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Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story (2005)

A Cock and Bull Story (original title)
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Director Michael Winterbottom (Northam) attempts to shoot the adaptation of Laurence Sterne's essentially unfilmable novel, "The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman."

Writers:

Laurence Sterne (novel), Frank Cottrell Boyce (screenplay) (as Martin Hardy)
2 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Steve Coogan ... Tristram Shandy / Walter Shandy / Steve Coogan
Rob Brydon ... Capt. Toby Shandy / Rob Brydon
Keeley Hawes ... Elizabeth / Keeley Hawes
Shirley Henderson ... Susannah
Raymond Waring ... Trim
Conal Murphy Conal Murphy ... Young Tristram Shandy - Age 6
Joe Williams Joe Williams ... Young Tristram Shandy - Age 9
Paul Kynman ... Obadiah
Mark Tandy ... London Doctor
Mary Healey ... Midwife
Dylan Moran ... Dr. Slop
Jack Shepherd ... Surgeon
David Walliams ... Parson
Jeremy Northam ... Mark
Benedict Wong ... Ed
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Storyline

Two actors, as their make up is applied, talk about the size of their parts. Then into the film: Laurence Sterne's unfilmable novel, Tristram Shandy, a fictive autobiography wherein the narrator, interrupted constantly, takes the entire story to be born. The film tracks between "Shandy" and behind the scenes. Size matters: parts, egos, shoes, noses. The lead's girlfriend, with their infant son, is up from London for the night, wanting sex; interruptions are constant. Scenes are shot, re-shot, and discarded. The purpose of the project is elusive. Fathers and sons; men and women; cocks and bulls. Life is amorphous, too full and too rich to be captured in one narrative. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Because everyone loves an accurate period piece. See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 January 2006 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

£2,800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£332,582 (United Kingdom), 22 January 2006, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$60,886, 29 January 2006, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,253,413
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Stephen Rodrick was on set to interview Michael Winterbottom for the New York Times magazine (published on 3 July 2005) when he was roped in to appear in the film. See more »

Quotes

Walter Shandy: My son is not yet born, and I am already exhausted.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits have (intentional) spacing issues, and mismatched fonts. See more »

Connections

References The Godfather (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

Sarabande
Composed by George Frideric Handel (as Georg Friedrich Händel)
Arranged by Michael Nyman
Performed by the Michael Nyman Band
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Shandy by halves
3 November 2013 | by Prismark10See all my reviews

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy was published in the mid 1750s and can be described as post modern before the term was invented. Its a ramble and regarded as unfilmable.

Enter Frank Cotterell Boyce and Michael Winterbottom assisted by Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan who adapt the book as a film within a film of the book.

Anyone familiar with the BBC series The Trip also directed by Winterbottom and starring Brydon and Coogan as versions of themselves will be familiar with the set up. The both tease, spar, cajole each other and do impressions.

You have scenes relating to the birth of Tristram Shandy and some of its comical and amusing, you have a battle scene with literally tens of people and suddenly the filmmakers manage to get Gillian Anderson on board as Widow Wadnam which leads to an increased budget

As the film goes on, Coogan's personal life comes under scrutiny with a newspaper hack chasing him about a kiss and tell story, Madchester TV stalwart and music mogul Tony Wilson appears as himself giving a testy interview to Coogan and the Stephen Fry drops by as a know it all.

Of course by the latter end the film just fizzles out, as if the actual writer and director ran out of gas and this viewer lost interest. Maybe there was a good reason why the novel was unfilmable.


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