All You Need Is Cash, 1978

Proof that no subject has been off limits to comedy All You Need Is Cash (also known as The Rutles) was a TV mockumentary film first screened in 1978.

It was a co-production  between the production companies of  Eric Idle and Lorne Michaels.  The film traces the career of a fictitious band The Rutles that had first appeared in Eric Idle’s TV show Rutland Weekend Television three years earlier in 1975, can you see a pattern ? TV listings magazine TV Guide described The Rutles resemblance to The Beatles as purely and satirically intentional”  In fact former Beatle George Harrison had a cameo role in the film.

The film was first broadcast in The USA on NBC where it achieved the lowest ratings of any show on primetime TV that week., although it did gain some good reviews.  When shown in the UK 5 days later it faired rather better in the ratings.

The film also benefitted from an all star cast.


All You Need Is Cash is a series of skits and gags that illustrate the fictional Rutles story, closely following the chronology of the Beatles’ career.












Eric Idle – Dirk McQuickly (Parody of Paul McCartney), The Narrator (parody of Alan Whicker), Stanley J. Krammerhead III, Jr., occasional visiting professor of applied narcotics at the University of Please Yourself, California
John Halsey – Barry Wom (Barrington Womble, Ringo Starr parody)
Ricky Fataar – Stig O’Hara (George Harrison parody)
Neil Innes – Ron Nasty (John Lennon parody)
Gwen Taylor – Mrs Iris Mountbatten/Chastity (Yoko Ono parody)

Guest Cameos Included

Mick Jagger – Himself
Paul Simon – Himself
George Harrison – The Interviewer
Frank Williams – record producer Archie Macaw (partial parody of George Martin)


Channel: NBC (USA), BBC2 (UK)
Written By: Eric Idle and Neil Innes
Production Company: Broadway Video
Directed By: Eric Idle and Gary Wells
Original Transmission Dates: 22nd March 1978 (USA), 27th March 1978 (UK)




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