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Monty Python and the Holy Grail

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Once in a lifetime, there is a motion picture that changes the history of motion pictures....

Monty Python and the Holy Grail is a 1975 film about King Arthur and his knights who embark on a low-budget search for the Grail, encountering many very silly obstacles.

Written by Monty Python, directed by Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones
And now! At Last! Another film completely different from some of the other films which aren't quite the same as this one is.

Cleric

  • And the Lord spake, saying, "First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin. Then, shalt thou count to three. No more. No less. Three shalt be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once at the number three, being the third number to be reached, then, lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in My sight, shall snuff it."

Dialogue

Guard: 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!
Guard: 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.
Guard: What? Ridden on a horse?
King Arthur: Yes!
Guard: You're using coconuts!
King Arthur: What?
Guard: 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...
Guard: Where'd you get the coconuts?
King Arthur: We found them.
Guard: Found them? In Mercia?! The coconut's tropical!
King Arthur: What do you mean?
Guard: 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?
Guard: Are you suggesting that 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!
Guard: 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?
Guard: Listen. In order to maintain air-speed velocity, a swallow needs to beat its wings forty-three times every second, right?
King Arthur: Please!
Guard: Am I right?

Dead Collector: Bring out yer dead!

[A large man appears with a (seemingly) dead man over his shoulder]

Large Man: Here's one.
Dead Collector: Nine pence.
"Dead" Man: I'm not dead.
Dead Collector: What?
Large Man: Nothing. [hands the collector his money] There's your nine pence.
"Dead" Man: I'm not dead!
Dead Collector: 'Ere, he says he's not dead.
Large Man: Yes he is.
"Dead" Man: I'm not.
Dead Collector: He isn't.
Large Man: Well, he will be soon, he's very ill.
"Dead" Man: I'm getting better.
Large Man: No you're not, you'll be stone dead in a moment.
Dead Collector: Well, I can't take him like that. It's against regulations.
"Dead" Man: I don't want to go on the cart.
Large Man:' Oh, don't be such a baby.
Dead Collector: I can't take him.
"Dead" Man: I feel fine.
Large Man with Dead Body: Oh, do me a favor.
Dead Collector: I can't.
Large Man: Well, can you hang around for a couple of minutes? He won't be long.
Dead Collector: I promised I'd be at the Robinsons'. They've lost nine today.
Large Man: Well, when's your next round?
Dead Collector: Thursday.
"Dead" Man: I think I'll go for a walk.
Large Man: You're not fooling anyone, you know. Isn't there anything you could do?
"Dead" Man: I feel happy. I feel happy.

[The collecter paces for an idea, then whacks the body with his club, solving the problem]

Large Man: Ah, thank you very much.
Dead Collector: Not at all. See you on Thursday.
Large Man: Right.

[Arthur and Patsy "ride" through the village]

Large Man: Who's that then?
Dead Collector: I dunno. Must be a king.
Large Man: Why?
Dead Collector: He hasn't got shit all over him.

King Arthur: I am your king.
Peasant Woman: Well, I didn't vote for you.
King Arthur: You don't vote for kings.
Peasant Woman: Well, how'd you become king, then?
[Angelic music plays... ]
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 the Peasant: Listen. Strange women lying in ponds distributing 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.
Arthur: Be quiet!
Dennis the Peasant: You can't expect to wield supreme power just 'cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!

Arthur: [grabs Dennis] Shut up! Will you shut up?!
Dennis: Ah, now we see the violence inherent in the system!
Arthur: [shakes Dennis] Shut up!
Dennis: Oh! Come and see the violence inherent in the system! Help, help, I'm being repressed!
Arthur: Bloody Peasant!
Dennis: Ooh, what a giveaway!

Bedevere: How do you know she is a witch?
Peasant: She looks like one.
[Crowd indistinctly shouts]
Bedevere: Bring her forward!
Girl: I'm not a witch.
Bedevere: But you are dressed as one...
Girl: They dressed me up like this. [Crowd murmurs]
Girl: And this isn't my nose. This is a false one.
Bedevere: [inspects the nose and confirms] Well?
Peasant: Well, we did do the nose.
Bedevere: The nose?
Peasant: And the hat. She's a witch!
Peasant Crowd: Burn her!
Bedevere: Did you dress her up like this?
Peasant Crowd: No, no, no! [beat] Yes, yes. A bit. But she's got a wart.
Bedevere: What makes you think she is a witch?
Peasant: Oh, she turned me into a newt!
[Bedevere gives him a disbelieving look]
Bedevere: A newt?
[Silence]
Peasant: Well, I got better.
Peasant Crowd: Burn her anyway!

Frenchman: You don't frighten us, English pig-dogs! Go and boil your bottoms, sons of a silly person! I blow my nose at you, so-called Ah-thoor Keeng, you and all your silly English K-n-n-n-n-n-n-n-niggits! [makes taunting gestures at them]
Sir Galahad: What a strange person.
King Arthur: Now, look here, my good man--
Frenchman: I don't want to talk to you no more, you empty-headed animal food trough wiper! I fart in your general direction! Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!
Sir Galahad: Is there someone else up there we can talk to?
Frenchman: No, now go away or I shall taunt you a second time!

Head Knight: The Knights Who Say Ni demand a sacrifice!
King Arthur: Knights of Ni, we are but simple travelers who seek the enchanter who lives beyond these woods--
Knights who say Ni: NI! NI! NI! NI!
King Arthur: Oh, ow!
Head Knight: We shall say "Ni" again to you, if you do not appease us.
King Arthur: Well, what do you want?
Head Knight: We want a shrubbery!! [jarring chord]

Sir Lancelot: Look, my liege! [trumpets blare to a shot of a castle]
King Arthur: [awed] Camelot!
Sir Galahad: Camelot!
Sir Lancelot: Camelot!
Patsy: It's only a model.
King Arthur: Shh! Knights, I bid you welcome to your new home. Let us ride to Camelot!
[The inhabitants of Camelot sing "Knights of the Round Table"]
Knights of the Round Table: [singing and dancing] We're knights of the Round Table, we dance whene'er we're able. We do routines and chorus scenes with footwork impec-cable, We dine well here in Camelot, we eat ham and jam and Spam a lot. / We're knights of the Round Table, our shows are for-mi-dable. But many times we're given rhymes that are quite un-sing-able, We're opera mad in Camelot, we sing from the diaphragm a lot. / In war we're tough and able, Quite in-de-fa-ti-gable. Between our quests we sequin vests and impersonate Clark Gable / It's a busy life in Camelot.
Knight: [somberly] I have to push the pram a lot.
[Cut back to Arthur]
King Arthur: On second thoughts, let's not go to Camelot. It is a silly place.

[The knights look onward as Sir Lancelot steps forward to the Bridge keeper from Scene 24]
Bridgekeeper: Stop. Who would cross the Bridge of Death must answer me these questions three, ere the other side he see.
Sir Lancelot: Ask me the questions, bridgekeeper. I am not afraid.
Bridgekeeper: What... is your name?
Sir Lancelot: My name is Sir Lancelot of Camelot.
Bridgekeeper: What... is your quest?
Sir Lancelot: To seek the Holy Grail.
Bridgekeeper: What... is your favourite colour?
Sir Lancelot: Blue.
Bridgekeeper: Right. Off you go.
Sir Lancelot: Oh, thank you. Thank you very much. [Crosses the bridge]
Sir Robin: That's easy!
[The other knights rush to the bridge keeper]
Bridgekeeper: Stop. Who approacheth the Bridge of Death must answer me these questions three, ere the other side he see.
Sir Robin: Ask me the questions, bridgekeeper. I'm not afraid.
Bridgekeeper: What... is your name?
Sir Robin: Sir Robin of Camelot.
Bridgekeeper: What... is your quest?
Sir Robin: To seek the Holy Grail.
Bridgekeeper: What... is the capital of Assyria? [pause]
Sir Robin: I don't know that. [he is thrown over the edge into the ravine by an unseen force] AUUUUUUUUGGGH!
[Galahad prepares to cross, and the Bridgekeeper stops him]
Bridgekeeper: Stop. What... is your name?
Sir Galahad: Sir Galahad of Camelot.
Bridgekeeper: What... is your quest?
Galahad: I seek the Grail.
Bridgekeeper: What... is your favourite colour?
Sir Galahad: Blue-no! [he is also thrown over the edge] YEELLLLLLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWW!
Bridgekeeper: [Chuckling at Galahad's demise, then turns to Arthur] Stop. What... is your name?
King Arthur: It is 'Arthur', King of the Britons.
Bridgekeeper: What... is your quest?
King Arthur: To seek the Holy Grail.
Bridgekeeper: What... is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?
King Arthur: What do you mean? An African or a European swallow?
Bridgekeeper: Huh? I... I don't know that. [he is thrown over by his own spell] AUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGGHHH!!
Sir Bedevere: How do you know so much about swallows?
King Arthur: Well, you have to know these things when you're a king, you know.

[Arthur and Bedevere begin to cross the bridge]

Intermission


[The King of Swamp Castle instructs the two guards at Herbert's room]
King of Swamp Castle: Guards, make sure the prince doesn't leave this room until I come and get him.
Guard #1: Not to leave the room... even if you come and get him. [Guard #2 hiccups]
King of Swamp Castle: No, no. Until I come and get him.
Guard #1: Until you come and get him, we're not to enter the room.
King of Swamp Castle: No, no, no. You stay in the room, and make sure he doesn't leave.
Guard #1: And you'll come and get him. [Guard #2 hiccups again]
King of Swamp Castle: Right.
Guard #1: We don't need to do anything, apart from just stop him entering the room.
King of Swamp Castle: No, no. Leaving the room.
Guard #1: Leaving the room, yes.
King of Swamp Castle: All right? [Guard #2 hiccups]
Guard #1: Right. Oh, if, if, if, uh, if, if, uh, if, if, if, we... oh, if... oh...
King of Swamp Castle: Look, it's quite simple. You just stay here, and make sure he doesn't leave the room. All right? [Guard #2 hiccups]
Guard #1: Oh, I remember, uh, can he leave the room with us?
King of Swamp Castle: No, no, no, no, you just keep him in here, and make sure...
Guard #1: Oh yeah, we'll keep him in here, obviously, but if he had to leave, and we were with him...
King of Swamp Castle: No, just keep him in here...
Guard #1: Until you, or anyone else...
King of Swamp Castle: No, not anyone else. Just me.
Guard #1: Just you. [Guard #2 hiccups]
King of Swamp Castle: Get back.
Guard #1: Get back.
King of Swamp Castle: All right?
Guard #1: Right, we'll stay here until you get back.
King of Swamp Castle: And make sure he doesn't leave.
Guard #1: What?
King of Swamp Castle: Make sure he doesn't leave.
Guard #1: The prince?
King of Swamp Castle: Yes, make sure he doesn't leave.
Guard #1: Oh, yes, of course. [points at Guard #2] I thought you meant him. You know, it seemed a bit daft to me that I were to guard him when he's a guard.
King of Swamp Castle: Is that clear? [Guard #2 hiccups]
Guard #1: Oh, quite clear. No problems.
King of Swamp Castle: Right. [turns to leave the room. As he leaves, both guards follow him] Where are you going?
Guard #1: We're coming with you.
King of Swamp Castle: No, no, no. I want you to stay here and make sure he doesn't leave.
Guard #1: Oh, I see. Right.

Taglines

  • Makes Ben Hur look like an Epic!
  • Sets The Cinema Back 900 Years!
  • And now! At Last! Another film completely different from some of the other films which aren't quite the same as this one is.

Cast

  • Graham Chapman - King Arthur/Voice of God/Middle Head/Hiccuping Guard
  • John Cleese - Second Soldier with a Keen Interest in Birds/The Black Knight/Mr. Newt/Sir Lancelot the Brave/A Quite Extraordinarily Rude Frenchman/Tim the Enchanter
  • Eric Idle - The Dead Collector/Peasant #3/Sir Robin the Not-Quite-So-Brave-as-Sir Lancelot/The Guard Who Doesn't Hiccup But Tries To Get Things Straight/Concorde/Roger the Shrubber/Brother Maynard
  • Terry Gilliam - Patsy/Green Knight/The Old Man from Scene 24/Sir Bors/Animator
  • Terry Jones - Dennis' Mother/Sir Bedevere/Left Head/Voice of Cartoon Scribe/Prince Herbert
  • Michael Palin - First Swallow-Savvy Guard/Dennis/Peasant 2/Man Playing Instrument in the Knights of the Round Table song/Random French Guard/Right Head/Sir Galahad the Pure/Narrator/King of Swamp Castle/Brother Maynard's Roommate/Leader of The Knights who say NI!/
  • Connie Booth - The "Witch"
  • Carol Cleveland - Zoot/Dingo
  • Neil Innes - First Monk/Singing Minstrel/Page Crushed by the Rabbit/Peasant #4

See also

External links