A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
People should be treated equally, as implied by a character who talks about class and democracy. But the film also suggests that there's no need to question missions if they come from a higher power and that ideas don't need to make sense to be believed.
Positive Role Models
As parody of the legend of King Arthur, the movie's characters are too silly to be considered positive role models or to have strong individual traits. Everyone is there to get laughs.
Women are portrayed as old crones or virginal objects of desire. A character says to another "I bet you're gay" after he tries to talk him out of being lured by the virgins. There are jokes mistaking a young man for "a lady," as his behavior is campy and he likes to sing. A female character is played by a large man, implying that she's unattractive. A Frenchman is portrayed with a large stereotypical mustache and exaggerated accent, and says "I'm French. Why do you think I have this outrageous accent?" The cast is all White.
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Violence & Scariness
Cartoonish violence throughout -- including severed limbs and slashed throats and lots of purposely fake-looking blood. Several sword fights, one of which results in a sword through a person's head beneath their armor, with blood emerging through a hole. A character is comically stabbed in the throat with plenty of blood spatter. A knight gets his limbs cut off but doesn't appear to feel it and still wants to fight, and a bunny rabbit attacks knights, decapitating them and drawing blood. Dead bodies are shown strewn on wheelbarrows as a man yells to a village, "Bring out your dead!" A man over 60 is hit over the head to kill him off in time for the body collection. Fights include kicking and punching. People are shot with arrows. Song lyrics mention eyes gauged out, bones broken, organs removed, people burned, and nostrils "raped." Passing reference to cannibalism. An animated beast eats an animated man. Mention of heart attack and character seen falling off chair. Another plunges to death down a ravine.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Teen virgins (ages 16 to 19) ask to be spanked and offer oral sex to Sir Galahad. There are nude male figures during animated sequences; their backsides are shown. Frequent innuendo.
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Profanity includes "s--t," "p---y," "pissing," "bastards," "bloody hell," "bitching," "bugger," "buggered," "sod," "t-t," "git," and "Jesus Christ" (as an exclamation), as well as words such as "tart," "bint," and "pansy." A character is named "Crapper." Comedic insults include "I fart in your general direction" and threats to make "castanets out of your testicles."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters merrily drink beer, but not to the point of intoxication.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Monty Python and the Holy Grail is a classic comedy from the renowned British comedy troupe made up of Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin. Some of the rapid-fire jokes might go over younger viewers' heads, and it's possible teens unfamiliar with this style of comedy won't get it at first, either. Though there's plenty of impossible-to-miss toilet humor, such as a character saying "I soiled my armor, I was so scared," naked cartoon backsides playing trumpets, and fart jokes. There's a vestal virgin sequence that's filled with sexual innuendo and proposition -- including mention of spanking and oral sex. Profanity includes "s--t," "p---y," "bastards," as well as words such as "tart" and "pansy." The movie's violence is plentiful but obviously fake -- lots of gushing, paint-like blood and killer rabbits, for example. God is depicted in an animated segment as being tired of overly contrite, "depressing" followers. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Many comedies don't age well -- the jokes, gags, and even the actors all become dated. That can't be said of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, which is still as hilarious as it always was -- though its stereotypes may be jarring for some. The legendary British comedy troupe (including Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin) performs its own loony version of the King Arthur legend. But don't expect swashbuckling heroes on horses. Instead, Arthur (Chapman) and his knights trot along sans horses while someone makes galloping noises with two coconuts. It would spoil the fun to give away more of the memorable gags; they're nearly nonstop and need to be experienced, not explained. But look out for the side-splitting scenes with the Black Knight, the shrubbery bit, and the father of a rather hesitant groom.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail is one of the all-time best comedies that families with older kids can enjoy together (for Sir Galahad's bawdy run-in with the vestal virgins, you can always skip forward by a few minutes). And with all the quotable bits, it's only a matter of time before kids are saying "Ni!" and "It's just a flesh wound."
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.