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Pleasure at Her Majesty's (1976)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Comedy | TV Movie February 1978
Pleasure At Her Majesty's (1976) The very first show in what came to be called the "Secret Policeman's Ball" series took place over three late nights in April 1976 at Her Majesty's Theatre ... See full summary »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Alan Bennett ... Various
John Bird John Bird ... Various
Eleanor Bron ... Various
Tim Brooke-Taylor ... Various Characters
Graham Chapman ... Various
John Cleese ... Pet Shop Customer / The Pope / Various
Carol Cleveland ... Various
Peter Cook ... E.L. Wisty / Various
John Fortune ... Various
Graeme Garden ... Various
Terry Gilliam ... Various
Barry Humphries ... Edna Everage
Neil Innes Neil Innes ... Various
Des Jones Des Jones ... Various
Terry Jones ... Various
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Storyline

Pleasure At Her Majesty's (1976) The very first show in what came to be called the "Secret Policeman's Ball" series took place over three late nights in April 1976 at Her Majesty's Theatre in London. The show was instigated by John Cleese, who volunteered to "round up a few pals" to perform for Amnesty International's benefit. These pals transpired to be most of Monty Python, Beyond The Fringe and The Goodies (three of the U.K.'s most successful comedy ensembles) -- together with leading solo performers. It was a gathering of the British comedic tribes. Cleese titled the show "A Poke In The Eye (With A Sharp Stick)." The film documenting this comedy summit was titled Pleasure At Her Majesty's -- a wordplay on the formal British expression for imprisonment in which convicts are "detained at Her Majesty's pleasure."

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Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

February 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Monty Python Meets Beyond the Fringe See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Amnesty International See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the film version of the Amnesty International stage show "A Poke In The Eye (With A Sharp Stick)". See more »

Quotes

Eleanor Bron: It is particularly gratifying to see so many young faces here tonight. We often think that young people today are only out for a good time. Well, that certainly can't be said of these young people.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Amnesty International's Big 30 (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

Some excellent stuff here, some rare, and not all Python
20 May 1999 | by metaphor-2See all my reviews

It's been years since I saw this show, but some of it still rings in my memory.

It should be noted that this is a filmed record of a live performance, a benefit for Amnesty International, which became an annual festivity. (There are 2 other documentaries of later installments of this event, "The Secret Policeman's Ball" and "The Secret Policeman's Other Ball".) It was a gathering of most of the famous "Oxbridge" comedians, including several members of the "Beyond The Fringe" troupe of the early 60's (Peter Cook and Jonathan Miller), most of the Pythons, and such other comedy luminaries as Barry Humphries doing his Dame Edna Everedge character. It includes some behind-the-scenes footage (which is good) but it cuts short some of the performances (which, we hope, improves them, but we'll never know.)

Th Python material is mostly familiar, although a few things do happen in Live performance to vary the known script. But the real delight is the other stuff. Jonathan Miller's dry wit, and the late Peter Cook's absolutely devastatingly funny routines, "I Wanted to be a Judge" and "I've a Viper in this Box."

Overall, it is as full of good material as any single Python show ever was, perhaps more full. For a true Python fan, it represents a chance to see where the Pythons drew much of their style and inspiration from. For everyone else, it is an excellent chance to see some of the best British comedians of the 60's and 70's.

"I wanted to be a judge, but I didn't 'ave the Latin. You need a lot of latin to pass the judgin' exams. They're very rigorous. the judgin' exams are. People come staggerin' out, going 'Ow my Gawd, wha' a rigo'ous exam!" So I decided to become a miner instead. A coal miner. They're not near so rigorous, the coal miner's exams. They've only got one question, "What is your name?" And I scored 75%!"


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