History is turned on its comic head when, in tenth-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 the Enchanter, 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
Some believe the Enchanter's name is Tim because John Cleese forgot the character's original name, and ad-libbed the line, "There are some who call me...Tim". However, Cleese disputes this. During a 2018 live tour, he said there was no improvisation in the final movie. See more »
Near the end of the Monks' head pounding scene, the monk in the foreground appears to hit himself so hard that he stumbles. 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 »
On the 2001 Region 1, 2-disc DVD, the mock-Scandinavian subtitle "Mønti Pythøn ik den Hølie Gräilen" is missing. This subtitle is restored on the 2006 Region 1 "Extraordinary Deluxe Edition". See more »
Monty Python will always be loved or hated depending on your personality. And this is Monty Python at its typical best. If you like daft jokes, killer fluffy animals, bad accents and intelligent discussions that will most likely go over your head the first time round, then you will love The Holy Grail.
The jokes vary from obvious visual puns (coconut halves to represent horses) and audio puns ("I am Roger the Shrubber") to more subtle and intelligent jokes ("I thought we were an autonomous collective" / the Witch-burning scene). The greatest thing about the Holy Grail is that there's something for everyone. No one is left out.
What many don't realise is the sophisticated intelligence behind the jokes that many of later generations don't understand (back in the Life of Brian - Romani Ite Domun - which wouldn't have such impact on the youngsters who never had to suffer through Latin classes) such as the witch burning scene, where it was true that any means possible was used to warp the natural and legal laws to create the desired result i.e. one less warty woman in the village, and how the mish-mash of Celtic tribes were suddenly forced to become a diplomacy ("Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony!"). It always reminds me of Blackadder - how so many great jokes were wasted by bad timing or bad judgement on the audience's vocabulary.
And for those who can't keep up with historical jokes, there's the Black Knight, Tim, and Zoot to keep you occupied. They sure as hell make me laugh.
So if you like daft humour, go for it! But promise to check out the subtle jokes as well. It's worth the effort, and you'll learn a little about history too.
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