7.1/10
380
5 user 6 critic

The Secret Policeman's Ball (1979)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Comedy | TV Movie June 1980
Trailer
1:07 | Trailer
A series of benefit concerts to raise money for Amnesty International. Performances include comedy skits and musical numbers by a varied cast of mostly British performers. Featuring several... See full summary »

Director:

Roger Graef

Writer:

Billy Connolly
Reviews

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The film of an on-stage charity benefit for Amnesty International. The show includes comedy skits by the members of Monty Python, as well as noted comedians Peter Cook, Rowan Atkinson, and ... See full summary »

Directors: Roger Graef, Julien Temple
Stars: Rowan Atkinson, Jeff Beck, Alan Bennett
Comedy | Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The 1989 show returned to the roots of the series with an emphasis on comedy and eschewing the music that, by the 1987 show, had come to be an equal component of the Balls. The cast was a ... See full summary »

Director: Mike Holgate
Stars: John Bird, Rory Bremner, Kathy Burke
Comedy | Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Victims of their own success in recruiting stars to appear at fund-raisers, Amnesty took a six-year sabbatical from producing benefit shows in the mid-1980s as a multitude of other good ... See full summary »

Director: Ken O'Neill
Stars: Joan Armatrading, Chet Atkins, Jackson Browne
Pleasure at Her Majesty's (TV Movie 1976)
Documentary | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Pleasure At Her Majesty's (1976) The very first show in what came to be called the "Secret Policeman's Ball" series took place over three late nights in April 1976 at Her Majesty's Theatre ... See full summary »

Directors: Roger Graef, Jonathan Miller
Stars: Alan Bennett, John Bird, Eleanor Bron
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Maigret: Night at the Crossroads tells a complex tale of murder, deceit and greed set in an isolated country community.

Director: Sarah Harding
Stars: Ben Caplan, Katherine Kanter, Robin Weaver
Jabberwocky (1977)
Adventure | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A young peasant, with no interest in adventure or fortune, is mistaken as the kingdom's only hope when a horrible monster threatens the countryside.

Director: Terry Gilliam
Stars: Michael Palin, Harry H. Corbett, John Le Mesurier
Maigret in Montmartre (TV Movie 2017)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Maigret investigates the random murders of a Countess and a showgirl and discovers a dark secret that links their past lives at the Grand Hotel in Nice.

Director: Thaddeus O'Sullivan
Stars: Nicola Sloane, Sebastian De Souza, Simon Gregor
Mona Lisa (1986)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A man recently released from prison manages to get a job driving a call girl from customer to customer.

Director: Neil Jordan
Stars: Bob Hoskins, Cathy Tyson, Michael Caine
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The comedy team takes a look at life in all its stages in their own uniquely silly way.

Directors: Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam
Stars: John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Born on the original Christmas in the stable next door to Jesus, Brian of Nazareth spends his life being mistaken for a messiah.

Director: Terry Jones
Stars: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Michael Palin
Adventure | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table embark on a surreal, low-budget search for the Holy Grail, encountering many, very silly obstacles.

Directors: Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones
Stars: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Paul Abrahams Paul Abrahams ... Himself (Piano Player)
Rowan Atkinson ... Various Roles
Chris Beetles ... Beetles and Buckman
Mike Brearley Mike Brearley ... Himself
Eleanor Bron ... Various Roles
Rob Buckman Rob Buckman ... Beetles and Buckman
Ken Campbell Ken Campbell ... Himself
Suzanne Church Suzanne Church ... Herself
John Cleese ... Himself - Various Roles
Billy Connolly ... Himself
Peter Cook ... Various Roles
Anna Ford Anna Ford ... Herself
Clive James Clive James ... Himself
Clive Jenkins Clive Jenkins ... Himself
Sylvester McCoy ... Syveste McCoy (as Sylveste McCoy)
Edit

Storyline

A series of benefit concerts to raise money for Amnesty International. Performances include comedy skits and musical numbers by a varied cast of mostly British performers. Featuring several Monty Python members, Rowan Atkinson, and Peter Cook. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

June 1980 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Maailman hulluin ilta See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(theatrical) | (TV premiere)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Pete Townshend who performs in the show, said on the 2009 "The Secret Policeman Rocks" DVD, "I love looking back at The Secret Policeman's Ball (1979). It showed us how to do it in a way that wasn't patronizing. I remember Martin Lewis who invited me to do the thing in the first place... I really, really relied on people like Martin and on other people to keep me abreast of what was going on...". In 2011, Townsend added, "It's 1979 that I appeared at The Secret Policeman's Ball (1979) - the Amnesty thing that John Cleese had kicked off. And my friend Martin Lewis had invited me to, in a sense, to kind of lighten the proceedings...to break up the comedy. And it was amazing subsequently to see what that triggered. Sting...Peter Gabriel...subsequently people like U2...Bruce Springsteen...and so on...Quite big names got involved in supporting Amnesty. And it became evident that big names in music and Amnesty melded very well. So it's good to see that what I did kicked that off. I feel that I planted a seed...". See more »

Quotes

Schoolmaster: All right, quiet. Ainsley. Babcock. Bland. Carthorse. Dint. Ellsworth-Beast Major. Ellsworth-Beast Minor. Fiat. German. Havenut. Haemoglobin. Jones M. Jones N. Kosygin. Loudhailer. Mattock. Nancyboy-Potter. Nibble.
[laughter]
Schoolmaster: I have a detention book. Orifice. Plectrum. Poise. Sediment. Soda. Taah. Taah? Under-Manager. Wicket. Williams-Wicket. Williams-Witcherley. Witcherley-Wicket. Witcherley-Williams. And Witcherley-Williams. Wocket. Zob. Hmmm, absent. All right, your essays. "Discuss the ...
See more »

Connections

Followed by The Secret Policeman's Ball (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Won't get Fooled Again
Written by Pete Townshend
Solo accoustic version Performed by Pete Townshend (as Pete Townsend)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Still funny all these years later
25 September 2003 | by tonygillanSee all my reviews

The best bits of this show are still excellent, particularly the Cleese, Cook, Palin and Billy Connolly contributions. There is some fine music too from Pete Townshend and Tom Robinson.

Peter Cook's judge sketch is a notable highlight, although some of it may be lost on people unfamiliar with the Jeremy Thorpe trial (Thorpe was a British politician who was acquitted of murder after the judge had led the jury to an outrageous degree in his summing up. 'Now go and consider your verdict....of not guilty').

The 'Interesting Facts' sketch with Cook and Cleese is an all time classic, up there with anything by Monty Python, Harry Enfield, Marty Feldman, Saturday Night Live or anyone.

One note of caution. I bought the DVD box set and both of Billy Connolly's routines have been excluded. I have no idea why, but it is a pity as he is in top form on this show.


8 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 5 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed