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Comedy - Family, Fantasy - Sourcery, Sci-Fi - Time Travel

Time Bandits (1981)


Duration 1h 56m Rating (UK) PG
Source of story An original screenplay
Director Terry Gilliam
Writers/Script Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam
Starring John Cleese, Sean Connery, Shelley Duvall, Ian Holm, Michael Palin, Ralph Richardson, Peter Vaughn, David Warner, David Rappaport, Kenny Baker, Jim Broadbent,

Elevator Pitch: Kevin’s wardrobe turns out to contain a time portal and, after a knight on horseback bursts into his bedroom and disappears through the opposite wall, a bunch of dwarfs tumble into the space. They are on an adventure and take Kevin with them as they travel through time and space, but they are being tracked by The Evil who succeeds in channelling them into the world of giants and legends. They make it to the Fortress of Ultimate Darkness where with or without the assistance of the Supreme Being the will meet their nemesis.

Content: The format allows for a whole series of set pieces using historic figures including Agamemnon fighting the Minotaur providing a desert environment, (loved by the Pythons), a theatrical presentation for Napoleon, a visit to Sherwood Forest and Robin Hood and, accidentally, a trip on the Titanic resulting in them all ending up in the sea. Thereafter they enter the world of legends where they are found on a sailing ship manned, if that is the word, by an ogre and his wife and then finally there is the meeting in the fortress where they may or may not survive.

A View: This is one of those movies which made its production cost back on its first weekend, maybe in part due to the economy of the production. You can see the Lego blocks in the Fortress of Evil.  Sean Connery is really good in this, quite a surprise and it is all a lot of fun, although it has a curiously downbeat ending. I remember seeing it when it was new and not thinking too much of it, but on recent viewing I found it really good fun so if you are a Pythons, or Terry Gilliam fan well worth the cost of a download.

Additiona Info: There was no studio finance made available for the movie so George Harrison and Denis O’Brien morgaged their office building in London in order to raise the $5 million required.

Additional Additional Info: This is written in Spain where we are experiencing total lock-down due to the Covid-19 Virus. No-one is visiting the cinema here, or probably now anywhere else in the world, so I’m going to keep viewing the old stuff and advising my few followers.


About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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