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The Secret Policeman's Third Ball (1987)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Documentary, Music | September 1987 (UK)
Victims of their own success in recruiting stars to appear at fund-raisers, Amnesty took a six-year sabbatical from producing benefit shows in the mid-1980s as a multitude of other good ... See full summary »


Ken O'Neill


Terence Dackombe (contributing writer)




Credited cast:
Joan Armatrading Joan Armatrading ... Herself
Chet Atkins ... Himself
Jackson Browne ... Himself
Kate Bush ... Herself
John Cleese ... Jim Cleese
Robbie Coltrane ... Himself
Phil Cool Phil Cool ... Himself
Duran Duran ... Themselves
Ben Elton Ben Elton ... Himself
Stephen Fry ... Himself
Peter Gabriel ... Himself
Bob Geldof ... Himself
David Gilmour ... Himself
Lenny Henry ... Himself
Bob Hoskins ... The Secret Policeman (voice)


Victims of their own success in recruiting stars to appear at fund-raisers, Amnesty took a six-year sabbatical from producing benefit shows in the mid-1980s as a multitude of other good causes staged charity concerts that took the limelight. Amnesty returned in 1987 with refreshed zeal. A new generation of British comedians took up the Amnesty mantle, including Robbie Coltrane, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie and the Spitting Image puppets. On the musical side, Amnesty show veteran Bob Geldof was joined by several newcomers including Kate Bush, David Gilmour, Joan Armatrading and Duran Duran, as well as three musicians who had recently performed for Amnesty in the USA: Peter Gabriel, Lou Reed and Jackson Browne. The two evenings of comedy and two separate nights of music at the London Palladium in March 1987 were subsequently fused into one TV special -- and the Ball continued rolling

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Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

September 1987 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Elephant House Studios See more »
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Did You Know?


Follows The Secret Policeman's Ball (1979) See more »

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User Reviews

Watch this for the music, not the comedy...and certainly NOT for Monty Python
14 May 2011 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

I have seen the Secret Policeman films billed as "Monty Python" films, but none of them featured all the troop. The first had most, the second only a couple and this one was no better. In fact, John Cleese (the brains and driving force behind the first concert) was only on hand for a 'guest appearance'. Overall, instead of a focus on comedy (like the initial Secret Policemen performances), this one is mostly on pop music--with mostly lesser comedians to provide the secondary focus. Now the comedy isn't completely bad--it's nice to see Lenny Henry, Ben Elton, Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie when they were younger. But this is mostly NOT their 'A-material'. And some of the comedy consists of unfunny interviews by Ruby Wax of the musicians--as, I said before, the focus really is on the music. But, if you are NOT there to hear Mark Knopfler and Chet Atkins, Bob Geldoff, Lou Reed and the rest of the musicians, some highlights of the comedy include a neat skit where Henry impersonates a blind blues musician. And, to put some perspective on how unfunny the rest is, Emo Philips is among the funnier acts. But, with him, Knopfler and the rest, you will no doubt recognize that this British production is almost equally American this time. And, as a result of all the changes, it hardly seems to be a descendant from the first Amnesty benefit film. Overall, a bit better than the last film in the series but not much....

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