A Liar's Autobiography: the Untrue Story of Monty Python's Graham Chapman

  • 15
  • Bill Jones (2), Jeff Simpson, Ben Timlett (2012)
  • UK
  • 84 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
2 out of 5

Despite the involvement of three directors, more than a dozen animation houses and the vocal contributions of most of the remaining Pythons, this biopic of comedian Graham Chapman is sadly lacking in what made the anarchic troupe so great. At its best, Monty Python was both funny and shocking; A Liar's Autobiography is neither, offering only limited insight into the life of the team's most enigmatic and intriguing member. Chapman played rugby, wore tweeds and smoked a pipe, and was often cast as the bewildered "straight man" in sketches and films. Using audio recordings he made a few years before his death from cancer at the age of 48, the film also sheds light on his homosexuality, struggles with alcoholism and, on the evidence here, a sex addiction. The sections dealing with his drink problem and celebrity lifestyle do make for engaging viewing, but the sudden shifts in animation style are awkward and distracting. And, even at 85 minutes, the movie often drags as if there was insufficient quality material to draw upon.

Plot Summary

Premiere. Animated comedy based on the Python's surreal fictionalised account of his life story. Featuring recordings of Chapman's readings from the original book made before his death in 1989, and the voices of John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam.

Cast and crew


Graham Chapman
Graham Chapman
Himself / Exploding don / David Frost
John Cleese
Himself / Mother / Biggles / Anatomy don / Enormous Peter
Terry Jones
Himself / Father / Interview don 1 / Hibbern / Queen Mother
Michael Palin
Interview don 2 / Dr One Across / Pilot / Aleister Crowley / Jose
Terry Gilliam
Masseuse / Singing telegram / Stewardess
Carol Cleveland
David Sherlock
Philip Bulcock
Seigmund Freud
Cameron Diaz


Bill Jones (2)
Jeff Simpson
Ben Timlett

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
Trinity Film Entertainment
Swearing, sexual references, sex scenes, nudity.
Available on DVD and BluRay
Released 8 Feb 2013
Certificate 15