A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
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.
- Parents say
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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?
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