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An Accidental Studio


For any film buffs out there, the 2019 documentary AN ACCIDENTAL STUDIO is an entertaining look at a studio that came out of nowhere and had a hell of a run.

When Monty Python wanted to create their hilarious take on biblical films “The Life of Brian”, no major studio would touch them, bowing to the conservatives in power in the 80’s.

Former Beatle George Harrison was friends with several of the comedy troupe and said “I’ll finance it”. What a smart choice that was. Not only was the film a huge hit against its budget, but it blazed a trail for folks outside the studio system to launch films.

The film follows Harrison’s Handmade Films from its conception with funny and insightful interviews with Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam, John Cleese, Terry Jones, Eric Idle, Michael Caine and many others.

They’re all frank, appreciative and sometimes apologetic for what they put Harrison through. Harrison is funniest of all, relating how he mortgaged his home to finance “Brian”, which grossed $21 million in the US alone, huge money at the time.

Handmade made some terrific and memorable films, including “Time Bandits” and “The Long Good Friday” which won a Best Actor for Bob Hoskins. Hoskins would come back to Handmade for the 1986 hit “Mona Lisa”.

They also made some absolute crap, including the Sean Penn/Madonna bomb “Shanghai Surprise”. A total train wreck of a movie, Penn delivers a funny interview about what an a-hole he was the entire time they were filming.

Loaded with on-set footage and film clips, AN ACCIDENTAL STUDIO is a fast-paced trip down memory lane and an enjoyable ride that gets a solid B.

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