Monthy Python's Grounded Criterion

by mtdeeley

Created 07/30/12

Edit List

Monty Python's Flying Circus included numerous references to high culture in their silly comedy show. This list includes every film from the Criterion collection either mentioned on the series, or involving the comedy troupe in some way. I'll be updating this as I re-watch the TV series.

  • Episode 19 sees Terry Jones playing a film director who directed his own movie called "If" that also ended with a school shooting. He also complains about other directors beating him to the punch and releasing their versions of "2001: A Space Odyssey" and "Rear Window" before his were completed.

  • Episode #29 has police inspectors arresting people impersonating famous directors, (badly). John Cleese arrests a Japanese man pretending to be Luchino Visconti. Cleese's character delivers a brief filmography of Visconti.

  • Cleese's character says he changed his name to "Leopard" after seeing Visconti's film. (Preferring it to his given name, "Panther".)

  • Eric Idle appears as Inspector Baboon later the same episode arresting a man impersonating Michelangelo Antonioni. This is the only film in the collection mentioned by name.

  • Episode 28 used clips from this film in a sketch about a crew disguising themselves to escape a sinking ship. They wear costumes of women, children, Native Americans, spacemen, and an idealized version of the complete Renaissance Man.

  • The 3rd season finale has a parody of Pasolini's films with his newest movie about cricket. It shows a cricket game loaded with sexual and religious imagery. Cleese then appears as Pasolini himself with cricket players criticizing the film for both theme, imagery, and lack of historic cricket matches.

  • And now for something more obvious: movies made by Python animator Terry Gilliam. Beginning with "Time Bandits", Gilliam explored the complex relationships between reality and fantasy creating amazing worlds in the process.

  • One of the best films I'm reluctant to ever see again.

  • In my opinion, the best of the Python's films.

  • In my opinion, Gilliam's most mainstream work. Even the trailer has the cliche "man has it all, loses it all, learns a lesson" narration. Great performances from Robin Williams and Jeff Daniels.


  • By Drew Phillips
    November 18, 2012
    08:37 PM

    I like it! Need to go rewatch Flying Circus now!
  • By Drew Phillips
    November 18, 2012
    11:50 PM

    Which episode specifically (season and episode number?) contained the Visconti references?