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  • Secret Policeman's Ball [VHS]
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Secret Policeman's Ball [VHS]


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Product Details

  • Actors: Paul Abrahams, Rowan Atkinson, Chris Beetles, Mike Brearley, Eleanor Bron
  • Directors: Roger Graef
  • Writers: Billy Connolly
  • Producers: John Cleese
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Rhino
  • VHS Release Date: October 20, 1998
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 1566054443
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #247,753 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

A series of benefit concerts to raise money for Amnesty International. Performances include comedy skits and musical numbers by a varied cast of mostly British performers. Featuring several Monty Python members, Rowan Atkinson, and Peter Cook.

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By D. M. Farmbrough on November 23, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
I gave this four stars because there are two or three sketches that really deserve five stars, plus a lot of things that really ought to have been edited out, but for the star appeal of their contributors. Clive James gives a reasonably amusing monologue, for example, which would have been fine on stage, but does not bear repeated viewing. Similarly, Ken Campbell and Sylvester McCoy are two of my favourite people, but their antics here are far better suited to a large stage with participating audience, rather than the constraints of the small screen.
The real stand outs are Peter Cook and Rowan Atkinson's (with support) Will This Wind, something that has me almost hysterical every time. Cook also pairs up well with John Cleese with Cook's E.L. Wisty finding the perfect foil in Cleese's straight man. Cleese and Palin also re-visit their cheese-shop sketch, perhaps putting in the definitive performance (notably this sketch has since been skitted by Rik & Ade and Goodness Gracious Me). There are a couple of good musical interludes too from Tom Robinson and Pete Townshend, but despite their quality, they seem a little out of place. All in all, this is a good record of a concert and a good chance to catch some things that are not available elsewhere.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 2, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
A brilliant set of sketches performed by the best of British comedians, and musicians. Several of the routines have provided quotations that have entered the comic lexicon [and not just in our family]: "Will the wind be so mighty, as to lay low the mountains of the earth?" (Rowan Atkinson and Peter Cook), "Interviewer" (Atkinson and John Cleese), "Wensleydale? Oh no, that's my name" (Cleese and Michael Palin). And the live performances of the songs (by Pete Townshend, Phil Collins, and Sting) are terrific. A tragedy that Rhino hasn't released it on DVD yet, but I remain hopeful.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 7, 1998
Format: VHS Tape
These sketches were filmed live, and Monty Python is brilliant. Be sure to get "The Secret Policeman's Other Ball" filmed a year later for yet another fund raiser. It's way out there, and the famous Cheese Shop skit is in here, as well as many other classic sketches, without the movie censor looking over their shoulders, they get truly wild, and it is the funniest and purest Monty Python you can get, since they no longer perform live. (Though I hear that 1999 may have a reunion show...which would be fabulous.)
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By John Lennon on November 4, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
It was another boring night. Nothing on TV but news and reality TV shows. I was flipping around and on PBS they were showing a movie titled "The Sectret Policeman's Ball." Being the HUGE python fan that I am, I decided to stay and watch it. I was not dissapointed one bit.
The next day I ran right to the video store and bought it. This tape has so many great sketches on it like the Cheese Shop (Funnier than the original I think.) I was also introduced to Beyond the Fringe which I had herd of but had never seen. Well now I'm just as big a Fringe as I am a Python fan. Rowan Akinson is great too. I love the sketch where he's a school teacher. I'd rather watch that sketch than BEAN.
I love the WHO and Pete Townsen is one of my favorite guitarist of all time. His performance of "We Don't Get Fooled again" is amazing. I also loved "Pinball Wizard."
The star off is because the quality is terrible. Also the camera work is very shaky. The Camera man was obviously cracking up at all the jokes... Can ya blame him though?
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 3, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
I suppose everyone has different comedic tastes but I for one thought this was a really great collage of the Python's at their best. The Yorkshiremen sketch and the Cheeseshop sketch are worth the price alone. The music is admittedly fragmented but really this is a comedy movie not a concert. Yes it is shot with stage lighting but for me that just adds to the immediacy of the performance. No overdubs or trickery just a great live show.
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