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And Now For Something Completely Different (1971)

The stars of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Britain’s latter-day version of the Marx Brothers, present a series of rip-roaring, rib-tickling sketches drawn from their television show.

This first movie from the Python team was intended to introduce the team’s humour to an American audience.

Funny walks and dead parrots are among the items in this compilation of skits. The production is somewhat uneven, and the film lacks any overall coherence, but there’s loads of side-splitting comedy throughout.

There is, for example, the sketch about the Hungarian in the tobacco shop, trying to order cigarettes with the aid of his English-Hungarian Dictionary. “This record is scratched,” he announces confidently. Later, he runs into difficulty when he tries to ask directions and instead insults people with obscene and scatological phrases. The publisher of the dictionary is eventually hauled into court on charges of breaching the peace – but not before the hapless Hungarian buyers of his dictionary have found themselves in the most embarrassing of situations.


Then there’s the section on “Granny Gangs,” wolf packs of little old ladies who roam the city assaulting young men by banging them about the ears with their purses. And the gang of “Baby Snatchers” – full-grown men in nappies who snatch adults away from out the front of supermarkets (“I just left him here for a moment while I went inside to buy something,” a woman tells police after her husband is snatched).

And the “Upper-Class Twit of the Year” contest. And a unique TV show named ‘Blackmail,’ where secret films of people’s private lives are shown and the victims have to telephone in with a money offer to have the film stopped.

Graham Chapman
John Cleese
Eric Idle
Terry Gilliam
Michael Palin
Terry Jones
Carol Cleveland

Ian McNaughton