The first Monty Python film is a collection of some of their better-known television sketches, including the legendary 'Dead Parrot' sketch and the 'Lumberjack Song'. John Cleese, Eric Idle, Graham Chapman, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones and Michael Palin make up the troupe.
And Now for Something Completely Different
, Monty Python's first feature, is a reworking of their best skits from the first two seasons of the TV series. Originally made for the US market (where the show had yet to be aired), it was shot on film outside the usual studio sets ("Nudge Nudge", for example, is set in a tavern filled with passers-by). The writing and performances are fine and the film is packed with some of their best bits: "How to Avoid Being Seen", " Hell's Grannies", "Blackmail", "The Lumberjack Song" and "The Upper Class Twit of the Year", among others. Many of the sketches have been shortened, however, and the loss of the overly bright video sheen (the film has a muddy, dull look to it) and the invigorating presence of a live audience leaves the film sluggish at times. They're still feeling out the possibilities of the feature length, which they conquered with their next movie, Monty Python and the Holy Grail
(1974). --Sean Axmaker