History is turned on its comic head when, in 10th century England, King Arthur travels the countryside to find knights who will join him at the Round Table in Camelot. Gathering up the men is a tale in itself but after a bit of a party at Camelot, many decide to leave only to be stopped by God who sends them on a quest: to find the Holy Grail. After a series of individual adventures, the knights are reunited but must face a wizard named Tim, killer rabbits and lessons in the use of holy hand grenades. Their quest comes to an end however when the police intervene - just what you would expect in a Monty Python movie.Written by
In the Killer Rabbit scene, a real white rabbit was used. He was dyed with what was assumed to be a washable red coloring liquid in the shots after the battle. When filming wrapped the rabbit's owner was dismayed to learn the dye could not be rinsed off. Terry Gilliam described in an audio commentary that the owner of the rabbit was present and shooting was abruptly halted while the cast desperately attempted to clean the rabbit before the owner found out, an unsuccessful attempt. He also stated that he thought that, had they been more experienced in film-making, the crew would have just purchased a rabbit instead. Otherwise the rabbit himself was unharmed. The rabbit-bite effects were done via special puppetry by both Terry Gilliam and SFX technician John Horton. See more »
During the witch trial a couple of chickens on a rooftop disappear and reappear between shots. See more »
On the Regions 2 and 4 DVD's (Europe and Australasia) release, the end credits are extended to three minutes (rather than 20 seconds) of a black screen with the intermission music. See more »
That same extra footage was also on the original UK pre-certificate Brent Walker Video, which also included the theatrical trailer with what sounds like Burt Kwouk doing the voice over in Chinese/Cantonese. As well as this it also included the few minutes of organ music at the end of the film. This version was released in widescreen. See more »
WHAT is the capital of Assyria? I don't know that!
I do know, however, that Monty Python and the Holy Grail is one of the funniest movies ever made. Let's face it, if the Python hadn't showed up in 1969, someone would have created them by now, or the world would be a much sadder place. Alongside Life of Brian, which is the sextet's masterpiece, Holy Grail is an excellent start if you want to get addicted to their surreal humor.
As suggested in the title, the film deals with the Arthurian stories, freely reinterpreted by the Python ensemble: after recruiting his knights, including Sir Lancelot (John Cleese), Sir Robin (Eric Idle), Sir Bedevere (Terry Jones) and Sir Galahad (Michael Palin), King Arthur (Graham Chapman) embarks on a mission from God (also Chapman, voice only though): to seek and find the Holy Grail. No need to say, the journey is going to be perilous, but also hilarious, our heroes doing their "best" to screw everything up.
As in Life of Brian, there are so many good bits choosing just one or two feels reductive and disrespectful, given the material. It's pure comedy gold from start to finish, a non-stop gag marathon: from the mock Scandinavian subtitles in the opening credits to the argument about swallows, from the Killer Rabbit to the Black Knight and the jaw-dropping epilogue, you will keep grinning like never before (if you're unfamiliar with these comedians, that is). Actually, after some serious thinking I can select two particular sequences as particularly memorable: the Knights who say "Ni!" and the Bridge of Death. The rest of the film is ace too, but those two scenes are the ones I can't stop thinking of fondly whenever the movie is mentioned.
Oh, and let's not forget Terry Gilliam's vital contribution: he doesn't appear that much as an actor (his Bridgekeeper is absolute genius, though), but he compensates that with the remarkable animations used to depict part of this epic adventure. Speaking of epic, this picture has one of the most brilliant tag-lines in comedy history, if not film history in general.
Oh yes, the world wouldn't be quite the same without the Monty Python. Even the most miserable person on the planet will laugh like a lunatic after viewing any of their films.
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