7th Python: Featuring the Court Testimonies of Michael Palin & Eric Idle

By: Mark Forstater
December 2015
Book Guild
Distributed by Trans-Atlantic Publications Inc.
ISBN: 9780907633525
249 Pages, Illustrated
$36.50 Hardcover


If you want to know what a tooth and claw legal battle is like - If you want to discover something revealing about Monty Python. and see their darker side - If you want to know how to make a movie without giving the financiers all the rights and keep creative control in every known and unknown universe in perpetuity - You should read The 7th Python 'This book will annoy Eric Idle for years to come.' Neil Innes, composer. Monty Python and the Holy Grail is a great, original comedy and the most profitable independent film made in the U.K. If you'd invested £1,000 in it, you'd have made £130,000 back. With more to come. As a young man, Mark Forstater produced the film. He set it up so that the Pythons had total creative control. Each Python also made many millions. Mark himself got over 5 percent of the profits. Then golden icing on the cake: Eric Idle hit on the idea of turning the hit film into a musical. Spamalot was a smash. Spamalot was also cashalot for everyone involved - and it should have been for Mark. But the Pythons, or their managers, or their lawyers, or the gorilla in their collective unconscious, decided Mark didn't deserve so much.

No one used the word 'deserved'. It was a question of how lawyers, accountants and managers re-interpreted his contract. Back in 1974, it had been amended by hand. Lawyers poured over these squiggles as if they were holy writ apt since we're into the Holy Grail. Forstater decided he had to fight the battle of his life. After seven years of struggle it came to court. Forstater won. Eric Idle called Forstater a loser, an idiot. The idiot, however, has now decided to speak. An original, lively and at times moving account of the inside story of one man's battle against the mighty Python. The book includes extracts from Mark's journals and the cross-examinations of Michael Palin and Eric Idle. Celebs insulate themselves with PR, managers and lawyers to maintain their public profile. This is the heroic tale of an underdog who battled against a group that called itself after the man who won El Alamein (Monty) and a deadly snake. Names r us so it's not surprising Monty Python's famous foot came down so hard on the unsuspecting producer