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JABBERWOCKY 1977

Subtitles
4.2 out of 5 stars (77) IMDb 6.2/10

Terry Gilliam and Michael Palin pull together another medieval satire. A young man is forced to find fortune on his own in a kingdom terrorized by an evil monster called the Jabberwock.

Starring:
Michael Palin, Harry H. Corbett
Runtime:
1 hour, 45 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Action & Adventure, Comedy
Director Terry Gilliam
Starring Michael Palin, Harry H. Corbett
Supporting actors John Le Mesurier, Warren Mitchell, Max Wall, Rodney Bewes, John Bird, Bernard Bresslaw, Anthony Carrick, Peter Cellier, Deborah Fallender, Derek Francis, Terry Gilliam, Neil Innes, Terry Jones, Bryan Pringle, Frank Williams, Glenn Williams, Simon Williams, Annette Badland
Studio Sony Pictures International
BBFC rating Parental Guidance
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Based on Lewis Carrol's 'The Jabberwock', Terry Gilliam unleashes the full force of his creative talents in this brilliant film.
We follow the adventures of Dennis Cooper, besotted with love for the gruesome Griselda Fishfinger, as he is disowned by his dying father and goes off to seek his fortune in the city. The city is however besieged by the eponymous monster, so the king (played to wonderful effect by Max Wall) arranges a tourney to select the best knight to kill the beast. Of course, Dennis is carried along and wins the day.
Doresn't sound much of a story, does it? - but the intricately detailed sets, the wonderful staged humour and brilliant direction make this a cut and a half above anything else in the genre. It knocks the Monty Python films into a cocked hat - and they are GOOD! Not for nothing did this film win the best comedy at Montreux. Particularly good performances from Max Wall, John leMesurier, Harry H Corbett and of course, Michael Palin, who just IS Dennis.
I don't understand how a great film like this has been allowed to fall out of circulation. I'd give it 10 stars if I could.
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Don't write this off as failed Python. In the entertaining commentary on this disk, TG and Michael Palin not only state that they were trying to get away from the Python style with this film, but even that they think there are too many gags in it. I wouldn't go so far as that; Lewis Carroll's eerie source poem doesn't really have a great bearing on this story, but what they share is an ambiguous tone somewhere between epic, comic and surreal. All Gilliam's early films are about the relationship between real and fantasy worlds, and this is really no exception: Palin is the modern-minded mediocrity unwittingly (and unwillingly) caught up in a fairy tale.

Visually there's a certain similarity to `Holy Grail' (this is far more accomplished); in comedy terms, the closest thing is Palin's quirky, understated `Ripping Yarns' - but that doesn't have the same deep, ineluctable strangeness. In all honesty there's no other film like this. Just see the `you might also like' films trailed on the disc - `First Knight' and `Knight's Tale'! Good grief.

I'm also indebted to the commentary for the following fascinating trivia: TG's `diamond mine' character was originally to have been played by Dudley Moore; both the Black Knight and Palin's master are played by David Prowse (of Darth Vader fame), voices by Max Wall (King Bruno); and John Boorman apparently showed the film a dozen times to his crew before making Excalibur. How's that for a recommendation?
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Jabberwocky has been a favourite since childhood - I can still recite the whole poem from memory, have exhibited a calligraphy version; but onlyfound out this week that there is a DVD (Monty Python?) version available - now I have a whole series of copies. Typically excellent film!
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I have seen this film a few years ago It was scary at the time and funny in places but as time progresses perhaps ones sense of humour changes in all its ok and enjoyable ok to watch but not close to the excellent category
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Having just seen and reviewed the TV movie "Jabberwock", made by and for the sci fi satellite channel Sy-fy, I thought it high time I re-investigate the only other film made about the Lewis Carroll based winged monster, this Terry Gilliam "Jabberwocky".

That was sci-fi fantasy nonsense, this is of course, a precursor to The Holy Grail and largely, shows no Jabberwocky. Medieval mayhem, in the Pythonesque manner, with Michael Palin being the idiotic Dennis Cooper. Stereotypes firmly in place, there's missing tooth old crones and beautiful princesses to rescue, plus a who-who's of post Carry On comic actors.

I was born too late to be held under the spell of Monty Python and have learned to like and enjoy them in retrospect, where it is easy to pick and choose the best bits. Therefore, I am not of the school that says "everything Python is brilliant", because, frankly, it is not. It can't be, really - they did so much stuff from a variety of fertile imaginations that there's always going to poorer material.

Therefore, some parts of Jabberwocky drag and are a little tedious; others, such as the charging knights, where we see the onlooker's faces and bodies getting covered by more and more splattered blood as each knight falls, whilst they chat inanely, is brilliantly and darkly done.

Since my previous viewing, many years prior, I have seen all the Python films and thousands of others and my appreciation of this debut from Gilliam has increased enormously. You have to be of a certain mind and in a certain frame of mind to fully appreciate a Python film.

It says in listings and on the DVD box that it is rated as PG. I'm not sure how they came up with that one - though there's no strong swearing, there's full frontal nudity and a surprising amount of blood - inc. slo-mo's. Fine if you're an adult but if you think that it's suitable for the under 15's, it isn't.
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Never been disappointed with a film directed by Terry Gilliam. The man is a genius. Max Wall is exceptional as the king and Michael Palin excels as the downtrodden main character. Had seen this film many times and decided it was time to upgrade to DVD. Setting is suitably grotty and looks foul-smelling. An absolute delight.
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