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Time Bandits [Blu-ray]

John Cleese , Sean Connery , Peter Biziou    Parental Guidance   Blu-ray
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: John Cleese, Sean Connery, Shelley Duvall, Katherine Helmond, Ian Holm
  • Directors: Peter Biziou
  • Producers: Mike Moran
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Optimum Home Releasing
  • DVD Release Date: 5 Oct 2009
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002KAIVS6
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 61,734 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



From a script cowritten with his fellow Monty Python veteran Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam pulled out all the stops on his prodigious imagination for this comedy-fantasy from 1981. Film critic Pauline Kael was right when she wrote, "This may be one of those rare pictures that suffers from a surfeit of good ideas," because there's not enough plot to keep pace with the sheer inventiveness of Gilliam's filmmaking. That hasn't stopped Time Bandits from becoming a classic, of sorts, attracting a cult following as a semi-reunion of the Python gang (with Palin and John Cleese making splendid appearances) and a rousing adventure of near-epic proportions. It's about a kid named Kevin (Craig Warnock) who joins a band of mischievous dwarves on a jaunt through various eras and epochs. They've stolen a map to holes in the space-time continuum that belongs to the Supreme Being (suitably played by Sir Ralph Richardson), and as Kevin survives a variety of heroic adventures, including an encounter with King Agamemnon (Sean Connery) and an Evil Genius (David Warner) who pursues the coveted map using his nefarious magical powers. As a warm-up for Gilliam's later, even more ambitious fantasies, Brazil and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, this is a dazzling dose of cinematic whimsy, and Gilliam doesn't compromise the darkness of his tale with an artificially upbeat ending. There's as much menace in Time Bandits as there is an awesome sense of wonder, and that gives the movie an extra kick of timeless appeal. --Jeff Shannon

Product Description

Schoolboy Kevin is rescued from his dull suburban life when a gang of dwarves emerge from his wardrobe and carry him off through space and time. Their travels bring them into contact with some leading historical figures; John Cleese is Robin Hood and Sean Connery is Agamemnon in this bizarre comedy made by several Monty Python members.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 25 not out 14 Aug 2006
By Amazon Customer TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
The story for time bandits is typical Terry Gilliam inspired lunacy, a boy who is totally ignored by his materialistic parents finds himself being dragged along by a gaggle of dwarves who have pinched the supreme beings,(a splendid Ralph Richardson), plans. they are then pursued both by him and the evil one,( a similarly excellent David Warner), through time portals that lead to a very pythonesque sherwood forest scene, the titanic, a beautifully realised fantasy land complete with giants and ogres and a land of mythology where a scene stealing Sean Connery plays Agamemnon.

As usual Gilliam coaxes the last drop of acting expertise from all involved, the humour is plentiful but very two edged and there is a subtext as deep as you care to delve.

The story rattles along for the most part but there are one or two scenes that could do with a gentle push in the right direction as the humour and pace slack. these though are rare and as anyone who remembers his python contributions or who has seen his films will know,Gilliam really knows how to visualize the incredible and so, even 25 years later, you are left with images of a knight on horseback charging from a childs wardrobe, 6 dwarves and a child dangling from a cage over infinite nothingness, a giant with a sailing ship on its head and so on and so on.

A quarter of a century has not dulled this films sharp edge nor left it without its ability to shock,tickle or astound. it can be enjoyed straight up as a grown up childs adventure story or you can happily chew over its subtext, either way there is much to enjoy.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless 28 Feb 2005
Time Bandits is a deeply satirical morality tale superficially packaged as a kid's adventure film. On the surface it seems simple enough; a young boy, Kevin, is spirited away by a gang of time travelling comedy dwarves for a series of adventures in different historical settings. But there's a lot more to it than that. Kevin's parents are a grotesque caricature of self-absorbed suburban materialism; incessantly arguing about kitchen appliances while watching brainless TV gameshows at full volume. It is Gilliam's attention to detail which really makes this film for me. Kevin's parents don't eat anything which hasn't come out of a microwave or blender and are too precious even to remove the plastic wrapping from their hideous three-piece suite. Kevin, meanwhile, is a romantic who, until the fateful night the Time Bandits arrive in his bedroom, can only live out his fantasies in history books.
But history turns out not to be all it's cracked up to be. Napoleon is crippled by an inferiority complex stemming from his small stature; Robin Hood is a patronising liar and his 'merry men' are a bunch of violent filthy animals. Only in mythical Greece does Kevin come close to realising his dreams.
The film retains a dark edge throughout. As Gilliam explains in his DVD commentary, by casting small people as the bandits, led by the delightfully arrogant David Rappaport, he hoodwinks the audience into swallowing their extreme cupidity. The innocent Kevin (played by a child actor deliberately selected for his shyness) finds himself swept into company even more mindlessly greedy than that of his parents'.
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51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
I don't need to review the movie, you can probably read the reviews on the DVD section to find out what the film is like. I got the Blu Ray as I'm slowly replacing my favourites on DVD with the Blu Ray versions, and this is why I'm dissapointed.

Yes - the picture quality IS better than the DVD, but that's entirely due to the improvement in the format. It would appear that no effort has been to clean up the film print, correct scratches etc and the hiss on the sound track is awful. This is a lazy and no doubt, quick/cheap effort.

This is why I've given 3 stars - 3 stars for thr Blu Ray transfer, 5 for the movie, which I love.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gilliam at his best 31 Dec 2010
Time Bandits follows the adventures of Kevin, a put-upon, largely ignored but particularly imaginitive young lad who is abducted by a gang of dwarves (led by David Rappaport) who have stolen a time map from the Supreme Being (Ralph Richardson as an absent-minded, slightly stern, favourite uncle-like God) and are using it to develop their new careers as international criminals. Cue encounters with Napoleon (the ever fantastic Ian Holm), the Titanic, Robin Hood (John Cleese) and an unspeakably Evil David Warner.

As one of Terry Gilliam's earliest post-Python films and apparrantly aimed at a youngish audience, you might be tempted to give this a miss, but all of Gilliam's trademark imagery, wit and style is here, full-on and in bucketloads. The balance of review markings so far suggest that even those who like his work are less than enthused about Time Bandits, but really you can't go wrong here: visually sumptuous, excellently acted, exquisitely casted, superlatively plotted and wittier than Stephen Fry and Rowan Atkinson's secret lovechild: if you've enjoyed anything by Giliam, you'll love this. Many of the themes seen in later works are evident here: children, dwarves, theatre, travel and the eternal struggle between good and evil (allegorized as a conflict between the power of a childish imagination and the leaden hand of bureaucracy). Indeed Time Bandits could easily be the first of a trilogy with The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (I've not seen The Brothers Grimm, but I suspect that it could make this a quadrilogy).

"We're in the middle ages! Five hundred years before the man we robbed is even born. Ha ha! Try that one in a court of law!"
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant
I remembered this from being young a fantastic film. Hilarious and heartwarming. Some famous faces from when they were young and starting out.
Published 1 month ago by Bradfordiansteph
5.0 out of 5 stars Stinkin' good!
Some very slight spoilers, but hopefully nothing that should spoil your enjoyment:

This is Alice in Wonderland for boys. Read more
Published 1 month ago by H. Raine
5.0 out of 5 stars time bandits
Got this for my daughter as she had never seen it. Good quality but a bit pricey for the age of the film.
Published 1 month ago by Andy
5.0 out of 5 stars Time Bandits
Time Bandits is a very funny and action packed fantasy for all ages - ones of those films you can watch over and over
Published 2 months ago by T. Hedgecock
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
as funny as ever
Published 2 months ago by kerrie jones
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic choice
My husband remember seeing this when he was about 10 years old and wanted to show it to our 2 sons of 10 and 13 he was slightly worried that the special affects would not look very... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mrs
5.0 out of 5 stars Just as good as the first time
I was not expecting too much of this film, especially after the "Jabberwocky" video, but I was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed it even more than I thought I would.
Published 4 months ago by Del Doune
5.0 out of 5 stars At last a good quality version to watch.
Time Bandits is one of those quirky movies. I guess it's bet described as fantasy. It's clever, it's funny, and it has midgets. I won't go into detail about the plot, look at IMDB. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Paul Gasper
5.0 out of 5 stars 2013 Bluray is the best this film has ever looked
*This review is specifically about the 2013 ARROW BLU-RAY editions of Time Bandits, including this steelbook edition.*

An absolute must for fans of Time Bandits. Read more
Published 6 months ago by mr_madiba
5.0 out of 5 stars Gift of time
I was pleased to have found this DVD as I was stuck for a film for a 9 year old that he had not seen on TV. Hence I was pleased (5 stars) to have found one. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Jeedle
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