60/60 Review #11: Monty Python And The Holy Grail.

There are probably two movies in existence that have given me the highest expectations for a film ever. One is Citizen Kane. This is the other. Of all the movies on this list, this one was not only my #1 most anticipated, but also my #1 most ashamed I hadn't seen. I had this friend back in high school who would badger me every week about seeing this movie; of course, I never did. Then I went to college and became friends with this woman who--of course--adores Monty Python almost more than anything else. So needless to say, this movie became its own "holy grail" for me. I expected this to not only be one of the greatest comedies of all time, but one of the greatest movies ever made. That is how I went into this movie.

For those of you who don't know, the film stars Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin as King Arthur and his knights who go in search of the holy grail. Wackiness ensues.

The best thing about the movie is the writing. The dialogue in the film is fantastic. Between conversations running in circles, getting off track by talking about sparrows, being meta and/or self-referential, or... really anything else, the movie is very funny. It had me laughing in the opening credits with just fake subtitles. That's how crazy good the writing is.

Where the movie loses me, however, are the little animated interludes. After a while, they really started to bug me. I didn't think they were particularly funny, and some of them just seemed to drag (the painting one in particular with the 'weather' stomping). There's one meta joke that comes out of it near the end that's kinda funny, but otherwise, I felt they pulled the movie down a bit.

Also on the down side is the ending. I'm not sure how much I liked the 'modern day' scenes tossed in throughout, especially since they seemed so random. And then the ending comes... and the movie just ends all anti-climactic. I know that's part of the joke, but I didn't care for it. I'm sure that's blasphemy of some sort, I'm sorry.

I think this is a film that I'll enjoy even more once I think back later on all the lines of dialogue or discuss it with friends. As of now, I really liked it, but I think my expectations were set at an ungodly high place for me to have loved it upon a first viewing. I know I haven't really said much here. This was kind of a lame review for y'all. But that's just kinda how I feel. Great dialogue. Fun characters. Definitely check it out.

A Keanu 'Whoa'


  1. HOLY GRAIL is a difficult film to review, and yours is just fine. I had the exact same type of hype thrown in my face, mate, so I know exactly what you mean.

    I personally loved the ending. That and the flesh eating bunny were the funniest parts. Did you have a specific favorite gag?

  2. I really enjoyed the whole "The Story of Lancelot" segment. Between the circle-talk with the guards, the "I'm not dead yet" bits, Lancelot going on a killing spree... and more. That was one of my favorite bits, I think.

    The running 'sparrow' gag was good, too.

    There's just so many good bits.

  3. The real advantage of the ending is I find it's a lot funnier months later when you think about it. And kills years later when you watch it for the second time.

  4. Good that you still enjoyed it despite all the hype. It's been touted as a top 2 or 3 comedy for decades now, and comedy doesn't always age well anyway, so I say yay.

    My favorite bit is when King Arthur happens upon the couple out in the field and they get into the debate about whether or not he's their king and whatnot. Friggin' kills me.

    Other high points: the song about brave Sir Robin (if I recall correctly) and what a coward he is, the rabbit (of course), the Knights Who Say "Ni," the battle with the Black Knight...

    Kinda shocked you didn't see this one sooner, Nick, if only because the comedy does seem right up your alley.

  5. Like their TV show, the movie is greater in pieces than in the sum of its parts. Everyone can find their own gold standard of comedy in this scene or that, but the movie as a whole is wobbly.

    Lazarus Lupin
    art and review


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