Ripley and Terry: Stumbling upon another unexpected movie-making connection

February 13, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken
Feb. 13, 2015

Author’s note: I love finding connections between things, and I especially enjoy when my blog helps me stumble upon links. Here’s another instance of that. MEM

The other week, I went to a used bookstore and traded in some books and DVDs for different books and DVDs.

One of my new books was Next by James Hynes. I also got four movies in three DVD cases: A Will Smith science fiction action movie twofer containing Independence Day and I, Robot; the apocalyptic time-travel masterpiece 12 Monkeys; and Ripley’s Game, which is based on one of Patricia Highsmith’s novels.

As noted in my previous post, the script for Ripley’s Game was co-written by director Liliana Cavani with Charles McKeown. What I didn’t realize before I clicked on McKeown’s Internet Movie Database page was that he connects the last two movies that I wrote about on this blog.

McKeown did not work on or appear in 12 Monkeys. But he has worked with Terry Gilliam, that film’s director, a number of times.

Together with award-winning playwright Tom Stoppard, Gilliam and McKeown penned the script for Gilliam’s excellent 1985 film Brazil. McKeown has a small role as Lime, the protagonist’s comically labor-averse coworker, in the film.

The director and actor collaborated on Gilliam’s 1988 movie, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen: The duo co-wrote the script, and McKeown again appeared in a supporting role.

Two decades later, the men reunited for a 2009 picture, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. Again, Gilliam directed, and he and McKeown co-wrote the screenplay. McKeown had a small part in the film that ended up in a deleted scene, according to IMDb.

McKeown also played roles in a few other films on which Gilliam has worked: Time Bandits, which Gilliam directed, and Life of Brian, the Monty Python feature that Gilliam helped write.

A whole lot of things in our universe connect to disparate other things in unexpected ways. The connections that I found here probably aren’t particularly meaningful. Still, I enjoyed finding them!

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