Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Monty Python and the Holy Grail Movie Poster Image
Nonstop hilarity for families; some bawdy humor, profanity.
  • PG
  • 1975
  • 91 minutes
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 21 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 100 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

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 & Representations

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.

Violence

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!"

Sex

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.

Language

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.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Knights of Camelot drink and dance.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Monty Python and the Holy Grail 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.

User Reviews

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... Continue reading
Adult Written byjanwatches April 9, 2008
Brilliant
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 Li... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old November 7, 2014

'Tis merely a flesh wound.

Our teacher recently got this ridiculously large TV for the classroom and has been using it as much as possible. On Fridays, generally, when the teacher runs ou... Continue reading

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 this one, 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.

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 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."

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the way the Monty Python crew lampoons the King Arthur legend and movies in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. 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

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

For kids who love to laugh

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate