Monty Python and the Holy Grail
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Monty Python And The Holy Grail
Could this be the funniest movie ever made? By any rational measure of comedy, this medieval romp from the Monty Python troupe certainly belongs on the short list of candidates. According to Leonard Maltin's Movie & Video Guide, it's "recommended for fans only," but we say hogwash to that--you could be a complete newcomer to the Python phenomenon and still find this send-up of the Arthurian legend to be wet-your-pants hilarious. It's basically a series of sketches woven together as King Arthur's quest for the Holy Grail, with Graham Chapman as the King, Terry Gilliam as his simpleton sidekick Patsy, and the rest of the Python gang filling out a variety of outrageous roles. The comedy highlights are too numerous to mention, but once you've seen Arthur's outrageously bloody encounter with the ominous Black Knight (John Cleese), you'll know that nothing's sacred in the Python school of comedy. From holy hand grenades to killer bunnies to the absurdity of the three-headed knights who say "Ni--!," this is the kind of movie that will strike you as fantastically funny or just plain silly, but why stop there? It's all over the map, and the pace lags a bit here and there, but for every throwaway gag the Pythons have invented, there's a bit of subtle business or grand-scale insanity that's utterly inspired. The sum of this madness is a movie that's beloved by anyone with a pulse and an irreverent sense of humor. If this movie doesn't make you laugh, you're almost certainly dead. --Jeff Shannon
- Trailers for The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, The City of Lost Children, Dr. Strangelove and Homegrown
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The film is old so it is quite grainy on Blu-ray, so no real improvement of picture quality. There is only one disk. Not a lot of extras for the price. Just buy a regular DVD of the movie.
Now go away, or I shall taunt you a second time!
Monty Python is an acquired taste, and this is their best film to help in the acquisition. Holy Grail is a highlight of a youngster's coming of age, providing a host of quotes and situations that are referenced forever after: the buxom maiden whom the duke tells his effete son to marry because she has "vast [slight pause] tracts of land"; the French knights somehow ensconced in a castle in England, who tell Arthur they don't want to join the quest for the Holy Grail because they "already have one"; the knight who suffers a "flesh wound" as his limbs are lopped off one by one; and the blessing of the Holy Hand Grenade for use against the killer bunny.
The Holy Grail was filmed with modest production values, but the Blu-ray picture quality is surprising, showing greatly improved colors and details. Although not the type of film one watches for reference quality video, it is nonetheless very pleasant to take in all the hilarious nonsense with a better picture. Numerous special features are offered on the Blu-ray, mostly ported over directly from the two-disc DVD edition. Like most Python productions nothing is taken too seriously, not the characters, nor the sets and costumes, and certainly not the story. But this casual appearance should not hide the fact that these guys are seriously funny, their stories endearing, their films memorable. King Arthur decides at one point that they will not return to Camelot just now, because it is "a silly place". Holy Grail is a silly movie, and it should be visited early and often in hope of finding still further silliness.
This certain Video by the MP group is a parody of King Arthur and the nights of the round tables guest for the ever elusive Holy Grail. Outrageously funny!