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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
From a technical viewpoint, "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" could be
called a seriously flawed and impaired film. Filmed on location in the
UK with a minimal budget and regular "Python" cast members, I seriously
doubt that anyone working on the project at the time had believed it
would spark such a cultural phenomenon. And revisiting the movie now,
post its release 28 years ago, is magical.
First-time viewers may be puzzled by the film's odd opening--in fact, stories of those who thought that they had entered into the wrong screening room come in abundance. But as soon as the voice of the coarse British man is audible the viewer realizes that he or she has been duped once again by the Python Troupe.
King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table have been sent on a most glorious quest by God Himself--to seek and maintain the Holy Grail, the legendary cup that Christ drank from during The Last Supper, prior to His execution, and which later caught His blood as he was left danging upon the cross.
But the seriousness surrounding the Holy Grail is left wholly untouched by the members of Monty Python--instead, we follow King Arthur and his men as they come upon an odd assortment of characters, including The Black Knight, Dennis, The Knights Who Say "Ni!", and The Killer Rabbit, all of whom hinder the daring soldiers in their quest for the Holy Grail.
Many people will find the humor of "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" ingenious, while others will find the exact same jokes and stints repetitive and ridiculous. I myself did not enjoy the film the first time I saw it as a child, but over the years I have come to appreciate its humor a bit more. I still find the jokes a bit too stretched out at times, and certain gags, though hilarious the first ten times, get a bit humorless the twentieth time around (the coconuts, for example, which are amazingly silly when first introduced, soon become tiring when they are treated as the highlight of a joke repetitively). However, often enough the jokes introduced at certain points in the films are merely played in the background further into the film--for example, the fact that the men do not ride on horses is quite a major idea the first time it is revealed, and becomes the central subject of a conversation between Arthur and the man atop the castle battlements. But later on the notion of no horses is played smaller and in the background as so we can concentrate on the current jokes at hand, as well as the missing horses as an added bonus.
There is absolutely nothing to truthfully discuss about "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," other than to say that at first it seems quite obnoxious, but it starts to grow on you. And this movie has definitely made a deep dig into our culture. In fact, on the commentary track for the newer DVD, John Cleese mentions that a pro American football player (or "footballer" as the English call them) and his buddy were thinking of a plan in the midst of a serious game. Their strategy was this on the field: Run away! Run away!
There are countless classic scenes, including the battle between The Black Knight and King Arthur ("I've had worse!"); the scene where Sir Lancelot the Brave (or Launcelot, as the script for the film names him) storms the Swamp Castle in hopes of rescuing a fair maiden and, in result, ends up destroying everything in his path (including the candle mounted along the wall leading to the spiralling staircase), saying that he gets a bit frantic and over-excited in this genre; Sir Robin and the Three-Headed Knight ("...when danger reared its ugly head he bravely turned his tail and fled..."); The Knights Who Say "Ni!" and their request for a shrubbery; the Killer Rabbit's attack on Arthur's merry men. That's just to name a few memorable scenes.
"Monty Python and the Holy Grail" may be the silliest film ever put on celluloid. It rarely makes sense, sometimes falls a bit flat, but always puts a smile on your face. And that's an achievement.
I am the type of person who finds fault with every film I see. If I were on the X factor I would be Simon Cowell. But every couple of years I see a movie which I cannot find fault with. Monty Python and the Holy Grail is perfect I have only ever given 4 films 10/10. This is one of them. The subtle blend of satire and wit with slapstick and ridiculous animations makes me laugh my arse off! Nowadays films like this with memorable quotes, mild language and no nudity don't exist. Monty Python and the Holy Grail punches The Inbetweeners Movie in the face very hard! (I hate the Inbetweeners but my friends love them) In my opinion it should be much higher in the top 250. This was the beginning of a comedy trilogy about as completely unconnected with each other as 2 completely unconnected things. My highly esteemed rating for Monty Python and the Holy Grail 10/10!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This has got to be one of the side-splittingly funniest films of all time.No one can deliver such cerebral humor as the pythonians,and this is truly their finest hour(OK,so its about an hour and a half).This film doesn't even wait for the show to begin to start you laughing,it goes for the throat during the opening credits(sorry I don't want to ruin it for you).It made me laugh till my tears were crying.If you are a single chap, and you want to know if a certain girl is right for you,then try this.Bring her to your home,cook her a wonderful meal,complete with a great bottle of wine,then plop her down in front of the telly and start this video(or DVD,whatever).If she is not laughing hysterically within ten minutes,then turn off the box,and break up with her immediately,as she has an impaired humor center in her brain(and will only cause you tremendous misery in the coming years).I only wish I had known of the "python Challenge" during my dating days.It would have saved me years of unremitting heartache(as well as thousands in legal fees). Please trust me on this one,it might just save your life.I give this movie an unrepentant 10,but would give it a 20+ if it were an option.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
God, how I love this movie. And perhaps even more so for being a fan of the time honored myths and legends this film so skillfully lampoons.
This is not so much a film as a collection of sketches - the narrative is not so tightly strung together as in the other Python classic, The Life of Brian, but how could this matter when there are so many moments of knicker-wettingly brilliant hilarity? There's the 'Invincible' Black Knight ("I'll bite your kneecaps off!")....the Castle Anthrax ("Can't I have just a little more peril?") and, my most oft quoted moment, the French who defeat Arthur and his knights, by first taunting them and then slinging farm animals over the castle walls. I post on message boards here quite often, and still tend to pull out "Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!" as an insult when the going gets tough!
The Python's strength lies in the fact that they are masters of humour in all it's forms. They are equally at home with schoolboy smut as they are with high brow satire - and the result is a film which constantly throws the audience curveballs and leaves them wondering what to expect.
My favourite Python, the wonderful John Cleese, excels yet again in multiple roles as the noble Lancelot, the Black Knight and Tim the Enchanter, among others. You get the impression of barely contained rage hidden within Cleese's rangy form, and I often wonder how he would make the transition to dramatic performances. Robin Williams has made the jump, while Steve Martin has had less success - and they are two comedians who's on screen personas are considerably more "cuddly" than Cleese. The scene in which Lancelot storms the castle to rescue Prince Herbert from his impending wedding, believing that there is in fact a princess held captive, is a highlight for me. This is purely because of Cleese's rather gentlemanly reaction to news that he, in his onslaught, stabbed the bride's father in the head - "Oh dear. Is he alright?"
And then there's the Holy Hand Grenade of Saint Antioch. "And he, being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it!" And the witch trial, featuring some incredibly dense peasants...."She turned me into a newt.....I got better!" Then there are the communist peasants..."I didn't know we had a king! I thought we were an autonomous collective!" And, of course, the Knights Who Say Ni.
Irreverent, childish....utterly hilarious. Complete class from start to finish.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I also recommend anyone to see this film, otherwise, I will "fetchez la vache", which is among my favourite lines of the movie. I saw it first when I was a kid but I didn't really get it-- obviously, you don't understand what social critique and mockery are when you're 9 years old. But when I saw it again recently, I just bursted out with laughter, from the deliberate errors in the opening credits to the French Guards to the killer rabbit and so forth. For 90 minutes, Me and my flatmate laughed out so loudly that Sarah, one of our neighbours, almost called the police on us-- I didn't see any reason why she should. She didn't do it because she eventually went along and laughed out loud, too! I dated her for that 3 days later!
I will preface this by saying that while I'm not a big Monty Python
fan, when they get it right, it is brilliant. The show had some great
sketches, but some were just bizarre and incomprehensible. The movie is
100% on the mark, starting from the titles with subtitles to its off
the wall ending.
It would be a disservice to explain the movie and the great scenes in this review. But a few things to note.
First, when you take into account that this film was done in 1974, most medieval movies of the time were glamorous set pieces with handsome knights and beautiful princesses. The Pythons skewered this notion completely: Arthur and his knights were commonplace blokes, and the sets were in some muggy, ugly areas. This may have been a budgetary issue, but interestingly enough, they probably depicted medieval England more authentically than even films nowadays.
Second, the amount of times the fourth wall is broken are numerous, and just goes to shows how dementedly hilarious the movie gets, but yet still holds the story well.
That said, if you have never seen Monty Python (who hasn't?), this is a whole different level of comedy--yes, silly is about right, but not in the crude "Paul Blart" or "Larry the Cable Guy" type of silly, but at the same time, not the cerebral "Dr. Strangelove" type of silliness.
And jolly good fun! With hilarious and memorable lines, MP`s trademark animation sequences and the constant jokes, this is a classic that will forever live in infamy. The Python`s take a well loved story and twist it until it comes out "Pythonized" so watch out if you are a famous historian! Five stars!
I heard a lot of things about Monty Python and the Holy Grail from my
friends who had seen it. They said that it was the funniest movie that
they had ever seen, and so I suggested that I must pick up this movie
on DVD and watch it. So, I sat down, watched it and I agree that this
is probably one of the, if not, "the" best comedy ever made.
STORY: Monty Python and the Holy Grail follows Arthur, King of the Britons (Graham Chapman) and his servant Patsy (Terry Gilliam); who they're looking for some knights to join them at Camelot. When they meet, King Arthur gets a message from God that he and his fellow knights must go on a quest to find the Holy Grail. When they do that, they come across very ridiculous, but rather amusing encounters.
MY THOUGHTS: The humor in Monty Python and the Holy Grail is so silly and clever that it blows every American comedy that has been made in the last couple of years out of the water. British comedy literally isn't painfully dumb than American comedy, although ridiculous, the humor in British comedy can make you laugh. That's what I liked a lot in Monty Python and the Holy Grail; is the humor.
Some of the animations are beautifully drawn and it gives a way to set up the subplot; just excellent. The way they used coconut halves and banging them together to make it sound like a horse trotting is so amusingly clever. The encounters were so funny and genuinely amusing, especially the encounter with The Black Knight, which I think is one of the silliest scenes in the history of comedy ("'Tis but a scratch." "Just a flesh wound."). And the part where King Arthur and his knights come across a French soldier who is taunting, another very hilarious scene ("I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberries."). There is also more, which I won't give away because I don't want to spoil the whole movie for everybody who hasn't seen this movie.
The main characters and a few of the supporting characters like Tim the Enchanter and Prince Herbert are very likable, hilarious, and well-developed. Although the rest have short appearances, they were funny as well. There were a lot of silly moments in Monty Python and the Holy Grail that I suggest that people should definitely check out.
THE ACTING: The acting in this is excellent and very funny. Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, among the other guys from "Monty Python", they do excellent playing multiple roles.
IN CONCLUSION: Monty Python and the Holy Grail is without a doubt the best comedy ever made. I can't recommend this movie enough. This is definitely worth checking out.
WOW! is all i can say about this comedy epic. i had seen it 8 years ago
but all i remembered of it was the rabbit scene. and i had no
recollection on how it ended. now 8 years later i got the double disc
DVD and as usually i watch everything on the discs. including those
stupid subtitle tracks. the film itself is simply brilliant. after
about 3 and a half minutes of quite amusing credits it starts with a
scene with king Arthur having the most meaningless argument with a
guard in a castle. it's my favorite scene in the film. my favorite line
i: "Are you suggesting that coconuts migrate?" HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! i love
that line! it then goes on to another favorite scene of mine with
Dennis. he was quite the menace for the king. heh...get it? menace?
Dennis? it was the....never mind....
the film then plays out with oh so many funny scenes and meaningless arguments that you'll die laughing. this is the perfect film for Saturday night or any other day for that matter. totally recommended to anyone in any age! watch it over and over and over again!
Way too often when I ask people their favorite movies...one of these three
flicks is offered.....Spaceballs...Shawshank Redemption or Monty Python and
the Holy Grail.I've always considered these movies over- rated and thus
avoided seeing them while simultaneously readjusting downward my opinion of
the cinematic tastes of those recommending the flicks.
I only avoided Shawshank for a few months. I've got to admit it was pretty good when I finally saw it and if I would have waited a few more months it probably would have been better and if I had waited a few years it probably would have been great. I waited twenty years to see Spaceballs and when it was finally forced upon me I watched it with an attempted open mind but kept comparing the flick unfavorably to other Brooks films like Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, High Anxiety, Silent Movie,and The Producers. I came away with the reinforced bias that Mel lost his touch after Silent Movie. I held out for almost thirty years on Monty Python. Then to my alarm my twelve year old daughter Mary told me that Monty Python was the funniest movie she had ever seen. I like Mary's taste and when I told her that I had never seen Holy Grail, she was surprised and encouraged me to rent the DVD which I did. I played it last night and yup, I loved it. Truly an original film. We laughed and now everybody is walking around going "neeth" etc. Of the three Grail is the best, Redemption second and Spaceballs a distant third. I wouldn't say I missed the boat..rather I waited three decades to catch it. Now I'm on board...sort of
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