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The Secret Policeman's Ball (1979)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Comedy | TV Movie June 1980
Trailer
1:06 | Trailer

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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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Cast

Credited cast:
Paul Abrahams Paul Abrahams ... Himself (Piano Player)
Rowan Atkinson ... Various Roles
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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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

The film's opening titles describe The Secret Policeman's Ball (1979) as "The Amnesty International Comedy Gala". 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 Other Ball (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Won't get Fooled Again
Written by Pete Townshend
Solo accoustic version Performed by Pete Townshend (as Pete Townsend)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Deserves to be carved in stone
23 November 2006 | by hgallonSee all my reviews

It is perhaps a shame that Britain does not have something like the American Congress's official list of historically significant works of art. If there were, this show deserves framing as an iconic series of performances.

"The Secret Policeman's Ball" was the second benefit performance for the charity, Amnesty International. It followed the earlier "Pleasure at her Majesty's" in 1976. The Ball featured a most effective mix of old and new blood; from the old stable, several of the Pythons, Peter Cook at the height of his comic and satirical powers; from the new stable, Billy Connolly and Rowan Atkinson.

There were some old favourites among the acts (the "Four Yorkshiremen" and Python's "Cheese Shop"), but some of the new acts and sketches were inspired. In particular, Rowan Atkinson's sardonic "Schoolmaster", and Peter Cook's "Entirely a Matter for you", written specially for the occasion.

There is a minor musical landmark, with Pete Townsend (of the Who) reportedly forced to play acoustic rather than amplified for the first time in his life, alongside classical guitarist John Williams.

In later years, the subsequent Policeman's Balls were seen as a showcase for new talent with the result that several acts became over-the-top and hammed.


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