Tristram Shandy: A Cock & Bull Story (2005) - Rotten Tomatoes

Tristram Shandy: A Cock & Bull Story (2005)



Critic Consensus: Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon add madcap, knowing performances to the mix, and the result is a fun, postmodern romp.

Tristram Shandy: A Cock & Bull Story Photos

Movie Info

Flipping back and forth between the 18th century and the hapless efforts of the 21st century filmakers, 'Tristram Shandy' is the making of a movie adapted from the notoriously unfilmable English literature masterpiece, 'The Life and Opinions of Tristram Sahndy, Gentlemen,' written by Laurence Sterne. The story begins with Tristram Shandy (Steve Coogan) narrating his life story as he sees it. Crammed with literary jokes and dark humor, Shandy's warped childhood tales are constantly interrupted by his family and household, inadvertently revealing far more about himself than any conventional autobiography. At the dramatic moment of Tristram's birth, the first assistant director calls cut, marking the end of a filming day on the. We then see Steve Coogan, the other actors and crew through the course of a chaotic evening on set. Steve Coogan's wife arrives with their six-month-old baby, a journalist is chasing him about a scandalous story, his agent has arrived with a load of Hollywood scripts and the film financiers are threatening to pull the plug.

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Steve Coogan
as Tristram Shandy/Walter Shandy/Steve Coogan
Rob Brydon
as Toby Shandy/Rob Brydon
Keeley Hawes
as Elizabeth Shandy/Keeley Hawes
Shirley Henderson
as Susannah/Shirley Henderson
Dylan Moran
as Dr. Slop/Dylan Moran
Stephen Fry
as St. Patrick Curator/Parson Yorick
Gillian Anderson
as Widow Wadman/Gillian Anderson
Conal Murphy
as Tristam Shandy (age 6)
Joe Williams
as Tristam Shandy (age 9)
Paul Kynman
as Obadiah
Mark Tandy
as London Doctor
Mary Healey
as Midwife
Claire Keelan
as Make-up Assistant
Mark Williams
as Ingoldsby
Anthony H. Wilson
as TV Interviewer
Justine Mitchell
as Tony's Director
Paul Rider
as Prop Guy
Stephen Rodrick
as New York Times Reporter
Stuart Wilson
as Sound Mixer
James Randle
as Hotel Reception Manager
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News & Interviews for Tristram Shandy: A Cock & Bull Story

Critic Reviews for Tristram Shandy: A Cock & Bull Story

All Critics (129) | Top Critics (46)

Coogan may be game and there are plenty of nods to assorted sexploits, but this riffing on his caddish public image was done a lot more amusingly and a lot less smugly in a 10-minute skit in Jim Jarmusch's Coffee and Cigarettes.

January 16, 2018 | Full Review…

A successful mix of literary adaptation, meta-fictional discourse and inside-showbiz comedy. Both funny and clever.

December 30, 2006 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Tristram Shandy: A Cock & Bull Story is a hall of mirrors that doesn't tease the brain (it's easier to watch than to read about) so much as goose it into submission.

May 12, 2006 | Full Review…

By all accounts, Sterne's novel is nutty and ribald and utterly defiant of conventional storytelling techniques ... hence this adaptation's wonderfully meta take.

April 1, 2006 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

[Michael Winterbottom's] goofy, messy version of Tristram Shandy puts the Fellini back in 'Fellini-esque.'

March 10, 2006 | Rating: 4/5

A wildly imaginative foray into spirited comic anarchy.

March 10, 2006 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Tristram Shandy: A Cock & Bull Story


'Tristram Shandy' is a great deal less clever than it thinks it is.

Christian C
Christian C

Super Reviewer


Having seen and fell in love with The Trip first, it was fun to spend more time with characters that I had come to know and love. On top of being a smart and layered film, Coogan and Brydon continue to give the audience their patented witty passive-aggressive banter. While I did not find myself sick with laughter in the same ways as i was with The Trip, it is still very funny. If you love the characters in all of their humor and misery, then this film is for you.

Reid Volk
Reid Volk

Super Reviewer


When did British comedy become boring? My guess. Sometime around this film's release. There's an average human drama subplot, but the rest is pretty stuck up [their own a***] comedy.

Ross Collins
Ross Collins

Super Reviewer

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