The Monty Python troupe hold such a dear place in my heart that, regardless of what I write about Monty Python and the Holy Grail, it’ll sound liked biased drivel. Nothing but praise for some of the funniest comedians to ever grace the big screen. Their workmanship and capabilities as both writers and performers is a detriment to the work they served us, and revisiting the absolute classic that is Monty Python and the Holy Grail was a true treat to behold.
Following the knights of the round table in their quest for the Holy Grail, Monty Python and the Holy Grail follows King Arthur (Graham Chapman) as he seeks the grail. Expectedly including the rest of the Python group in numerously brilliant roles (from John Cleese’s Black Knight to Terry Jones as Prince Herbert) the film also includes the likes of Connie Booth, Carol Cleveland and Neil Innes.
Everyone plays well with one another, the Python’s strained relationship at the time pooling together into some extremely creative and invigorating performances. Seeped in behind the scenes legends, on screen spats and thorough improvisation, the film feels more like a disaster piece that just so happens to come together in a masterfully enjoyable way, an accidental classic. After And Now For Something Completely Different did little to inspire the box office, a second Monty Python film seemed to be a sky high dream at best. Thankfully the unique material provided in Monty Python and the Holy Grail makes it well worth the numerous re-watches I’ve given it over the years.
Iconic scenes litter Monty Python and the Holy Grail without fail, every scene provides a solid gold piece of comedy that pulls together the best strengths of the Python group. It’s hard to muster the energy required to explain how truly perfect the pacing and effort is that go into these masterful sketches, but it would be apt to call it some of the finest comedy ever written by anyone. The Black Knight, Brave Sir Robin, The Bridge of Death, Prince Herbert and Cleese’s Lancelot, the Knights of the Round Table and the Unladen Swallows. All of it comes together in such elating brilliance.
An absolute classic, there’s no other way to describe it. Monty Python and the Holy Grail is a stunning blend of witty material and great performances that rely on fourth wall breaks, strong chemistry between a group of comedy legends and the brilliant directing collaboration of Gilliam and Jones. Close to their best work, and this re-watch made me doubt my love of Life of Brian more than I had possibly imagined.