The fantastic tale of a 17th century aristocrat, his talented henchmen and a little girl in their efforts to save a town from defeat by the Turks. Being swallowed by a giant sea-monster, a trip to the moon, a dance with Venus and an escape from the Grim Reaper are only some of the improbable adventures. —IMDb
Terrence Vance Gilliam was born in Minnesota on 22 November 1940. After eleven early years of a Huckleberry Finn/Tom Sawyer-type childhood (his description), his family moved to LA. There he was a witness to the Hollywood system, from the fringes. As a kid, his drawing and cartooning skills developed. After graduating from school where he apparently excelled at pole vaulting, Gilliam went to the Occidental College, studying Physics, which he later changed to Politics. In his last year at college, Gilliam sent copies of his college magazine work to comic maestro Harvey Kurtzman in New York.
Kurtzman was running a magazine called Help!, and was impressed. When writer Charles Alverson left the magazine, a vacancy arose, and Gilliam took a job there. He spent the next three years there – writing, designing and drawing – but being paid very little. During the time at Help!, he met John Cleese, who was roped in to star in a photo-story spoof – as a guilt-ridden man involved in an… read more
"This wild spectacle has an energy, a wealth of invention, and an intensity that for my money still puts most of the streamlined romps of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg to shame" - Jonathan Rosenbaum
While it certainly is a sketchy film, and the sum of the good parts – nice over-the-top acting, well-crafted artisanal special effects, smart-yet-stupid jokes – doesn’t really add up to a truly satisfying… read review