Jabberwocky: the monster so horrible that people caught the plague to avoid it
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- Rated: PG
- Run Time: 1 hours, 45 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: November 21, 2017
- Originally Released: 1977
- Label: Criterion
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Note: New 4K digital restoration by the BFI National Archive and The Film Foundation, approved by director Terry Gilliam with soundtrack supervised by Gilliam
- Audio commentary from 2001 featuring Gilliam and actor Michael Palin
- New documentary on the making of the film, featuring Gilliam, Palin, producer Sandy Lieberson, and actor Annette Badland
- New interview with Valerie Charlton, designer of the film's creature, the Jobberwock, featuring her collection of rare behind-the-scenes photographs
- Audio interview with cinematographer Terry Bedford from 1988
- Selection of Gilliam's storyboards and sketches
- Original UK opening sequence
- Aspect Ratio: Widescreen - 1.85
- Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
- Dolby Digital 5.1
- Subtitles - English
Performers, Cast and Crew:
|Starring||Michael Palin, Harry H. Corbett, John Le Mesurier & Warren Mitchell|
|Performer:||Max Wall, Annette Badland, Rodney Bewes, John Bird & Neil Innes|
|Directed by||Terry Gilliam|
|Edited by||Michael Bradsell|
|Produced by||Sanford Lieberson|
|Director of Photography:||Terry Bedford|
|Executive Production by||John Goldstone|
Rating: 2.5/4 -- not a particularly good film, even though it is an often clever and exceedingly efficient in its absurdist experimentation mixing fantasy and comedy and romance. Full Review
Q Network Film Desk
Rating: 64/100 -- Infuse the "dark ages adventure" with some mildly amusing Python-style comedy bits and you have a strong sense of what Jabberwocky is all about.
Rating: 4/5 -- Terry Gilliam's visionary humor and style is on full display here.
...The most marvelously demented British comedy to come along since MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL....Very funny, yet it looks like an epic.
New York Times
Jabberwocky will certainly be of interest to both Gilliam and [Monty] Python fans; we just can't see it ever becoming a favorite of either. Full Review
Under the Radar
The movie strains too hard, is far too long, and its irreverent formlessness, a virtue in previous Monty Python endeavors, here seems simply dull and tasteless. Full Review
Gannett News Service
Rating: 4/5 -- Gilliam wins major points for so thoroughly debunking the Dark Ages. Full Review
Opening with a quote from Lewis Carroll's classic nonsensical poem, Terry Gilliam's JABBERWOCKY is a darkly comic medieval masterpiece about a monster wreaking havoc on helpless villages. Michael Palin stars as Dennis Cooper, a happy-go-lucky ne'er-do-well stock taker who becomes the unlikely hero in a castle's efforts to defeat the great green beast. The unwitting and pathetic Dennis is in love with Griselda, the farthest thing from a classic princess heroine that film has ever seen. However, she wants nothing to do with Dennis, who is renounced by his father on his deathbed, setting him off on a hysterical adventure that winds up with him facing off against the monster itself. The jousting scenes are particularly funny--and very gruesome, lending the film its seriocomic tone that had the audience somewhat baffled at first, although it's now much loved. The film is a brilliant parody of medieval epics, featuring lavish costumes, a medieval score, and terrific sets. Monty Python regulars Terry Jones and Neil Innes make cameo appearances, as does director Gilliam himself.
- Filmed on location in Wales and London and at Shepperton Studios, England.
- Terry Gilliam was upset when the film was advertised as MONTY PYTHON'S JABBERWOCKY in the United States. Gilliam was purposefully trying to distance himself from the troupe and felt that the film was too dark and serious to be called a Monty Python film, that American audiences would go in expecting more of a farce. Judging from the initial box-office receipts, he was correct.
- Gilliam had been interested in Lewis Carroll--ALICE IN WONDERLAND, specifically--since he tried unsuccessfully to stage the work in a grand manner at summer camp in 1961, when he was 20. He has said, "I always remember how important Alice was for everything I do. The title and the monster in JABBERWOCKY, the girl in MUNCHAUSEN is Alice."
- Terry Gilliam makes two brief cameos as a man who thinks his rocks are diamonds.
- Monty Python veteran Terry Jones makes a cameo performance in the opening scene as the poacher who unfortunately meets the monster.
- The monster was not the result of special-effects wizardry; it was basically a man in costume walking backward.
- Some of the sets for JABBERWOCKY were stolen from the set of OLIVER!
- Gilliam wanted to purchase a sewer set and a catapult from Blake Edwards, who was making one of the Pink Panther sequels at Shepperton Studios, but Edwards chose to destroy the things rather than give them to another film. Thus, the sewer scene had to be changed.