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"On second thought, let's not go to Camelot. It is a silly place."
Sony / 92 Minutes / 1974 / Rated PG / Street Date: March 6, 2012
This is Monty Python brought to the big screen for the first time. This is the directorial premiere of Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones, who tag-teamed the production. This is stream of consciousness wrapped in a camouflaging plot. This is team writing at its best. It's funny. It doesn't insult the audience's intelligence. It's silly. It's irreverent. It's Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
King Arthur (Graham Chapman) is seeking brave and true knights to join him at his round table in Camelot. He gallops across the British countryside accompanied by his loyal squire, Patsy (Terry Gilliam), who trots behind him clapping coconut shell halves together to create the sounds of hooves. They are, in fact, on foot.
Arthur's subjects show him less respect than is shown Rodney Dangerfield. Undeterred, the good king assembles a band of trusty knights: Sir Lancelot the Brave (John Cleese); Sir Robin the Not-Quite-So-Brave-as-Sir Launcelot (Eric Idle); Sir Gawain (Terry Gilliam); Sir Bedevere (Terry Jones); and, Sir Galahad the Pure (Michael Palin). Together they ride to Camelot. Then turn away. "'Tis a silly place."
Instead they are tasked by God with a quest to seek the holy grail. They travel together. They travel apart. They face great dangers and tribulations. Vicious rabbits. Saucy Sorcerers. Voluptuous virgins who're cunning linguists. Pompous pious priests. They pile up the bloody body count faster than you can say Paul Verhoeven. And woven through the live action are Terry Gilliam's fanciful animations and the wonderfully incongruous intrusion by the twentieth century. Lively. Laughable. Laudable.