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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.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
To review "Monty Python & the Holy Grail", there are five schools, I
mean three :
1--- The Ecstatic Review : One of the greatest laugh riots ever committed on the big screen, an epic quest of absurdity like only the glorious Monty Python could have lead.
2--- The Not-so-ecstatic-but-no-less-enthusiastic Review : Damn, I wish the movie was longer, couldn't they get more budget, it's such a shame. Oh, well, I had a great time, and only for the opening credits, the movie deserves its reputation.
1--- The Ecstatic Review (again): You don't get it, Harold, that's exactly the point, it's a low-budget film, and its apparently low quality contributed to the high popularity of the film. Man, it's called a parody.
2--- The Not-so-ecstatic-but-no-less-enthusiastic Review : I know, what a parody is, Bernard, thank you. But my point was that the movie could have been so much better if only
*** WE APOLOGIZE FOR THE FAULT IN THE REVIEW. HAROLD AND BERNARD HAVE BEEN SACKED ***
3--- The Not-ecstatic-not-really-enthusiastic-in-fact-quite-negative Review : This movie is so flawed I don't even know where to start, hell, they didn't even have horses and Aaaaarggggh!
*** WE APOLOGIZE AGAIN, FOR THE NEGATIVITY EXPRESSED IN THAT REVIEW. THE AUTHOR HAS BEEN S WELL, SHALL WE SAY, HE MET WITH AN UNFORTUNATE ACCIDENT ***
As I was saying, to review "Monty Python & the Holy Grail", there are three, I mean two schools of review that actually can both be fused into one unique review, MINE, so let me be the bard to sing the praises of this epic tale of hilarity through :
I--- The Self-Hedonistic-Introspectively-Tautological Review : The comic genius of the film is so surrealistic it goes beyond any reasonable attempt to measure, judge and therefore give it a proper review. It would be like answering the eternal question : "What's the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?" I think one should consider the wisdom of Sir Bevedere who said that "The Earth is banana shaped", an interestingly fruity allusion which is not without reminding Newton's apple that would revolutionize the law of Physics and originate one of the most important principles governing the film, the one I call
1/ The 'Tarte Tatin' principle :
This culinary example might satisfy the descendants of the French "Ka-niggets", the tart was basically invented when a woman who burnt her apple pie rescued it by putting the pastry on the apples and turning out the upside down tart. The result became a famous and delicious dessert. "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" works the same way, it's botched, disjointed, irreverent, turning into derision every cinematic mechanism of the epic genre, but the result is just one of the funniest laugh-out-loud comedies and one of the perfect examples of the level of sophistication and unlimitedness that absurdity can reach, the one I call
2/ The 'Red Nose' principle :
"Monty Python and the Holy Grail" is a succession of incoherent episodic sketches governed by strong coherence in absurd style and surrealistic comedy, and vice versa. The film is the celebration of the boundlessness of comedy. Here's a mathematical demonstration that would have made Sir Bevedere proud : let's admit, by hypothesis, that there was one limit "NI" that comedy could never exceed. Now, what is the definition of comedy? According to the Oxford dictionary, it's a "professional entertainment consisting of jokes and sketches, intended to make an audience laugh". Now, if "NI" existed, that would mean that there would be no comedic purposes in anything above that "Nl" level, which indirectly means that there's absolutely no one who would ever laugh to any subject implying the use of comedy above the "Nu" sorry the "NI" level, in other words, anything above the "Nl" level could be admitted as 100% serious. But consider that total seriousness is so psychologically oppressive that it inevitably implies the use of a comical element to relieve the tension. And the use of a comic relief is even more necessary in a totally serious narrative. So, from a reductio-ad-absurdum, I've demonstrated that even in the existence of a limit above which we can't laugh, we realize that not only we can, but we should. Quod Erat Demonstratum. Whatever seriousness you build, whatever order you create, it's meant to collapse. That's the principle, the one I call
3/ The 'Castle of Cards' principle :
The castle of cards has only one goal in its short existence, to collapse. It's the perfect demonstration of the ephemeral essence of any organized and perfectly structured entity. And the higher it gets, the closer is the cataclysm. What's that to mean? "Monty Python & the Holy Grail" highlights the eternal victory of anarchy over order, and how even anarchy can be appealing. It's a perfect assemblage of chaotic situations, that gets your mind acclimated to the so universal and true unpredictability of life. Nothing can surprise you, yet everything is absolutely surprising : a three-headed knight, a black knight who continues the fight even if he's totally chopped off, a witch with a fake noise, a castle full of virgins with nymphomaniac impulses, a harmless bunny that can decapitate you in one second, and one of the worst cases of cinematic party pooping ever. Everything is built up until it dramatically ends in one of the most brilliantly abrupt endings, demonstrating the inevitable destruction of every measurable structure. World was created from chaos and it will end up in chaos in such a pointlessness that absurdity is the only language that could define it. Also ...
*** ANY ATTEMPT TO TAKE THIS REVIEW SERIOUSLY WILL BE PUNISHED BY MOOSE TRAMPLING, ACCORDING TO THE SEVERE BUT FAIR LAW OF SVENSONLUNDERJUNGERGUNDESON***
i recently re watched this movie for about the 20th time and still was reduced to tears out of pure hysteria. this movie is true comedy and almost every part will have you laughing. the first time i watched this movie i was crying so hard from laughter during the opening credits. The Monty Python guys seems to have found the formula for laughter and used it non-stop. it is probably one of the most recognisible and quotable movies ever made with almost every scene a classic from the black night, to the french guard to the knights who say "ni". you may find funny movies but the all hail in comparison to this comical masterpiece. a must see for those few who haven't. 11/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
With close to 600 reviews on IMDb, nearly all of them wildly positive,
one adds another about Month Python and the Holy Grail for much the
same reason as one lights a candle in a church - to pay tribute to
something or somebody that truly deserves to be remembered no matter
how many others may have done it before.
Inspired lunacy from start to end, this is a one-off film unlike any other and certainly the Python team at its peak. A sure sign of its unique features is that it hasn't been copied: there is no Holy Grail #2, Holy Grail Revisited or whatever for the simple reason that even the cretin script writers of today are brainy enough to realise this level of skill is untouchable - the Holy Grail, in fact.
I first howled with laughter at this flick aged fifteen, a few years after its release, and consider myself lucky - giggly teen age is probably the best time to be initiated to Python. Tonight, watching my own son go into paroxysms over the Black Night losing all his limbs, and the gorge guardian being flung down for confusing his swallows, made me realise that the Holy Grail has become an unlikely classic. It may well be one of the 50-odd 1900s films being watched in the year 3000. The Pythons did a lot of overrated stuff, but this is sublime.
Like so many pleasures in life, the typical Monty Python fare is a bit
of an acquired taste. Their comedy series, "Flying Circus," had many
funny moments, but I would estimate that 70% of it was just very silly
stuff that was so outlandish and off the wall that it didn't have much
of a wide appeal.
Holy Grail had more than its share of silliness as well, but it seemed that the troupe really had outdone themselves here with clever and original material. Some of the bits were so outrageously funny that I must have nearly split my sides laughing at the first viewing with a few friends. And they hurt afterwards as well, so I was apparently not the only one who loved this type of humor.
In typical Pythonesque fashion, much of the humor here is black comedy, with bits of gore sprinkled throughout. There was no swearing or nudity that I recall, which is odd for a comedy, instead there was a great deal of violence. It's almost a bit of a satire on the tendency for media outlets to be bastardized for nudity or sexuality, while extreme violence is often viewed as fine for all audiences.
What it really amounted to was the Pythons making light of the oft untouchable British legend of the immortal King Arthur. There are so many quotable lines and bits of clever dialog that I could probably see the movie a hundred more times and still be heartily amused. This is a true comedy classic and should not be missed.
This is possibly the most quotable film in existence. Pure genius from the opening scene to the intriguing climax (no spoilers here). This is my favourite Python film, with every character hilarious and wonderfully wacky. Each Python takes on a number of parts, with Palin carrying away the palm with no less than ten roles, and each is brilliant. King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table abandon Camelot (which is a very silly place, don't you know) in favour of the Quest for the Holy Grail, as ordered by God, who parts the clouds especially to have a chat. Along the way, the Knights - including Lancelot the Brave, Galahad the Pure, and Robin, the not-so-brave-as-Sir-Lancelot - encounter a number of ingenious and, indeed, silly, obstacles. The Python team are responsible for some of the most original and ingenious comedy ever seen on television or the big screen. This film is amongst their absolutely best work. Watch it, or you may just regret it for ever.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Even if you never heard the name :"monty python" , you will find it hard to stay indifferent to this magnificent film. the "so called" quest for the holy grail which marks the main theme of the movie is vaguely attended for, on this crazy "streem of conscious" comedy. on every possible occasion the movie wonders to absurd grounds with such off-topic debates as to what kind of sparrow can carry a coconut while maintaining air velocity, or what is the best system of governing is there to manage peasants - that is the kind of rubbish king Arthur has to endure on his no-good journey on a non existent horse to a grail he will never find, due to a sudden anachronistic burst of police officers that arrest him and his knights. indeed a good reason not going to Camelot is because "it's such a silly place" or maybe because "it's just a model"? who knows? but what i do know is that you'll never forget the dual between Arthur and the black night, or "the violence inherit in the system" sketch, or any number of unforgettable sketches you could find in this remarkable movie. you will be happy to get to know the amazingly talented cast of the "monty python's flying circus" legendary t.v. program from the early 70's BBC hit: john Cleese, Graham Chapman, Micheal Palin, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam, along with others who appeared regularly on the show (Connie Booth- Clees's ex-wife for egg.). pay special attention to the opening credits- in the Hebrew translated version i saw they hid the credits with the translation, so don't miss it by that chance. have fun! Sapir
When I first saw this, I must admit I was a tiny bit skeptic to a
low-budget movie starring John Cleese. I had seen Clockwise before I
saw this movie, and I had a bad experience with that one. When that's
been said, I must say I still laugh when I think of the scenes in this
movie.The opening is one of the most special opening scenes I have ever
seen. I saw this movie along with the rest of my class, and I'm pretty
sure they didn't know what on earth that was going on. Our teacher said
nothing of what kind of movie this was, so everyone thought it was
serious until about 2 minutes into the opening scene. From there on,
everyone knew that it would be an absurd, though funny movie. Since
there are so many strange and silly obstacles, and so incredibly absurd
humor, this movie is one strange, though extremely funny way of
picturing the knights of the round table.
The acting is this movie is also flawless. The characters act silly and ignorant, funny and gullible, everything expected from a Monty Python movie. Now, I haven't seen very many Monty Python movies or series, but I have seen Life of Brian, Meaning of life and Monthy Python and the holy grail. These are what I mean to be his best movies.
A glittering 10 out of 10 from me. A must-see for Monty Python fans and those who hasn't seen it 20 times...
the holy grail is an interesting film that i watch every month, classic comedy, that anyone with a sense of humor, including varying degrees of dry humor, can watch and enjoy. i love the fact that the movie is so not professional in structure and costume ans settings, it gives the whole film an entire taste or feel. i know this is a classic Python method, but this form of British comedy is going to be timeless. you will find that comedy will never return to this style, nothing here is slapstick but it gets close. 'it's just a flesh wound', is a common saying of mine, as with 'big sharp pointy teeth', i have to say that this film has in fact effected my life on an almost daily level. however one question still remains for me, what are those peasants actually digging for, why is Dennis after some lovely slope in the river bed?
NI, NI, NI, I command you to see this film, cause if you don't I will say NI until you do so. Simply the best film about the holy grail quest (yes tou can forget Excalibur and all the other movies that has been and hasn't been released. Cause this is the best and I mean the best movie that you can imagine. Simple , of the best adventure and how to make it fun (a special note for the rabbit and the beast of AAARRRGGGHHH) My only regret is that I won't have the surprise of the first view when I will see it today. A must simply a must. and don't forget: NI NI NI NI NI NI NI NI NI NI NI NI NI NI NI NI NI NI. Now you must go and see this film, it is all you must do in your existence SO DO IT. NI NI NI NI NI NI NI NI NI NI NI NI NI and this till the end.
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