The Technical Stuff
Format:  Region 1 (USA and Canada) Single Sided DVD
Original Aspect Full-Frame Transfer From Original 16mm Print
Audio: RhinoPhonic Certified
Film: Dolby Digital 5.1 - English
Special Features: Original Mono Mix
The Really PreFab Stuff
       
Best Feature:
    
    It has to be the commentary track!  Eric Idle, noted Rutle historian, discusses the film, the Rutles, and of course, their trousers.     
       
   
Menu Screen Presentation: 
    
    After a simply smashing Rhino Home Video presentation, we are treated to an animated sequence featuring the Rutles' landmark album, Sgt. Rutter's Only Dart's Club Band. An orchestra can be heard in the background, preparing to take us on a trip that is surely soon to be forgotton.  The Rutles take center stage, and, with a flick of his wrist, Dirk McQuickly spins the famous dartboard, which transforms to become the Rutles' classic pre-tea drum kit.  Four stars, each representing both a Rutle and a menu option, appear around the drums, and thus, our Main Menu Screen is, as they say, complete.
    
    Options for Play Movie, Chapter Breaks, Intro With Eric Idle, and Special Features are presented.  After the well known 'note that doesn't quite last forever', no other music is played, but when returning from a sub-menu back to the Main Menu, the familiar sounds of Get Up & Go from the Let It Rot album/film/lawsuit can be heard.  Each option, when chosen, features it's own animated transition.  The Chapter Breaks menu features stills from the film, displayed respectfully in front of classic Rutles album cover art.  The Special Features sub-menus feature stills from the days of Rutlemania.  When the Director's Commentary screen is accessed, and turned on, a neat little black & white silent film of Idle actually watching and commenting on the film is played.  It's the Making of the Commentary!  If no option is chosen from any menu, the DVD will eventually access whatever option is highlighted.  A very fun design overall, which fondly recalls a simpler,  gentler time in pop music history.
      
  
Commentary Track:
    
    Director's Commentary with Eric Idle:
   
    Ex-Monty Python member, pop culture historian, and co-director of All You Need is Cash, Eric Idle, gives his insights on the making of the film, the making of The Rutles, and the mocking of the Beatles.  Super content.  At times, Idle shares historical information about the Rutles and the Beatles in the same sentence.  It's up to the viewer to sort out which is which! 
   
    
Intro With Eric Idle:
   
    Legendary television interviewer Eric Idle introduces the DVD edition of this, the first official 'Rockumentary' of The Rutles.  Standing in front of New York's Plaza Hotel, just where he stood some twenty-something years ago, well, not exactly where he stood, but you know, close enough, Idle introduces the film of the group that made the '60s what they are today.
     
    
Memoirs By Eric Idle:
    
    Noted memoir writer Eric Idle presents some very informative production notes, taken from his book, "Say No More," The Unpublished Memoirs of an ex-Python, on the making of The Rutles in All You Need is Cash.  Of great interest to Rutlemaniacs everywhere is the revelation that a second retrospective, The Rutles: Evolution, is currently in the works!
    
    
Play Songs Only:
    
    This is a slightly, no, make that entirely misleading but cool Chapter Breaks variation which lets you access any of 15 scenes that feature Rutles songs.  It's misleading in the sense that the film's normal soundtrack hasn't been altered, so a more accurate name for this option would be 'Play Only Scenes Which Feature Songs'.  Scenes are categorized chronologically by song title. 
   
The Usual Stuff
    

Sound and Image Quality:
   
    The film is presented in a visual format that lovingly preserves it's original 'made-for-television' quality.  Also, the sound has been remastered, though, I'm not sure if that's such a good thing to do with The Rutles music.
   
   
Deleted Scenes:
      
    Again, slightly misleading, but I wouldn't know what else to call it either.  One very short deleted segment featuring the Rutles rarity Blue Suede Schubert, taken from their concert at Che' Stadium, is included.  An extended version of the enlightening interview with renowned Liverpool poet Roger McGough is also presented.  The two remaining segments are raw footage taken during interviews with music icons Mick Jagger and Paul Simon.  Very amusing, since neither Mick nor Paul seem quite sure as to which Rutles secrets are safe to reveal!
   
   
Photo Gallery:
   
    A slide show featuring 29 photographs is presented.  Photos change automatically every 10 seconds, or can be flipped through faster using the DVD remote's arrow keys.  Album covers, concert stills, and more!
The Un-PreFab Stuff  A.K.A. The Complaints Department:
   
    Not enough Leppo.
  



Final Thought:

    This is a fantastic chronicle of the PreFab Four.  Expertly crafted, with great content, extensive enough to last a lunchtime!
THE RUTLES

Starring:
Eric Idle
Neil Innes
Rikki Fataar
John Halsey
   
Special Appearances By:
George Harrison
Mick Jagger
Paul Simon
Ron Wood
Dan Ackroyd
John Belushi
Bill Murray
Gilda Radner
Bianca Jagger
and more!


Directors:
Eric Idle
Neil Innes
Conceived and Written by:
Eric Idle
Music & Lyrics:
Neil Innes
Executive Producer:
Lorne Michaels
Producers:
Gary Weis
Craig Kellem

DVD box art (C) 2001
Rhino Home Video
A.J.'s DVD Reviews - The Rutles
Review published
March 16, 2001
A.J.'s DVD Rating: 4 Stars - Second to None!
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