Time Bandits is a 1981 British fantasy film written by Michael Palin and Terry Gilliam. The film stars Sean Connery, John Cleese, Shelley Duvall, Ralph Richardson, Katherine Helmond, Ian Holm, Michael Palin, David Warner, and Craig Warnock.
The movie, which is largely regarded as a successful endevour, is currently the subject of a television revival at Apple TV+, with Gilliam returning to produce the show.
Time Bandits is a remarkable time-travel fantasy from Terry Gilliam, who utilizes fantastic set design and homemade special effects to create a vivid, original universe.
Kevin is an eleven year old boy who falls into stereotypical youngster ideals, he has a vivid imagination and is fascinated by ancient history, with a particular keen interest in Ancient Greek. His parents, however, have become fascinated with buying the latest household gadgets to keep up with their neighbours and largely ignore Kevin and his activities.
One night, as Kevin sleeps soundly, an armoured knight atop a horse bursts out of his wardrobe. Kevin is instantly frightened and hides as the knight rides off into a forest setting where his bedroom wall had previously stood. When Kevin looks again, his bedroom wall is back in its original place and the forest is nowhere to be seen. He does, however, notice that one of the pictures on his bedroom wall is similar to the forest he had seen only moments earlier.
The following night, Kevin prepares a satchel with supplies, including a Polaroid camera, but is surprised when six dwarves exit through his wardrobe instead of the Knight. Kevin quickly learns that the dwarves have stolen a large, worn map and are looking for an exit before they are discovered. Exploring, they quickly find that the bedroom wall can be pushed, revealing a long hallway. Kevin is initially reluctant to join the six dwarves, but soon changes his mind when he notices the visage of a menacing head, later revealed to be the Supreme Being, appearing behind the dwarves, demanding they return the map. Kevin follows the dwarves down the hallway and they fall into an empty void.
Momentarily, Kevin and the dwarves find themselves in Italy during the Napoleonic Wars. Kevin quickly becomes acquainted with the dwarves, and learns that Randall is the leader of the group, which also includes Fidgit, Strutter, Og, Wally, and Vermin. They explain that they were once in the employ of the Supreme Being to repair holes in the fabric of space and time, but have since realised the potential to use the map to amass a wealthy fortune.
With the map, and Kevin's help, they visit several locations within time and meet numerous figures such as Napoleon Bonaparte and Robin Hood. Kevin uses the polaroid camera to document the visits, but they are unaware that their visits are being monitored by a malevolent being named Evil, who is able to manipulate reality in an attempt to acquire the map himself in a bid to remake the known universe to his own design.
Cast and Characters
- John Cleese as Robin Hood
- Sean Connery as King Agamemnon/Fireman
- Shelley Duvall as Pansy
- Ralph Richardson as Supreme Being
- Katherine Helmond as Mrs. Ogre
- Ian Holm as Napoleon
- Michael Palin as Vincent
- David Warner as Evil
- Craig Warnock as Kevin
- David Rappaport as Randall
- Kenny Baker as Fidgit
- Malcolm Dixon as Strutter
- Mike Edmonds as Og
- Jack Purvis as Wally
- Tiny Ross as Vermin
- Derek Deadman as Robert
- Jerold Wells as Benson
- Peter Vaughan as Winston the Ogre
- David Daker as Kevin's father
- Sheila Fearn as Kevin's mother
- Jim Broadbent as Compere
- Tony Jay (voice) as the Supreme Being
- Terence Bayler as Lucien
- Preston Lockwood as Neguy
- Derrick O'Connor as Redgrave
- Neil McCarthy as Marion
- Ian Muir as the Giant
Notes and Trivia
- The film has received a rating of 90% on the RottenTomatoes "TomatoMeter", and has a 77% rating based on over 25,000 audience ratings.
- Time Bandits on RottenTomatoes.