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Tragical History Tour

Directed by:

The Rutles

Produced by:

The Rutles

Written by:

The Rutles

Music by:

The Rutles


The Rutles

Production company:

Rutle Pictures

Distributed by:

Rutle Pictures


26 December 1967

Running Time:

52 Minutes

Tragical History Tour (film)

Tragical History Tour is a self-indulgent 1967 film about four Oxford history professors on a tour of Rutland tea-shops. It was first shown on BBC1 and was poorly received by both critics and audiences.


The four professors in question.

As stated above, the film is about four Oxford history professors on a tour of Rutland tea-shops. Although that's a general idea, the film didn't have a script. Many ideas that ended up getting cut out, include:

  • A sequence where various ice cream, fruit, and lollipops were sold to the passengers but were returned because nobody could pay for them.
  • Ron, Dirk, Stig and Barry looking through a telescope, trying to find the bus.
  • Them actually visiting a tea-shop.
  • Some weirdo chasing one of the passengers around a hotel (this scene was directed by Ron).

What's left is many different scenes, such as visiting many places that are not actual tea-shops. Aside from that, a few musical numbers were thrown in, including I Am the Waitress and Blue Gay Way.


The reception was not the best in the world. To give a general idea of how bad it was, the film has a 0.5% on the review site Bitter Melon.

This film was the reason why The Rutles has next to no involvement in the Yellow Submarine Sandwich film (aside from Dirk doing all of the voices) as they were very discouraged by the film's performance.


A key sequence in the film features a performance by another group, The Dirty Mac Band. The band's piano player was John Lennon, who would later appear in a satire of The Rutles.


The songs, in order of use:

  1. Tragical History Tour
  2. The Fool on the Pill/Questionnaire
  3. Baby Let Me Be (played on a carnival-style organ)
  4. Lying
  5. All My Ruting (orchestrated, as background music)
  6. I Am the Waitress/Piggy in the Middle
  7. Stacy's Nightmare (film-exlucive, never officially released in audio format)
  8. Blue Gay Way
  9. "Wild Honey Pie" by The Dirty Mac Band
  10. Your Mother Should Go
  11. Tragical History Tour
  12. Hello, Get Lost  (part, finale played over end credits)

VHS and DVD Release[]

Tragical History Tour was released on VHS in 1988. It was released on DVD in 2009.

See Also[]