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Erotic film

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The erotic film is a brief sketch on Episode 5 of Monty Python's Flying Circus. Part of the first series of Flying Circuses, it was recorded on October 3, 1969 and first aired on November 16, 1969

This sketch immediate follows the Newsreader Arrested sketch. At the end of the previous sketch, the newsreader announced that the BBC News would be followed by "Match of the Day." The camera immediately cuts to a scene of a man (Terry Jones) and a woman (Carol Cleveland) passionately kissing, both wearing only their underwear. The BBC newreader from the previous sketch awkwardly steps into the foreground and, as an aside to the audience, says, "Um terribly sorry it's not in fact 'Match of the Day'-, it is in fact edited highlights of tonight's romantic movie. Er. Sorry." He leaves the shot, as the couple sitting on the bed become ever more passionately involved. The newsreader pops back into view in the foreground and says, "Ooh, I'm sorry, on BBC2 Joan Bakewell will be talking to Michael Dean about what makes exciting television."

When the newsreader is gone, the woman asks tenderly, "Oh, oh, oh Bevis, should we?" When he suggestes that they should, she pleads, "Be gentle with me." The couple reclines on the bed, as the shot fades to a movie --- a series of images, while highly unorthodox, suggesting coitus. This is reminiscent of a more conservative era when an implicit standard of decency forbade showing explicit visual images of sexual activity; hence, the metaphorically suggestive film. This particular film has images such as:

  • a falling tower, played in reverse
  • a pan up tall poplars soaring in the wind
  • waves crashing
  • fish in shallow water
  • exploding fireworks
  • a volcano spewing lava
  • a rocket taking off
  • an express train going into a tunnel
  • a dam bursting
  • a battleship broadside
  • a lion leaping through a flaming hoop
  • a quite phallic microphone in the face of a grinning Richard Nixon (by implication, a scathing comment on the then-current U.S. President)
  • the udder of a cow while being hand-milked
  • planes refueling in mid-air
  • the stock footage of the women from the Women’s Institutes meeting applauding
  • tossing the caber
  • a plane falling in flames
  • a cut tree crasing to the ground
  • the lead shot, the falling tower, in forward time

According to the convention, the viewers are to suppose that this film indicated the time when the man and woman were making love. This is reinforced at the end of the film, when the woman is sitting in bed smoking a cigarette, the cliché post-coital image. She complains, "Oh Bevis, are you going to do anything or are you just going to show me films all evening?" He says, "Just one more, dear." From there commences a cartoon sequence that leads to the next sketch, the Silly Job Interview.

See alsoEdit

List of Monty Python's Flying Circus episodes

External linksEdit


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