Python humor is not for anyone. It's pure silliness. It's 100% audacious absurdity. This was the perfect film for any pre-teen boy growing up. What better than ridiculous jokes, silly sight gags and British tarts playing 100s of different characters? Anyway any self respecting kid learned of this movie and the religion of Monty Python & The Holy Grail was thus born. Quote upon quote, laugh upon laugh and nothing else short of brilliance. The Pythons: Cleese, Palin, Gilliam, Jones, Idle & Champan. Names of master comedians of British comedy. Names of my idols of the days of yore. Nothing short of brilliant came out of this group of men. My grade school days would have been a lot different if it weren't for this film. Meeting in a friends attic bedroom, piling in at leat 5 or so people to watch the film was quite the experience. It was a long day of Python comedy and led to many great memories. This would continue on into high school and college. It was the litmus test to know of the kind of people that I associated with. It was either you loved Holy Grail or you were out of the loop and this classification was a sign of pure excellence among anyone I have met.
Rather than sit here and tell you about how genius the movie is, I'm going to first post what I consider the best scene of the film and then the five best lines the film has to offer in no particular order:
5. King of Swamp Castle: Please! This is supposed to be a happy occasion. Let's not bicker and argue over who killed who.
4. Sir Bedevere: What makes you think she's a witch?
Peasant 3: Well, she turned me into a newt!
Sir Bedevere: A newt?
Peasant 3: [meekly after a long pause] ... I got better.
Crowd: [shouts] Burn her anyway!
3. Cleric: And the Lord spake, saying, "First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin. Then shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it.
2. Sir Robin: What's he do? Nibble your bum?
Tim: He's got huge, sharp... er... He can leap about. Look at the bones!
1. King Arthur: [after Arthur's cut off both of the Black Knight's arms] Look, you stupid Bastard. You've got no arms left.
Black Knight: Yes I have.
King Arthur: *Look*!
Black Knight: It's just a flesh wound.
This quote exercise is less of a list and more of a litmus test for how futile it is to rank the hilarity in the film. There are hundreds of one liners, nuanced silliness and pure nonsense that fills the film up. It's the kind of film that on any given day no matter how much life can suck, you can get a smile on your face just watching and quoting along with it.
Whether it was watching it at Wow religiously on Saturday mornings or with a Double Gulp challange in grade school, Monty Python & The Holy Grail was a fantastic companion to either mundane or just as silly moments throughout my 25 years of existence and it's one that I hope I keep through my lifetime and pass on to my kids.
1. Cinema Paradiso (1988) dr. Giuseppe Tornatore
2. Rushmore (1998) dr. Wes Anderson
3. Jurassic Park (1993) dr. Steven Speilberg
4. It's A Wonderful Life (1946) dr. Frank Capra
5. Trust (1990) dr. Hal Hartley
6. Donnie Darko (2001) dr. Richard Kelly
7. On The Waterfront (1954) dr. Elia Kazan
8. Monty Python & The Holy Grail (1975) dr. Terry Jones & Terry Gilliam
Up Next: Do The Right Thing (1989) dr. Spike Lee