Python (Monty) Pictures


Python (Monty) Pictures

Python (Monty) Pictures Limited comprises the five surviving members of the main Monty Python team, who now serve as the directors. Python (Monty) Pictures which was incorporated in 1973 and now manages ongoing activities resulting from their previous work together. In the accounts return, the company describes its activities as the 'exploitation of television and cinematographic productions'. In the last financial year for which accounts are available (to March 2004), the company's turnover was £4.9M (source: Creditsafeuk.com).

When "Monty Python's Flying Circus" was shown in the U.S. by ABC in their "Wide World of Entertainment" slot in 1975, the episodes were re-edited to allow time for commercials, thus losing the continuity and flow intended in the originals. When ABC refused to stop screening the series in this form, the Pythons took them to court. Initially the court ruled that their artistic rights had indeed been violated, but refused to stop the ABC broadcasts as this would cause “financial damage” to ABC. However, on appeal the team gained control over all subsequent U.S. broadcasts of its programmes. The case also led to them gaining the foreign rights to all Python shows from the BBC, once their original contracts ended at the end of 1980 (a unique arrangement at the time). [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/guide/articles/m/montypythonsflyi_1299002137.shtml BBC Comedy Guide] ]

A driving force behind Python in the late 1970s was George Harrison, who not only funded "Life of Brian" but guest-starred as Mr. Papadopoulos (though his voice is dubbed by Palin), and also produced a number of their songs from that period, including "The Lumberjack Song" single. He also made a cameo appearance in Idle and Neil Innes' cult Beatles parody "All You Need Is Cash" (aka "The Rutles"), which also featured cameo appearances by three members of America's "Saturday Night Live" team - produced by Broadway Video, SNL's production company. Harrison even claimed in an interview that "Monty Python helped me get over the trauma of the breakup of the Beatles." [Clarkson, M. (1994). Monty Python...Facts and Trivia. "Britcomedy Digest" 1 (3).]

Four of the remaining Pythons (excluding John Cleese) reunited along with Python associate Neil Innes for a Concert for George salute to Harrison on the first anniversary of Harrison's death in 2002.

References


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