Time Bandits is a 1981 British fantasy film co-written, produced and directed by Terry Gilliam. The film stars Sean Connery, John Cleese, Shelley Duvall, Ralph Richardson, Katherine Helmond, Ian Holm, Michael Palin, David Warner, and Craig Warnock.
Eleven-year-old Kevin has a vivid imagination and is fascinated by history, particularly of Ancient Greece; his parents ignore his activities, having become more obsessed with buying the latest household gadgets to keep up with their neighbours. One night, as Kevin is sleeping, an armoured knight on a horse bursts forth from his wardrobe. Kevin is scared and hides as the knight rides off into a forest setting where once his bedroom wall was; when Kevin looks back out, the room is back to normal, and he finds one of his photos on the wall similar to the forest he saw. He prepares a satchel with supplies and Polaroid camera for the next night. He is surprised when six dwarves spill out of the wardrobe. Kevin quickly learns the group has stolen a large, worn map, and are looking for an exit in Kevin's room before they are discovered. They find that Kevin's bedroom wall can be pushed revealing a long hallway. Kevin is hesitant to join until the visage of a menacing head – the Supreme Being – appears behind them, demanding the return of the map. Kevin and the dwarves fall into an empty void at the end of the hallway.
They land in Italy during the Napoleonic Wars. As they recover, Kevin learns that Randall is the lead dwarf, along with Fidgit, Strutter, Og, Wally, and Vermin.They were once employed by the Supreme Being to repair holes in the spacetime fabric, but instead realized the potential to use the map to steal riches. With the map and Kevin's help, they visit several locations in spacetime, and meet figures such as Napoleon Bonaparte and Robin Hood; Kevin uses his camera to document their visits. They are unaware that their activities are being monitored by Evil, a malevolent sorcerer, who is able to manipulate reality and is attempting to acquire the map himself.
Through Evil's actions, Kevin becomes separated from the group and ends up in Mycenaean Greece, and meets King Agamemnon; after Kevin inadvertently helps Agamemnon kill aminotaur, the king treats him as his own son, something that Kevin would be content with. Randall and the others soon locate Kevin and abduct him, much to his resentment. They arrive on the ill-fated RMS Titanic; after it sinks, they are forced to tread water while they argue amongst each other. Evil manipulates the group and transports them to his realm, the Time of Legends. The dwarves locate the Fortress of Ultimate Darkness, and are led to believe that "The Most Fabulous Object in the World" awaits them, luring them into Evil's trap. Evil takes the map and locks the group into a cage over an apparent bottomless pit. While looking through the Polaroids he took, Kevin finds one that includes the map, and the group realises there are numerous holes in the Fortress they can use to recruit help to fight Evil. They make quick work of escaping from the cage and set their plan into motion.
Though they far outnumber Evil, Evil's powers quickly defeat all of the allied forces. As Kevin and the dwarves cower, Evil prepares to unleash his ultimate power. Suddenly, he is turned into stone and explodes; from the smoke, an elderly, well-dressed figure emerges, revealed as the true form of the Supreme Being. He orders the dwarves to collect all the pieces of concentrated evil warning that they can be deadly if not contained, recovers the map, and allows the dwarves to rejoin him in his creation duties. The Supreme Being disappears with the dwarves, leaving Kevin stranded behind as a missed piece of concentrated Evil begins to smoulder.
Kevin passes out and awakes in his bedroom to find it filled with smoke. Firefighters break down the door and rescue him as they put out a fire in his house. One of the firemen finds that his parents' new microwave caused the fire. As Kevin recovers, he finds one of the firemen resembles Agamemnon, and discovers that he still has the photos from his adventure. Kevin's parents discover a smouldering rock in the microwave. Recognising it as a piece of Evil, Kevin warns them not to touch it. Ignoring him, they touch it, then explode and disappear, leaving Kevin wondering where they have gone.
- John Cleese as Robin Hood
- Sean Connery as King Agamemnon/Fireman
- Shelley Duvall as Pansy
- Ralph Richardson as Supreme Being
- Katherine Helmond as Mrs. Ogre
- Ian Holm as Napoleon
- Michael Palin as Vincent
- David Warner as Evil
- Craig Warnock as Kevin
- David Rappaport as Randall
- Kenny Baker as Fidgit
- Malcolm Dixon as Strutter
- Mike Edmonds as Og
- Jack Purvis as Wally
- Tiny Ross as Vermin
- Derek Deadman as Robert
- Jerold Wells as Benson
- Peter Vaughan as Winston the Ogre
- David Daker as Kevin's father
- Sheila Fearn as Kevin's mother
- Jim Broadbent as Compere
- Tony Jay (voice) as the Supreme Being
- Terence Bayler as Lucien
- Preston Lockwood as Neguy
- Derrick O'Connor as Redgrave
- Neil McCarthy as Marion
- Ian Muir as the Giant