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.
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
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.