PLEASURE, this film is of rather grainy quality and does not have any captioning of any sort--a definite minus for non-Brits and those who are hard of hearing (and I was screwed because I fall in both categories). Seeing a restored and captioned version would be wonderful, but as far as I know is not possible--especially since this DVD is part of a set that was just released.

As far as the comedy goes, it's a mixed bag. Some of the skits (particularly the ones written by the Pythons) were great and I did enjoy some of Peter Cooke's bits as well. New to the show was Rowan Atkinson, and sadly, his bits were among the worst on the show. However, he was still quite young and the more recent Amnesty International performances have been fantastic. Plus, he was excellent in filling in for Eric Idle in "The Old Codger Skit"--the best thing in the show. Other great Python bits that were recycled include the Cheese Shop and a Python-like skit that opened the show with Cooke and Cleese. But, for every very good bit, there seemed to be a flat one. Perhaps some of this is because Americans like myself are less familiar with the other comics and I had less of an emotional investment in their acts. Part of this also was because some things just weren't funny or the dialog was so hard to follow (without captions) that it was futile--particularly the long and deliberately rapid Shakespeare bit (which, to me, was the worst thing in the show--very tedious indeed). Still, for fans of British comedy, this is an excellent little stroll down memory lane--and worth seeing despite my reservations. And, it's a great deal better than the first film--especially since this film concentrated solely on the performances and not the unnecessary backstage action.


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