The comedians behind Monty Python have turned into household names and The Holy Grail is potentially their most loved piece. Having been commissioned by the BBC in 1969 Terry Gilliam, John Cleese, Michael Palin, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Graham Chapman began shooting scenes for a sketch show under the name of Monty Python's Flying Circus. The 45 episodes were full of surreal comedy which each and every one soon became cult classics.
The scorned producer won the lawsuit, but lost the friendship.
The producer behind Monty Python and the Holy Grail has won the lawsuit against the comedy team, entitling him to one seventh of the profits from Spamalot – a musical, based on the film. Mark Forstater – one of the people behind Monty Python’s 1975 movie, claimed that he was entitled to an equal share of the Spamalot royalties, while the comedians had only paid him half of that – one fourteenth. While those fractions might not sound too profitable, the musical achieved great success on Broadway in 2005 and entitles Forstater to a hefty sum of money.
Forstater was entitled to twice the amount he was paid for Spamalot.
The agreement, which was under dispute, was created in 1975 between the producer and Python Pictures. It stated that Forstater was entitled to one seventh of the 50% royalties off any merchandise and spinoff income that the team might receive. Since the musical falls under spinoffs… well that means that there’s a lot more cash in it for Forstater. Justice Norris at the high court ruled that this agreement was valid and that in this case, Forstater should be treated like a full member of the comedy team – or at least be entitled to the respective salary. According to Forstater’s own calculations, said salary amounts to £220,000 plus interest. However, despite the monetary reward, the 69-year-old producer regretted that the lawsuit had cost him his friendship with the comedians.
Subtitled "The Untrue Story of Monty Python's Graham Chapman", this outrageously colourful animated movie certainly can't be pigeonholed as a documentary or a biopic, even though there are elements of each. The filmmakers use recordings of Chapman reading the book about his life, then hire teams of animators to create a stream-of-consciousness 3D tribute. It's not particularly easy to follow, and the absurdly Pythonesque approach isn't always successful. But the film is such an oddity that fans won't want to miss it.
Whatever it is, this isn't a straightforward retelling of Chapman's life story, although it does loosely fill in the details, with each chapter animated in a distinctly different style. It begins with his rather odd childhood, followed by his years at Cambridge, where he met Cleese, Palin, Gilliam and Jones and formed Monty Python. Their TV sketch show was launched in 1969, an unexpected hit that propelled them to stardom. Along the way, Chapman determines that he's 70 percent gay, and indulges in all the alcohol and sex he could find. He died at age 48 of throat cancer in 1989.
The film is a riotous collection of animation styles, from stop-motion to paper cut-outs. Woven into these segments are TV clips, movie scenes and interviews from the archives, and the surviving Pythons supply the voices along with special guests like Stephen Fry and, yes, Cameron Diaz. It feels oddly rambling, going down random sideroads and indulging in moments that cross lines of taste and propriety. Some segments are sharp and pointed, while others take too long to get to their punchlines. But maybe these are inside jokes we simply don't understand.
Continue reading: A Liar's Autobiography Review
The 'Monty Python' group are returning to our screens once more with 'A Liar's Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python's Graham Chapman'. It is not a Monty Python sketch, merely the uncensored screen product of Chapman's 1980 nonsensical autobiography that has been re-published three times so far. It includes the voices of the Pythons playing themselves and various characters as well as Chapman himself who conveniently recorded himself reading the book prior to his death in 1989. A number of special guests also make voice appearances as characters in the film.
'A Liar's Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python's Graham Chapman' is a bizarre animated comedy that has been directed by documentary masterminds Bill Jones and Ben Timlett ('Monty Python: Almost the Truth - Lawyers Cut') and Jeff Simpson ('The Strictly Come Dancing Story'). The writing is credited to Graham Chapman and David Sherlock who co-wrote the fictional autobiography, but alongside extracts from the audio-book are various soundbites from other Monty Python TV appearances and pays tribute to his untimely death. It is due to his cinemas everywhere from February 8th 2013 with a DVD and Blu-Ray release date of February 18th. It is also available on demand from February 11th.
Continue: A Liar's Autobiography Trailer
The producer of Monty Python and the Holy Grail – Mark Forstater - is suing the remaining members of Monty Python over royalty rights to the stage show Spamalot. Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin are all due to give evidence at London’s High Court over the next few days. Terry Gilliam and John Cleese will most likely not attend the five-day court case, as they're based overseas. Graham Chapman passed away in 1989.
The popular stage musical Spamalot is described as being “lovingly ripped off” from the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail and currently Forstater receives one fourteenth of a share of 50% of merchandising revenues. His lawyer, Tom Weisselberg, is arguing that his client should be considered as the ‘seventh Python’ and should therefore receive one seventh of the income. The Pythons are accused of “failing to pay Mr Forstater monies he says are owed to him under an agreement reached with PMP back in 1974.”
Mr Forstater was declared bankrupt in June, though last month, his bankruptcy was annulled and according to the BBC, “he entered an independent voluntary arrangement (IVA) to deal with his debts.” Spamalot was written by Eric Idle and premiered on Broadway in 2005. The show has won three Tony awards and took $1 million in its opening week on Broadway.
The comedians behind Monty Python have turned into household names and The Holy Grail is...
Subtitled "The Untrue Story of Monty Python's Graham Chapman", this outrageously colourful animated movie certainly...