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Respect the Classics: “Monty Python & the Holy Grail”

Respect The Classics

“Monty Python and the Holy Grail” (1975)

By: Joe Suszczynski

 

Monty Python will forever be known as one of the best of all of the comedy troupes that have come and gone throughout the industry. With few exceptions, of all of their movies created, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” (1975) is the best. The film stars all six members of the group, all of whom wrote the screenplay. Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam directed.

The story starts with Arthur (Graham Chapman) as self-proclaimed “King of the Britons”  traveling throughout England, eventually meeting and befriending other knights played by the other Python members; they join him on his journey to Camelot. Despite his arrival, he decides to forgo it, deeming it a “silly place.”  Ultimately, they are faced with the task of finding the Holy Grail, as instructed by God (voiced by Chapman), who appears as an animated figure in the sky.

This movie is fantastic and is great in every single possible way.

All of the actors in the movie are hilarious, with every Python member playing more than one role. Chapman, however,  steals the show in his role as the character King Arthur. His mannerisms are just so funny that you cannot help but smile each and every time he is on screen. In addition, John Cleese does a great job as Sir Lancelot and the infamous Black Knight.

The jokes in the movie are absolutely hilarious, to the point where someone could choke from too much laughter. One joke that stuck out, in particular, is when the knights are being harassed by French soldiers, who, despite being in England, have a castle set up. In addition, they claim to possess the grail. The head French soldier begins to taunt them and launches farm animals at them; eventually the knights come up with a plan to trick the French soldiers. They construct a large wooden rabbit, a play on the wooden Trojan horse, and bring it up to the front door. The French simply take in the decoration without an ounce of hesitation. Once the rabbit is inside, Arthur asks Sir Bedevere (Terry Jones) for the next part of the plan. Bedevere explains that he and two others will get out of the rabbit during nightfall, taking the French by surprise, before realizing that he and the others forgot to get inside of the wooden rabbit to begin with. The French then lob the structure at them by catapult.

The writing for this movie is excellent. Along with the jokes being wonderfully written, the story itself is very well done. The characters develop very well throughout, each owning their own separate air time to further show the viewers what perils they get themselves into. A great aspect of the writing is that it remains very self-aware and will, on occasion, break the fourth wall, which is really amusing.

Overall, if you want to watch something hysterical, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” is the film to choose. The performances are great, and the jokes will keep you in stitches. I would also recommend watching this one with friends; it’s more enjoyable watching with company. For that, it needs to be respected.