Dreams: Terry Gilliam Books

Compiled by Phil Stubbs

1. Books dedicated to Terry Gilliam and his movies
2. Books which feature Terry Gilliam
3. Recommended Python Books
1. Books dedicated to Terry Gilliam and his movies

Dreams and Nightmares
by Bob McCabe (2005)
HarperCollins (UK)

Behind-the-scenes account of the drama on the set of Brothers Grimm. It's a frustrating read, but a good source of information about the making of Grimm.

Click here for a full review.

Terry Gilliam Interviews
edited by David Sterritt and Lucille Rhodes
University Press of Mississippi (2004)

A illuminating series of interviews with Gilliam from throughout his career. Highly recommended.
Brazil: The Evolution of the 54th Best British Film Ever Made
by Terry Gilliam, Charles Alverson and Bob McCabe (2001)
Orion Books

Bob McCabe presents the First Draft of the Brazil script by Gilliam and Alverson, and writes an introduction with contributions from both of the writers.
Terry Gilliam und seine Filme
by Welf Kienast, Armin Rainer (2000)
Schuren Presse (Germany)
Terry Gilliam
by John Ashbrook (2000)
Pocket Essentials (UK, paperback)

96-pager giving readers an overview of Gilliam's career.

Click here for an interview with writer John Ashbrook
Dark Knights and Holy Fools: The Art and Films of Terry Gilliam
by Bob McCabe (1999)
Universe Pub (US)
Orion Books (UK)

New coffee table volume on Gilliam by writer Bob McCabe, who has previously written biographies on George Clooney and Ronnie Barker, and has edited a collection of Ronnie Barker's writings.
Gilliam on Gilliam
edited by Ian Christie (1999)
faber and faber (UK)

A volume in the faber series (see also Burton on Burton and Scorsese on Scorsese) which edits into a single volume interviews from leading filmmakers.

Terry Gilliam: el Soñador Rebelde
by Jordi Costa and Sergi Sánchez (1998)
Euskadiko Filmategia Filmoteca Vasca (Spain

The official guide to the 1998 San Sebastian Film Festival Gilliam retrospective, featuring the full text in both Spanish and English.


The Battle of Brazil (updated)
by Jack Mathews, including the screenplay to the movie (1998)
Applause (US)

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - not the Screenplay by Terry Gilliam and Tony Grisoni
by Terry Gilliam and Tony Grisoni, based on the novel by Hunter S. Thompson (1998)
Applause (US)

Le Petit Livre de Terry Gilliam
by Jean-Marc Bouineau (1996)
Spartorange (France).

This book is a wonderful collection of essays and details. There is a beautiful sketch or photo on nearly every page. The contents are summarised below.

1. The Conjuror (introductory essay)
2. Essential Dates
3. Intervista (exclusive Interview)
4. Gulliver's Travels (21 pages of colour stills)
5. Time Suspended (essay on Time Bandits and Baron Munchausen)
6. The Belly of An Architect (sketches and storyboards)
7. The Brains Film (essay on Brazil)
8. 12 Monkeys: the 12 keys of the monk
9. The March Hare
10. Illustrated Filmography


12 Monkeys: A Novelisation
by Elizabeth Hand, based on the motion picture screenplay by David Peoples and Janet Peoples (1996)
Boxtree (UK)
HarperPaperbacks (US)


The Fisher King: Novelisation
by Leonore Fleischer (1991)
Penguin (UK)
Signet/Penguin Books (US)


The Fisher King: The Book of the Film
by Richard LaGravenese, introduction by Terry Gilliam (1991)
Applause Books (US)

This book contains the full screen play from the film plus some deleted and altered scenes. There are over 200 stills from the film, an essay by Richard LaGravenese, and interviews with Robin Williams and Terry Gilliam.

The Adventures of Terry Gilliam
by Paul M. Sammon and Don Shay (1989)
Cinefex, Issue 38

An excellent 68-page behind-the-scenes account of the special effects techniques used in Time Bandits, Brazil and Munchausen. Included are plenty of colour stills and shots of the crew at work.


The Adventures of Baron Munchausen: A Novelisation
by Charles McKeown and Terry Gilliam (1989)
Methuen-Mandarin (UK)
Applause (US)


The Adventures of Baron Munchausen: A Screenplay
by Charles McKeown and Terry Gilliam (1989)
Applause Books (US)


The Adventures of Baron Munchausen: Comic Novelisation
Adapted by Matthew Costello in four parts (1989)
Now Comics/Captuo Publishing Inc.

Losing the Light
by Andrew Yule (1991)
Applause Books

"Up until Munchausen, I'd always been very so smart about Terry Gilliam films. You don't ever be in them. Go and see them by all means - but be in them, f**king madness!"

So said Eric Idle, who starred as Bertholdt in "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen". The production of Munchausen was a nightmare for all involved. It was budgeted at $25m, it cost well over $40m.

In Losing the Light, Andrew Yule gains access to all the major characters behind the scenes and pieces the story together mainly by quotes. These quotes are often contradictory. This book gives a unique insight into the making of Munchausen.
The Battle of Brazil
by Jack Mathews (1987)
Crown Publishers Inc. (US)

This book tells the story of Terry Gilliam's struggle to release "Brazil" in his version. The problem identified by Mathews was not that studio chief Sid Sheinberg and the studio hated the movie, but that they liked much of it. Gilliam's version was irresponsible and would alienate viewers, thought Sheinberg. Sheinberg therefore felt compelled to intervene, in order to improve the marketability of the movie.

Brazil won awards after covert screenings to journalists. And, after Terry Gilliam placed a huge advert in Variety, asking when his film was to be released, Universal decided to release the film in Gilliam's preferred format. The story is told very well by one of Los Angeles' top journalists. Also included is the screenplay, with annotations containing nuggets of information about Gilliam's ideas.

Brazil de Terry Gilliam
by Louis Danvers (1988)
Analysis of Brazil - text in French


Time Bandits: A Screenplay
by Michael Palin and Terry Gilliam (1981)
Hutchinson (UK)
Dolphin Books/Doubleday and Company Inc. (US)


Time Bandits: Novelisation
by Charles Alverson (1981)
A Sparrow Book, published by Arrow Books (UK)


Time Bandits: Comic Novelisation
Marvel Comics (1981)

Animations of Mortality
by Terry Gilliam, with Lucinda Cowell (1978)
Eyre Methuen (UK)

The title of this book is a parody of the Wordsworth ode "Intimations of Immortality".

"In Animations of Mortality, Terry Gilliam, ageing animator of "Monty Python and the Holy Grail", and the Monty Python TV series; and creator of the film Jabberwocky lays bare for the first time the twisted and sordid little secrets of the Wonderful World of Animation."

by "Ralph Hoover", based on the screenplay by Terry Gilliam and Charles Alverson (1977)
Pan (UK)

"NOW read for yourself the amazing story of the JABBERWOCKY - the monster so terrifying that people caught the plague to avoid it. Set in the filthiest period of history, as the Middle ages were collapsing around the well dandruffed head of King Bruno the Questionable, it is the story of the King's attempts to save a cast of thousands (filthy peasants, scrubber maids, dim princesses and overweight knights) from the threat of the JABBERWOCKY."

The Cocktail People
by Terry Gilliam and Joel Siegel (1966)
Fun and Games
by Harvey Kurtzman, co-authored by Terry Gilliam (1965)

2. Books which feature Terry Gilliam
Magic Movie Moments
by George Perry (2000)
Viking Press, ISBN: 0670889326 (US, hardback)
Collection of fine movie moments, with introduction by Terry Gilliam
by Dave McKean (1998)
Kitchen Sink Press, ISBN: 0878166009 (UK?, hardback)
Epic graphic novel features Gilliam-penned introduction
Devious Devices Teachers Pack
by Craftspace Touring (1998)
Background notes for the Devious Devices automata exhibition
The Life and Times of R. Crumb: Comments from Contemporaries
edited by Monte Beauchamp (1998)
St Martins Press, ISBN: 0-312-19571-0 (US, paperback)
Significant Gilliam contribution in this tribute to Robert Crumb
River of Mirrors: The Fantastic Art of Judson Huss
by Judson Huss (1996)
Morpheus International, ISBN: 1-883398-17-7 (US, paperback)
Terry Gilliam wrote an foreword to this collection of fantasy paintings by Huss.
Inside Stories: Diaries of British Film-Makers at Work
edited by Duncan Petrie (1996)
British Film Institute, ISBN: 0-85170-584-7 (UK, hardback)
British Film Institute, ISBN: 0-85170-583-9 (UK, paperback)
Includes a diary by Mick Audsley, when editing Twelve Monkeys

The Last Machine
by Ian Christie, foreword by Terry Gilliam (1995)
BBC Education, ISBN: 1-86000-094-0 (UK, paperback)
Availability: contact BBC Education, PO Box 7, London W3 6XJ, UK

This book accompanies the five-part BBC-TV series "The Last Machine", detailing the early history of cinema. The series was presented and narrated by Terry Gilliam.

World Cinema Day Diary
edited (1994)
British Film Institute (UK, hardback)
This publication features the diary of many filmmakers around the world as of June 10 1993 - Gilliam writes about the development hell of The Defective Detective

Sporting Relations
by Roger McGough, illustrated by Terry Gilliam (1976)
Eyre Methuen, ISBN: 0-413-32750-7 (UK, hardback)
Eyre Methuen, ISBN: 0-413-32760-4 (UK, paperback)

The Do-It-Yourself Film Animation Book
by Bob Godfrey & Anna Jackson, with contributions from Terry Gilliam (1974)
British Broadcasting Corporation, ISBN: 0 563 10829 0 (UK, paperback)
Features a practical analysis of Gilliam's animation techniques

3. Recommended Python Books
Pocketful of Python, Volume IV
edited by Terry Gilliam (2000)
Methuen, ISBN: 0413750108 (UK, hardback)
Gilliam selects his favourite Python moments
Pocketful of Python, Volume I
edited by Terry Jones, introduction by Terry Gilliam (1999)
Methuen, ISBN: 0413732908 (UK, hardback)
Jones selects his favourite Python moments, with an amusing introduction by Gilliam
Monty Python Speaks
by David Morgan (1999)
4th estate, ISBN: 1841151688 (UK, paperback)
Avon, ISBN: 0380804794 (US, paperback)
The Life of Python
by George Perry (1994)
Pavilion Books, ISBN: 1-85793-441-5 (UK, paperback)
This book includes a history of Monty Python and a biography of each of the members, including Terry Gilliam.
Monty Python's Meaning of Life
by Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin (1983)
(UK, paperback)
Available from UK shops
Monty Python Complete and Utter Theory of the Grotesque
Edited by John O. Thompson (1982)
British Film Institute, ISBN: 0-85170-119-1 (UK, paperback)
"I hope you can understand this - I can't" - Terry Jones
Monty Python's Life of Brian Scrapbook
by Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin (1979)
Methuen ISBN: 413-46550-0 (UK, Paperback)
Available from UK bookshops

Monty Python and the Holy Grail
by Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin (1977)
Methuen ISBN: 0-413-38520-5 (UK, paperback)
Methuen ISBN: 0-416-00341-9 (USA, paperback)
Methuen ISBN: 0-458-92970-0 (Canada, paperback)

This is the book of the film that "made Ben Hur look like an epic". It contains what is apparently the first draft and the shooting script of the film. Much of this material did not end up in the completed movie. Also contained is hundreds of surreal Gilliam sketches/designs and storyboards, with production details, stills and adverts.

Monty Python's Brand New Bok [Papperbok]
by Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin
Methuen, ISBN: 0-413-30130-3, UK Hardback (1973)
Methuen, ISBN: 0-413-31970-9, UK Paperback (1974)
Monty Python's Big Red Book
by Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin
Methuen, ISBN: 0-413-29520-6, UK Hardback (1971)
Methuen, ISBN: 0-413-29520-6, UK Paperback (1972)

Some of the details for this page have been gleaned from Hans ten Cate's The Daily Llama, who has, in turn, used information here for his site.
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