Yellowbeard, a pirate's pirate, is allowed to escape from prison to lead the authorities to his treasure. He finds that his wife neglected to tell him that he now has a son, 20, and shame of shame, an intellectual. The British Navy, Yellowbeard, his son, and members of Yellowbeard's old crew all go after the treasure.
- kind of fun
Python fans might be a little bemused to see Graham Chapman's second solo venture (after the superior 'The Odd Job'). Yellowbeard the pirate is a very, very, funny characterisation and Chapman has a ball in the lead. The supporting cast boasts Madeline Kahn, fellow Pythons John Cleese and Eric Idle, Peter Cook, Beryl Reid, Michael Hordern, Marty Feldman (who died during production), David Bowie, James Mason, and Peter Boyle (fun as 'Mr Moon', an obvious reference to Chapman's pal and Who drummer Keith who was originally planned to appear in this and 'The Odd Job').
As a plot-driven comedy, it falls pretty short, but has its share of funny and inspired moments (I particularly like the candles in the hair, the man with his foot nailed to the ship's deck, and Peter Bull's turn as Queen Anne). The one element I find out of place is Cheech and Chong, who I simply don't like and can't figure out. Yellowbeard, viewed together with the other Python films, falls short of Life of Brian and Holy Grail, but sits comfortably alongside The Missionary and Jabberwocky. In fact it is probably closer to Jabberwocky than any of the others. A nice touch, too, is that the ship is the MGM Bounty, which has its own associations and memories. Ultimately a nice way to remember the late Python genius.
- A fine comedy overlooked for much too long!
This is one of those fine comedies that seems to be forgotten to time. Even with it turning a ripe age of 20, it still puts the crack in the ribs from laughing. Almost all of the Monty Python crew is on the bill, and even Cheech and Chong are thrown into the mix. I can only praise this masterpiece of divine comedic genius. The only depressing part is that it hasn't been transferred to DVD yet. Being redigitalized and preserved is what this film needs. If you can find it on VHS treasure the moments!
- Sophisticated Silliness
This is a highly underrated film which has both subtle and complex humor. Cheech and Chong, Madeline Kahn, and the cast of Monty Python, who could want a better cast? This film only disapoints if you expect it to be like the typical Monty Python. Although the absurdity remains, this film has more of a structured plot than the standard Python. The sets are detailed and genuine, and the overall aesthetic is pollished and professional. The body of the humor comes from outrageous characitures, but does not fail at bawdy tasteless humor. It does require a unique brand of humor, so I imagine you will either love it or hate it.
cast: Graham Chapman .... Captain Yellowbeard
Peter Boyle .... Moon
Cheech Marin .... El Segundo
Tommy Chong .... El Nebuloso
Peter Cook .... Lord Lambourn
Marty Feldman .... Gilbert
Martin Hewitt .... Dan
Michael Hordern .... Dr. Gilpin
Eric Idle .... Commander Clement
Madeline Kahn .... Betty
James Mason .... Captain Hughes
John Cleese .... Harvey 'Blind' Pew
Kenneth Mars .... Mr. Crisp and Verdugo
Spike Milligan .... Flunkie.
Runtime: 96 min