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Monty Python in a movie?
What a silly idea.
But the timing was right for the gang of British comedians (along with their token American, Terry Gilliam), who were looking to hit the big screen after four seasons of "Monty Python's Flying Circus," their groundbreaking British TV series.
"Monty Python and the Holy Grail," which premiered 40 years ago Thursday, was the result.
The movie, a spoof of the Arthurian legend, did not start auspiciously.
The budget was small -- about $400,000, half of it supplied by rock stars, including Genesis and Pink Floyd. On the first day of filming in Scotland -- the first shot, in fact -- the camera broke. The weather was bad. The hotel was dismal. Python member Graham Chapman was suffering from alcohol withdrawal.
It got better.
On the day of its first American screening in New York, a thousand people were in line by 8 a.m. Thanks to the popularity of "Python" on American TV, the movie was a box-office hit, making $5 million -- more than 10 times its budget.
More importantly, it soon became a comedy classic. The dialogue alone has been widely quoted, with such lines as "It's just a flesh wound" and "Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries" referenced on shows such as "The Simpsons," "Game of Thrones" and "The Blacklist." Python member Eric Idle turned the film into the Tony-winning Broadway play "Spamalot."
From its dramatic opening credits featuring fake-Swedish subtitles to the adventures of Sir Launcelot ("the boldest and most expensive of the knights"), weighted-bird computations and sudden animator heart attacks, "Holy Grail" is probably the loosest and most Python-esque of the Python oeuvre.
As a movie with a plot and character and all that movie nonsense, it falls short -- but as a repository for some of Python's best gags, it remains perhaps the best (and certainly most quotable) of the bunch. Besides, it features the word "shrubbery."
" 'Grail' is a bit like 'A Hard Day's Night,' " Idle observed in the Pythons' autobiography. "It's got a joie de vivre that's very infectious, it's very hard not to like."
originally posted by: KyoZero
They are in my opinion one of the funniest troops to ever hit the stage, screen or TV...period
It's this wicked little combo of intelligent humor with a heavy handed dash of raw stupidity and garble rolled into one. And it is incredible...
Holy Grail, Life of Brian, Meaning of Life, their TV show, on stage performance...all of it is absolute gold IMO. Movie wise I have to go with Life of Brian as my favorite
This is one of my favorites.
originally posted by: Gazrok
..."moistened bink". hysterical!
Bravely bold Sir Robin
Rode forth from Camelot
He was not afraid to die
Oh Brave Sir Robin
He was not at all afraid to be killed in nasty ways
Brave, Brave, Brave Brave Sir Robin.
He was not in the least bit scared to be mashed into a pulp
Or to have his eyes gouged out, and his elbows broken
To have his kneecaps split and his body burned away
And his limbs all hacked and mangled, Brave Sir Robin.
His head smashed in and his heart cut out
And his liver removed and his bowels unplugged
And his nostrils raped and his bottom burned up
And his penis...(made to stop by Robin)
Brave Sir Robin ran away.
Bravely ran away, away.
When danger rears it's ugly head
He bravely turned his tail and fled.
Yes Brave Sir Robin turned about
He gallantly chickened out.
Bravely taking to his feet
He beat a very brave retreat.
Oh bravest of the brave, Sir Robin.