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 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.


Four Oxford Professors

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 lolipops 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 visting 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 visting 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 recption was not the best in the world. To give a general idea of how bad it was, the film has a 0.5% on Rotten Tomatoes. The main problem was that the film was black-and-white, but that wasn't just because of BBC1. It was shown two weeks later on BBC2 and it was still in black-and-white. The reason for this is unknown.

This film was the reason why The Rutles has next to no involvment in Yellow Submarine Sandwich (aside from Dirk doing all of the voices); they were very discouraged by the film's performance, but they forgot it two days later.


The songs, in order of use:
  • Piggy in the Middle
  • Your Mother Should Go
  • The Tragical History Bus
  • The tent where "Blue Gay Way" is watched
  • The same tent moments later
  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. Hold My Hand  (orchestrated, as background music)
  6. I Am the Waitress/Piggy in the Middle
  7. A third unknown piece
  8. Blue Gay Way
  9. "Life Hike For Ugly" by The Bongo Cat Puke-Up Band
  10. Your Mother Should Go
  11. Tragical History Tour
  12. Hello, Get Lost  (part, finale played over end credits)

VHS and DVD ReleaseEdit

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

See AlsoEdit

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