Wednesday, December 19, 2012

My Favorite Era: Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

I must confess an addiction to you today.  A chronic, hopeless addiction that has no known cure...Well, all right, there is a cure but only insomuch as it involves simply not watching what I will be writing about here which would make the entire endeavor of thinking up, writing, editing and posting this piece would make it entirely irrelevant and therefore nonsensical to even bring up.

Having said that, Monty Python and the Holy Grail is one of the comedy team's finest hour and thirty two minutes.  I think at this point anyone who has spent any measurable amount of time on the web has been inundated with references to the bloody thing so getting into plot dynamics and that sort of thing would be redundant and quite frankly about as compelling as a golf match in slow motions.  In light of that, I'll just list five of my favorite bits from the film.

  1. The opening credits: From the bizarre moose fixation to the constant interruptions, this never fails to make me chuckle.
  2. Black Knight: Naturally, this is going to be on the list.  John Cleese and Graham Chapman always made a good comic duo and their playing off of each other works just as well as it did on the TV show. 
  3. John Cleese as Tim the Enchanter: John Cleese is funny to begin with.  Give him a cheesy Scottish accent and some pyro?  Good lord, it gets even better once the killer rabbit appears.
  4. The French castle: Actually, my favorite part of this is not the insults, the Trojan Rabbit or the use of livestock as weapons but a smaller, more subtle element.  The main French knight is played by Cleese and of course, he is clad in armor.  The gloves however are designed in such a way that they flap around quite a bit.  It's a minor element but for some reason it just makes me laugh.
  5. Terry Gilliam in general: The only American member of the team is not only a fantastically talented (if shockingly unlucky) director, but he's also a bit of an ensemble dark horse (as he was on the show).  As usual, he's playing a rather scrofulous character (Chapman's assistant and the bridge keeper) and in both cases he is dryly hilarious.
This is one of the classic comedies of the last forty years.  It's brisk, funny and clever and the Pythons work together wonderfully as usual.

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About Me

I've been a huge fan of action, horror and comedy for as long as I can remember.