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Holy Flying Circus [DVD]


Price: £6.75 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Only 5 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
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Frequently Bought Together

Holy Flying Circus [DVD] + A Liar's Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python's Graham Chapman (DVD) + John Cleese Live! - The Alimony Tour [DVD]
Price For All Three: £14.79

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Product details

  • Actors: Darren Boyd, Charles Edwards, Steve Punt, Rufus Jones, Tom Fisher
  • Directors: Owen Harris
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Fremantle Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 6 Feb. 2012
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005WWJOYY
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 51,635 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

In 1979 Monty Python's Life of Brian caused controversy around the world. This is NOT their story...

Holy Flying Circus is a fantastical re-imagining of the events leading up to Michael Palin and John Cleese appearing on the BBC's Friday Night Saturday Morning to defend the film against charges of blasphemy. Written by Tony Roche (In the Loop, The Thick of It) directed by Owen Harris (Misfits, Skins) and edited by Billy Sneddon (Four Lions, In the Loop) this is a bold and entertaining homage to one of the world's greatest comedy teams.

This programme does not feature the Pythons and is not produced or endorsed by them.

Special features - Out-takes, Deleted Scenes, The Making Of The Holy Flying Circus, Phonotrope and Production Stills

Review

Comedy of the week --Radio Times

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Victor HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 21 Feb. 2012
Format: DVD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Way back when, some awfully clever chaps got together in a desert somewhere and made a film. And Lo! It was a truly great film. It was essentially a send up of all that is small and closed minded about society. The small and closed minded got to hear about it, and without seeing the film decried it as blasphemy and offensive. Proving the points made in the film really.

Looking back at it now, the film's reception and people's reaction to it is worthy of a Monty Python sketch in its own right. How people managed to get so uptight and angry about something that they had never seen amazes me. I first saw the film in the late eighties, when a battered VHS copy was passed around school and watched in secret as the grown ups thought it was naughty. I found nothing offensive there, just good comedy and great satire. I watched it twice, looking for the bit everyone was upset about, but couldn't find anything.

In the months following the films release, there was a censorship battle in England (wholly shameful - I thought we believed in free speech and expression and letting people make their own minds up? But then, I was never a fan of Whitehouse, she mucked about with Dr Who, an unforgiveable crime in my eyes). As a result Michael Palin and John Cleese went on a chat show to debate the film with Malcolm Muggeridge and the Bishop of Southwark. What should have been an intelligent debate descended into farce as the supposed intellectual heavyweights made a series of arguments based about a film that they had not seen all the way through. They had missed the essential establishing sequences in the first few minutes clearly showing Christ and Brian to be separate people, and based all their arguments on the position that the film sent up Christ. Which it didn't.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. O'Brien VINE VOICE on 24 July 2012
Format: DVD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Like other TV documentary plays about "national treasures" of British comedy - Gracie Fields, Hatti Jacques, Kenneth Williams - this exploration of the Monty Python team homes in on a specific point of crisis in the subject's career. In this case, it's the infamous outcry that greeted the release of their movie "Life of Brian", an entirely innocent satire on religious and political intolerance which, unfortunately for them, was set around the year Dot and featured a brief appearance from an actor playing Jesus Christ himself. Although Jesus was presented with complete respect (the movie's barbed wit being reserved for almost everyone else) there were knee-jerk accusations of blasphemy. Death threats were issued, councils instituted bans on religious grounds and middle class outrage dminated public opinion. This rather shameful episode culminated in John Cleese and Micahel Palin appearing on a chat show sparring match with a self-righteous bishop and pundit Malcolm Muggeridge, neither of whom had seen the whole film.

'Holy Flying Circus' uses the Python team's own methods in presenting the story - surreal jump-cuts, interpolations and fantasy sequences as well as running jokes, like Cleese appearing only in his Basil Fawlty persona (subject to disclaimer) and Mrs Palin being played by a man in drag. There's a sequence where Palin repeatedly wakes from a series of bizarre dreams-within-dreams, and one where the actors are replaced by Star Wars action figures in the midst of a lightsabre battle. On the whole all this succeeds - the pacing only occasionally flags, the impersonations (well, maybe not Terry Gilliam) are pretty much spot-on and the film is an interesting document of a kind of middle-class outrage that's probably now, thankfully, disappeared. And as we all know - "Life of Brian" went on to be one of the most celebrated comedy films of all time, so the Pythons had the last laugh.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By P. A. Murphy VINE VOICE on 21 Feb. 2012
Format: DVD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
For several years now, BBC4 have been making dramatised accounts of the origins of classic entertainers and shows. Mostly, they've been straight, gravely serious reconstructions: Tony Hancock, Kenneth Williams, Frankie Howerd, Steptoe & Son and Hughie Green for example. After all, isn't the funniest comedy forged out of tragedy and hardship, and aren't comedians just the most insecure and self-loathing of all critics?

This show isn't like any of those. We start with a farting Christ gag, a comedy title crawl and a suitably Gilliamesque title sequence and from there on in we are dropped into the world according to Monty Python. It's a giddy, riotous, hilarious and frequently surreal ride concerning the events of November 1979, when Life Of Brian had been released to controversy and outrage from militant Christian groups, offended by what they perceived as the film's blasphemous imagery. At the centre of the piece is the famous interview between Malcolm Muggeridge with the Bishop of Southwark against Michael Palin and John Cleese in which the Pythons defended not only the film, but their right to make it.

The main attraction for me was seeing how well these household names, mostly still with us, are portrayed by younger men. Darren Boyd, Charles Edwards, Steve Punt, Rufus Jones, Tom Fisher and Phil Nicol (Cleese, Palin, Idle, Jones, Chapman and Gilliam respectively) put in performances that are each excellent in their own ways: Boyd's Cleese is unashamedly Fawltyesque, a fact the script acknowledges cheerily in one of many knowing nods that anticipate the audience's reaction to what they see. Steve Punt, born to play Idle, does it with authentic objectionability -- I mean this as a compliment! -- while Tom Fisher captures the thoughtful, quietly wicked Chapman behind the pipe.
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