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Movie Review: 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail' (1975)

Updated on September 12, 2020
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Natalie is a writer who works at her local library. She enjoys writing reviews, watching anime and TV shows, and playing video games.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail 40th Anniversary Blu-ray cover.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail 40th Anniversary Blu-ray cover. | Source

Quick Info

Director: Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones
Studio: Sony Pictures in the United States
Released: October 23, 2001 on DVD, October 27, 2015 on blu-ray
Runtime: 92 Minutes
Availability: on DVD, blu-ray and digital, buy on Amazon

Story Summary

Monty Python and the Holy Grail is a humorous take on King Arthur’s quest to find the Holy Grail and return it to Camelot. King Arthur played by Graham Chapman sets out with Lancelot played by John Cleese.

The Knights of the Round Table recruit Sir Bedivere, and plan to return to Camelot, but decide not to, because it is a silly place, and then God gives them the Quest for the Holy Grail, and they search high and low for the Holy Grail.

Comedies Aren’t My Favorite genre but this is Hilarious!

This movie is very different from a lot of movies I watch, I’m not too big on comedies, but if they’re funny, I’ll laugh. While Monty Python and the Holy Grail is a movie that didn’t have me laughing out loud, it made me smile at the memes that have come from it. It was a strangely amusing movie, though not one of my favorite movies, it was still fun.

I did like the French knights though and I did think that their banter with King Arthur was one of the funny highlights of the movie, along with the Black Knight. Even God was funny, it makes sense in context.

Is this movie funny? That depends on your own sense of humor, but I did enjoy the movie, it just seemed to drag on a little bit toward the end, but I did laugh a lot during the movie.

There’s a reason why this is Monty Python’s most popular movie. All the jokes are funny and humorous in their own way.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail Official Trailer - John Cleese Movie (1974)

The Visual Effects are Great!

The visual effects are very good, considering the fact that this movie had a low budget. The music is good and the soundtrack is fitting to the movie.

It does have some visual effects but it’s mainly used for the comedy and they make it work for being a low-budget film. Everything about this movie works and they do some very impressive visual effects work, such as the Black Knight, when you see it, you’ll see why it’s very impressive.

I think that the visual effects hold up so well because everything is practical, both on set and the clever used of medieval-style animation and illustrations which make the movie a timeless classic not defined by how silly the visual effects look now compared to back when it came out.

The Acting is Terrific with Excellent Comedic Timing

Graham Chapman is great as Arthur, King of the Britons. He had to play the straight man for all the comedic scenes. He did a great job as the dignified King Arthur.

John Cleese is fun as Sir Lancelot the Brave. He was excellent in this role, and despite this being a parody, he still did a great job portraying Sir Lancelot.

Terry Gilliam is funny as Patsy, Arthur's Servant. He is entertaining and funny and I do like him in the role.

Eric Idle is hilarious as Sir Robin the Not-Quite-So-Brave-as-Sir-Lancelot. He was hilarious and his scenes are some of the most memorable in the entire film.

Terry Jones is great as Sir Bedevere the Wise. He’s funny and he gave a great performance of his hilarious lines and had excellent comedic delivery.

Michael Palin is also funny as Sir Galahad the Pure. He has one of the most memorable scenes and it’s funny because he keeps himself in character while everything around him just becomes ridiculous.

Carol Cleveland as identical twins Zoot and Dingo. She had great line delivery to play of Michael Palin. I’m very impressed because she managed to act in the scene she’s in with a straight face and not start laughing at the funny dialogue.

What makes the acting so funny in this film is both the comedic delivery and the excellent writing. The script is hilarious and the actors make it work very well.

Another thing about this film is because of the low budget the actors will play multiple roles in the story and that just makes it even funnier, especially if you can spot when an actor is in a different role.

The acting is fantastic. It was a fun movie for having people who weren’t very famous before the movie came out.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail Theme

The Soundtrack is Excellent

Dewolfe and Neil Innes composed the soundtrack for this film. They did an excellent job. The soundtrack is very memorable for a comedy film, using both serious and whimsical music for certain scenes.

The soundtrack is excellent and it’s a very good soundtrack that will stay in your head.

King Arthur, his servant Patsy, and Dennis the peasant.
King Arthur, his servant Patsy, and Dennis the peasant. | Source

Humor is Always Subjective

Humor is also subjective so what I think is funny isn’t what you think is funny. I enjoyed this movie a lot because I found the humor to be funny. It is an enjoyable movie because the jokes are funny and have great set-ups and payoffs.

I find the humor to be very entertaining and the film constantly made me laugh. I’m not someone who watches comedies on a regular basis but I will watch them if they catch my interest or if the trailer looks funny. I watched Monty Python and the Holy Grail because I heard it was hilarious and I enjoyed it.

Parental Warning

As a note to parents, that despite its PG rating, it has a surprising amount of blood and gore, but gets away with it because the violence is for comedic purposes. There is also some stronger language, so if you’re expecting a PG movie with minimal language and violence, this is not that kind of movie.

There are also a lot of adult jokes in this film. Since this was before they created the PG-13 rating they do have some jokes for a much older audience than children.

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King Arthur trying to sneak into the French castle.
King Arthur trying to sneak into the French castle. | Source

This Is An Amazing Parody of Arthurian Lore and It Still Holds Up after 40 Years!

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1979) are 40 years old and the jokes are still funny. The story is entertaining, even if it’s not particularly coherent. It’s just British people poking fun at their own myths and legends.

It has funny characters, an amusing story, and great acting with excellent jokes. The movie may be silly, but that’s the point. It’s meant to be a silly take on the legends of King Arthur.

Quick Summary

What Works:
What Doesn't Work:
Funny story, characters, and world-building
Humor is subjective
Great acting
Great soundtrack

My Grade: A+

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) is a humorous and memorable take on the King Arthur myths and legends. It is a fantastic parody that has entertaining and funny jokes.

The comedy film is hilarious and entertaining and it’s a very well done and it’s enjoyable if you like the medieval time period and you want a hilarious comedy and even if you don’t know anything about King Arthur, you’ll still enjoy watching the film.

It is a film I can recommend blind buying the film because it is so funny and had me laughing throughout the film. It is one that you can borrow from your local library since it is very popular.

It’s also available to rent for $3.99 on Amazon and it’s very convenient to rent it if you don’t want to go anywhere but you have access to apps that let you rent movies from Amazon digitally.

I watched it by borrowing it from my local library a long time ago and then rewatched it on Netflix because I wanted to refresh my memory on the movie, and it was just as funny as I remember it.

I recommend this movie if you enjoy British comedy and if you like King Arthur stories; this is definitely an entertaining movie and it’s one that you should definitely buy if you like comedies and funny movies. If you just want to watch it, see if your local library has it or watch it on Netflix, It’s one that you should watch and if you want it, go buy it—


My Rating

5 stars for Movie Review: Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

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