The true villains were The Executives Who Say "No."
That's when salvation came in the form of their own personal Live Aid charity: 10 different rock groups, including Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Genesis, Elton John, and half of The Beatles, gave $10,000 each to make the movie happen. Whether they did it for the tax breaks (as Gilliam suggests) or because they really liked the show, it's still admirable that they all came together to finance a movie which had been deemed so silly that it was not allowed to be shot at any real castles.
Holy Grail earned a decent percentage return on its budget, but the Python crew knew that for their next film, they should probably try to tackle a subject that wouldn't make studio executives so gun-shy. This is another way of saying that they made a musical comedy about Jesus.
Funding for Monty Python's Life Of Brian proved just as difficult, which meant the Pythons had to turn to their previous source of revenue: rich musicians with a sense of humor. However, this time, ex-Beatle George Harrison fronted all the money himself. Harrison actually mortgaged his house in order to provide the funds for Handmade Films, the production company behind Life Of Brian. Why the hell would he do that? According to Python's Michael Palin, Harrison told him, "Well, I wanted to see the film." Presumably while his wallet gently wept.
The Exorcist Was Funded By The Author's Borat-Like Appearance On A Game Show
The Exorcist, the gruesome story of a possessed young girl which was adapted into one of the biggest horror films of all time, began in an amazingly silly way: on Groucho Marx's game show.
Before becoming famous, the book's author (and also the film's Academy-Award-winning scriptwriter), William Peter Blatty, had this shtick where he would pose as an Arab prince and crash Hollywood parties. What started as research for an article titled "I Was An Arab Prince" became a ridiculous year-long project, culminating with a visit to Groucho's game show You Bet Your Life. Among other things, Blatty claimed that he wasn't sure if he had 30 or 40 brothers, and he said his name was "Prince Xeer," which the general public accepted as comedy back in those days.
John Guedel Productions
John Guedel Productions
We like to think he was possessed by a more racist demon than the one in the book.
Blatty claims that Groucho knew his real identity all along, but that didn't make things any less strange. In reality, Blatty was a publicity director at the University of Southern California, which was apparently a decent enough job, seeing as it allowed him to know which parties he could crash while dressed as a Saudi prince.
The game went on, and Blatty was asked what he was going to do with the $10,000 prize, which he had to divide with another winner (and then again between himself and his split personality). Blatty's answer? He was going to write a famous novel. After taking off with his five grand -- about $41,000 in 2016 money -- Blatty quit his job and focused on his writing career, eventually leading to The Exorcist in 1971. So who knows, maybe the creepiest novel of this century will be written by Sanjaya from American Idol.
What's The Best Fictional School To Attend? In the muggle world, we're not given the opportunity for a magical hat to tell us which school we should go to. Usually we just have to go to the high school closest to where we live or whatever college accepts our SAT scores and personal essay. This month, our goal is to determine what would be the best fictional school to go to. Join Jack, Daniel, and the rest of the Cracked staff, along with comedians Brandie Posey and Steven Wilber, as they figure out if it's a realistic school like Degrassi or West Beverly High, or an institution from a fantasy world like Hogwarts with its ghosts and dementors, or Bayside High, haunted by a monster known only to humans as Screech. Get your tickets here!
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