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Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story (2005)

A Cock and Bull Story (original title)
R | | Comedy | 20 January 2006 (UK)
Trailer
2:03 | Trailer
Director Michael Winterbottom (Northam) attempts to shoot the adaptation of Laurence Sterne's essentially unfilmable novel, "The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman."

Writers:

Laurence Sterne (novel), Frank Cottrell Boyce (screenplay) (as Martin Hardy)
2 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Steve Coogan ... Tristram Shandy / Walter Shandy / Steve Coogan
Rob Brydon ... Capt. Toby Shandy / Rob Brydon
Keeley Hawes ... Elizabeth / Keeley Hawes
Shirley Henderson ... Susannah
Raymond Waring ... Trim
Conal Murphy Conal Murphy ... Young Tristram Shandy - Age 6
Joe Williams Joe Williams ... Young Tristram Shandy - Age 9
Paul Kynman ... Obadiah
Mark Tandy ... London Doctor
Mary Healey ... Midwife
Dylan Moran ... Dr. Slop
Jack Shepherd ... Surgeon
David Walliams ... Parson
Jeremy Northam ... Mark
Benedict Wong ... Ed
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Storyline

Two actors, as their make up is applied, talk about the size of their parts. Then into the film: Laurence Sterne's unfilmable novel, Tristram Shandy, a fictive autobiography wherein the narrator, interrupted constantly, takes the entire story to be born. The film tracks between "Shandy" and behind the scenes. Size matters: parts, egos, shoes, noses. The lead's girlfriend, with their infant son, is up from London for the night, wanting sex; interruptions are constant. Scenes are shot, re-shot, and discarded. The purpose of the project is elusive. Fathers and sons; men and women; cocks and bulls. Life is amorphous, too full and too rich to be captured in one narrative. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He's About To Play The Role Of His Life. See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 January 2006 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

GBP2,800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$60,886, 29 January 2006

Gross USA:

$1,253,413

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,931,982
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The credited writer Martin Hardy is actually a pseudonym for the writer Frank Cottrell Boyce, who had his name taken off the film after a falling-out with longtime collaborator Michael Winterbottom. See more »

Quotes

Tony Wilson: Why "Tristram Shandy"? This is the book that many people said is unfilmable.
Steve Coogan: I think that's the attraction. "Tristram Shandy" was a post-modern classic written before there was any modernism to be post about. So it was way ahead of its time and, in fact, for those who haven't heard of it, it was actually listed as number eight on the Observer's top 100 books of all time.
Tony Wilson: That was a *chronological* list.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Throughout the closing credits, Rob and Steve talk about how they use techniques of various other actors. See more »

Alternate Versions

Just as with "In This World," the British DVD features a 1.78:1 transfer of the film. Although the film was shot for release in theaters at 2.35:1, because it was made on DV, the total space of the filmed image was 1.78. The film was masked for theatrical release, as the director intended. However, for DVD release, the film was transferred open matte. Again, like "In This World," only the American DVD respects the theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Friday Night with Jonathan Ross: Episode #9.15 (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Carlotta's Gallop
Written by Nino Rota
(P) & © C.A.M Srl
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Shandy by halves
3 November 2013 | by Prismark10See all my reviews

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy was published in the mid 1750s and can be described as postmodern before the term was invented.

The book is a ramble and regarded as unfilmable.

Enter Frank Cottrell Boyce and Michael Winterbottom. They are assisted by Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan who adapted the book as a film within a film of the book.

Anyone familiar with the BBC series The Trip, also directed by Winterbottom and starring Brydon and Coogan as versions of themselves will be acquainted with the set up.

They both tease, spar, cajole each other and do impressions.

You have scenes relating to the birth of Tristram Shandy and some of it is comical and amusing. You have a battle scene with literally tens of people and suddenly the filmmakers manage to get Gillian Anderson on board as Widow Wadman which leads to an increased budget

As the film goes on, Coogan's personal life comes under scrutiny with a newspaper hack chasing him about a kiss and tell story. Madchester TV stalwart and music mogul Tony Wilson appears as himself giving a testy interview to Coogan. Stephen Fry later drops by as a know it all.

By the latter part of the film it just fizzles out, as if the actual writer and director ran out of gas and this viewer lost interest.

Maybe there was a good reason why the novel was unfilmable.


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