There are films in life, that you cannot miss out on. Movies that defined the industry. And then you get those movies, which if missed, will leave you completely clueless in university when everyone recites lines from it at point-blank range to your face.
And despite being older than anyone here, when it comes to sheer insanity over a 90 minute running time, nothing beats Monty Python and the Holy Grail. And if you disagree, then your mother was probably a hamster.
King Arthur and his knights embark on a low-budget search for the Grail, encountering many very silly obstacles.
The first, actual proper film from the Pythons, the Holy Grail is just an insane ride of ideas that flow into one another. You know the scenes that we’re talking about. The Killer rabbit. The French Knights. The bitchy three-headed giant. Brave Sir Robin. Over an hour and a half, the film just runs wild with these ideas. One scene you find King Arthur debating modern day politics with a well educated peasant, the next moment he’s carving limbs off of a stubborn black knight as if he was making a new SAW movie.
That’s a result of the film having two directors, in the form of Pythons Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones. It doesn’t always gel together, but when it does, it’s magical. But the best thing about this film, is despite the fact that it was filmed in the most inhospitable terrain known to mankind, Scotland in the winter, is that all the primary Pythons are at their best in it.
You’ve got Eric Idle camping it up as sir Robin who has about as much courage as Dali Tambo has integrity, Michael Palin switching from good-natured champion to ruthless Yorkshire businessman, John Cleese stabbing anything with a pulse as Sir Lancelot, Graham Chapman clearly in need of a drink and Terry Jones proving that the world is indeed banana-shaped. Oh, and Terry Gilliam as Patsy. And that weird sorcerer.
But even after 38 years, I’m always finding something new to laugh at in that film. A little gag in the background there. A joke a missed over here. Shrubberies. The beautiful thing about this film, is that it’s aged wonderfully. The jokes from 1975 are still relevant today, maybe even moreso than back then.
The little jibes at politics, censorship and culture all wrapped up in one ludicrous tale of King Arthur and his Knights seeking a grail-shaped object, is something that needs to be watched by everyone at least once in their lifetime. And if you disagree with that, then all that I shall say to you…is NI!
Last Updated: June 5, 2013