Monty Python and the Holy Grail
The film Monty Python and the Holy Grail
is (mostly) a parody
of Arthurian legend
produced in 1975
by Monty Python
. Terry Gilliam
and Terry Jones
shared directing credit with 40 specially trained Ecuadorian Mountain llamas, 6 Venezuelan Red Llamas, 148 Mexican Whooping Llamas, 14 North Chilean Guanacos (closely related to the llama), Reg Llama of Brixton
, and 76000 Battery Llamas from "Llama Fresh Farms Ltd" near Paraguay.
The film commences with a spoof British Board of Film Censors certification for Dentist on the Job a film "[..]Passed as more suitable for Exhibition to Adult Audiences". Indeed the film then continues in grainy black and white with the trailers for that particular film (an early version of a Carry On film). The actual credits for the film have (spurious) Swedish subtitles and many references to moose.
- Warning: Wikipedia contains spoilers
The story loosely follows the adventures of King Arthur
) and his knights of the Round Table
in their search for the Holy Grail
. On the way, the brave knights and Sir Robin the Not-Quite-so-Brave (a complete bloody coward) (Eric Idle
) encounter the Black Knight
, the perils of Castle Anthrax
, the Knights who say Ni
(later known as the Knights who say "Ekky-ekky-ekky-ekky-z'Bang zoom-Boing z'nourrrwringmm"), a blood-thirsty rabbit (which they deal with using the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch
), and a gigantic cartoon monster (they are saved when the animator
suffers a heart attack
.) There are other misadventures involving anarcho-syndicalist
peasants, an alleged witch
), an enchanter called "Tim", the Bridge of Death and Frenchmen
(led by John Cleese
) who revel in taunting the travellers, without much success (or, indeed, understanding).
At a number of key places in the film the question is raised, what is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow? It is introduced in the opening scenes of the film, and remains an open question right up to the end. The only answer which King Arthur gives is: "African or European?" This is as much a running gag as a macguffin.
Sir Robin's minstrels (their leader played by Neil Innes) sing of how brave he would hypothetically be in the face of horrific and graphically-described tortures, and then sing about how bravely he flees at the first sign of danger. Much to Sir Robin's relief, he and the other knights are later forced to eat the minstrels.
The film ends abruptly when a group of police from the 1970s interrupt the climatic battle scene to arrest King Arthur. The Grail presumably is left in the hands of the Frenchmen in Castle Aaaargh.