• Monty Python And The Holy Grail (1975) -- Hilarious moments from comedy legends, 9/10.
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~~ Review Script ~~
This cult-classic comedy film from the legendary English comedy trope Monty Python was a box office success, earning more than twelve times its small $400,000 budget. With these sales it became the most successful British film released in America following its April 1975 premiere. The 91-minute narrative is generally a parody of King Arthur's quest to find the Holy Grail during the middle-ages, but the story bounces around quite a bit, and contains more than its fair share of anachronistic jokes. Truthfully, the PG-rated story is amounts to little more than a series of loosely connected sketches set in and around some English castles. Weird animation inter-titles, a trademark of Monty Python's sketch-comedy TV show, are sprinkled throughout the plot to fill in gaps left by this disjointed story. Fortunately, the group of actors, that each play about eight separate characters, do an outstanding job with the material. Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin, are experts at their craft; and their impeccable timing, sharp writing, and brilliant delivery is what makes this film. The majority of the laughs are derived from the extremely memorable and quotable dialogue, rather than sight-gags, or pratfalls. Indeed, the film literally opens with a subtitle joke regarding a Norwegian moose of some sort. Bookended by slow dips to black, each scene plays out like a self-contained sketch, many of which have become rather famous since. There's the hilarious question and answer session regarding the methods of proper witch-hunting, a rescue effort that sees Cleese murdering everyone in sight with reckless abandon, a debate on the airspeed of unladen African swallows, and of course... the Knights who say "ni". The only such sequence that isn't quite on par with the brilliance of the others is a drawn-out bit involving horny maidens locked away in a castle, that even breaks the forth-wall to ask audiences if the scene should have been cut. And honestly, they probably should have. I would be remiss however if I didn't mention my favorite scene, when Cleese dons a suit of armor as the "Black Knight" who persists on sword-fighting even after losing three of limbs, playfully defending, "Just a flesh wound." Unable to afford real horses because of their shoestring budget, a recurring gag involving coconuts is used instead with fabulous results. The lack of money wasn't always advantageous though, as there are notable deficiencies with the lighting, making it hard to see the actors faces at times. An oft repeated chunk of trumpet-laden music by Neil Innes does give the film a more regal quality however. Although the movie's pace is very inconsistent (some scenes linger far longer than they should) the laughs are plentiful, and the experience is a delightful one. Fans of tongue-in-cheek British humor will absolutely adore this film, but I suspect most of them have already seen this classic. "Monty Python And The Holy Grail" is a rewatchable collection of hilarious moments from comedy legends.