Help for a Monty Python newbie...

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by sean_dietz, Jun 25, 2002.

  1. sean_dietz

    sean_dietz Agent

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    While I own the three most common Python films,
    I would like to get more of a flavor of the skits
    they perform and background on the group.

    I was looking at purchasing 'The Life of Python',
    and 'Monty Python's And Now For Something Completely Different'.
    Does anyone have any thoughts on which
    might be a better primer on MP?
    I am leaning toward 'The Life of Python', since it
    seems to be the most comprehensive of the two DVD's,
    but still unsure. Or would getting both solve all problems??

    Thanks.
     
  2. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    Save up your money and go to Costco, where they have the complete 14-disc Monty Python TV series for $99...that should cover every skit, and then some!

    - Steve
     
  3. BrentPollard

    BrentPollard Second Unit

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    "And Now For Something Completely Different" would be a good primer if you don't go for the complete set as it is kind of a greatest hits compilation of their skits.[​IMG]
     
  4. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    I agree with Steve -- just get the shows. By and large, the versions of the skits in And Now for Something Completely Different aren't as fresh and funny as the original versions done for TV.

    Some shows are better than others, but there isn't a clunker in the entire four seasons. If you're a fan, you'll end up getting them all anyway, so you might as well not wait.

    M.
     
  5. DanHaya

    DanHaya Second Unit

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    I agree with what everone else has said. If you have the $100 to spend, go ahead and get the entire series. On the other hand, if you don't have that much money to blow, get the "Life of Python" DVD. It's a good documentary about the history of Python, and it includes clips from many of their best skits.
    There also is a tribute show that was aired on either HBO or Showtime that was hosted by Robert Klein that was taped at the annual comedy festival in Aspen a few years ago. It's also pretty funny, has clips from many skits and features Klein and the surviving Pythons on stage talking about those days. Look sharp and you will notice many celebrities out in the audience! [​IMG]
    --Dan
     
  6. Derek Miner

    Derek Miner Screenwriter

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    The HBO tribute special that Dan mentions is available in the "Monty Python Live!" 2-disc set from A&E. The set also includes one of the Pythons' German TV specials, the Steve Martin-hosted 20th Anniversary clip show "Parrot Sketch Not Included" (last appearance of Graham Chapman) and the full feature film Monty Python at the Hollywood Bowl, which does have some repeats of skits from the series (sometimes altered in neat ways), but also has some original material, and songs from their "Contractual Obligation Album."
     
  7. Eugene Hsieh

    Eugene Hsieh Supporting Actor

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    So what is exactly cut out of the 14 disc set? I've been told that the version out in North America is edited from the original BBC version.

    Also, where is the cheapest place to buy it in Toronto? Does Costco here sell it? US$99 (CAD$160) is significantly cheaper than the $240 at the local store. HMV is CAD$350.
     
  8. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Sean,

    Being a HUGE Python fan, I'll chime in
    with everyone else....

    Before you see the two movies in question,
    go out and buy the entire Monty Python TV show
    series on DVD.

    It will be a little expensive, but it's worth it.

    Report back to us what you think of it.
     
  9. Butch C

    Butch C Second Unit

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    BBC America, if you have the Dish Network, has an excelent Python Documentry that it runs all the time hosted by Eddie Izzard, otherwise go for the set...the skits are so mutch better in front of the studio audience...something about the filmed versions of the exact same skit is off-putting
     
  10. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    Hilarious anecdote here:
    We recently got the 14-disc set at Costco, when it came back in stock.
    I caught my 4-year-old son -a *GIANT* Transformers fan - staring at the screen whenever Eric Idle was talking.
    I think he recognizes what to him is the voice of Wreck-Gar, the leader of the Junkions, from Transformers - The Movie...but he cannot quite place it! [​IMG]
     
  11. Coressel

    Coressel Supporting Actor

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  12. Coressel

    Coressel Supporting Actor

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    Also, someone told me that some parts of earlier episodes might be missing due to damage on the original masters.
    I'm not sure if that's true or not.

    Actually, I just found this comment at Amazon.com. I don't have volume 6 of the DVD set, but according to this Amazon reviewer:

    "I was so glad to see all the Monty Python's Flying Circus episodes come out on DVD. But, blemishes, deletions, and censorship taints this specific two DVD set. It might just be my copy of this DVD, but, the skit with Biggles and his secretary has a speech and tape blip in it. In the "Summerize Proust Competition", the line which mentioned "masterbating" was deleted out (why was it okay to leave in on the VHS tape?) And the first 4 seconds of the "Book at Bedtime" episode was omitted, but more disappointing was the very last skit involving "Dad's Poove's" was also omitted. Is it possible that this was just an initial first release oversight that got corrected later? I'd sure like to replace this Volume 6, if I could."
     
  13. Anthony Hom

    Anthony Hom Supporting Actor

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    There was also a cartoon that had two trees growing with some German spoken dialogue being played while the trees grew taller. The German dialogue was all but replaced with some quiet music. The cartoon link made little sense w/o the dialogue, but they did still show Hitler in the next scene, with his moustache chopping off someone's head in his mouth.
    They make a joke on the Box sets of the TV series by saying we have faithfully reproduced all the blips, scratches and blemishes. what did you expect?
    [​IMG]
     
  14. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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    Let's not forget the one cartoon where a Prince (who ruled the land beyond the Wobbles, or something like that) noticed a spot on his face. "Foolishly, he ignored it" and soon he ended dying of ...

    Now, throughout the whole skit Carole Cleveland is happily explaining the story. However, the cartoon was then edited so that instead of Carole saying "cancer", an unknown, VERY MALE voice said "gangrene".

    What the hell was THAT all about? It wasn't even a clean edit!

    I, too, would like to get an unedited replacement for the unnecessary edits that were made.
     
  15. Eugene Hsieh

    Eugene Hsieh Supporting Actor

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    OK then. It's unfortunate they've felt it necessary to cut all of this out, but I of course shall still buy it. [​IMG]
    Does anyone know where to get it cheap in Toronto?
     
  16. JeremySt

    JeremySt Screenwriter

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    Back to the original post....

    John Cleeses' HOW TO IRRITATE PEOPLE is great.
     
  17. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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    How is stating what is unnecessarily edited out of Monty Python not in line with the original topic? If he wants to get more flavor for the skits, is it not important for him to know that some of the skits are editied?
     
  18. Eugene Hsieh

    Eugene Hsieh Supporting Actor

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  19. Keith Paynter

    Keith Paynter Screenwriter

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    Some points of order...
    And Now For Something Completely Different was created for American audiences who had not yet been exposed to the program, as it was not yet available to the US, and the film essentially uses some of the best first seasons sketches. It was not well recieved initially.
    [​IMG]
    There is a fascinating book (I believe now out of print) by Robert Hewison called Monty Python: The Case Against that follows the battles the Pythons faced in censorship, not only in the TV series (The cancer/gangrene change was instituted after first airing, but remains intact in ANFSCD because it was made outside the BBC), but their feature films and records as well. The missing "hobby" in the Summarized Proust sketch was restored when the Pythons recorded the Instant Record Collection LP for Charisma Records.
    It was not until ABC aired the final six-episode season (without Cleese) in two 90 minute specials that the Pythons gained control over their property. The series ran commercial free in England (and Canada) because the BBC and CBC are public stations, and are goverment funded. Commercial television must sell advertising time to air programming, and for ABC to fit 6 half-hour programs into 2 90-minute television specials, they were edited by ABC and Time-Life - several bits were cut, sequences were re-arranged, and essentially the flow of the shows was ruined in order to fulfill advertising requirements. The Pythons took ABC to court, and eventually won the right as writers of the show to dictate that from that point on, all Python shows in syndication must be shown complete. This did not translate, however to edits the BBC made after their original broadcasts, so the changes to the Summarized Proust, the Spotted Prince, and other changes made by the BBC remain.
    Here in Canada, The Comedy Network currently airs MPFC, with commercials, but as per the requirements, the show now runs past the half-hour mark.
     
  20. MartinTeller

    MartinTeller Screenwriter

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