Atomic Moo Book Review: Very Naughty Boys, The Amazing True Story of Handmade Films!


Hello El Moochadores! Now out through Titan Books is an new novel that explores a unique, and mostly unknown, part of movie history! Written by Robert Sellers and with a foreword by Michael Palin, Very Naughty boys: The Amazing True Story of Handmade Films, is a look back at the independent film company that brought us movies like Life of Brian and Time Bandits! Here’s the books Synopsis:

It all started when Beatle George Harrison stepped in to fund Life of Brian when Monty Python’s original backers pulled out. His company, HandMade films, went on to make some of the best British films of the 80s (Withnail and I, Time Bandits and Mona Lisa among them), but then things started to go wrong… This is the incredible and often hilarious insiders’ story of what happened…

The book is genuinely funny and chuck full of great behind the scenes moments of some wonderful movies, but I think I enjoyed the novel most for it’s moments with the “Pythoners“. Though Handmade only produced one Monty Python film (Life of Brian) many of the Python alumni would return to Handmade to produce their own films like The Missionary, or Nuns on the Run (Handmade’s last film). I also very much enjoyed the behind the scenes story of the making of Time Bandits. I enjoyed reading about Terry Gilliam’s enthusiasm for the project and even the frustrations he encountered with getting the film made. The book brilliantly covers the problems with managing the film’s production, cast, and crew and eventual release in America to huge success. I think it’s at this point in the book that we (the readers) are introduced to the problems made by executive producer,Dennis O’Brien, who, in away, represents what can go wrong when a business-mind begins to think it is a creative-mind. So the book has a villain too! Also included in Very Naughty boys are exclusive interviews by John Cleese, Robbie Coltrane, Sean Connery, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, and many more! So, whether you’re a Beatles fan or a Pythoner, (or maybe just a straight up film buff) I think you’re going to enjoy this book for it’s funny stories and entertainment history!

If you’re interested in getting your own copy of Very Naughty Boys copies are now on sale in books stores everywhere or you can purchase a copy online at Titan Books!

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1 Comment

  1. Time Bandits and Life of Brian are indeed terrific films, but my favorite HMF production is Water, a now-forgotten gem starring Michael Caine. I won’t try to explain the plot because it makes no sense, but it involves a Perrier geyser and an American aircraft carrier group sparring with a two-man army of singing guerrillas. Ends with a concert by George Harrison and Eric Clapton. It rules.

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