Monty Python and the Holy Grail was back in cinemas briefly this week to mark the 40th anniversary of the gloriously silly film. Professional Moron’s esteemed editor, Mr. Wapojif, first saw The Holy Grail in 1996 and laughed like an idiot throughout. Especially when the killer rabbit turned up.
Monty Python successfully blended complex, high culture concepts (such as philosophy, parrots, and fish) with utter ridiculousness. At their best they really were on it, although the TV sketch show could be hit-and-miss (as admitted by Micheal Palin). The films were much more focused. Which is good.
Regardless, although we’ll never admit to outright plagiarism, their work in the ‘60s paved the way for grown adults like us to behave like total idiots. We should be thankful. But we’re not.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
In Monty Python and the Holy Grail you’ve got King Arthur, played brilliantly (if drunkenly, as he was drunk during filming) by Graham Chapman, on a quest to seek the Holy Grail.
This epic task, bestowed onto him by God, is challenged relentlessly by the utter absurdity of the people and situations he comes across. He’s also hindered by his own stupidity, the erratic Knights of the Round Table, a killer rabbit, and the Knights who say Ni.
The film’s infinitely quotable and memorable, which is impressive considering it had a budget of £200,000. Monty Python’s set up (where the six members performed the majority of acting roles) will have helped considerably keep costs down, which results in viewers being able to enjoy the likes of John Cleese on fine form.
Whether he’s mistakenly massacring a castle of innocent wedding goers as Sir Lancelot, going Scottish as charmingly demented Tim the Enchanter, or refusing to give way as the Black Knight, he’s pretty epic throughout.
Everyone else is wicked, too, particularly Chapman as the pompous, shouty King of the Britains, but arguably the biggest scene stealer is the legendary killer rabbit. Introduced by Tim the Enchanter, the hapless King and his Knights fail to understand the gravitas of the situation, leaving brave Sir Robin to repeatedly foul himself.
Only the Holy Hand Grenade advances the narrative, which leads to one of the most bizarre endings in film history. Let’s just state it’s a fourth wall breaking moment which makes you question what on Earth you’ve just watched.
First released in 1975 (half a year before Jaws!) it’s become a celebrated classic, and if you’ve not watched it yet there really is something wrong with you. And the best thing? They topped it with Life of Brian in 1979.