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The Crimson Permanent Assurance (1983)

A group of down-and-out accountants mutiny against their bosses and sail their office building onto the high seas in search of a pirate's life.


Terry Gilliam


Terry Gilliam
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Sydney Arnold Sydney Arnold ... Crimson Permanent Assurance Pirate
Guy Bertrand Guy Bertrand
Andrew Bicknell
Ross Davidson Ross Davidson ... Very Big Corporation of America Executive
Myrtle Devenish ... Crimson Permanent Assurance Pirate
Tim Douglas Tim Douglas
Eric Francis Eric Francis ... Crimson Permanent Assurance Pirate
Matt Frewer ... Very Big Corporation of America Yuppie
Billy John Billy John
Russell Kilmister
Peter Mantle Peter Mantle
Len Marten ... Crimson Permanent Assurance Pirate
Peter Merrill Peter Merrill
Cameron Miller Cameron Miller
Gareth Milne Gareth Milne ... Crimson Permanent Assurance Pirate


In the bleak days of 1983, the Crimson Permanent Assurance, an accountancy staffed by elderly workers much like a slave ship, has been taken over by efficiency-minded corporate types. When they sack an employee, there's an uprising, and the building is unleashed from its moorings to sail across the (dry) ocean and take on the financial centers of the world, starting with an all-out attack on the large skyscraper housing The Very Big Corporation of America, complete with filing-cabinet cannons, ceiling-fan broadswords, and paper-spindle short-swords. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

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Did You Know?


The real building used for the location shoot was Lloyd's Register of Shipping headquarters in London, on the corner of Fenchurch Street and Lloyd's Avenue. It can be seen most clearly in the weigh anchor sequence. See more »


Referenced in The Meaning of Life (1983) See more »


Accountancy Shanty
Music & Lyrics by Eric Idle & John Du Prez
See more »

User Reviews

swashbuckling shreds Thatcherism
1 February 2016 | by lee_eisenbergSee all my reviews

Terry Gilliam rips apart the yuppie culture with this short that preceded Monty Python's "Meaning of Life". Focusing on some elderly employees who rebel against their bosses and turn their office building into a pirate ship, "The Crimson Permanent Assurance" is really an indictment of how greed dominated the 1980s. Yes, this kick in the balls to Reaganomics is what cinephiles get to see before watching a poor man (Michael Palin) sing about how every sperm is sacred, watching a professor (John Cleese) demonstrate sex to his students, and watching a morbidly obese man (Terry Jones) vomit all over the place. Terry Gilliam succeeds again.

A piece of trivia is that "The Crimson Permanent Assurance" is the film debut of Matt Frewer, who played Russ Sr. in "Honey I Shrunk the Kids".

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Release Date:

May 1983 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Crimson Permanent Assurance See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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