Monty Python and the Holy Grail (UK, 1975)
Directed by Terry Gilliam & Terry Jones
Starring Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin
This is a reprint of my review which was first published on Three Men on a Blog in January 2011, with a number of minor revisions. My original review can be found here. Also be sure to check out The Movie Hour podcast on the film from February 2012 here.
IMDb Top 250 - #93 (10/1/14)
Monty Python and the Holy Grail is one of the few comedy films which continues to deserve its hype. Now thirty-eight years old, it remains incessantly hilarious, fantastically silly, magically absurd and brilliantly surreal, right down to the last detail. It is the perfect balance of intelligence and madcap anarchy, drawn together by razor-sharp writing and superb comic timing from every performer. It is low-budget film-making at its absolute best, and one of the best films of the 1970s.
Airplane! aside, has never been emulated. Every conversation builds as a routine to a hilarious climax, and barely a line goes by without something quotable coming along. The script is the perfect balance between the verbal and the visual, high-brow and low-brow, making it a comedy film that is genuinely for everyone.
Life of Brian. John Cleese opines that Brian is a "more mature" work, noting sardonically how Americans tend to prefer Holy Grail while Brits opt for Brian. And he does have something of a point. It is more mature and professional from a technical point of view, and it is more substantial in either its subject matter or its use of it. But Life of Brian has its problems, most of which relate ironically to its abundance of substance.
The Evil Dead or Peter Jackson's Brain Dead to see reflections of Python's undying genius.
NEXT REVIEW: Saving Mr. Banks (2013)