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A Rare American Pair!
Double-bill of the ultra-rare US versions of the Balls - not seen in 25 years!
Series co-creator/co-producer Martin Lewis in-person

Thursday June 18, 2009 - 7:30 pm
The Egyptian Theatre, Hollywood


(1982, 99 mins, Amnesty International, Directed by Roger Graef & Julien Temple)

As of spring 1982, none of the "Secret Policeman's Ball" films had been released in the USA - having been considered "too British" for American audiences by most studios. Producer Martin Lewis finally contracted with budding distributors Bob & Harvey Weinstein and their recently-formed Miramax Films to produce a US version of the latest UK film. Lewis created a new film that fused the highlights of the 1979 and 1981 films into one "made-for-America" movie - replete with Don Pardo narrated prologue. Fueled by an artfully-generated feud with the Moral Majority that saw Graham Chapman's TV spots for the film (as a member of the ORAL Majority) banned by US networks - the film became a big success in the summer of 1982 - Miramax's first. This unique hybrid film was briefly available on VHS and then permanently deleted. Never on DVD. First screening anywhere in 27 years!

Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones & Michael Palin
and the art of the Custard Pie


(1983, 78 mins, Amnesty International, Directed by Martin Lewis)

Following the success of the 1982 hybrid US film, Amnesty asked Lewis to create a US-only sequel combining the stellar footage from their 1976 and 1977 shows - and the unseen (in the U.S.) sequences from the 1979 and 1981 shows. Also delving into the original negative of all four films to find outtakes (rare Python and Pete Townshend material) and deploying specially-created animation, Lewis fashioned this rarely-seen TV special for Cinemax. Seen with the US version of "The Secret Policeman's Other Ball", this is a virtual "best-of" the first four Amnesty shows - stuffed with Pythonesque comedy routines and rare musical treasures. This special was briefly available on VHS and then permanently deleted. Never on DVD. This will be the World Theatrical Premiere.

RARITY NOTICE: Because the content in these US-only releases has now been standardized back to the original UK films for worldwide DVD release - these two US-only 1980s films are unlikely to ever be released on DVD or publicly seen again in this form.


(2009, 15 mins, Amnesty International, Directed by Martin Lewis)

Hilarious rarities from the "Secret Policeman" vaults including promotional spots, premieres TV appearances and outtakes featuring John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Peter Cook, Billy Connolly, Rowan Atkinson. With a few exceptions, this material has never been on TV. World Theatrical Premiere.

Today's Stars!

Comedic Performers:
Rowan AtkinsonBeyond The FringeJohn BirdConnie BoothEleanor BronTim Brooke-TaylorKen CampbellGraham ChapmanJohn CleeseCarol ClevelandBilly ConnollyPeter CookJohn FortuneTerry GilliamNeil InnesDes JonesTerry JonesChris LanghamJonathan LynnSylvester McCoy Michael PalinMichael PalinMonty PythonDavid RappaportGriff Rhys JonesAlexei SaylePamela StephensonJohn WellsVictoria Wood

Rock Musicians:
Jeff BeckEric ClaptonPhil CollinsDonovanBob GeldofThe Secret PoliceStingPete TownshendJohn Williams

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