Reviewer's Rating 4 out of 5   User Rating 5 out of 5
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

For a start, they couldn't afford horses so they simply pretended to be riding them to the sound of coconut shells they tapped together. Because Monty Python arouses expectations of silliness, it was just regarded as another joke in a film where the unexpected was expected to happen. The idea of turning the Arthurian legend into the subject for a Python film was a serendipitous one, and because its initial costs were so low it made more money pro rata than any other British film of its year.

The locations, in the remote Scottish Highlands, while beautiful, were rugged in the extreme, and the cast endured almost perpetual rain. It was enough to persuade Graham Chapman, who was playing King Arthur, to give up the demon drink.

The sufferings were well worth it, and the Pythons delivered a classic comedy. Immortal are the Knights who say Ni, the guard who doesn't hiccup but tries to get things straight, the killer bunny rabbit, the extraordinarily rude Frenchman, the Bridge of Death over the Gorge of Eternal Peril, the Black Beast of Aarrgghh, and the three-headed knight. But what is best remembered is the duel fought with the brave Black Knight whose limbs are lopped off one by one. Even then he is still indomitable, and as a still-upright torso he calls after his victor "Come back here... I'll bite your legs off."

Made after their televison series had ended, and directed by Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones, with Michael Palin, John Cleese, Eric Idle, and Graham Chapman also playing many parts, this rewarding film was an important turning point for the Pythons, bringing them financial liberation.

End Credits

Director: Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam

Writer: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin

Stars: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin

Genre: Comedy

Length: 90 minutes

Cinema: 1975

VHS: 19 August 1996

Country: UK

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