Back in 1975, I first fell in love with the verbal wordplay, incredible wit and social satire of the UK's funniest troupe in MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL.
Hilarious, smart as hell and wickedly subversive, this comic retelling of the King Arthur legend is the anti-Camelot. Rather than the shiny armor, beautiful costumes and perfectly coiffed characters we typically see in the story, the Python's King and his knights look unbathed, exhausted and fairly lost.
Luckily they have many classic moments along their journey.
From the animated God peaking through the clouds and suggesting their quest yelling "Of course its a good idea!!" at the cowering knights, to the vicious monster with "big pointy teeth" that guards the grail, the boys got it all right.
I loved the French guards that taunt Arthur with "I fart in your general direction! Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!" It never fails to amuse.
Arthur's description of how he became a king and a peasant's response if an all time classic.
King Arthur: The Lady of the Lake, her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water, signifying by divine providence that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur. THAT is why I am your king.
Dennis: [interrupting] Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.
The knights who say NEEE!
The unyielding knight "It's only a flesh wound"
Their unseen horses "You're using coconuts! No we're not..."
How many classic moments can you fit in one movie! It's fantastic.
Shot on an incredibly low budget (hence the coconuts) the Pythons delivered a massive hit that's grown in popularity over the decades. It's perhaps their most consistently hilarious film, battling with "The Life Of Brian" for that status. The film's abrupt ending and lack of credits was driven by the fact they simply ran out of money. Somehow, like the rest of the film, it's perfect.
The movie was funded by some of the all time great rock bands, with Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin both contributing heavily as huge fans of the Python BBC TV show.
When Cleese says to the "bring out your dead Collector, "Why do you think he's a king? Eric Idle ad-libbed the line "Because he hasn't got shit all over him".
My long time friend Gregg Stultz and I can lob entire sections of long dialogue back and forth at each other 40 years after this film first crossed our late night TV screens. Greg "I did do the nose...and the hat..Burn her anyway!!!"
A modern comedy classic, the HOLY GRAIL is solid gold and gets an A+.