Time Bandits: Wikis


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Time Bandits

Time Bandits film poster
Directed by Terry Gilliam
Produced by Terry Gilliam
George Harrison
Denis O'Brien
Written by Terry Gilliam
Michael Palin
Starring John Cleese
Sean Connery
Shelley Duvall
Ralph Richardson
Katherine Helmond
Ian Holm
Michael Palin
David Warner
David Rappaport
Craig Warnock
Music by Mike Moran
Songs by George Harrison
Cinematography Peter Biziou
Editing by Julian Doyle
Studio Handmade Films
Janus Films
Distributed by Avco Embassy Pictures
Release date(s) United Kingdom:
13 July 1981
United States:
6 November 1981
Running time 116 min. / USA:110 min.
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Budget $5,000,000
Gross revenue $42,365,581

Time Bandits is a 1981 fantasy film, produced and directed by Terry Gilliam.

Gilliam wrote the screenplay with fellow Monty Python alumnus Michael Palin, who appears with Shelley Duvall in the small, recurring roles of Vincent and Pansy. The film is one of the most famous of more than 30 theatrical features produced by Handmade Films, the London-based independent company backed in part by former Beatle George Harrison.

Gilliam would work with many of this film's cast again in 1985's Brazil, including Jim Broadbent, Ian Holm, Peter Vaughan, Katherine Helmond, Michael Palin and Jack Purvis.



Kevin is an 11-year-old boy whose parents ignore him in favour of keeping up with the neighbours by purchasing all the latest gadgets. Without their attention, Kevin has become a history buff, particularly of the Ancient Greek period. One night, Kevin is awakened from his sleep by a knight on horseback bursting through his wardrobe and riding off into a forest that has appeared in place of his bedroom wall. When Kevin investigates, he finds nothing amiss in his room. The next night, he is again woken by sounds from the wardrobe, but this time six dwarves stumble out. The dwarves discover that the bedroom wall can be moved, and as they push it along down a long hallway, the Supreme Being shows up and chases them. Kevin escapes with the dwarves, and as the hallway ends, they fall into the blackness of space.

Kevin learns that the dwarves are employees of the Supreme Being whose regular job is creating small bushes and trees. They have stolen the map of space and time which they are using to travel through time and steal treasures from across history. They are also being watched by a malevolent character known simply as Evil who seeks the map for himself to recreate the universe to his liking. They all travel through several time periods, meeting Napoleon Bonaparte and Robin Hood. Kevin becomes separated from the group and ends up in Ancient Greece, where he meets Agamemnon, who treats Kevin like his son. However, the dwarves catch up with Kevin and drag him away through another time hole. Kevin becomes angry with them for ruining his happy respite.

The dwarves then make their way to Evil's Fortress of Ultimate Darkness, believing an epic treasure, "The Most Fabulous Object in the World," awaits inside. However, the treasure turns out to be a trap set by Evil, and the dwarves are forced to hand over the map. Trapped in a cage hanging over a bottomless void, the group is able to use a photograph of the map Kevin had taken earlier to identify holes they can use to recruit help and recover the map. The dwarves make an escape and put their plan into action, bringing soldiers and equipment from across time to face down Evil, but Evil is able to conquer them all. As Evil is about to unleash his ultimate power, he is suddenly turned to cinder by The Supreme Being, now appearing as an elderly gentleman. The dwarves apologize to the Supreme Being, who acknowledges that it was all part of his plan and thanks the dwarves for returning the map. He orders them to remove all of the "concentrated Evil" from the area. Kevin is left behind as the Supreme Being disappears with the dwarves. Kevin finds that a piece of Evil has been left, and his vision goes dim as the smoke emanating from the chunk of black rock overwhelms him.

Kevin wakes up in his own room which is filled with smoke as the house is on fire. A firefighter breaks in and rescues him. The firefighters find that a toaster oven was the source of the fire, and hand the unit over to Kevin's parents. Kevin, upon seeing a fireman that resembles Agamemnon, discovers the photographs of his travels still in his satchel. When his parents open the toaster oven to reveal a piece of concentrated Evil, Kevin warn them not to touch it, but they do anyway and promptly explode, leaving Kevin alone.


As discussed in a DVD interview with Palin and Gilliam, the film came out in the fall season (after the blockbuster summer films, but before the hit Christmas season) and became extremely successful at the U.S. box office, making over $40 million.[1] Critical reception since it came out in theatres has been positive overall,[2] and it still enjoys a good reputation on DVD, having gained a 94%[3] at Rotten Tomatoes.


Robert Hewison, in his book Monty Python: The Case Against, describes the dwarfs as a comment on the Monty Python troupe, with Fidget (the nice one) as Palin, Randall (the self-appointed leader) as John Cleese, Strutter (the acerbic one) as Eric Idle, Og (the quiet one) as Graham Chapman, Wally (the noisy rebel) as Terry Jones and Vermin (the nasty, filth-loving one) as Gilliam himself.[4]



  1. ^ Time Bandits at boxofficemojo.com
  2. ^ External reviews listed at Internet Movie Database
  3. ^ Time Bandits at Rotten Tomatoes
  4. ^ Hewison, Robert. Monty Python: The Case Against. Heinemann Educational Books, 1989. ISBN 0413486605

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Time Bandits is a 1981 fantasy film about a young boy who accidentally joins a band of dwarves as they jump from time-period to time-period looking for treasure to steal.

Directed by Terry Gilliam (who created animations for Monty Python's Flying Circus) and produced by George Harrison's Handmade Films.
Written by Terry Gilliam and Michael Palin.
All the dreams you've ever had - and not just the good ones...Taglines


Supreme Being

  • Dead? No excuse for laying off work.
  • Oh, I do hate appearing that way, it's an entirely noisy manifestation. Still, rather expected of one, I suppose.
  • They'll think I've lost control again and put it all down to evolution.
  • Do be careful! Don't lose any of that stuff. That's concentrated evil. One drop of that could turn you all into hermit crabs.
  • Return what you have stolen from me! Return the map! It will bring you great danger. Stop... Now!
  • [Holding up Kevin's discarded jacket] Whose are these?

Evil Genius

  • If I were creating the world I wouldn't mess about with butterflies and daffodils. I would have started with lasers, eight o'clock, Day One! [zaps one of his minions accidentally, minion screams] Sorry.
  • Stand by for Mind Control!
  • I have the map! I have the map! And the day after tomorrow... The world!
  • Now Benson, I'm going to have to turn you into a dog for a while.
  • You are a very troublesome little fellow. I think I should teach you one of my special lessons? What do you think, Robert? Benson? What would look nice? Half-warthog? Half-donkey? Half-oyster? Half-carrot?
  • So this is the best the Supreme Being can do?


  • Wally: I'm sorry I killed you, Fidgit!
  • Randall: You see, to be quite frank, Kevin, the fabric of the universe is far from perfect. It was a bit of botched job, you see. We only had seven days to make it. And that's where this comes in. This is the only map of all the holes. Well, why repair them? Why not use them to get stinking rich?
  • Napoleon: Little things hitting each other. THAT'S WHAT I LIKE!
  • Napoleon: They are all freaks! Not one of them under five foot six. What kind of theater is this?
  • Kevin's Mother: Honestly, Trevor, if you were half a man you would've gone in there after the blender.
  • Winston the Ogre: [tossing out a fishing net] There used to be a time when you could be sure of catching old boots, cans, hat racks, boxes. Now it's prawns all the bloody time.
  • Kevin: [last lines] Mom! Dad! It's evil! Don't touch it! [Kevin's parents explode] Mom? Dad?


Kevin's Father: [a knight on horseback had burst out of Kevin's closet, messed about the room and rode away; The door bursts open] What the hell is going on up here? I told you to put that light out and get to bed.
Kevin: But...
Kevin's Father: And no more NOISE!

[The gang is confronted by Kevin, who they think is the Supreme Being]
Randall: Heh heh. We can explain everything, sir. It's not as bad as it looks. We... We just borrows the map and... Sort of got rather happy about it and... Ran off in high spirits.
[They laugh]
Kevin: Who are you?
Strutter: That's not Him.
Fidgit: That didn't sound like Him, did it?
Wally: It doesn't even look like Him!
Strutter: It isn't him!
Randall: Let's get him!
[They all pounce on Kevin]
Randall: Strutter, get his torch! Shine it right in the face.
[Strutter shines flashlight full in Randall's face]
Randall: His face, dummy!

Evil Genius: What sort of Supreme Being created such riffraff? Is this not the workings of a complete incompetent?
Baxi Brazilia III: But He created you, Evil One.
[Deadly pause]
Evil Genius: What did you say?
[Minions inch away from Baxi]
Baxi Brazilia III: Well He created you, so He can't be totally...
[Evil Genius blows Baxi to bits]
Evil Genius: Never talk to me like that again! No one created me! I am Evil. Evil existed long before good. I made myself. I cannot be unmade. I am all powerful!
[Polite applause from minions]
Cartwright: But why if that's the case, are you unable to escape from this fortress?
[Evil Genius waves his hand and obliterates Cartwright]
Evil Genius: [Circumspect] Good question...Why have I let the Supreme Being keep me here in the Fortress of Ultimate Darkness?
Robert: Because you...
Evil Genius: Shut up, I'm speaking rhetorically.
Robert: Oh, of course.

Supreme Being: I should do something very extroverted and vengeful to you. Honestly, I'm too tired. So, I think I'll transfer you to the undergrowth department, brackens, small shrubs, that sort of thing... with a 19% cut in salary, backdated to the beginning of time.
Randall: Oh, thank you, sir.
Supreme Being: Yes, well, I am the nice one.

Evil Genius: God is not interested in technology... He knows nothing of the potential of the micro-chip or the silicon revolution. He's obsessed with making the grass grow and getting rainbows right... Look at what he spends his time on. 43 species of parrot! Nipples... for men!
Robert: Slugs.
Evil Genius: Slugs! HE created slugs! They can't hear. They can't speak. They can't operate machinery. Are we not in the hands of a lunatic?

Evil Genius: If you're wrong, Benson, my revenge will be slow and unpleasant. I will turn you inside out over a very long period of time.
Benson: Oh, thank you, master, thank you!

Pansy: Oh, Sir Vincent, you came for me!
Vincent: Oh, good Mistress Pansy, I could not have ridden faster! Four horses have I exhausted this day from Nottingham!
Pansy: Oh, the way you leapt to my chamber, so full of... of... manliness!
Vincent: I could scarce restrain the rushing of my feet! These twelve long years have been like chains abound me!
Pansy: Oh... Oh, and the personal problem?
Vincent: Oh, much, much better.

Pansy: Oh, you don't have to wear the "special"...?
Vincent: No, no, no, I don't have to wear the "special." Anymore.

Vincent: Oh no. The problem. The problem, Pansy! It's started again!
Pansy: Oh! Oh, don't worry, darling!
Vincent: Ohhh... ohhh...
Pansy: I say!
Vincent: I must have fruit!

Evil Genius: When I have the map, I will be free, and the world will be different, because I have understanding.
Minion: Uh, understanding of what, Master?
Evil Genius: Digital watches. And soon I shall have understanding of video cassette recorders and car telephones. And when I have understanding of them, I shall have understanding of computers. And when I have understanding of computers, I shall be the Supreme Being!

Evil: Oh, Benson! I feel the power of evil coursing through my veins, filling every corner of my being with the desire to do wrong! I feel so bad, Benson!
Benson: Good! Good!
Evil: Yes, it is good, for this is the worst kind of badness that I'm feeling!

Robin Hood: [Greeting bandits] Hello, I'm Hood.
Kevin: [In awe] It's Robin Hood!
Redgrave: Whasayouarggh!
Hood's Assistant: [Translates for bandits] Say good morning, you scum!
Time Bandits: Good morning you scum.

Robin Hood: And you're a robber too. How long have you been a robber?
Wally: Four foot one.
Robin Hood: Good lord! Jolly good. Four foot one?
Wally: Yes.
Robin Hood: Well that-that-that is-is- a long time, isn't it?

Robin Hood: [Seeing the Bandits' haul] Crikey! I've been in robbing for years but I've never seen anything like this. Well, what can I say? Thank you. Thank you all very much indeed.
Randall: Oh don't men - What?

Robin Hood: You enjoy robbing then?
Wally: Well it helps pay the rent, Sir.
Robin Hood: Ha ha ha ha. Jolly good. Ha ha ha.

Robin Hood: The poor are going to be absolutely thrilled. Have you met them at all?
Randall: Who?
Robin Hood: The poor.
Randall: The poor?
Robin Hood: Oh you must meet them. I'm sure you'll like them. Of course they haven't got two pennies to rub together but that's because... [nudges Randall] they're poor.
[Merry men behind Robin Hood indicate to Bandits and onlookers that they should laugh hysterically]
Robin Hood: Oh yes and believe you me, the poor are going to be, well not just absolutely thrilled, but also considerably less poor, aren't they Redgrave?
Redgrave: [Gibberish]
Robin Hood: You see- what did he say?
Marion: He says yeah, what with Christmas coming up and all.

Kevin: I'd like to stay.
Robin Hood: Jolly good! What's your name?
Kevin: Ke... [Is pulled away by Randall]
Robin Hood: Ke? What a jolly nice name. Well never mind, cheerio! Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Thank you very, very, very much. [Under his breath] Awful people.

Kevin: I'll never get the chance to meet Robin Hood again.
Randall: Oh, stop moaning. He's obviously a dangerous man, unbalanced if you ask me. Giving away what isn't even his!
Kevin: That's what Robin Hood always did. Even I know that.
Randall: Of course, you know it all.
Kevin: He was one of my heroes.
Randall: Heroes! Heroes! What do they know about a day's work?

Evil Genius: Oh, Benson... Dear Benson, you are so mercifully free of the ravages of intelligence.
Benson: Oh, you say such nice things, Master.
Evil Genius: Yes I know, I'm sorry!

Randall: We made trees and shrubs. We helped make all this.
Kevin: Whew! That's not bad.
Randall: Yeah. But did we get a thimble full of credit for it? No! All we got was the sack. Just for creating the Pink Bunkadoo.
Kevin: Pink Bunkadoo?
Randall: Yeah. Beautiful trees that was. Og designed it. 600 feet high, bright red, and smelled terrible.

Randall: Look, do you want to be leader of this gang?
Strutter: No, we agreed: No leader!
Randall: Right. So shut up and do as I say.

Randall: Well, this map, Kevin, used to belong to the Supreme Being.
Kevin: You mean you stole it?
Randall: No, no. Well, sort of.

Randall: People who are always right make me sick!
Fidgit: That's why you get along with yourself so well!

Wally: Lads! Here's to stinking rich!
All: Yeah!
Fidgit: And to Kevin.
All: Yeah, Kevin!
Og: Stinking Kevin.

Wally: Vermin, that is not meant to be eaten!
Vermin: You never know until you've eaten it!

Wally: Do you mean you knew what was happening to us all the time?
Supreme Being: Well, of course. I am the Supreme Being, I'm not entirely dim...

Evil: Suddenly, I feel very, very good.
Robert: Oh, I'm sorry, Master.
Evil: No, it'll pass, it'll pass.

Kevin: Yes, why do we have to have evil?
Supreme Being: Ah... I think it's something to do with free will.

Kevin: It's some kind of invisible barrier.
Fidgit: Oh, so that's what an invisible barrier looks like.

Randall: Waiter, more champagne!
Waiter: Yes, sir.
Randall: And plenty of ice.
[followed immediately by the Titanic striking the iceberg]

[as the group floats in the water]
Fidgit: I wanna go home! I can't stand it! You're gonna get us all killed, Randall!
Randall: Stop whimpering Fidget! How was I to know we were gonna run slap bang into an iceberg? It didn't say 'Get off before the iceberg' on the ticket!

Neguy: You are not small at all, Commander.
Lucien: Not by any means. Five foot one is not small.
Napoleon: Five foot one and conqueror of Italy, not bad huh?

Kevin: Do you know where we are?
Randall: Of course I do. 1796, Battle of Castiglione. See?
Strutter: Are you sure we're not in somebody's bedroom?

Kevin: What are we going to do here?
Wally: A robbery.
Kevin: A robbery?
Fidgit: Of course. We're international criminals. We do robberies!
Randall: Shut up!

Kevin: Is it always like this after you've done a raid?
Fidgit: I don't know. We've never done one before.
[Long pause]
Kevin: But I thought you were international criminals.
Randall: Going to be. Going to be.

Kevin: Who was that man?
Fidgit: That was no man. That was the Supreme Being.
Kevin: You mean God?
Fidgit: Well, we don't know Him that well. We only work for Him.
Randall: Shut up!

Neguy: Sir, I really think there are more important things...
Napoleon: SHUT UP! Don't you dare to tell me my business. You are dismissed, you hear? You, Lucien, the rest of you. Great streaks of misery.
Lucien: But, Sir...
Napoleon: NO! I'm going to have some new generals for a bit.

Fidgit: We should've stayed home making trees.
Randall: Oh shut up.
Fidgit: How could we have been so stupid?
Og: I don't know.

Kevin's Father: You must wait for your food to go down.
Kevin: I haven't eaten any food.
Kevin's Mother: Well you must eat your food.
Kevin's Father: And then wait for it to go down.

[The Ogres have caught the Time Bandits and Kevin in their fishing net]
Mrs. Ogre: Aren't they lovely? We can have them for breakfast.
Winston the Ogre: You mean eat their boots?

Kevin: [referring to Agamemnon,an ancient Greek king] The money wasn't important to him.
Randall: He didn't have anything to spend it on, did he? Stuck out in Greece. Lowest standard of living in Europe.

[The Time Bandits are preparing to push back one of the walls of Kevin's bedroom to find the next time hole]
Randall: One...
[The other dwarves all push the wall back, causing Randall to fall flat on his face. Randall is furious.]
Randall: You never start on one! Whoever ever heard of anybody starting anything on one?!
Og: What is it then..? Two? Or Three?
Randall: Three!!
[The other dwarves, hearing this, immediately start pushing again. Randall falls over again.]

Announcer: An infrared freezer-oven complex that can make you a meal from packet to plate in 13 1/2 seconds.
Kevin's Mother: Morrisons have got one that can do that in eight seconds.
Kevin's Father: Oh?
Kevin's Mother: Block of ice to Beef Bourguignon in eight seconds. Lucky things.
Kevin's Father: Well, at least we've got a two speed hedge cutter.

Randall: [Kevin and the Time Bandits, booby-trapped and hanging upside down from a tree, are confronted by outlaws] Just leave it to me, Wally. You've just gotta treat them right, that's all. Waddaya want, you tatty-faced old scumbag?
Marion: What's your business, codfish?
Randall: Robbers!
Marion: Villainous robbers?
Randall: The worst!
Marion: Stop at nothing?
Randall: Nothing at all!
Marion: Steal the cup out' a beggar's hands?
Randall: Rather!
Marion: Teeth from blind old ladies?
Randall: Of course!
Marion: Toys from children?
Randall: Whenever we can!
Marion: Grrrrrrrr!
Randall: Arrrrrrrrrr!
Marion: Right! Cut them down!
Randall: They always crack in the end.


  • All the dreams you've ever had - and not just the good ones...
  • ...they didn't make history, they stole it!


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