And not in a very good way.
Yellowbeard has some cult fans, probably owing the Graham Chapman's wild-eyed performance as a crazed old pirate who is allowed to escape from prison so he may be tracked en route to his stash of treasure. He discovers he has a son, a snooty naval officer of all things, but eventually they join forces and round up Yellowbeard's old crew to track down the booty.
What follows is a series of sight gags and typical low-grade humor, fairly in line with Cheech and Chong's oeuvre (sans the drugs) but far afield from the typical wit of the Pythons. Even the sex jokes -- which the Pythons were far from being above -- are crude and silly rather than unique and unusual.
Some of this may have to do with director Mel Damski. Yellowbeard was his first theatrical feature, and today 64 of his 67 credits are for TV work. Damski clearly goes for the easy humor time after time, but there's no laugh track to save him from dud after dud.
The film isn't without a small amount of charm, but it really is small, carried by supporting players who far outshine Chapman and even John Cleese, who reported termed this his worst film ever. I tend to agree with him, though it's by no means awful. It's just disappointing.
Run time: 96 mins
In Theaters: Friday 24th June 1983
Box Office Worldwide: $4.3M
Distributed by: MGM
Production compaines: Yellowbeard Associates, Hemdale Film Corporation
Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 22%
Fresh: 2 Rotten: 7
IMDB: 6.1 / 10
Director: Mel Damski
Producer: Carter DeHaven
Starring: Graham Chapman as Captain Yellowbeard, Martin Hewitt as Dan, Eric Idle as Commander Clement, Peter Cook as Lord Percy Lambourn, Michael Hordern as Dr. Gilpin, Peter Boyle as Moon, Madeline Kahn as Betty, Marty Feldman as Gilbert, John Cleese as Harvey 'Blind' Pew, Cheech Marin as El Segundo (as Richard 'Cheech' Marin), Tommy Chong as El Nebuloso, James Mason as Captain Hughes, Nigel Planer as Mansell, Bernard Fox as Tarbuck, Nigel Stock as Admiral, Kenneth Danziger as Mr. Martin, Kenneth Mars as Mr. Crisp, Greta Blackburn as Mister Prostitute, Stacey Nelkin as Triola, Peter Bull as Queen Anne, Susannah York as Lady Churchill, Beryl Reid as Lady Lambourn, Spike Milligan as Flunkie, David Bowie as The Shark (uncredited), Ferdy Mayne as Mr. Beamish, John Francis as Chaplain, Richard Wren as Pirate, Ronald Lacey as Man with Parrot, Monte Landis as Prison Guard, Gillian Eaton as Rosie, Bernard McKenna as Askey, John Dair as Big John, Carlos Romano as Priest, Álvaro Carcaño as Beggar, Léopoldo Francès as Helmsman, Ava Harela as Flower Girl
Also starring: Carter DeHaven
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