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Tristram Shandy: A cock & bull story - Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon, Jeremy Northam, Gillian Anderson, Michael Winterbottom

Threat advisory: Low - Low risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

Because everyone loves an accurate period piece.

Based on the novel The life and opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, written by Laurence Sterne, this flips back and forth between the 18th Century and the hapless efforts of the 21st Century filmmakers, Tristram Shandy is the making of a movie adapted from the notoriously unfilmable English literary masterpiece.

The story begins with Tristram Shandy (Steve Coogan) narrating his life story as he sees it. Crammed with literary jokes and dark humour, Shandy's warped childhood tales are constantly interrupted by his family and household, inadvertently revealing far more about himself than any conventional autobiography. At the dramatic moment of Tristan's birth, the 1st Assistant Director calls cut, marking the end of a filming day on the set of Tristram Shandy. We then see Steve Coogan, the other actors and crew through the course of a chaotic evening on set. Steve Coogan's wife arrives with their six month old baby, a journalist is chasing him about a scandalous story, his agent has arrived with a load of Hollywood scripts and the film financiers are threatening to pull the plug. A clever, post-modern take on the construction of a film, from an intricate hilariously complex autobiographical novel.

Theatrical propaganda posters

Tristram Shandy: A cock & bull story image

Target demographic movie keyword propaganda

  • Film UK literature drama comedy filmmaking period costume manners star actor on-set

Persons of interest

  • Steve Coogan .... Tristram Shandy, Walter Shandy, Steve Coogan
  • Rob Brydon .... Toby Shandy, Rob Brydon
  • Raymond Waring .... Trim
  • Dylan Moran .... Dr Slop, Dylan Moran
  • Keeley Hawes .... Elizabeth Shandy, Keeley Hawes
  • Gillian Anderson .... Widow Wadman, Gillian Anderson
  • Naomie Harris .... Jennie, The Runner
  • Kelly Macdonald .... Jenny, Steve Coogan's Girlfriend
  • Jeremy Northam .... Mark
  • James Fleet .... Simon
  • Ian Hart .... Joe
  • Shirley Henderson .... Susannah, Shirley Henderson
  • David Walliams .... Parson
  • Benedict Wong .... Ed
  • Elizabeth Berrington .... Debbie
  • Mark Williams .... Ingoldsby
  • Kieran O'Brien .... Gary
  • Roger Allam .... Adrian
  • Ronni Ancona .... Anita
  • Stephen Fry .... Patrick Curator, Parson Yorick
  • Conal Murphy .... Young Tristram Shandy, 6
  • Joe Williams .... Young Tristram Shandy, 9
  • Paul Kenyon .... Obadiah
  • Mark Hadfield .... Leo
  • Jenny Ogilvie .... Sandy
  • Ashley Jensen .... Lindsey
  • Greg Wise .... Greg
  • Rosie Cavaliero .... Rachel
  • Laurence Sterne .... Author: The life and opinions of Tristram Shandy Esq
  • Frank "Martin Hardy" Cottrell Boyce .... Screenwriter
  • Michael Winterbottom .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

Tristram Shandy: A cock & bull story is a really annoying film to watch. You learn almost nothing about the story in the book and even though you see a lot of the behind-the-scenes of filmmaking you don't get to learn much about the filmmakers (either the real ones or the ones on the screen). Throughout the film, people keep saying that the book is unfilmable; this film proves that case.

Media intelligence (DVD)

  • Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Languages: English
  • Picture: Widescreen
  • Special features:
    • Commentaries: Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon
    • Deleted scenes
    • Documentaries: Behind-the-scenes
    • Extended scenes
    • Interviews: Extended interview with Steve Coogan conducted by Tony Wilson
    • Trailers: Theatrical
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish

Government security censorship classification

M (Moderate coarse language, moderate sexual references)

Surveillance time

90 minutes (1:30 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 29 June 2006
DVD rental: 26 December 2006
DVD retail: 7 April 2007

Cinema surveillance images

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