Synopsis: Yoiks! Here be the Python’s tale of good King Arthur (Graham Chapman) and his knights as they quest for the Holy Grail. Watch as they face great odds and silly sots. See them wage battle against the fierce Killer Rabbit (“Run away! Run away!”) And, see them confront the dreaded Knights Who Say “Ni!”
Oh, these be trying times. Can these good knights pass the test of valor and cut down yon tree with herring? Or will they blow themselves to smithereens with Holy Hand Grenades? Courage, Lancelot! Onward, Galahad!
A hysterical, historical tour-de-farce from Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones.
eyelights: the brilliant cast. the nutty animation. the gut-bursting first third. the opening credits. the swallows debate. Supreme Executive Power. the French. the Black Knight. the majestic moose. Sir Bedevere’s scientific knowledge. the Tale of Sir Galahad. the Bridge of Death.
eyesores: the slowly derailing plot. the abrupt ending.
French Soldier: “Well, I’ll ask him, but I don’t think he will be very keen. Uh, he’s already got one, you see.”
Welcome to The Critical Eye’s Blurb of the DVD of the Special Edition of the Film of ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’ – Executive Version. We here at TCE take pride in blathering on endlessly about things that most people don’t much care for and, thus, couldn’t be bothered reading about.
And that is why we chose ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’.
…Not because people don’t much care for it and, thus, couldn’t be bothered reading about it. No, no… that’s prespoterous.
What we mean is that, in a complete about face, we have decided to write about something that people actually do care about.
At least mildly.
(If not less.)
For many, ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’ is the best Monty Python movie. I whole-heartedly, humbly, disagree. In fact, it is the best Monty Python movie that is not ‘Life of Brian‘ (which it isn’t, no matter which claims are made to that effect)(I checked). But, in the absence of ‘Life of Brian’, yes, ‘Life of Brian’ certainly is tops.
Urm… ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’ is tops. Yes, ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’.
If ‘Life of Brian’ were to be ignored.
It’s a terrific introduction to the absurd humour of the Pythons, of course. When I first saw it, I was maybe sixteen (I was being indecisive). A friend brought it over to another friend’s place. Where I was visiting. I was always there. We all were. We would congregate there, we teens, to watch movies, listen to music, and be a nuisance…
“Get on with it!”
Right. Anyway, I (re)discovered Python there – after another friend’s failed attempt at introducing me to ‘Life of Brian’ some three years prior. This first actual, proper, unexpurgated viewing was revelatory: I had never seen anything like it, although I had known the zaniness of Zucker/Zucker/Abraham and The Muppets.
It was the start of a growing love of Monty Python. Growing, because I didn’t always get it: sometimes, they were totally baffling to me. But, with time, and the right amount of mental derailment, I came around. I am now an avowed fan of Monty Python – more so than one’s average silly person and/or accountant-type.
Which I’m not. An accountant type, I mean.
(However, I did attain the correct amount of mental derailment.) (No he/I didn’t.) (Ha! Pull the other one!)
It had been years since I’d last seen ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’. I had seen it far too often over the years, and felt that it was inconsistent, petering out to the most unsatisfying conclusion. And so it was that, for this viewing, I was watching it with different eyes: I was picking out the Pythons from their roles for the first time.
In the old days, before I watched anything remotely Pythonesque, I had a difficult time telling some of them apart. They’re nothing alike, of course, but I couldn’t get my head on straight; they played too many parts, wore too many disguises, I suppose. For the first time, I was able to savour each Python for his/her performance.
Editor’s note: officially… there is no “her” in Monty Python. But Carol Cleveland was there a lot. And the Pythons dressed up like women a lot – ravishingly lovely women. And, also, we want to be politically correct.
In ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’, the Pythons incarnate a vast array of characters, both silly and stupid. I mean, both silly and serious. But their central roles are King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, who travel the land, defying all odds and facing all manners of danger in their quest for the Holy Grail.
“They’re Knights of the Round Table, they dance whene’er they’re able. They do routines and chorus scenes with footwork impec-cable. They dine well there in Camelot, they eat ham and jam and Spam a lot. They’re Knights of the Round Table, their shows are for-mi-dable. But many times they’re given rhymes that are quite un-sing-able. They’re opera mad in Camelot, they sing from the diaphragm a lot. In war they’re tough and able; quite in-de-fa-ti-gable. Between their quests they sequin vests and impersonate Clark Gable. It’s a busy life in Camelot. Some have to push the pram a lot.”
On second thought, let us not talk about ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’. It is a silly film.
Did you know that the moose is an animal native to Sweeden? No, realli! Although it can be found in mani other countryes, not leest of which is the mountainous but otherwise humourless Guatemala, the moose was first discovered by Ingwin Bergman, inspiring his cousin’s film ‘Sommaren med Monika’ (subtly substituting the moose for Monika).
It was love at first sight and Bergman began to gro a wyde range of meese in his large elkengården. Eschewing a career as a pengwin farmer, he began to export moose seed to the farthest reaches of the globe, integrating this majestic animal in its new habitats to meet local needs. Untold riches were at his fingertips, which he licked clean daili.
The meese are not just the world’s most loved pet, but its various breeds have become indispensable. The guatellama, for example, is a great source of Central American cheese (it’s even more popular than the Venezuelan Beaver Cheese, actualli). And the world-famous Elkswagon Bleatle is entireli made of discarded moose antler shavings!
But it was not all kul and spel for Bergman.
It is a little known fakt that the Swedish cartoon character Mickey Moose was pilfered by Walt Disni. If not for his unfathomable success and the litigious predilections of the corporation named after him, it is quite likeli that today, childryn of all ages from around the world would be singing “M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-O-S-E! Mickey Moose! Mickey Moose!”
Alas, it was not to be, and now our pop cultural landscape is littered with glove and shorts-a-wearing mouses – far less majestic creatures than the moose! Imagine, for a moment if you will, a magik kingdom with antlers on it…
Editor’s note: We apologise for the fault in our blurb. Those responsible have been sacked.
Com and see the violence inherent in the sistem. Help! Help! I’m being repressed!
Editor’s note: Bloody writers!
Oh, what a giveaway! Did you hear that? Did you hear that, eh? That’s what I’m on about! Did you see him repressing me? You saw him, Didn’t you?
Editor’s note: We apologise again for the fault in our blurb. Those responsible for sacking the people who have just been sacked have been sacked.
The Pythons took great care to ensure that their film followed canon, of course. Terry Jones, a history buff if ever there was one, spent much time researching each aspect of the script for factual errors, inserting as many as possible into the film during production. The largest of them all, of course, was the absurd notion that King Arthur would ride on a horse, instead of a majestic moose…
Editor’s note: The directors of the firm hired to continue the blurb after the other people had been sacked, wish it to be known that they have just been sacked. The blurb has been completed in an entirely different style at great expense and at the last minute.
It will begin in one…
Post scriptum: See this movie. It has meese in it. It is loveli.
Date of viewing: March 6, 2014