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Comedy Movies - Yellowbeard

BUY Yellowbeard (dvd cover)
Graham Chapman, Cheech Marin, Tommy Chong, Marty Feldman,
John Cleese, Peter Boyle, Eric Idle, Madeline Kahn
Written by Graham Chapman, Peter Cook, Bernard McKenna
Directed by Mel Damski
Orion Pictures 1983
MGM Home Video / Sony Pictures Home Entertainment 2006
96 minutes

Overall, Yellowbeard is a bad comedy but there are so many very funny bits and comic moments that most fans of the genre will sit through the movie just to get from good moment to good moment.  In many ways, Yellowbeard is a Monty Python comedy without the official credit.  All the Monty Python people are there in addition to a few other great British comic actors such as Marty Feldman (the guy with the buggy eyes) as well as Cheech and Chong and the Peter Boyle of Everybody Loves Raymond fame as the arch enemy of Yellowbeard.

Yellowbeard pokes fun at the traditional pirate movie but definitely gets lost on the way. Perhaps this is because there are too many great comic actors with good parts but truth to tell the story as written by Graham Chapman and Peter Cook is definitely convoluted and sacrifices plot for the sake of funny scenes that are definitely funny but do not move the movie ahead much. There is a lot of bawdy humor in this movie such as when the crew tries various ways to sneak a woman on board only to get caught which is followed by a sailor trying to sneak his pet sheep on board. Somebody has even snuck David Bowie on board as he is the sailor who brings Madeleine Kahn to the British commander's cabin.

The story, or what there is of it in Yellowbeard, is that the pirate Yellowbeard (Graham Chapman) escapes from jail to go find the loot he hid before he was captured. The treasure map has been tattooed on the head of his son. He is pursued by Moon (Peter Boyle), a former shipmate whose hand he chopped off and on whose boat he is hiding, and by a Royal Navy frigate captained by Eric Idle. The pirate's son, other father, and a friend of the family are also on Moon's ship.

It seems Yellowbeard's treasure is hidden on an island ruled by Tommy Chong and Cheech Marin his sidekick, and both the pirate's son and Moon go searching for the treasure. This allows for a few swashbuckling scenes and bare-breasted babes. Tommy Chong's daughter falls in love with Dan which causes a few problems and purposefully bad dialogue between the two (although the lines "I though this was an atoll." "Not at all." Are pretty bad themselves). The funniest moment in this comedy is when Dan's cohorts "attack" El Nebuloso (Tommy Chong's) fortress and all his men fake dying as part of the Nebuloso's plan. 

Even the end of this pretty bad comedy is convoluted. Still, if you can sit through the story, the many comic bits in Yellowbeard will definitely make you laugh.

No extra features with this one.



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