Monty Python and the Holy Grail


Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Critics Consensus

A cult classic as gut-bustingly hilarious as it is blithely ridiculous, Monty Python and the Holy Grail has lost none of its exceedingly silly charm.



Total Count: 73


Audience Score

User Ratings: 644,394
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Movie Info

From its opening multi-language titles (that sure looks like Swedish) to the closing arrest of the entire Dark Ages cast by modern-day bobbies, Monty Python and the Holy Grail helped to define "irreverence" and became an instant cult classic. This time the Pythonites savage the legend of King Arthur, juxtaposing some excellently selected exterior locations with an unending stream of anachronistic one-liners, non sequiturs, and slapstick set pieces. The Knights of the Round Table set off in search of the Holy Grail on foot, as their lackeys make clippety-clop sounds with coconut shells. A plague-ridden community, ringing with the cry of "bring out your dead," offers its hale and hearty citizens to the body piles. A wedding of convenience is attacked by Arthur's minions while the pasty-faced groom continually attempts to burst into song. The good guys are nearly thwarted by the dreaded, tree-shaped "Knights Who Say Ni!" A feisty enemy warrior, bloodily shorn of his arms and legs in the thick of battle, threatens to bite off his opponent's kneecap. A French military officer shouts such taunts as "I fart in your general direction" and "I wave my private parts at your aunties." Rabbits are a particular obsession of the writers this time around, ranging from the huge Trojan Rabbit to the "killer bunny" that decapitates one of the knights. Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin collaborated on the script and assumed most of the onscreen roles, while Gilliam and Jones served as co-directors. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Graham Chapman
as King Arthur, Three-Headed Knight, Hiccoughing Guard
John Cleese
as Sir Lancelot, Black Knight, French
Eric Idle
as Sir Robin, Concorde, Guard, Maynard, Roger
Terry Jones
as Dennis's Mother/Sir Bedevere/Three-Headed Knight
Connie Booth
as The Witch
Neil Innes
as The First Self-Destructive Monk
Terry Gilliam
as Patsy/Soothsayer, Old Man from Scene 24
Michael Palin
as 1st Soldier with a Keen Interest in Birds
Carol Cleveland
as Zoot and Dingo
John Young
as The Dead Body that Claims It Isn't
Rita Davies
as The Historian Who Isn't A.J.P. Taylor
Sally Kinghorne
as Either Winston or Piglet
Avril Stewart
as Either Piglet or Winston
Romilly Squire
as Villager at Witch Burning
Sandy Johnson
as Villager at Witch Buring
Bee Duffell
as Old Crone to Whom King Arthur Said `Ni--'
Sally Kinghorn
as Either Winston or Piglet
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Critic Reviews for Monty Python and the Holy Grail

All Critics (73) | Top Critics (20)

  • The material is superb, Neil Innes' music is tremendous and Gilliam's animations are timelessly brilliant.

    Oct 15, 2015 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • So unnecessarily gorgeous, there are moments where it feels like Tarkovsky with drag and farting.

    Oct 13, 2015 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • Here is Monty Python and the Holy Grail, which is neither as sparkling as it is said to be nor as bad as it seems to be at the start. But it's pretty good.

    Nov 18, 2013 | Full Review…
  • Grail is as funny as a movie can get, but it is also a tough-minded picture -- as outraged about the human propensity for violence as it is outrageous in its attack on that propensity.

    Mar 29, 2011 | Full Review…
  • Silly, sophomoric, and slapped together -- but would you want it any other way?

    Mar 29, 2011 | Full Review…
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus, the British comedy group which gained fame via BBC-TV, send-up Arthurian legend, performed in whimsical fashion with Graham Chapman an effective straight man as King Arthur.

    Sep 4, 2008 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Monty Python and the Holy Grail

  • Jun 10, 2015
    Monty Python and the Holy Grail is a prevailing oddball comedy that continues to be viewed as a cult classic. Its dynamic cast and gag-filled narrative would delight any moviegoer and the film resonates as one of the more memorable comedies to this day because of it. 4/5
    Eugene B Super Reviewer
  • Aug 07, 2014
    The only other Python I've seen is The Meaning of Life, which I'd actually give the same rating, despite Holy Grail being three times as aclaimed. Holy Grail is one of the few films that caught my attention at the opening credits, yet lost it during a patch in the middle. None the less tons of funny scenes, especially up to the part before the band went their own ways. "Tis but a scratch" had me dying, need to watch Life of Brian now.
    Daniel D Super Reviewer
  • Aug 02, 2014
    not as good as life of brian or the sketches but better than meaning of life
    Sanity Assassin ! Super Reviewer
  • Apr 21, 2012
    A charming and hilarious cult, The Holy Grail is certally one of the most funniest films that I ever saw. This first full length by the british group Monty Python, it's a unique odyssey by the medieval time with surrealist humor and remarkable characters, scenes and lines. In the edge from absurd and silliness, Monty Python and The Holy Grail gonna make the audience laugh from the opening titles until the last scene.
    Lucas M Super Reviewer

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