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Secret Policeman's Balls

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Overview

The Secret Policeman's Balls is the umbrella name encompassing a series of benefit shows staged in London to raise funds for Amnesty International. The series began with "A Poke in the Eye (with a Sharp Stick)" in 1976, coproduced by Monty Python veteran John Cleese and entertainment impresario Martin Lewis, and featuring British comedians of considerable repute, including alumni from the Python and Beyond the Fringe teams. The film of that production, Pleasure at Her Majesty's, makes its home video debut in this...
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Overview

The Secret Policeman's Balls is the umbrella name encompassing a series of benefit shows staged in London to raise funds for Amnesty International. The series began with "A Poke in the Eye (with a Sharp Stick)" in 1976, coproduced by Monty Python veteran John Cleese and entertainment impresario Martin Lewis, and featuring British comedians of considerable repute, including alumni from the Python and Beyond the Fringe teams. The film of that production, Pleasure at Her Majesty's, makes its home video debut in this collection. Rounding out Disc 1 in this set is The Secret Policeman's Ball (1979), which gave the series its continuing identity and added songs performances by Pete Townshend ("We Won't Be Fooled Again") and Tom Robinson ("Glad to Be Gay") to the program mix. While these first two events were shot in 16mm, their success led to a full 35mm production for The Secret Policemen's Other Ball (1981), directed by Julien Temple, with an expanded musical lineup, including sets by Sting ("Message in a Bottle"), Phil Collins ("In the Air Tonight"), Eric Clapton ("Farther on up the Road"), and Bob Geldof ("I Don't Like Mondays"). It's paired here on Disc 2 with The Secret Policeman's Third Ball (1987), the first of these Amnesty benefits to equally balance the musical and comedy acts, in fact breaking up the four stage events into two nights each of music and comedy. The film wove performances from the four nights into a whole, including comedy from Stephen Fry & Hugh Laurie, Dawn French & Jennifer Saunders, Robbie Coltrane, and the Spitting Image puppets, with the music stylings of Geldof, Jackson Browne, Joan Armatrading, and Peter Gabriel (who leads a lengthy "Biko" to close the show). The Secret Policemen's Biggest Ball (1989) returns to the series' roots as a comedy revue, with skits from Cleese and Michael Palin as well as Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, alongside turns from Fry & Laurie, French & Saunders, the Spitting Image puppets and others. The 75-minute documentary from Remember The Secret Policeman's Ball? closes out the third disc of this collection.
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Special Features

Remember the Secret Policeman's Ball? (2004) This feature-length documentary commemorating the 25th anniversary of the 1979 Amnesty show chronicles the history of the Secret Policeman's series; Ultra-rare comedy and music performances not featured in the original films; Rare promotional TV spots, trailers and news footage; Long-unavailable sequences from the original U.S. releases; Introductions and audio commentaries by series co-creator Martin Lewis
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/27/2009
  • UPC: 826663110302
  • Rating:

  • Source: Shout Factory
  • Time: 8:30:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 46,020

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Secret Policeman's Balls
1. Playing For the Cameras [1:31]
2. A Poke In the Lens [1:54]
3. Sunday Morning Rehearsal [3:00]
4. Preparing For Court [2:50]
5. Funky Business [2:26]
6. Brushing Up Their Shakespeare [4:45]
7. On Sundays He Goes Rehearsing... [3:05]
8. A Very Interesting Fact [1:31]
9. With a Sharp Pick... [:21]
10. Less Moore - More Jones... [3:15]
11. Audience With a Housewife Superstar [3:38]
12. Ham and Parrot [:47]
13. April Fool's Night... [1:16]
14. Pet Shop [4:52]
15. T.E. Lawrence [2:52]
16. Spunk! [5:48]
17. Happy Darling? [1:03]
18. Miner [4:14]
19. Court Room [9:38]
20. The Audition [2:11]
21. Protest Song [3:16]
22. The Last Supper [4:12]
23. Funky Gibbon [2:35]
24. Telegram [4:28]
25. Mime Artist [2:11]
26. ASP [2:54]
27. The Japes Lecture [5:16]
28. Appeal [4:41]
29. So That's the Way You Like It [5:21]
30. Lumberjack Song [1:52]
31. Closing Credits [2:20]
1. Opening Titles [:57]
2. Interesting Facts [5:01]
3. Telegrams [2:32]
4. Pregnancy Test [1:11]
5. Pinball Wizard [3:01]
6. School Master [5:53]
7. Cheese Shop [5:48]
8. Cavatina [3:23]
9. Sansation Seekers! [7:54]
10. The Pianist [4:20]
11. The Name's the Game! [5:32]
12. Glad To Be Gay [4:22]
13. Entirely a Matter For You [7:31]
14. Four Yorkshiremen [4:05]
15. Won't Get Fooled Again [5:07]
16. The End of the World [5:04]
17. Closing Credits [1:02]
Disc #2 -- Secret Policeman's Balls
1. Opening Titles [1:49]
2. A Word of Thanks [3:10]
3. Beekeeping [4:45]
4. What's On In Stoke Newington [3:14]
5. Message In a Bottle [4:23]
6. Denis On the Menace [4:14]
7. Crass Shallow Humour [4:18]
8. In the Air Tonight [5:08]
9. Clothes Off! [3:38]
10. Farther Up the Road [4:20]
11. Had It Up To Here [3:07]
12. Catch the Wind [2:57]
13. Top of the Form [5:45]
14. President Reagan's Big One [2:42]
15. I Don't Like Mondays [4:40]
16. Men's Talk [7:53]
17. Card Dance [2:36]
18. The Conductor [4:01]
19. Drugs [6:04]
20. I Shall Be Released [5:09]
21. Closing Credits / Stop Those Credits [5:18]
1. Preamble [1:13]
2. Opening Titles [1:32]
3. Reagan & Thatcher [2:17]
4. Running Up That Hill [4:46]
5. Hedge Sketch [3:11]
6. Backstage 1 [1:08]
7. (I LOve It When You) Call Me Names [3:11]
8. Backstage 2 [1:13]
9. Lowdown Left-Handed Dirty Hound Dog [6:26]
10. Backstage 3 [1:43]
11. Wouldn't It Be Good? [4:48]
12. Salvador [3:13]
13. Backstage 4 [:23]
14. Motorway [5:11]
15. Save a Prayer [4:54]
16. The SIlver Dick Award [4:49]
17. I'll See You In My Dreams [3:31]
18. Imagine [2:40]
19. Laurence Olivier and John Gielgud [1:45]
20. This Is the World Calling [3:05]
21. Backstage 5 [:13]
22. An American In London [5:34]
23. Tell It To Your Heart [5:33]
24. Backstage 6 [:41]
25. Sex Jokes [7:14]
26. Biko [8:14]
Disc #3 -- Secret Policeman's Balls
1. Opening Titles [:42]
2. Pet Shop (1989 Version) [1:44]
3. Bad Jokes [4:05]
4. The Royal Family and the Poll Tax [2:12]
5. The Frog & Peach [5:46]
6. Amnesia International Song (Memories) [3:17]
7. TheArgument Clinic [4:29]
8. Trevor Nettleford [4:22]
9. Jazz Interlude [3:09]
10. William Tell [3:38]
11. Improvision [5:31]
12. The Last Supper [3:30]
13. Biggles Goes to See Bruce Springsteen [9:21]
14. Gorbachev, Bush & Thatcher [1:34]
15. Schoolboy Poetry [5:46]
16. Special Branch [4:36]
17. Crunchy Frog [3:44]
18. Stage Crew [:24]
19. Cavatina [2:12]
20. One Leg Too Few [3:41]
21. Sick Trigger [13:19]
22. Schoolgirl Contraception / I'm a Dancer [3:59]
23. Goodbye [2:02]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Secret Policeman's Balls
   Pleasure at Her Majesty's (1976)
      Play With Introductions and "After the Ball" Remarks: On
      Play With Introductions and "After the Ball" Remarks: Off
   Pleasure at Her Majesty's (1976): Chapters
   The Secret Policeman's Ball (1979)
      Play With Introductions and "After the Ball" Remarks: On
      Play With Introductions and "After the Ball" Remarks: Off
   The Secret Policeman's Ball (1979): Chapters
   Extras
      Play All
      "Bookshop" - John Cleese & Connie Booth
      "E.L. Wisty From Beyond the Veil" - Peter Cook
      "Words and Things" - John Cleese & Jonathan Miller
      "Drowned" - Pete Townshend - Performance Not Included In the Film
      "Damage Your Health?" - John Cleese, Peter Cook & Billy Connolly
      Pleasure at Her Majesty's Commentary
      The Secret Policeman's Ball Commentary
Disc #2 -- Secret Policeman's Balls
   The Secret Policeman's Other Ball (1981)
      Play With Introductions and "After the Ball" Remarks: On
      Play With Introductions and "After the Ball" Remarks: Off
   The Secret Policeman's Other Ball (1981): Chapters
   The Secret Policeman's Third Ball (1987)
      Play With Introductions and "After the Ball" Remarks: On
      Play With Introductions and "After the Ball" Remarks: Off
   The Secret Policeman's Third Ball (1987): Chapters
   Extras
      Play All
      "Roxanne" - Sting - Performance In the Film (September 1981)
      "The Other Awards!" News Coverage of the World Premiere (March 1982)
      "Two Balls are Better Than One!" - Opening Sequence For the U.S. Version (May 1982)
      "The Oral Majority!" - Graham Chapman Movie Trailer For the U.S. Version (May 1982)
      "A Nation of Weirdos!" - Graham Chapman TV SPot For the U.S. Version (May 1982)
      "Ban the Ball!" - News Coverage of the Hollywood Release (July 1982)
      "Private Parts!" - Opening Sequence For the U.S. Only Sequel, "The Secret Policeman's Private Parts" (August 1983)
      Between the Balls
      The Secret Policeman's Other Ball Commentary
Disc #3 -- Secret Policeman's Balls
   The Secret Policeman's Biggest Ball (1989)
      Play With Introductions and "After the Ball" Remarks: On
      Play With Introductions and "After the Ball" Remarks: Off
   The Secret Policeman's Biggest Ball (1989): Chapters
   Extra: Remember the Secret Policeman's Ball (2004)
      Play WIth Introductions and "After the Ball" Remarks: On
      Play WIth Introductions and "After the Ball" Remarks: Off
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

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(1)

4 Star

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2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Secret Policeman's Balls

    I love these concerts. The problem I found was with the second concert. I could not turn off the commentary and couldn't hear the show. The commentary is annoying. It is very frustrating!! I would guess this is a recording problem that probably occurs on all boxed sets so returning it would not help. IT IS VERY FRUSTRATING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Got Balls?

    Nice collection, weak transfer to dvd, feels more like watching a bootleg, but still, some classic unforgetable performances from comedians and musicians. A must have for any Python fan!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews