6. Alan Smithee is a name Hollywood directors used to use when they want to take their name off a film because they don’t approve of the studio’s finished version. In the 1997 satire An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn, Idle played the “real-life” Smithee, who is hired to “direct” an action blockbuster but winds up stealing the footage rather than see his name attached to the movie.
7. TERRY JONES directed a live-action adaptation of The Wind in the Willows (1996) in which he also starred as Toad. The film is especially noteworthy for being the closest thing to a Python reunion outside an actual reunion, as everyone except Gilliam makes an appearance.
8. In addition to writing, directing, and acting in films, Jones is also a medieval historian. Terry Jones’ Medieval Lives (2004), his first documentary series for the BBC, was nominated for an Emmy for outstanding writing in a nonfiction program.
9. MICHAEL PALIN has a major role in Terry Gilliam’s 1985 film Brazil (you were wondering why we didn’t mention that earlier, huh?) as Jack, a torturer for a repressive police state. The disconnect between Jack’s friendly, outgoing nature outside the office and his professional demeanor is one of the movie’s most chilling aspects.
10. Like Jones, Palin has also produced and starred in television documentaries, including Around the World in 80 Days (1989), where he stayed as close to the travel options available to Jules Verne in the 19th century, and Pole to Pole (1992), crossing from the Arctic to the Antarctic through Europe and Africa.
A list of Monty Python extracurricular highlights wouldn’t be complete without mentioning The Odd Job , a 1978 comedy starring GRAHAM CHAPMAN as a man who reacts to a break-up with his wife by paying a stranger to kill him (as he can’t quite manage on his own). His wife comes back the next day, but the hired man refuses to quit…
IFC will air Monty Python: Almost the Truth (Lawyer’s Cut) in six parts beginning October 18 at 9pm. The NYC premiere event will also be streamed live online on October 15 at 9pm.