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Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Released

Latest Home Video

Mar 06, 2012

MPAA Rating:

PG


Run Time:

91

Director

Terry Gilliam

Terry Jones

Cast

Terry Gilliam

Terry Jones

Michael Palin

John Cleese

Eric idle

and Graham Chapman

Studio

1975 Sony Pictures

Still shot from the movie: Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

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Reviewed by

OverallC+
ViolenceC+
SexC
LanguageC+
Drugs/AlcoholA
Run Time91

Making the Grades

Some films are destined to become part of cinematic history, woven into everyday life despite their oddball flavor. Monty Python and the Holy Grail is one of those unusual escapades that is still quoted and alluded to years after its 1975 release.

Based on a British TV show that ran in England from 1969-1974 and debuted in the United States in 1974, Monty Python is the creative work of six imaginative comedians. Using their talents as sketch artists, they wrote the script as well as acted (in numerous roles) in this unconventional tale about the famous King Arthur. Two members of the group, Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones, also directed the production.

Hoofing his way across the lush countryside, King Arthur (Graham Chapman) is followed by his trusty squire who improvises the sound of horse's hooves with a couple of hollow coconut shells. On the way, the duo meet a peculiar assortment of peasants that give little heed to their royal sire. Luckily, Arthur is able to round up a few good knights to join him at his Round Table.

However, on the way to Camelot, the King and his loyal men receive a rather irreverent visit from God who sends them on a quest for the Holy Grail. Deciding it will be faster to find the sacred artifact if they all split up, the men go their separate ways, allowing for a series of episodic tales of their adventures.

Each one is tempted by a trial that seems particularly fitting for them. The Not-So-Brave Sir Robin (Eric Idle) comes face to face with a three-headed knight that threatens to kill him just for spite. Sir Galahad the Pure (Michael Palin) is seduced by a castle full of pretty young girls who attempt to take away his chastity by inviting him to indulge in various sexual activities. Brave Sir Lancelot's (John Cleese) quick-thinking actions get him in trouble when he rashly slashes his way through a wedding party in order to rescue a captive held in a tower room. Even King Arthur's noble patience is tried by the relentless chatter of his own countrymen, as well as some rude French soldiers.

Mixing animation, musical numbers and scenes of complete nonsense, the film's humor is frequently based on wildly inane situations and dialogue that includes bathroom-type jokes, rude name-calling, profanities and occasional slurs. Violent acts are often portrayed in a slapstick fashion, although the numerous injuries inflicted by swords often spurt copious amounts of blood, leaving victims soaked in the red stuff and the body count rising.

With only a meager budget, the producers relied on crewmembers and curious bystanders to enhance the size of the cast. The film paid off for some of the actors whose careers were propelled onward and upward by their efforts. However, parents will have to decide if the British humor and the absurd antics in this cult favorite are appropriate for their family's funny bone.

Discussion Ideas After The Movie

Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

At the beginning of the film, a group of men are collecting dead bodies for disposal. What was causing the deaths? Why was it important to get rid of the bodies so quickly?

How do the portrayals of the knights in this film compare to other stories of King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table?

What elements of this film have contributed to it becoming a classic “cult” favorite? Are there any films have you seen recently that will still be popular 30 years from now?

Home Video Viewing Alternatives

Here are some ideas for home video titles that are related to Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Actor Clive Owen stars as a man full of ideals and commitment in a dramatic telling of King Arthur. Napoleon Dynamite is another quirky film about a high school student that gained a huge following after its release.

Canadian Movie Ratings

BC
SK
Not Rated
AB 14A
MB Not Rated
ON Not Rated
QC Not Rated
NB
NS
NL
PE
Not Rated

Canadian Home Video Rating: PG

Watch @ Home

Details on home video releases of Monty Python and the Holy Grail...

Blu-ray Notes: Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Blu-ray Release Date: 6 March 2012

Monty Python and the Holy Grail releases on Blu-ray with the following bonus extras:

- The Film re-mastered to high definition standards

- The Holy Book of Days Second Screen Experience

- Lost Animations with introduction by Terry Gilliam

- Outtakes & Extended Scenes with introduction by Terry Jones

-  Commentaries by Terry Gilliam & Terry Jones and John Cleese, Eric Idle & Michael Palin

- Quest for the Holy Grail Locations with Michael Palin & Terry Jones

- Lego Knights: The Knights of the Round Table in Lego

- Special Japanese Version

- How To Use Your Coconuts (an educational film)

- BBC Film Night on location

- Three Songs to sing-along

- Cast Directory Photo Gallery

Also hitting the market on March 6, 2012, The Holy Book of Days is an iTunes app letting Monty Python fans explore the 28 days of filming it took to make Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Outtakes, diaries, audio recordings, scripts, and scores of stills are featured.

Dvd Notes: Monty Python and the Holy Grail

DVD Release Date: 16 September 2003

The extras take almost as much time (or more) to watch than the original film. Disc One offers two full-length, scene specific audio tracks—one from the co-directors and another from the three surviving, prominent cast members. There are subtitles for “people who don’t like films” as well as the more traditional choices of English, Spanish and French. An on-screen script, extra footage from the Castle of Anthrax and a feature unlocking more film insights when you click on the Killer Rabbit are also highlighted.

Disc Two includes three sing-along Karaoke-type songs from the film. A 46 minute featurette shows Michael Palin and Terry Jones back onsite at the Scottish locations 26 years after the filming. The “Sacred Relic” section has a short educational film on how to use your coconuts, and a Japanese version of the French Castle and Knights of Ni sequences. An 18 minute report, produced by a BBC film crew in 1974, shows interviews with the cast and crew. Theatrical posters, photos, trailers, “unshot footage,” a Lego version and other oddities complete the clips. Presented in anamorphic 1.85 widescreen, the movie has audio tracks in English (Dolby Digital 5.1, and Dolby Digital 2.0 mono) and French (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono).

DVD Notes: Monty Python and the Holy Grail: The Extraordinarily Deluxe Edition

DVD Release Date: 3 October 2006

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment sets out on a quest, once again, to round up fans of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Releasing this time in a digitally re-mastered Extraordinarily Deluxe Edition, the to 2 DVD and 1 CD set offers such rare relics as the original motion picture soundtrack, the animated medley Spamalot (featuring Python Animations), an all-new Trivia Quiz and Grail trailer, as well as new and improved menus. Not to be outdone by past performances, this version also includes an encore ofall the added extras from the Special Edition (see the DVD notes above).

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