A classic cult comedy film frequently re-broadcast on television
The first feature film by the Monty Python team is a mock heroic tale set in mediaeval Britain with lots of silly things going on besides.
In a series of sketches and animations, the Pythons recount scenes from the Grail legend in which the knights forsake their chorus line can-can dancing in Camelot for a higher aim. Typically, the Pythons set-up a 'historical' tale which is really a take on the modern world. Memorable scenes, like Graham Chapman's King Arthur battling with John Cleese's Black Knight until the latter is reduced limb by limb down to a speaking stump of a torso, capture both the hilarity and grotesque nature of brutality.
In scene after scene King Arthur's men are led a merry chase through the countryside, encountering life on many different social levels in situations that continuously degenerate into pure farce.
The book includes both the full first draft and final draft of the screenplay plus changes made in the shooting script. Stills and drawings are used throughout to illustrate key moments.
Monty Python at their anarchic best!
Graham Chapman's education and vocational training occurred variously in such places as the Midlands, Eton, the University of Cambridge, St Swithin's Hospital, on tour in a revue with John Cleese in New Zealand and on the island of Ibiza with David Frost. He was the author of A Liar's Autobiography and he also wrote for Monty Python's Flying Circus and the TV show Doctor in the House. Graham Chapman died in 1989.
John Cleese was educated at the University of Cambridge where he performed in Footlights and then went to work in London as a performer and as a comedy writer for the BBC. Besides his work with Python he is best known for his TV series Fawlty Towers (co-written with Connie Booth), the books he has written with psychologist Robin Skinner and films such as Clockwise, A Fish Called Wanda and Fierce Creatures.
Eric Idle was educated at the University of Cambridge where he joined the Footlights Club becoming president of the club in 1965. He created and acted in The Rutles and has appeared in numerous films including The Adventures of Baron Munchausen and wrote the book, and co-wrote the lyrics, for the award-winning musical Spamalot (based on Monty Python & The Holy Grail).
Educated at the University of Oxford, Terry Jones worked in theatre, and wrote revues and scripts for the BBC before becoming one of the creators of Monty Python. He has written many books for children and is also the author (with other scholars) of Who Murdered Chaucer? and a study of Chaucer's Knight. He has directed such films as Personal Services, Erik the Viking and The Wind in the Willows, along with all the Python films.
Michael Palin was born in Sheffield in 1943 and lives with his wife Helen in North London. His adventures around the world have been huge bestsellers. His books (all of which have accompanied his documentaries for the BBC) include Around the World in 80 Days, Pole to Pole, Full Circle, Sahara and Himalaya. His films have included The Missionary and A Private Function.
As part of the Monty Python team, Terry Gilliam produced the series' bizarre animations as well as performing. His subsequent career has encompassed animation and film-making, and he has directed films including The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, Brazil, Twelve Monkeys and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.