Top 365 Films – #056 – Monty Python And The Holy Grail (1975)


Top 365 Films - Monty Python and the Holy GrailDIRECTED BY: Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones

STARRING: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Neil Innes, Connie Booth, Carol Cleveland, Bee Duffell, John Young, Rita Davies, Avril Stewart and Sally Kinghorn

BUDGET: $0.4m

EARNED (Worldwide): $5m

AWARDS: None

 

SYNOPSIS

King Arthur and his knights embark on a low-budget search for the Grail, encountering many, very silly obstacles.

 

Monty Python & The Holy Grail takes us back to 932, where King Arthur, his squire Patsy, and his Knights of the Round Table (Sir Bedevere the Wise, Sir Galahad the Pure, Sir Lancelot the Brave and Sir Robin the Not-Quite-So-Brave-As-Sir-Lancelot) are sent on a mission as instructed by God to seek the Holy Grail.

 

No matter how many times I watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail, regardless of I know the majority of the dialogue word for word, I will still laugh just as much at certain scenes throughout the film as I did when I first saw it. Granted it is all rather silly (and plays its silliness off perfectly) it’s the sequences of setting the scenes with a hilarious payoff to come, from the father and son moment at Swamp Castle which leads to Sir Lancelot’s finest (or not-so-finest) moment, to King Arthur and his squire Patsy witnessing a green knight fighting a black knight, leading to the hilarious face off between Arthur and said black knight. The narrative is chaotic and unconventional and yet it’s all the better for it with some great use of animation from Terry Gilliam and some great lines (‘Look, let me go back in there and face the peril./No, it’s too perilous’) a simple paragraph even praising The Holy Grail doesn’t do justice for it. One of my favourite all time comedies.

 

FAVOURITE SCENE: Believing that there is a lady being held against her will after discovering a note tied to an arrow, Sir Lancelot makes his way to save ‘her’ at Swamp Castle. The opening appearance of Lancelot making no forward momentum getting to the castle with the drum roll works perfectly for the mayhem that’s to take place.

FAVOURITE QUOTE: ‘King Arthur: Now stand aside, worthy adversary.

Black Knight: ‘Tis but a scratch.

King Arthur: A scratch? Your arm’s off.

Black Knight: No it isn’t.

King Arthur: What’s that, then?

Black Knight: …..I’ve had worse.

King Arthur: You liar.

Black Knight: Come on ya pansy.’

DID YOU KNOW?: The famous depiction of galloping horses by using coconut shells (a traditional radio-show sound effect) came about from the purely practical reason that the production simply couldn’t afford real horses.

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