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Successful cartoonist who met John Cleese while working on the magazine Help! and subsequently became the resident animator with Monty Python's Flying Circus. Gilliam made his solo directing debut with JABBERWOCKY (1977), a grisly medieval interpretation of the Lewis Carroll poem, and scored a popular success with the delightfully "adult" children's feature TIME BANDITS (1981).
Gilliam's greatest success came when he moved away from Pythonesque humor to direct BRAZIL (1985), a visually stunning, Orwellian look into a totalitarian future. After he fought and won an extended battle with Universal to gain final cut on the picture, it was released to considerable critical acclaim and hailed by many as one of the best films of the 1980s. Gilliam's next feature, THE ADVENTURES OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN (1989), was an expensive, visually sumptuous commercial flop which failed to reach the kind of crossover audience that had patronized TIME BANDITS.
Having gained a somewhat exaggerated reputation for being an extravagant perfectionist with a tendency to go over schedule and budget with his visionary ambition, Gilliam regained his standing in Hollywood with THE FISHER KING (1991), in which the director was able to combine mainstream appeal (due largely to the casting of Robin Williams) with the eccentric fantasy of his previous films.
Films1972 AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT (performer, screenwriter, animator)
1975 MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL (performer, animator, director, screenwriter)
1976 PLEASURE AT HER MAJESTY'S (performer)
1977 JABBERWOCKY (director, screenwriter)
1979 LIFE OF BRIAN/ MONTY PYTHON'S LIFE OF BRIAN (performer, screenwriter, production designer, animator)
1981 TIME BANDITS (director, producer, screenwriter)
1982 MONTY PYTHON LIVE AT THE HOLLYWOOD BOWL (performer, screenwriter)
1983 MONTY PYTHON'S THE MEANING OF LIFE (performer, screenwriter, special sequence director, animation director)
1985 BRAZIL (director, screenwriter)
1985 SPIES LIKE US (performer)
1989 THE ADVENTURES OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN (director, screenwriter)
1991 THE FISHER KING (director)
1995 TWELVE MONKEYS (director)