George Harrison said he would have been happy to just do comedies with his production company, HandMade Films. Comedy was the reason he entered the film world in the first place. His Monty Python friends needed financial help for their movie Brian’s life after the withdrawal of their producers. So George stepped in and never really got out.
George Harrison started HandMade Films when he decided to produce Monty Python’s ‘Life of Brian’
In the late 1970s, Eric Idle told George that EMI had dropped production on the new Monty Python movie, Brian’s life, because they thought it was blasphemous. George liked the idea of the film and disagreed with EMI. So he thought of financing the project.
“I asked Denis O’Brien, who had been my business manager since late 1973,” George said. Movie commentary. “After thinking about it for a week, he came back and offered to produce it. I let out a laugh because one of my favorite movies is “The Producers,” and we were about to become Bialystock and Bloom.
“Neither of us had thought of going into film before, although Denis had the opportunity to manage Peter Sellers and deal with some of the later Pink Panther films. It was a bit risky I guess, totally out of line for me, but, as a huge Monty Python fan, my main focus was to see the movie get made.
Brian’s life was George’s first step into the film industry. Then George said that O’Brien “had a bug for it”.
RELATED: ‘Simpsons’ Creator Matt Groening Says George Harrison Not Interested in Answering Beatles Questions, But Has Opened About 1 of His Solo Records
George only wanted to do comedies with HandMade Films
Part of the reason George kept HandMade Films was that all of his comedian friends kept coming to him with great scripts.
“Terry Gilliam presented us with this brilliant idea, which turned into bandits of time“, said Georges. “Michael Palin had done a BBC-TV series, Tear the wiresa series of 30-minute films, and I told him one day that if he ever wanted to write a great Tear the thread that would be just awesome. So he did. He also did A private functiona hysterical little film by Alan Bennett which did very well in England… Anyway, one thing led to another, and our films continued to happen.
So it’s no wonder George only wants to do comedies with HandMade Films. However, there was another reason George wanted to stick with the genre. George didn’t want to get carried away with the number of projects the production company did. To cut back, he wanted to stick to comedies only.
“The logistics of all of this make it very difficult to get all of these movies out at the same time,” George said. “These plates you’re trying to spin are big and heavy, you know. It’s good that he is [O’Brien] go for it in some ways, though.
“I would have been content to do Brian’s life and bandits of time– much happier doing comedies. But, then, if I was running this company, I don’t think it would have lasted that long or that far, really. I would probably have encouraged us to make films that were even crazier than us.
“I know I wouldn’t have been so adventurous in some areas. But at the same time, I don’t want to get too adventurous. I like to be safe and secure, you know.
RELATED: Why Paul McCartney Refused to Perform at George Harrison’s Bangladesh Concert
George wanted to make a “silly comedy movie full of silly music”
One of George’s dreams was to make a “silly comedy movie full of silly music”. For the most part, George didn’t combine music and film in HandMade Films. He wrote songs for movies like “Shanghai Surprise”, “Water” and “Time Bandits”, but that was it.
However, George dreamed of combining his talents.
“One day I’d like to do a real silly comedy full of silly music,” George said. “I don’t really want to be a screenwriter or an actor, but I have a lot of silly ideas in my head. If we can make enough money it doesn’t matter if I waste a few millions on my own ideas, I would like to follow some of them. Maybe for my last adventure, I will have this huge but very cheap flop with all my homies in it.
Unfortunately, George didn’t get a chance to make his film or cut HandMade Films down in size. However, the production company continued to make great little movies. Like everything else in George’s long career, they are part of his legacy.
RELATED: John Lennon Started Thinking There Must Be a God When He Kept Hearing George Harrison’s ‘My Sweet Lord’ on the Radio