Review: Monty Python: Almost the Truth – The Lawyers Cut (2009)


Directed by: Bill Jones, Alan G. Parker, Benjamin Timlett | 360 minutes | comedy, documentary | Actors: John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Graham Chapman, Carol Cleveland, Julian Doyle, John Goldstone, Olivia Harrison, Neil Innes, Dan Aykroyd, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Russell Brand, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Steve Coogan, Ronnie Corbett, Bruce Dickinson, David Frost, Seth Green, Robert Hewison, Eddie Izzard, Phil Jupitus, Nancy Lewis, Art Mortimer, Michael Parkinson, John Du Prez, David Sherlock, Jimmy Fallon, Hugh M. Hefner, André Jacquemin, Tara Jayn, Simon Pegg, Tim Roth, Brett Schlank

Monty Python. “TV shows with skits are still being made, but none that we will still talk about 40 years from now.” This is the comment in the last episode of “Monty Pyton. Almost the Truth, The Lawyer’s Cut “. “Monty Python still has the potential to annoy parents and teachers, which is why the series is still loved by young people,” said another. A truth like a (flying) cow. Monty Python’s Flying Circus turned the world of comedy upside down from the 1970s onwards and continues to entertain and inspire to this day. A retrospective on their 40th anniversary is therefore in order. Alan G. Parker, director of punk documents such as ‘Never Mind the Sex Pistols, an Alternative History’ and ‘Who Killed Nancy?’, And himself an obsessive lover of all things Pythonesque smelling, came up with the idea for the series and luckily got cooperation. of all – still living – members. In addition, he managed to attract various celebrities to also make a contribution.

In the six-part documentary (each episode lasts about 50 minutes), the five surviving team members look back in chronological order. In detail. Despite the fact that they are each portrayed separately, the “talking head” principle is not boring here at all. Each of the gentlemen spoons anecdote after anecdote with such visible fun that you will absolutely be infected by the Python virus and in addition to the six hours that you have to devote to this documentary you will most likely also have to make time in your mind afterwards. agenda for (re) watching ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’, ‘Life of Brian’ and ‘The Meaning of Life’. Or the TV series of course. The engaged celebrities, such as Simon Pegg, Russell Brand, Seth Green, Steve Coogan and Dan Aykroyd, do not hide their adoration for Monty Python, but do it very entertaining. This paints a fairly complete picture of the impact that the comedy team has had and still has on the entertainment industry and fans thereof.

It is unique that six very different personalities managed to achieve such a resounding success without a predetermined plan. Of course there were struggles and differences of opinion, and to be honest, “Almost the Truth” is not silent about that. That John and Graham, for example, could not deal too well with criticism of the not-so-funny-as-the-really-hilarious sketches they wrote. Or about Graham Chapman’s alcohol addiction, who stopped drinking just in time, otherwise he would have died twelve years earlier (Graham Chapman died of cancer in 1989 – he was only 48 years old). Or the statement that Eric Idle “only wrote a song for ‘The Life of Brian’ (“ Always look on the bright side of life ”) and that Michael Palin when he said ‘yes’ to a possible Monty Python reunion actually ‘no’ but was only polite.

For the seasoned fan, “Monty Python: Almost the Truth The Lawyer’s Cut” has more than just fresh images in store. After all, such a complete career overview also includes the well-known aspects. For example, that George Harrison of The Beatles financed ‘The Life of Brian’ ($ 4 million, he pledged his home and office) because he “wanted to see” the movie (the most expensive movie ticket ever!), Or that John Cleese liked it. had played the part of Brian, but in retrospect is very happy that Graham Chapman took on this role. And the sketches remain fun – even if you see them a hundred times. However, this does not alter the fact that this series is a must-have and must-see due to the recent interviews, the unique visual material, and the ‘what are they doing now’ images (Terry Gilliam working on ‘The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus ‘, Terry Jones and Michael Palin with Aardman, John Cleese voicing King Harold in’ Shrek Forever After ‘and Eric Idle putting a whole new spin on a Christmas song. Graham Chapman’s archival footage causes a knot in your stomach and the speeches at his memorial service bring a smile and a tear Very amusing are the scenes in which John Cleese and Michael Palin defend ‘The Life of Brian’ in a TV program on the BBC. Whether you are a huge fan of Monty Python or just slightly interested: this one ultimate – well for now – documentary series you simply should not miss!

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