Friends, I was the perfect age to catch Terry Gilliam’s Time Bandits when it was originally released to theaters back on November 6th of 1981. The mixture of comedy, both broad and spiritual, as well as the time-traveling adventure of the film itself – well – it just spoke to me. My Father and I had watched reruns of Monty Python’s Flying Circus on the local PBS affiliate, and we had caught Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Jabberwocky, and Monty Python’s Life of Brian at the local drive-in theater. In fact I probably have Monty Python to thank for altering my humor at such an early age for the better. But there was just something so very special about Time Bandits – one of the few children’s movies of the day that managed to not speak down to it’s audience. Of course it didn’t hurt that it also featured the talents of the late and great Sir Sean Connery, David Warner, Michael Palin, John Cleese, Shelley Duvall, Sir Ian Holm, Katherine Helmond, Peter Vaughan, AND Sir Ralph Richardson to name a few.
For what it might be worth, it was Time Bandits that made me a lifelong fan of David Warner. I had already seen him in 1976’s The Omen and 1979’s Time After Time – but it was his portrayal of Evil – or Evil Genius if you go by the IMDB listing that made me finally start to break into a smile when I saw his name in the credits. In fact I only had to wait a little over eight months before he co-starred in one of my favorite films of all time – TRON.
Thanks to this YouTube upload, we can all enjoy a remembrance by director Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, John Cleese, George Harrison, and producer Denis O’Dell (A Hard Day’s Night) on the making of Time Bandits. This is apparently from a 1989 made-for-TV documentary on Handmade Films, the company founded by the legendary Harrison, just so he could be sure that Monty Python and the Holy Grail could be made.