Road Rash Reviews

Time Bandits (1981) Limited Edition 4K Review****-

Cert PG | 116 mins | 2023

4 star restoration of a classic children’s adventure.

Time Bandits is a 1981 children’s film written by Michael Palin (Life of Brian, The Meaning of Life), who also stars and Terry Gilliam (12 Monkeys, The Fisher King), who also directs.

It is available to buy now in the UK on Limited Edition 4K UHD courtesy of Arrow Video.

“I can explain everything, Sir. It’s not as bad as it looks. We just borrowed the map, sort of got rather happy about it and just ran off in high spirits.”

Kevin (Craig Warnock – To the Lighthouse) is a young boy who is fascinated with history. He spends his free time studying it, to the obvious disdain of his Mother (Sheila Fearn – The Likely Lads) and Father (David Daker – Dick Turpin), who only care about watching game shows and having the latest kitchen gadgets for their house.

One night when Kevin goes to bed, a knight on horseback comes charging through the doors of his wardrobe and out through his bedroom wall, which momentarily changes into rolling hills. It’s over as soon as it began and everything returns to normal. The following night, he goes to bed early and sure enough it happens again. This time however it’s a group of dwarves, who seem to be on the run. They push his bedroom wall to get away from The Supreme Being (Ralph Richardson – Dragon Slayer, Watership Down), dragging Kevin with them as they all fall off the edge of a precipice.

This brings them out in a farmyard, where Kevin is introduced to them all. Led by Randall (David Rappaport – Luigi’s Ladies, Peter Gun), this motley band includes Fidgit (Kenny Baker – The Elephant Man, Star Wars Franchise), Strutter (Malcolm Dixon – Flash Gordon, Snow White), Og (Mike Edmonds – Who Framed Roger Rabbit), Wally (Jack Purvis – Brazil) and Vermin (Tiny Ross – Black Jack).

They are International thieves who have stolen a map that allows them to travel to specific points in time and they use it to target the rich. Travelling with them, Kevin meets all sorts of historical figures including King Agamemnon (Sean Connery – The Rock, The Name of the Rose), Napoleon (Ian Holm –  The Lord of the Rings) and Robin Hood (John Cleese – A Fish Called Wanda, The Meaning of Life). He also encounters the young lovers Dame Pansy (Shelley Duvall – The Shining, Popeye) and Vincent (Michael Palin – Arthur Christmas, The Life of Brian). But why is the Evil Genius (David Warner – Titanic, Tron) pursuing them and what is really going on?

“Return what you have stolen from me. return. Return the map. It will bring you great danger. Stop. Now!”

Time Bandits is a timeless (haha) classic, which is just as much fun to watch now as it was when it was released.With a brilliantly talented cast and an hilarious script, this film is laugh out loud funny in many places, as well as being genuinely scary in others.

Terry Gilliam’s trademark dark sense of humour is very much at play here, and although aimed primarily at children there is certainly plenty here to keep adults entertained too.

It looks fantastic in 4K and it sounds great too. Fans of George Harrison will enjoy the menu screen and the closing credits to the very catchy “Dream Away”. With a whole host of special features, this fabulous trip down memory lane is well worth adding to your collection.

“No-one created me. I am Evil. Evil existed long before good. I made myself. I cannot be unmade. I am all powerful.”

Time Bandits sis available to buy now on Limited Edition UHD.


• 4K (2160p) UHD Blu-rayTM presentation in Dolby Vision (HDR10 compatible)
• Original uncompressed Stereo 2.0 PCM and 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio options
• Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
• Chasing Time Bandits – an interview with Terry Gilliam
• Writing the Film that Dares Not Speak Its Name – an interview in which Michael Palin discusses co-writing and acting in Time Bandits
• The Effects of Time Bandits – an interview in which Kent Houston, founder of the Peerless Camera Company, discusses Time Bandits’ optical effects
• Playing Evil – an interview in which actor David Warner remembers producer George Harrison and playing Evil in Time Bandits
• The Costumes of Time Bandits – an interview with costume designer James Acheson
• The Look of Time Bandits – an interview with production designer Milly Burns
• From Script to Screen – an animated featurette in which Milly Burns takes us through her production notebooks, location photographs and storyboards revealing how twentieth century Morocco was transformed into ancient Greece
• Original Trailer
• Double-sided fold-out poster featuring original theatrical artwork and a recreation of the map seen in the film
• Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring writing on the film by critic James Oliver

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DirectorTerry Gilliam
GenreAdventure, comedy, fantasy
StarringSean Connery, Shelley Duvall, John Cleese, Ian Holme, Kevin Warner
Available to buy on : Own Time Bandits UHD [Region Free] Limited Edition on Blu-Ray
Category: Review