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  • Writer's pictureRonny Duncan Studios

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

Updated: Oct 16, 2022

Plot Summary: Coconut-wielding Brits fight absurdity and silliness in the quest for the Holy Grail.

*Recognition: Monty Python and the Holy Grail grossed more than any other British film exhibited in the US in 1975. In the US, it was selected as the second-best comedy of all time in the ABC special Best in Film: The Greatest Movies of Our Time. In the UK, readers of Total Film magazine in 2000 ranked it the fifth-greatest comedy film of all time; a similar poll of Channel 4 viewers in 2006 placed it sixth.

What is this movie is about?: You tell me..../Six comedians at the height of their creativity retell the story of King Arthur.

Best Performance: John Cleese (French Taunter/Lancelot/Tim/Black Knight)/Michael Palin (Narrator/Galahad/Swamp Owner/Leader of the Knights who say Ni)

Best Secondary Performance: Graham Chapman (Arthur/God)

Most Charismatic Award: John Cleese (French Taunter/Lancelot/Tim/Black Knight)

Best Scene:

  • Knights who Say Ni

  • Black Knight

  • The Story of Sir Lancelot

  • "Who Elected You King?"

  • Bridge of Death

  • The Rabbit of Caerbannog

  • The Tales of Sir Robin and Sir Galahad

  • "She's a Witch"

Favorite Scene: Rabbit of Caerbannog/Bridge of Death

Most Indelible Moment: Black Knight

Best Lines:

French: I fart in your general direction! Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberries!

King Arthur: Is there anyone else up there we can talk to?

French: No! now go away away or I shall taunt you a second time!

Death Howler: Bring Out Yer Dead!!

Dennis: Well, you could call me Dennis?!

1st Soldier with a Keen Interest in Birds: Who goes there?

King Arthur: It is I, Arthur, son of Uther Pendragon, from the castle of Camelot. King of the Britons, defeater of the Saxons, Sovereign of all England!

1st Soldier with a Keen Interest in Birds: Pull the other one!

King Arthur: I am, and this is my trusty servant Patsy. We have ridden the length and breadth of the land in search of knights who will join me in my court at Camelot. I must speak with your lord and master.

1st Soldier with a Keen Interest in Birds: What? Ridden on a horse?

King Arthur: Yes!

1st Soldier with a Keen Interest in Birds: You're using coconuts!

King Arthur: What?

1st Soldier with a Keen Interest in Birds: You've got two empty halves of coconut and you're bangin' 'em together.

King Arthur: So? We have ridden since the snows of winter covered this land, through the kingdom of Mercia, through...

1st Soldier with a Keen Interest in Birds: Where'd you get the coconuts?

King Arthur: We found them.

1st Soldier with a Keen Interest in Birds: Found them? In Mercia? The coconut's tropical!

King Arthur: What do you mean?

1st Soldier with a Keen Interest in Birds: Well, this is a temperate zone.

King Arthur: The swallow may fly south with the sun or the house martin or the plover may seek warmer climes in winter, yet these are not strangers to our land?

1st Soldier with a Keen Interest in Birds: Are you suggesting coconuts migrate?

King Arthur: Not at all. They could be carried.

1st Soldier with a Keen Interest in Birds: What? A swallow carrying a coconut?

King Arthur: It could grip it by the husk!

1st Soldier with a Keen Interest in Birds: It's not a question of where he grips it! It's a simple question of weight ratios! A five ounce bird could not carry a one pound coconut.

King Arthur: Well, it doesn't matter. Will you go and tell your master that Arthur from the Court of Camelot is here?

1st Soldier with a Keen Interest in Birds: Listen. In order to maintain air-speed velocity, a swallow needs to beat its wings forty-three times every second, right?

King Arthur: Please!

1st Soldier with a Keen Interest in Birds: Am I right?

King Arthur: I am your king.

Dennis's Mother: Well I didn't vote for you.

King Arthur: You don't vote for kings.

Dennis's Mother: Well how'd you become king then?

King Arthur: The Lady of the Lake, her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water, signifying by divine providence that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur. THAT is why I am your king.

Dennis: [interrupting] Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.

Dennis: Help, I'm being oppressed. Come and see the violence inherent in the system.

Black Knight: 'Tis but a scratch.

King Arthur: A scratch!? Your arm's off!

Black Knight: No, it isn't.

King Arthur: Well, what's that then?!

Black Knight: I've had worse.

Sir Lancelot: I thought your son was a girl.

Lord: That's understandable.

Zoot/Dingo: And after the spanking, the oral sex! Sir Galahad: Well, I suppose I could stay a bit longer.

French Taunter: Go and boil your bottoms, you sons of silly persons!

Funniest Line:

Townsperson: She turned me into a newt!

Sir Benevere: A newt?

Townsperson: ...I got better...

Old Crone to Whom King Arthur Said "Ni--":In order to pass through these woods... You must find... A SHRUBBERRY!!!!

King: You only killed the bride's father, you know.

Sir Lancelot: Well, I didn't mean to.

King: Didn't mean to? You put your sword right through his head.

Sir Lancelot: Oh dear... is he all right?

The Stanley Rubric:

Legacy: 9.5

Impact/Significance: 5.5

Novelty: 8

Classic-ness: 6.75

Rewatchability: 6

Audience Score: 9.5

Total: 45.25

Remaining Questions:

  • What is the capital of Assyria?

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