Monty Python and the Holy Grail



Nonstop hilarity for families; some bawdy humor, profanity.
Parents recommendPopular with kids
  • Review Date: June 3, 2007
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1975
  • Running Time: 91 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Humorous characters believe they're on a mission ordained by God. One character kills indiscriminately, saying, "I can't help myself." Women are portrayed as either decrepit nags or virginal nymphs.

Positive role models

As a parody of the legend of King Arthur, the chivalry of knights, and the barbarity of the Middle Ages, the characters are too silly to be considered positive role models.


Cartoonish violence -- including severed limbs and slashed throats -- and lots of fake blood. Several sword fights. A contemporary historian is comically stabbed in the throat by a knight. Comical violence throughout: A knight gets his limbs cut off but still wants to fight, and a bunny rabbit attacks knights and draws blood when it attacks. Dead bodies are shown strewn on wheelbarrows as a man yells to a village, "Bring out your dead!"


A castle full of teen vestal virgins ask to be spanked and offer oral sex to Sir Galahad. There are nude male figures during animated sequences; their backsides are shown.


Occasional profanity: "s--t," "p---y," "bastards," as well as words such as "tart" and "pansy." Comedic insults from a taunting Frenchman in which flatulence and male genitalia are referenced.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Knights of Camelot drink and dance.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Monty Python's comedy was rated PG before the advent of PG-13. The entire vestal virgin sequence is filled with sexual innuendo and proposition -- but that's the iffiest content. Some of the rapid-fire jokes won't be detected or even understood by the youngest teens, and it's possible teens unfamiliar with this style of comedy won't get it at first, either. There's some profanity: "s--t," "p---y," "bastards," as well as words such as "tart" and "pansy." The violence is obviously fake -- lots of gushing blood and killer rabbits, for example. God is depicted in an animated segment as being tired of overly contrite and "depressing" followers.

What's the story?

In MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL, God -- animated and annoyed -- wants Arthur and his men to find the Holy Grail, so off they go, facing killer rabbits, randy vestal virgins, taunting Frenchmen, a bloodthirsty torso, and other silly characters on their not-so-epic quest.

Is it any good?


Most 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 every bit as hilarious. The legendary British comedy troupe Monty Python (Graham 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 a subject 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.

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 aim for that "next chapter" button). And, with all the quotable bits, it's only a matter of time before they're saying "Ni!" and "It's just a flesh wound."

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the way the Monty Python crew lampoons the King Arthur legend and movies. Can you think of other movies that are similarly humorous parodies of classic epic tales?

  • How is violence shown in this movie? How is violence exaggerated for humorous effect?

  • How does the movie find humor in the misery and suffering that occurred during the Middle Ages?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:May 11, 1975
DVD release date:October 23, 2001
Cast:Eric Idle, Graham Chapman, John Cleese
Directors:Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones
Studio:Columbia Tristar
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Adventures
Run time:91 minutes
MPAA rating:PG

This review of Monty Python and the Holy Grail was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent of a 12 and 14 year old Written byskmaxwell June 26, 2009

Monty Python Humor never intended for kids!

I love it as an adult but just don't think that it is age appropriate for kids. I had first watched it long ago and remembered the humor in it. I watched it again before showing it to my 14 and 11 year old and decided within the first 15 minutes they wouldn't be seeing it soon.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 17 years old Written byoctober1985 October 12, 2009
Most people seem to like this film the best out of all the Python films. I personally liked "Life Of Brian" more and have not seen "Meaning Of Life" yet. Don't let the PG-rating fool you. It's at least a hard PG-13. It's fairly violent and bloody, there are sexual references and I believe I heard about 1 use of the f-word. If you removed the nudity from "Life Of Brian", it would actually be tamer than this film imo. If your let your kids watch violent films, then you will have no problem with this one.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Adult Written byjanwatches April 9, 2008


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