Terry Gilliam Says He Wouldn’t Have His Film Career Without George Harrison’s Handmade Films Production Company

Late Beatles legend George launched his foray into film in 1978 with the sole purpose of financing Monty Python’s Life of Brian, released the following year, after original backers EMI Films pulled out of the project less than a week before.

The production company went on to make many notable movies, including Terry’s Time Bandits and British comedy classic Withnail and I.

“Well I wouldn’t be here talking to you if it wasn’t for HandMade films,” Terry told Metro.co.uk. “The world wouldn’t have Time Bandits, A Private Function. It wouldn’t have any of these things… It’s very simple. To have a Beatle as a patron is what you need in life, it really was. I mean George stepped in and saved our a**es basically.

“We were never respected I don’t think within the industry. I remember there was a book written by (film critic) Alexander Walker in the ‘80s, a history of British cinema; we were a footnote.”

The unexpected story of HandMade Films is documented in film An Accidental Studio.

Oscar winner Terry also shed light on what George was like as a person, away from his Beatles persona.

“He was a joy,” the 12 Monkeys filmmaker smiled. “George, he’s always referred to as the ‘quiet Beatle’ – not at all! Just a jabber mouth. He was incredibly funny, that’s the other side that people aren’t aware of. They go ‘ohhh spiritual’. No, he was incredibly funny and we just had a great time.

“Because I think he was so excited… the Beatles had broken up and there was Python, so he kind of joined another group. He was always a joiner, clearly, he went on to the Traveling Wilburys (with Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison and Tom Petty).”

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