Who’s that there?” “I don’t know. Must be a King.” “Why?” “He hasn’t got shit all over him.”
The year is 932 A.D., Arthur (Graham Chapman), King of the Britons and his devoted squire Patsy (Terry Gilliam) are on a quest. They are in search of worthy men to join Arthur in his court as Knights of the Round Table. They have searched the length and breadth of England to find the Brave men he seeks.
The first man Arthur recruits for his round table is Sir Bedevere the Wise (Terry Jones). In succession he then recruits Sir Lancelot the Brave (John Cleese), Sir Galahad the Pure (Michael Palin), Sir Robin the Not-Quite-So-Brave-as-Sir-Lancelot (Eric Idle) and Sir Not-Appearing–in-this-Film. Together they travel to Camelot. Before they get there Arthur changes his mind and decides not to go to Camelot. It is then that God appears to them. He gives them a task they must perform. He sends them out to seek the Holy Grail. After searching for awhile and finding nothing but rude Frenchmen that toss cows and other barnyard animals at them, Arthur decides that it may be best if the Knights split up and search independently.
The first tale of the Knights’ quests is that of Sir Robin the Not-Quite-So-Brave-as-Sir-Lancelot. Traveling with his favorite troubadour he is being regaled with tales of his heroism when he comes upon a giant three headed Knight. Robin runs away while the three heads are arguing. He is then regaled with tales of his cowardice from his favorite troubadour.
The second tale is of Sir Galahad the Pure. While clawing his way through a storm he sees an image of the grail over a castle. The Castle Anthrax is the home of 150 nubile women. Before he succumbs to the women he is “rescued” by Sir Lancelot.
King Arthur and Sir Bedevere the wise are stopped by the Knights Who Say Ni. They are the keepers of the sacred word. They demand a sacrifice. They demand a shrubbery or the Knights may never travel through the woods alive.
In the tale of Sir Lancelot a note attached to an arrow leads Lancelot to believe that a young maiden is being forced by her father to marry against her will. Forcing his way in, he slaughters most of the wedding party only to find that the maiden is a man.
Eventually Arthur and his knights join up and head for the cave that Tim the Enchanter told Arthur is where he could find directions to the Holy Grail. The entrance of which is guarded by the Rabbit of Caerbannog, a vicious and horrible creature.
“Monty Python and the Holy Grail” was released in 1975 and was directed by Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones. It is a fantasy/comedy. The main question is are the guys from Monty Python geniuses or are they one step from being committed due to an overindulgence of mood enhancing recreational stimuli, AKA LSD. Either way it doesn’t take away from many of the OMG moments of basically everything they do and say.
The humor of Monty Python can be a bit of an acquired taste to some. Some believe that they are innovative and the funniest filmmakers on the planet. There is a faction that sees nothing funny at all. As for the latter, I’m quite sure that the guys of Monty Python don’t give a shit what those people think.
Sir-Not-Appearing-In-This-Film is Michael Palin's infant son William. Palin played the most characters - twelve. In 2019 Palin was actually knighted by Price William, Duke of Cambridge. Palin has two British trains named after him. In 2002, Virgin Trains' Super Voyager train number 221130 was named "Michael Palin". Also, National Express East Anglia named a British Rail Class 153 (unit number 153335) after him. (Palin is also a model railway enthusiast.)
Terry Gilliam dies more than any other actor in this movie, with four deaths. His characters that die are the Green Knight (sword through the face), Sir Bors (decapitated by the Killer Rabbit), the Animator (major heart attack), and the Bridge keeper/Soothsayer (cast into the "Gorge of Eternal Peril"). John Cleese and Terry Jones have no death scenes at all.
For the Japanese release, "Holy Grail" was translated "Holy Sake Cup". The word that the "Knights of Ni" can't stand to hear is "It". The movie's abrupt ending came about because it didn't have the budget for a large-scale battle sequence.