Terry Gilliam

Terry Gilliam isn’t necessarily the most well-known director in Hollywood, nor is he the most respected, but his style certainly calls for critical attention, and there’s no denying that he’s probably among the top five directors on every actor’s wish list. Born in 1940 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Terry spent his early years as an illustrator while attending Occidental College in California. After finishing school, Terry worked short stints as an illustrator/writer for HELP! and Mad magazine before moving to England in 1969 to join John Cleese and the other members of Monty Python in their television series “Flying Circus.” And while he did appear onscreen with the other members, his biggest contribution was behind the camera, especially with the unique animation he produced for the series. Following the troupe’s success on the small screen, Monty Python went on film three movies, two of which Gilliam directed and co-wrote.

Between production on the films, Terry worked on two projects of his own (“Jabberwocky” and “Time Bandits”), but neither were as big of a success as the three Python movies. This pattern would continue for the director, who was applauded for his unique vision, but criticized for his inability to satisfy a mainstream audience. Still, most of Terry’s films are worthy of appreciation (namely futuristic projects “Brazil” and “12 Monkeys”), and even though he’s never had a blockbuster hit, he’s somehow managed to continue working in the industry for over 25 years. The past decade or so of Terry’s career has been a bit sketchy, with a majority of it wasted on a dream project (“The Man From La Mancha”) which looks to never be completed. But he’s making a comeback of sorts with two new projects set for release over the next two years, one (“The Brothers Grimm”) of which looks to be his most marketable picture since his last collaboration with the guys from Monty Python.

Terry Behind the Camera

Terry’s film career has been quite impressive, but it’s also been highly publicized, due mostly to his ridiculously bad luck. Case in point, Terry’s dream project, “The Man From La Mancha,” was forced to shut down after a number of different problems struck the on location production. Terry has still had a very successful career as a writer and director of Monty Python films like “The Holy Grail” and “The Meaning of Life.” He has also directed such notable classics as “Brazil,” “Time Bandits, “Twelve Monkeys,” and “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.”

Terry Gilliam Quotes

On the industry:
“People in Hollywood are not showmen, they’re maintenance men, pandering to what they think their audiences want.”