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Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story (2005)

A Cock and Bull Story (original title)
R | | Comedy | 20 January 2006 (UK)
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2:02 | Trailer

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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

Tony Wilson: The real Tony Wilson (who Steve Coogan played in 24 Hour Party People (2002), another Michael Winterbottom film) plays himself, interviewing Steve Coogan on the film set. The somewhat spiky relationship between the two (who also worked together on local TV in the early 1990s) is subtly referenced in Coogan's lukewarm "let's catch up in Manchester". See more »

Quotes

Tony Wilson: Why "Tristram Shandy"? This is the book that many people said is unfilmable.
Steve Coogan: I think that's the attraction. "Tristram Shandy" was a post-modern classic written before there was any modernism to be post about. So it was way ahead of its time and, in fact, for those who haven't heard of it, it was actually listed as number eight on the Observer's top 100 books of all time.
Tony Wilson: That was a *chronological* list.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

Just as with "In This World," the British DVD features a 1.78:1 transfer of the film. Although the film was shot for release in theaters at 2.35:1, because it was made on DV, the total space of the filmed image was 1.78. The film was masked for theatrical release, as the director intended. However, for DVD release, the film was transferred open matte. Again, like "In This World," only the American DVD respects the theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1. See more »

Connections

References Lancelot of the Lake (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

An Eye for Optical Theory
from The Draughtman's Contract Music
Composed by Michael Nyman
Published by Chester Music Limited
Performed by the Michael Nyman Band
See more »

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User Reviews

 
best literature adaptation in ages
14 September 2005 | by filmfan75See all my reviews

Smart, funny, original. I just saw this at the Toronto Film Festival tonight, and was really impressed. Great and hilarious performances, especially by Steve Coogan, who is SO funny. But Rob Brydon is almost as great, and the two of them have a great rapport.

The film really captures the anarchistic spirit of the book. Hard to imagine that anyone could come up with an idea to bring this unusual book to the screen, and Michael Winterbottom hasn't been the most consistent of directors lately (or ever, really) but this is a winner. The story is told in several layers: a film is being made of the novel "Tristram Shandy", starring Steve Coogan as both Tristram and his father Walter Shandy, but the behind the scenes drama of the making of the film is an important component. And lots of parallels with the various players real lives (Steve Coogan and lap dancers, etc.) Incredibly clever. Definitely check it out.


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