And Now for Something Completely Different

And Now For Something DifferentSynopsis: The Best of Monty Python’s Flying Circus

England was such a proper place – until the day the Python arrived. Monty Python, that is, a Flying Circus that slithered up the funnybone of an entire nation and gave it fits of laughter.

Here’s Monty Python’s first feature film – a hilarious collection of their very best twits, skits and bits from their popular TV series. There’s “Hell’s Grannies” and “The Cannibal Baby Strollers,” “The Dead Parrot” routine (he’s just resting!) and valuable tips on how to defend yourself against an attacker armed with a piece of fruit. And who will ever forget “The Lumberjack Song” (“I cut down trees, I wear high heels, suspenders and a bra…”)?

And, of course, plenty of zany Monty Python animation. Absolutely the silliest stuff since the day Ernest Scribbler wrote the world’s funniest joke and died (croak!) laughing.

***********************************************************************

And Now For Something Completely Different* 8.0

eyelights: Grant Chapman. Jim Cleese. Teddy Gilliam. Enid Idle. Tori Jones. Miguel Palin. Carol Cleavage.
eyesores: it’s not completely different.

“Hello, I wish to register a complaint. Hello, Miss?”

What can one say about a movie that purports to offer something out of the ordinary, and yet rehashes pretty much every single one of its moments…

Man: “No it didn’t!”

Other Man: “Yes it did.”

M: “When?”

O: “Just now.”

M: “No it didn’t!”

O: “Yes it did!”

M: “Didn’t!”

O: “Did!”

M: “Didn’t!”

O: “I’m telling you it did!”

M: “It did not!”

O: “Oh I’m sorry… I should have asked… Is this a five-minute argument or the full half hour?”

M: “Oh!” (taking out his wallet and paying) “Just the five-minute one.”

O: “Fine… thank you.”

O: “Anyway, it did.”

M: “It most certainly did not.”

O: “Now let’s get one thing quite clear: It most definitely did!”

M: “It did not!”

O: “Yes it did!”

M: “It did not!”

O: “Yes it did!”

M: “It didn’t!”

O: “Yes it did!”

M: “It didn’t!”

O: “Yes it did!”

M: “It didn’t!”

O: “Yes it did!”

M: “Didn’t!”

O: “Yes it did!”

M: “…Look, this isn’t an argument.”

(pause)

O: “Yes it is.”

M: “No it isn’t, it’s just contradiction.”

O: “No it isn’t!”

M: “Yes it is.”

O: “It is not!”

M: “It is! You just contradicted me!”

O: “No I didn’t!”

M: “Ooh, you did!”

O: “No, no, no, no, no…”

M: “You did, just then!”

O: “Nonsense.”

M: (exasperated) “Oh, look… this is futile.”

(pause)

O: “No it isn’t!”

The fact is that 1971’s ‘And Now for Something Completely Different’ is basically a regurgitation of sketches that were part of Series One and Two of ‘Monty Python’s Flying Circus’, so filmgoers were (to be polite) a little cheesed to find out that there was nothing different about it.

Let alone “completely different”.

Which it wasn’t. (Not even remotely)

But the Pythons were convinced by a producer by the name of Looney to put together a film to sell to American audiences – who were thus far oblivious as to what they were missing out on. So they reshot their best/favourite/less unpalatable material without a studio audience and cobbled it together for mass consumption.

And that’s the story of ‘And Now for Something Completely Different’

The End.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we apologize that the blurb wasn’t as long as we had anticipated. Therefore, there will be a short interval. In the meantime, we’ll show you a film starring a man with a tape recorder up his nose.”

The story of ‘And Now for Something Completely Different’, part two:

Given its supremely low-budget of £80,000, ‘And Now for Something Completely Different’ was filmed in an abandoned dairy instead of on a soundstage proper to save money. It was made with so little money, in fact, that some of the effects originally present in the TV skits couldn’t even be reproduced.

Sketches were mostly tied together by Gilliam’s patently absurd animations or with bits showing John Cleese as an announcer – usually behind a desk and in a tux, but not always, announcing: “And Now for Something Completely Different”. The one thing missing was the manic quality of the television programme.

It was a mild success at the time, and more so upon its re-release two years later, when the Americans finally had the show on their shores. Ka-ching!

So how is it that this motion picture keeps getting bypassed by everyone, with many not knowing that there are more than just three Monty Python pictures? Why is it that the film was never given a decent DVD or BD release, with only a bare-bones edition having been released thus far when the others all have extra crispy editions?

Who knows.

Maybe it’s one of those films that many people are happy to forget. But I’m a fan. I think that it does a credible job of introducing people to Python’s brand of humour, and it makes for an excellent highlights reel (except that they’re highlights redux). I’m just too much of a silly person to write a proper review of it.

(For a proper, thorough, overview of the picture, you can consult Wiki) (Or don’t. I don’t care.)

Thus I leave you with a joke so funny that it will kill you, so as to erase all human knowledge (aside from my own) of this particular blurb: “If that is git only stucco and Slotermeyer? Yes! Celebration dog that or the Flipperwaldt gersput!”

And now for something completely different.

*The Argument Sketch and The Money Song not included

Date of viewing: December 6, 2013

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