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Time Bandits [1981] (1 disc)

Director:Terry Gilliam
Writer:Michael Palin
Terry Gilliam
Composer:George Harrison
Length:115 minutes
(1 hour 55 minutes)
MPAA Rating:PG
Suggested Event Use:Friday 13
Sorting Category:Fantasy
Sorting Tub:Juliet
IMDB Rating:6.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating:94%
Amazon Rating:4.0/5 stars
User rating sites like above
are subject to change
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  • Dark Comedy
  • Fantasy
  • Action
  • Drama
  • Suspense / Horror
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Synopsis: Kevin is roused one night and enters into an adventure that takes him across time and space, even meeting the supreme being.

Reaction: This is a very odd movie and you have to be able to accept Terry Gilliam's very unique imagination, but this is a rather fun adventure.

Personal Rating: 7/10

Terry Gilliam => Director / Writer
Michael Palin => Writer / Vincent
George Harrison => Composer
Chris Grant => TV announcer (voice)
Craig Warnock => Kevin
David Daker => Kevin's Father
David Rappaport => Randall
David Warner => Evil Genius
Edwin Finn => Supreme Being's Face
Ian Holm => Napoleon
Ian Muir => Giant
Jack Purvis => Wally
Jim Broadbent => Compere
John Cleese => Robin Hood
Juliette James => Greek Queen
Katherine Helmond => Mrs. Ogre
Kenny Baker => Fidgit
Malcolm Dixon => Strutter
Mark Holmes => Troll Father
Mike Edmonds => Og
Peter Vaughan => Winston the Ogre
Ralph Richardson => Supreme Being
Sean Connery => Fireman / King Agamemnon
Sheila Fearn => Kevin's Mother
Shelley Duvall => Dame Pansy / Pansy
Tiny Ross => Vermin
Tony Jay => Supreme Being (voice)
Warwick Davis => Extra (uncredited)

Random Trivia For This Title:

  • According to Terry Gilliam, David Rappaport believed he was given his part for his acting ability alone, without size being a contributing factor, and as a result, did not socialize with his co-stars. During the Invisible Barrier scene when the other bandits retaliate against Randall, it was basically the actors expressing their frustrations with Rappaport.
  • Whilst filming the sequence in Sherwood Forest, in which the Time Bandits inadvertently crash into Vincent (Michael Palin) and Pansy's (Shelley Duvall) carriage, Terry Gilliam had scaffolding built for the actors to jump off. When directing the scene, Gilliam instructed that they were to jump in such a way as to land around Palin and Duvall without actually falling on to them. To better illustrate what he meant, Gilliam then climbed to the top of the scaffolding and without hesitation jumped off, only to plummet directly on top of Shelley Duvall.
  • In the original script, King Agamemnon was introduced as: "The warrior took off his helmet, revealing someone that looks exactly like Sean Connery, or an actor of equal but cheaper stature." To Terry Gilliam's surprise, the script ended up in Connery's hands. He expressed interest in the part and his agent approached them for the role.
  • In the unusual trailer for this film, the announcer says, "You went to Star Wars for the droids" as Kenny Baker, who played droid R2D2 in Star Wars, runs across the screen with the other Bandits.
  • In [?] Anne Rice's third novel in her Vampire Chronicles, The Queen of the Damned, Daniel (the interviewer from the first novel/film) and vampire Armand see Time Bandits in the cinema together. Armand finds the scene where the Time Bandits sing for Napoleon in the battle-ravaged theatre so funny that he laughs uncontrollably every time he sees it and goes back repeatedly to re-watch it.
  • According to the DVD commentary, Terry Gilliam shot the film in low camera angles throughout in order to give the audience the perspective of a dwarf or a child, the heroes of Time Bandits.
  • Terry Gilliam supposedly wrote a screenplay for a Time Bandits 2 movie, but decided to forgo the project owing to the deaths of Jack Purvis and David Rappaport - the two little people in the Bandits featured the most in the first film.
  • Jonathan Pryce was offered the role of the Evil Genius but was unavailable owing to his commitment to Loophole.
  • The cowboys, Greek archers, tank, spaceship (a Micronauts Mobile Exploration Lab toy), and all of the attackers that fight 'Evil' at the end are actually the counterparts of the same toys seen in Kevin's room; in some shots as Kevin runs through Evil's fortress, giant 'lego' blocks can clearly seen as part of the fortress itself.
  • Mrs. Ogre (originally cast as [?] Ruth Gordon until she had to pull out due to a broken limb) was originally supposed to have heavy make-up to look like her husband. According to Katherine Helmond, she was completely committed to having to wear the heavy make-up effects job, yet she suggested to Terry Gilliam that she thought it would be funnier if Mrs. Ogre instead looked like an ordinary New England housewife. Gilliam agreed.