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Time Bandits (1981)

NOTE: This commentary is available on the Criterion Collection Blu-ray, DVD, and laserdisc releases, but not on DVD or Blu-ray releases from other studios (including the Anchor Bay DVDs and Arrow Blu-ray).

Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Director Terry Gilliam, co-screenwriter and actor Michael Palin, and actors John Cleese, David Warner and Craig Warnock Rating:7.9/10 (19 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by scroll2b on May 11th, 2005:Find all reviews by scroll2b
This commentary is okay. You don't hear the usual Gilliam firing off his philosophy, anecdotes and other interesting tidbits like in Fisher King or Brazil, but there's a healthy amount. I personally find the film terribly boring, so maybe that's what slowed the participants down so much...
Reviewed by sirgawayn on December 31st, 2005:Find all reviews by sirgawayn
I think "Time Bandits" is Gilliam's best film, but this commentary is a little disappointing. Gilliam is his usual interesting, energetic self, but he gets interrupted too often by the other participants to build up any momentum. Palin is informative but dry, Warnock relates some production anecdotes, and Warner has little of interest to say. Cleese, however, is the highlight of the track, describing his approach to the Robin Hood cameo in a hilarious way.
Reviewed by Hungry Baz on February 6th, 2013:Find all reviews by Hungry Baz
Not the greatest track, but still enjoyable. It would've been better if Gilliam did it on his own instead of having other people recorded separately butt in. Gilliam talks about how the film got made, he wanted to make Brazil, but couldn't so this film got made first, his hatred for kids' films and kid actors, locations, how it took 3 months to get permission to film at a building in Morocco, making this film on a low budget so that some scenes couldn't be filmed, how he almost broke Shelly Duvall's neck, meeting Sir Ralph Richardson and how Ralph tried to get him drunk.

Warnock talks about how his brother auditioned and that the casting director were interested in him instead, working with big stars, how Peter Vaughn was rude to him (he was probably in character), even points out a Life of Brian reference. He's never been in a film since and ends the commentary by saying he's been in therapy for years.

Palin talks about writing the film with Gilliam and other behind the scenes info. Warner talks about his character and what Gilliam wanted. Cleese, who only appears once in this track, talks about how he based this character on the Duke of Kent. He at one point swears in the track and it was censored out.
Reviewed by grimjack on June 27th, 2021:Find all reviews by grimjack
The other reviewers are way off. This is a great commentary track. For one, this is Gilliam talking about his craft. How he picks the lenses, why his camera is positioned where they are, and basically, how he is able to put a live action surreal dream on film.

David Warner speaks for maybe ten minutes total, but is absolutely brilliant in what he points out and explains.

Lots of little stories about insane people working on the film, how he got various stars to make essentially cameos, and how very few thought it was ever going to work as they saw him filming with such a small budget but explaining how it would look and feel epic.

I wondered when this was made because Gilliam points out sections that can only be made out on the laserdisc, and not on VHS, and it turns out it was recorded in 1997, sixteen years after it was made. There are also some mentions of various films that took shots and scenes from Time Bandits, that Gilliam is certain he was the first.
Reviewed by Liam_gal on July 9th, 2023:Find all reviews by Liam_gal
The user above is right. This commentary is very underrated. In my opinion, Terry Gilliam is the best director/commentator after Francis Ford Coppola and he does not disappoint. The other commentators do not interrupt the flow.