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

Tristram Shandy: A Cock & Bull Story (2005)



Critic Consensus: Though Laurence Sterne's novel was considered more or less impossible to successfully adapt to film, director Michael Winterbottom has done it in Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story, by making movie about the making of the movie. Stars Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon add madcap, knowing performances to the mix, and the result is a fun, postmodern romp, before there was any modern romp to post.

Tristram Shandy: A Cock & Bull Story Trailers & 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.more
Rating: R (for language and sexual content)
Genre: Sports & Fitness, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Martin Hardy, Frank Cottrell Boyce
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jul 11, 2006
Box Office: $1.1M
Picturehouse - Official Site


Steve Coogan
as Tristram Shandy/Walt...
Rob Brydon
as Toby Shandy/Rob Bryd...
Keeley Hawes
as Elizabeth Shandy/Kee...
Shirley Henderson
as Susannah/Shirley Hen...
Dylan Moran
as Dr. Slop/Dylan Moran
Stephen Fry
as St. Patrick Curator/...
Gillian Anderson
as Widow Wadman/Gillian...
Conal Murphy
as Tristam Shandy (age ...
Joe Williams
as Tristam Shandy (age ...
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 Repor...
Stuart Wilson
as Sound Mixer
James Randle
as Hotel Reception Mana...
Joe Williams
as Tristam Shandy (age ...
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Tristram Shandy: A Cock & Bull Story

Critic Reviews for Tristram Shandy: A Cock & Bull Story

All Critics (131) | Top Critics (41)

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.

Full Review… | May 12, 2006
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

Stands alongside -- if not above -- Adaptation as one of the best films about the process.

Full Review… | November 7, 2012
Empire Magazine Australasia

A typically rambling, freewheeling effort from Michael Winterbottom...

Full Review… | June 22, 2011
Reel Film Reviews

Director Michael Winterbottom may not have proved that you can film this unfilmable book, but he definitely proved he can film a funny movie about trying to film it.

Full Review… | October 6, 2010
Three Movie Buffs

Coogan and Brydon make a beautiful squabbling couple

Full Review… | August 30, 2009

Equal parts literature and lunacy.

Full Review… | February 28, 2008

Audience Reviews for Tristram Shandy: A Cock & Bull Story


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

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

Super Reviewer


your mileage may vary according to your taste in 18th century literature, british comedy and/or the post-modern film stylings of michael winterbottom/steve coogan. i enjoyed it very much, tho it's messy and not everything works. one clever bit, amongst many clever bits, was the score's subtly referencing everything from barry lyndon to 8 1/2, perhaps an allusion to the many charges of plagiarism against the novel

Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

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