Saturday, March 9, 2013

15 Crazy Facts About Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail has to be one of my favorite movies.  I can almost say all the words with the volume muted (though I get tangled up with the Knights Who Say "Ekke-Ekke-Ekke-Ptangya-Ziiinnggggggg-Ni.).  It is 100% absurd from start to finish, and as you can tell by my blog title, I love absurdity.  So for any Holy Grail fans out there- and people who might watch the film- here is a list of 15 facts about the movie that you might not have known.

1.  The opening credits with the "Swedish" subtitles were actually made because the film had no budget left.  When it first opened in Cannes, the audience enjoyed the credits so much that they thought firemen coming in to escort them out of the theater after the credits ended was a part of the show.  It was a real bomb scare.  Thankfully, it was a false alarm, and everyone got to finish watching the movie.

I was sacked before I could do my cameo.

2.  It was very unusual for Monty Python to use women for female roles.  However, women played all female roles in MP&THG except one, Dennis's mother.

3.  Patsy's only line in the entire film is, "It's only a model."

4.  This person has spent way too much time figuring out the average airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.  Because of the movie, this question has become an extraordinarily popular for online search terms.

5.  There are various instances of black cats being abused in the film, probably as a nod to the superstition of black cats being bad luck.  Some say there are nine such instances in the movie, corresponding to the so-called nine lives of cats.  I haven't taken the time to count, because it's something I usually ignore (Note: I dislike animal abuse.  I don't think the film glorifies or promotes it in any way, though, and the "cats" are very obviously puppets).

6.  The "Scene 24" to which the narrator refers is actually Scene 13.

7.  Just in case you didn't figure it out from context: Fetchez la vache! = Get the cow!,  Ah, un cadeau! = Ah, a gift!, C’est un lapin. Lapin de bois. = It’s a rabbit, a rabbit of wood., On y va = Let’s go.

8.  The owner of the actual white rabbit used in the "killer rabbit" scene was not very pleased to find out that the red dye used as blood could not be washed out.  The cast spent quite a long time trying to scrub the rabbit clean before giving up.

"Oh, it's just a harmless little bunny, isn't it?"

9.  When King Arthur cuts the first leg off the Black Knight, a local silversmith with only one leg agreed to play the part.

10.  If you pay close attention, you will notice that Sir Lancelot actually breaks his sword while running to rescue a damsel in distress (who is actually Herbert).  Also, Herbert's potential wife goes from having blood on her face to having none on her face in a matter of moments after Lancelot slays many wedding guests.

11.  "It" has already been said by the time the The Knights Who Say Ni claim that the word is offensive to them.  In fact, they actually say "it" themselves ("It is a good shrubbery."/"You must place it here beside this shrubbery.").

12.  One scene scripted but not filmed had King Arthur and his knights finding the Holy Grail at Harrod's department store (because Harrod's has everything).

13.  Sir Not Appearing in This Film is actor Michael Palin's son.  The hand that turns the pages before the gorilla hand snatches it away is that of Terry Gilliam's wife (Gilliam himself wore the gorilla hand).

14.  "God" is actually a picture of 19th century English cricketer W. G. Grace.

Yes, this guy.

15.  Some people consider the ending a cop-out, because they did not film the British attacking the French castle at the end solely due to a depleted budget and time constraints. 

I hope everyone enjoyed these; if you want to see more, check out the resources below!


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