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Sunday July 12, 2009 - 12:30 noon
The Paley Center, Beverly Hills

THE SECRET POLICEMAN'S BALL

(1979, 91 mins, Amnesty International, Directed by Roger Graef)

The first show (and film) with the famous title that gave its name to the entire series. The June 1979 stage show was "slightly directed" by Cleese - features half the Monty Pythons, plus Peter Cook, Eleanor Bron, Billy Connolly and the breakthrough debut of Rowan Atkinson who dazzles in solo slots and in ensemble work with the Pythons and Peter Cook. It includes what most critics consider to be Peter Cook's finest performance - his savage satire of one of Britain's most salacious political sex scandals. (A skit that is hysterically funny even without knowledge of the details.) The film also captures the start of what has became the rock community's long-running support for Amnesty with stunning acoustic performances by The Who's Pete Townshend - simultaneously birthing the "unplugged" phenomenon that followed. This is the original, uncut 1980 UK film - never released theatrically in the US. Includes 20 minutes cut from the DVD version.


Today's Stars!

Comedic Performers:
Rowan AtkinsonEleanor BronKen CampbellJohn CleeseBilly ConnollyPeter CookClive JamesTerry JonesSylvester McCoyMichael PalinDavid Rappaport

Rock Musicians:
Tom RobinsonPete TownshendJohn Williams



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