Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Yellowbeard (1983)

Director: Mel Damski

Writers: Graham Chapman, Peter Cook, David Sherlock, Bernard McKenna

Composer: John Morris

Starring: Graham Chapman, Peter Boyle, Cheech Marin, Tommy Chong, Peter Cook, Marty Feldman, Martin Hewitt, Michael Hordern, Eric Idle, Madeline Kahn, James Mason, John Cleese, Kenneth Mars, Spike Milligan, Stacey Nelkin, Nigel Planer, Susannah York, Beryl Reid, Peter Bull, Bernard Fox, Ronald Lacey, Nigel Stock, David Bowie

More info: IMDb

Tagline: A picture filled with public floggings, saucy tarts, looney lords, outrageousness, offensiveness, even a stuffed crocodile and sheep!

Plot: Yellowbeard, a pirate's pirate, is allowed to escape from prison to lead the authorities to his treasure. He finds that his wife neglected to tell him that he now has a son, 20, and shame of shame, an intellectual. The British Navy, Yellowbeard, his son, and members of Yellowbeard's old crew all go after the treasure.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again? Maybe in another 30 years.

It's probably been close to 30 years since I last saw this and I have to say it's better than I remembered.  The cast alone is a who's who in British comedy and it's worth it alone just to see them.  Madeline Kahn is tops on the list of women who need to have my babies and she's fantastically funny and talented in this one.  To have a movie that includes Marty Feldman, Eric Idle, John Cleese, Peter Cook AND James Mason is special even if it doesn't deliver the laughs that it should.  They all put in fine performances but it's in the script where the film suffers.  The story is almost immaterial since it's the actors and the jokes that matter but being light on jokes is one of the problems.  I'll only mention the fact the having a map tattooed on the kid's skull is made out to be a big deal but it's never utilized once that character is part of the gang.  My biggest issue is the lack of Yellowbeard, the Pirate.  Graham Chapman is fucking hilarious and filled with spastic energy but he's got far too little screen time.  But every scene he's in is priceless.  I hope I'm around a few more decades because despite enjoying it, it leaves me feeling disappointed because this should have been a much funnier film considering the talent involved.  I'd sure like to find out who dropped the ball on this one.

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