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Yellowbeard

Year: 1983
Production Co: Hemdale
Director: Mel Damski
Writer: Graham Chapman/Peter Cook/Bernard McKenna
Cast: Graham Chapman , Peter Boyle, Richard Cheech Marin, Tommy Chong, Marty Feldman, Martin Hewitt, Eric Idle, Madeline Kahn, James Mason, John Cleese, Spike Milligan

Most of the Monty Python crew scooped up a talent convention of screen comics for this romp, and the results are as original as they are funny. It was also a host of firsts and lasts - the first film for Nigel Planer (who went on to play Neil in The Young Ones), and the last for Spike Milligan, Marty Feldman (who died during filming), and lead Python Graham Chapman.

Riffing on the Blackbeard legend, the fearsome pirate Yellowbeard (Chapman) is double crossed by his first mate Moon (Boyle) and put away. But before the authorities caught up with him, he drew a map so he could reach his hidden loot.

At the behest of Queen Victoria, a slimy Secret Service agent (Idle) devises a plan to encourage Yellowbeard to bust out of prison and lead them to the loot. When he does so he has no choice but to take his grown son Dan, who has the map tattooed on his head after his mother (Kahn) destroyed the original.

Two Spanish rogues (Cheech and Chong) get wind of the scheme and join the hunt, and Yellowbeard's old enemy Moon is also on the trail.

Though a description of the plot doesn't make it seem like a lot of laughs, if you saw it when you were a teenager like I did you'll have got a huge kick out of the countless cameos and recognisable faces and the endlessly quotable lines ('Now I am the richetht perthon in the world', 'If you don't tell me where it is, I'll nail your tits to the table', 'I'm in disguise you stupid tart', 'You are a Yellowbeard, killing your father like I killed mine before me', 'You won't catch me dying. They'd have to kill me before I die').

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