Monty Python and the Holy Grail

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It's just a flesh wound.
Once in a lifetime, there is a motion picture that changes the history of motion pictures....

Monty Python and the Holy Grail is a 1975 film about King Arthur and his knights who embark on a low-budget search for the Grail, encountering many very silly obstacles.

Written by Monty Python, directed by Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones
And now! At Last! Another film completely different from some of the other films which aren't quite the same as this one is.



Guard: Halt! Who goes there?
King Arthur: It is I, Arthur, son of Uther Pendragon, from the castle of Camelot. King of the Britons, defeater of the Saxons, Sovereign of all England!
Guard: Pull the other one!
King Arthur: I am, and this is my trusty servant Patsy. We have ridden the length and breadth of the land in search of knights who will join me in my court at Camelot. I must speak with your lord and master.
Guard: What? Ridden on a horse?
King Arthur: Yes!
Guard: You're using coconuts!
King Arthur: What?
Guard: You've got two empty halves of coconut and you're bangin' 'em together!
King Arthur: So? We have ridden since the snows of winter covered this land, through the kingdom of Mercia, through...
Guard: Where'd you get the coconuts?
King Arthur: We found them.
Guard: Found them? In Mercia?! The coconut's tropical!
King Arthur: What do you mean?
Guard: Well, this is a temperate zone.
King Arthur: The swallow may fly south with the sun or the house martin or the plover may seek warmer climes in winter, yet these are not strangers to our land?
Guard: Are you suggesting that coconuts migrate?
King Arthur: Not at all. They could be carried.
Guard: What? A swallow carrying a coconut?
King Arthur: It could grip it by the husk!
Guard: It's not a question of where he grips it! It's a simple question of weight ratios! A five ounce bird could not carry a one pound coconut.
King Arthur: Well, it doesn't matter. Will you go and tell your master that Arthur from the Court of Camelot is here?
Guard: Listen. In order to maintain air-speed velocity, a swallow needs to beat its wings forty-three times every second, right?
King Arthur: Please!
Guard: Am I right?
King Arthur: I'm not interested!
[A second guard approaches the parapet]
Guard 2: It could be carried by an African swallow!
Guard 1: Oh yeah. An African swallow, maybe -- but not a European swallow, that's my point.
Guard 2: Oh yeah, I agree with that.
King Arthur: [exasperated] Will you ask your master if he wants to join my court at Camelot?!
Guard 1: But, of course, African swallows are non-migratory.
Guard 2: Oh, yeah.
[Arthur begins to depart]
Guard 1: ...So they couldn't bring a coconut back anyway.

Bring out your dead

Dead Collector: Bring out yer dead!
[A large man appears with a (seemingly) dead man over his shoulder]
Large Man: Here's one.
Dead Collector: Nine pence.
"Dead" Man: I'm not dead.
Dead Collector: What?
Large Man: Nothing. [hands the collector his money] Here's your nine pence.
"Dead" Man: I'm not dead!
Dead Collector: 'Ere, he says he's not dead.
Large Man: Yes he is.
"Dead" Man: I'm not.
Dead Collector: He isn't.
Large Man: Well, he will be soon, he's very ill.
"Dead" Man: I'm getting better.
Large Man: No you're not, you'll be stone dead in a moment.
Dead Collector: Well, I can't take him like that. It's against regulations.
"Dead" Man: I don't want to go on the cart.
Large Man': Oh, don't be such a baby.
Dead Collector: I can't take him.
"Dead" Man: I feel fine.
Large Man: Oh, do me a favor.
Dead Collector: I can't.
Large Man: Well, can you hang around for a couple of minutes? He won't be long.
Dead Collector: I promised I'd be at the Robinsons'. They've lost nine today.
Large Man: Well, when's your next round?
Dead Collector: Thursday.
"Dead" Man: I think I'll go for a walk.
Large Man: You're not fooling anyone, you know. Isn't there anything you could do?
"Dead" Man: I feel happy. I feel happy.
[The collector paces for an idea, then whacks the body with his club, solving the problem]
Large Man: Ah, thank you very much.
Dead Collector: Not at all. See you on Thursday.
Large Man: Right.

Must be a king

[Arthur and Patsy "ride" through the village]
Large Man: Who's that then?
Dead Collector: I dunno. Must be a king.
Large Man: Why?
Dead Collector: He hasn't got shit all over him.

A self-perpetuating autocracy

King Arthur: Old woman!
Dennis: Man.
King Arthur: Man, sorry. What knight lives in that castle over there?
Dennis: I'm 37.
King Arthur: What?
Dennis: I'm 37. I'm not old.
King Arthur: Well I can't just call you "man".
Dennis: Well you could say "Dennis".
King Arthur: I didn't know you were called Dennis.
Dennis: Well you didn't bother to find out, did you?
King Arthur: I did say sorry about the "old woman", but from behind you looked...
Dennis: What I object to is you automatically treat me like an inferior.
King Arthur: Well, I am king.
Dennis: Oh, king eh? Very nice. And how'd you get that, eh? By exploiting the workers. By hanging on to outdated imperialist dogma which perpetuates the economic and social differences in our society. If there's ever gonna be any progress...
Peasant Woman: Dennis! There's some lovely filth down here... Oh! How do you do?
[Dennis joins the Peasant Woman in the nearby filth patch]
King Arthur: How do you do, good lady? I am Arthur, king of the Britons. Whose castle is that?
Peasant Woman: King of the who?
King Arthur: The Britons.
Peasant Woman: Who're the "Britons"?
King Arthur: Well, we all are. We're all Britons, and I am your king.
Peasant Woman: Didn't know we had a king. I thought we were an autonomous collective.
Dennis: You're fooling yourself. We're living in a dictatorship! A self-perpetuating autocracy, in which the working classes...
Peasant Woman: Oh, there you go, bringing class into it again.
Dennis: Well, that's what it's all about! If only people would--
King Arthur: Please, please, good people, I am in haste. Who lives in that castle?
Peasant Woman: No one lives there.
King Arthur: Then who is your lord?
Peasant Woman: We don't have a lord.
King Arthur: What?
Dennis: I told you, we're an anarcho-syndicalist commune. We take it in turns to act as sort of executive officer for the week...
King Arthur: Yes...
Dennis: ...but all the decisions of that officer have to be ratified at a special bi-weekly meeting...
King Arthur: Yes I see...
Dennis: a simple majority in the case of purely internal affairs...
King Arthur: Be quiet!
Dennis: ...but by a two thirds majority in the case of more...
King Arthur: Be quiet! I order you to be quiet!
Peasant Woman: "Order", eh? Who does he think he is?
King Arthur: I am your king.
Peasant Woman: Well, I didn't vote for you.
King Arthur: You don't vote for kings.
Peasant Woman: Well, how'd you become king, then?
[An angelic choir begins...]
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. [singing stops] That is why I am your king.
Dennis: Listen. Strange women lying in ponds distributing 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.
Arthur: Be quiet!
Dennis: You can't expect to wield supreme executive power just 'cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!
Arthur: Shut up!
Dennis: I mean, if I went around saying I was an emperor just because some moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me, they'd put me away!
Arthur: [grabs Dennis] Shut up! Will you shut up?!
Dennis: Ah, now we see the violence inherent in the system!
Arthur: [shakes Dennis] Shut up!
Dennis: Oh! Come and see the violence inherent in the system! Help, help, I'm being repressed!
Arthur: Bloody Peasant!
Dennis: Ooh, what a giveaway! Did you hear that? Did you hear that, eh? That's what I'm on about! Did you see him repressing me? You saw it, didn't you?

The black knight

[King Arthur and Patsy have just witnessed a black knight defeat a green one and approach the victor]
King Arthur: You fight with the strength of many men, sir Knight. [The Black Knight looks at him in Silence] I am Arthur, King of the Britons. [The Black Knight doesn't respond as Arthur looks at Patsy and back at the Knight] I seek the finest and the bravest Knights in the land to join Me in my court at Camelot. [Still no response as Arthur looks at Patsy and back at the Knight] You have proved yourself worthy. Will you join me? [The Black Knight remains silent as Arthur looks at Patsy and back at him] You make me sad. So be it. Come Patsy.
Black Knight: None shall pass.
King Arthur: What?
Black Knight: None shall pass!
King Arthur: I have no quarrel with you good Sir Knight, But I must cross this bridge.
Black Knight: Then you shall die.
King Arthur: I command you, as King of the Britons, to stand aside!
Black Knight: I move for no man.
King Arthur: So be it!
[they fight until Arthur cuts off the Black Knight's left arm]
King Arthur: Now, stand aside, worthy adversary.
Black Knight: 'Tis but a scratch.
King Arthur: A scratch? Your arm's off!
Black Knight: No, it isn't.
King Arthur: Well, what's that then?
Black Knight: I've had worse.
King Arthur: You liar!
Black Knight: Come on, you pansy!
[they fight again. Arthur cuts off the Knight's right arm]
King Arthur: Victory is mine! [kneels to pray] We thank thee, Lord, that in thy mer -
[the Black Knight kicks him]
Black Knight: Come on, then. [keeps kicking]
King Arthur: What?
Black Knight: Have at you! [keeps kicking]
King Arthur: You are indeed brave, Sir Knight, but the fight is mine.
Black Knight: Oh, had enough, eh?
King Arthur: Look, you stupid bastard, you've got no arms left!
Black Knight: Yes I Have.
King Arthur: Look!
Black Knight: It's just a flesh wound. [kicks Arthur again]
King Arthur: Look stop that!
Black Knight: Chicken. [keeps kicking] Chicken!
King Arthur: Look, I'll Have your Leg. [the Black knight kicks him] Right! [cuts off the Black Knight's right leg while the knight attempts to kick him]
Black Knight: Right, I'll do you for that. [hopping on just one leg]
King Arthur: You'll What?!
Black Knight: Come Here!
King Arthur: What are you gonna do bleed on me?
Black Knight: I'm Invincible!
King Arthur: You're a looney.
Black Knight: The Black Knight always triumphs! have at you! come on then. [King Arthur has just cut the Black Knight's last leg off]
[The Black Knight now completely Quadriplegic looks around and then up as Arthur sheaths his Sword]
Black Knight: All right, we'll call it a draw.
King Arthur: [Preparing to leave] Come, Patsy.
[King Arthur and Patsy ride off]
Black Knight: Oh, I see. Running away, eh? You yellow bastards come back here and take what's coming to you! I'll bite your legs off!

Turned me into a newt

Bedevere: How do you know she is a witch?
Peasant: She looks like one.
[Crowd indistinctly shouts]
Bedevere: Bring her forward!
Girl: I'm not a witch.
Bedevere: But you are dressed as one...
Girl: They dressed me up like this. [Crowd murmurs]
Girl: And this isn't my nose. This is a false one.
Bedevere: [inspects the nose and confirms] Well?
Peasant: Well, we did do the nose.
Bedevere: The nose?
Peasant: And the hat. She's a witch!
Peasant Crowd: Burn her!
Bedevere: Did you dress her up like this?
Peasant Crowd: No, no, no! [beat] Yes, yes. A bit. But she's got a wart.
Bedevere: What makes you think she is a witch?
Peasant: Well, she turned me into a newt!
[Bedevere gives him a disbelieving look]
Bedevere: A newt?
Peasant: I got better.
Peasant Crowd: Burn her anyway!

French taunts

Frenchman: You don't frighten us, English pig-dogs! Go and boil your bottoms, sons of a silly person! I blow my nose at you, so-called Ah-thoor Keeng, you and all your silly English K-n-n-n-n-n-n-n-niggits! [makes taunting gestures at them]
Sir Galahad: What a strange person.
King Arthur: Now, look here, my good man--
Frenchman: I don't want to talk to you no more, you empty-headed animal food trough wiper! I fart in your general direction! Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!
Sir Galahad: Is there someone else up there we can talk to?
Frenchman: No, now go away or I shall taunt you a second time!

Knights who say Ni

Head Knight: The Knights Who Say Ni demand a sacrifice!
King Arthur: Knights of Ni, we are but simple travelers who seek the enchanter who lives beyond these woods--
Knights who say Ni: NI! NI! NI! NI!
King Arthur: Oh, ow!
Head Knight: We shall say "Ni" again to you, if you do not appease us.
King Arthur: Well, what do you want?
Head Knight: We want... a shrubbery!! [jarring chord]

It's a silly place

Sir Lancelot: Look, my liege! [trumpets blare to a shot of a castle]
King Arthur: [awed] Camelot!
Sir Galahad: Camelot!
Sir Lancelot: Camelot!
Patsy: It's only a model.
King Arthur: Shh! Knights, I bid you welcome to your new home. Let us ride to Camelot!
[The inhabitants of Camelot sing "Knights of the Round Table"]
Knights of the Round Table: [singing and dancing] We're knights of the Round Table, we dance whene'er we're able. We do routines and chorus scenes with footwork impec-cable, We dine well here in Camelot, we eat ham and jam and Spam a lot. / We're knights of the Round Table, our shows are for-mi-dable. But many times we're given rhymes that are quite un-sing-able, We're opera mad in Camelot, we sing from the diaphragm a lot. / In war we're tough and able, Quite in-de-fa-ti-gable. Between our quests we sequin vests and impersonate Clark Gable / It's a busy life in Camelot.
Knight: [somberly] I have to push the pram a lot.
[Cut back to Arthur]
King Arthur: On second thought, let's not go to Camelot. It is a silly place.

Three questions

[The knights look onward as Sir Lancelot steps forward to the Bridge keeper from Scene 24]
Bridgekeeper: Stop. Who would cross the Bridge of Death must answer me these questions three, ere the other side he see.
Sir Lancelot: Ask me the questions, bridgekeeper. I am not afraid.
Bridgekeeper: What... is your name?
Sir Lancelot: My name is Sir Lancelot of Camelot.
Bridgekeeper: What... is your quest?
Sir Lancelot: To seek the Holy Grail.
Bridgekeeper: What... is your favourite colour?
Sir Lancelot: Blue.
Bridgekeeper: Right. Off you go.
Sir Lancelot: Oh, thank you. Thank you very much. [Crosses the bridge]
Sir Robin: That's easy!
[The other knights rush to the bridge keeper]
Bridgekeeper: Stop. Who approacheth the Bridge of Death must answer me these questions three, ere the other side he see.
Sir Robin: Ask me the questions, bridgekeeper. I'm not afraid.
Bridgekeeper: What... is your name?
Sir Robin: Sir Robin of Camelot.
Bridgekeeper: What... is your quest?
Sir Robin: To seek the Holy Grail.
Bridgekeeper: What... is the capital of Assyria? [pause]
Sir Robin: I don't know that! [he is thrown over the edge into the ravine by an unseen force] AUUUUUUUUGGGH!
[Galahad prepares to cross, and the Bridgekeeper stops him]
Bridgekeeper: Stop. What... is your name?
Sir Galahad: Sir Galahad of Camelot.
Bridgekeeper: What... is your quest?
Galahad: I seek the Grail.
Bridgekeeper: What... is your favourite colour?
Sir Galahad: Blue—no! [he is also thrown over the edge] YEELLLLLLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWW!
Bridgekeeper: [Chuckling at Galahad's demise, then turns to Arthur] Stop. What... is your name?
King Arthur: It is 'Arthur', King of the Britons.
Bridgekeeper: What... is your quest?
King Arthur: To seek the Holy Grail.
Bridgekeeper: What... is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?
King Arthur: What do you mean? An African or a European swallow?
Bridgekeeper: Huh? I... I don't know that. [he is thrown over by his own spell] AUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGGHHH!!
Sir Bedevere: How do you know so much about swallows?
King Arthur: Well, you have to know these things when you're a king, you know.
[Arthur and Bedevere begin to cross the bridge]


Make sure the prince doesn't leave this room

[The King of Swamp Castle instructs the two guards at Herbert's room]
King of Swamp Castle: Guards, make sure the prince doesn't leave this room until I come and get him.
Guard #1: Not to leave the room... even if you come and get him. [Guard #2 hiccups]
King of Swamp Castle: No, no. Until I come and get him.
Guard #1: Until you come and get him, we're not to enter the room.
King of Swamp Castle: No, no, no. You stay in the room, and make sure he doesn't leave.
Guard #1: And you'll come and get him. [Guard #2 hiccups again]
King of Swamp Castle: Right.
Guard #1: We don't need to do anything, apart from just stop him entering the room.
King of Swamp Castle: No, no. Leaving the room.
Guard #1: Leaving the room, yes.
King of Swamp Castle: All right? [Guard #2 hiccups]
Guard #1: Right. Oh, if, if, if, uh, if, if, uh, if, if, if, we... oh, if... oh...
King of Swamp Castle: Look, it's quite simple. You just stay here, and make sure he doesn't leave the room. All right? [Guard #2 hiccups]
Guard #1: Oh, I remember, uh, can he leave the room with us?
King of Swamp Castle: No, no, no, no, you just keep him in here, and make sure...
Guard #1: Oh yeah, we'll keep him in here, obviously, but if he had to leave, and we were with him...
King of Swamp Castle: No, just keep him in here...
Guard #1: Until you, or anyone else...
King of Swamp Castle: No, not anyone else. Just me.
Guard #1: Just you. [Guard #2 hiccups]
King of Swamp Castle: Get back.
Guard #1: Get back.
King of Swamp Castle: All right?
Guard #1: Right, we'll stay here until you get back.
King of Swamp Castle: And make sure he doesn't leave.
Guard #1: What?
King of Swamp Castle: Make sure he doesn't leave.
Guard #1: The prince?
King of Swamp Castle: Yes, make sure he doesn't leave.
Guard #1: Oh, yes, of course. [points at Guard #2] I thought you meant him. You know, it seemed a bit daft to me that I were to guard him when he's a guard.
King of Swamp Castle: Is that clear? [Guard #2 hiccups]
Guard #1: Oh, quite clear. No problems.
King of Swamp Castle: Right. [turns to leave the room. As he leaves, both guards follow him] Where are you going?
Guard #1: We're coming with you.
King of Swamp Castle: No, no, no. I want you to stay here and make sure he doesn't leave.
Guard #1: Oh, I see. Right.

Holy hand grenade

O Lord, bless this thy hand grenade, that with it thou mayst blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy.
King Arthur: [Holding the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch] How does it... um... how does it work?
Sir Lancelot: I know not, my liege.
King Arthur: Consult the Book of Armaments.
Brother Maynard: Armaments, chapter two, verses nine through twenty-one.
Cleric: [reading] And Saint Attila raised the hand grenade up on high, saying, "O Lord, bless this thy hand grenade, that with it thou mayst blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy." And the Lord did grin. And the people did feast upon the lambs, and sloths, and carp, and anchovies, and orangutans, and breakfast cereals, and fruit bats, and large chunks...
Brother Maynard: Skip a bit, Brother...
Cleric: And the Lord spake, saying, "First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin. Then shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in My sight, shall snuff it.
Brother Maynard: Amen.
All: Amen.
King Arthur: Right. One... two... five!
Galahad: Three, sir.
King Arthur: Three! [throws the grenade]


  • Makes Ben Hur look like an Epic!
  • Sets The Cinema Back 900 Years!
  • And now! At Last! Another film completely different from some of the other films which aren't quite the same as this one is.


  • Graham Chapman:
    • King Arthur
    • Voice of God
    • Middle Head
    • Hiccuping Guard
  • John Cleese:
    • Second Soldier with a Keen Interest in Birds
    • The Black Knight
    • Mr. Newt
    • Sir Lancelot the Brave
    • A Quite Extraordinarily Rude Frenchman
    • Tim the Enchanter
  • Eric Idle:
    • The Dead Collector
    • Peasant #3
    • Sir Robin the Not-Quite-So-Brave-as-Sir Lancelot
    • The Guard Who Doesn't Hiccup But Tries To Get Things Straight
    • Concorde
    • Roger the Shrubber
    • Brother Maynard
  • Terry Gilliam:
    • Patsy
    • Green Knight
    • The Old Man from Scene 24
    • Sir Bors
    • Animator
  • Terry Jones:
    • Dennis' Mother
    • Sir Bedevere
    • Right Head
    • Voice of Cartoon Scribe
    • Prince Herbert
  • Michael Palin:
    • First Swallow-Savvy Guard
    • Dennis
    • Peasant 2
    • Man Playing Instrument in the Knights of the Round Table song
    • Random French Guard
    • Left Head
    • Sir Galahad the Pure
    • Narrator
    • King of Swamp Castle
    • Brother Maynard's Roommate
    • Leader of The Knights who say NI!
  • Connie Booth:
    • The "Witch"
  • Carol Cleveland:
    • Zoot
    • Dingo
  • Neil Innes:
    • First Monk
    • Singing Minstrel
    • Page Crushed by the Rabbit
    • Peasant #4
Monty Python
  Members     Graham Chapman · John Cleese · Terry Gilliam · Eric Idle · Terry Jones · Michael Palin  
  Supporting cast     Carol Cleveland · Neil Innes  
  Television series     Flying Circus  (1969–1974) · Fliegender Zirkus  (1972) · Personal Best  (2006)  
  Filmography     And Now for Something Completely Different  (1971) · Holy Grail  (1975) · Life of Brian  (1979) · Live at the Hollywood Bowl  (1982) · The Meaning of Life  (1983)  
  Music     Monty Python albums  
  Specials     Parrot Sketch Not Included  (1989) · Live at Aspen  (1998) · Python Night  (1999)  
  Documentaries     The Seventh Python  (2008) · Almost the Truth (Lawyers Cut)  (2009)  
  Stage productions     Spamalot  (opened 2005) · Not the Messiah (He's a Very Naughty Boy)  (premiered 2007) · An Evening Without Monty Python  (debuted 2009) · Live (mostly)  (premiered 2014)  
  Literature     Big Red Book  (1971) · Brand New Bok  (1973)  
  Video games     Flying Circus  (1990) · Complete Waste of Time  (1994) · Quest for the Holy Grail  (1996) · The Meaning of Life  (1997) · Cow Tossing  (2011)  
  Related articles     Do Not Adjust Your Set  (1967–1969) · At Last the 1948 Show  (1967) · How to Irritate People  (1968) · We Have Ways of Making You Laugh  (1968) · The Complete and Utter History  
  of Britain
 (1969) · Rutland Weekend Television  (1975–1976) · Ripping Yarns  (1979) · Holy Flying Circus  (2011) · A Liar's Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python's  
  Graham Chapman