Monday, August 10, 2015

monty python and the holy grail

Monty Python rode their migratory coconuts in a sacred quest to find a silly place to fart in your general direction with the ekki-ekki-ekki-pitang-zoom-boing of this farcical aquatic ceremony.     Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin had started the comedy troupe in 1969.   Terry Jones and Michael Palin had performed in the Oxford Revue at Oxford University; and Graham Chapman, John Cleese, and Eric Idle were members of Cambridge University's Footlights revue Cambridge Circus.   Terry Gilliam was an American cartoonist and animator who met Cleese when the Footlights came to New York.  When 'Help!' magazine folded, Gilliam moved to England and began working alongside Idle, Jones, and Palin on the 'Do Not Adjust Your Set' program for Independent Television (ITV).  Cleese and Chapman were doing work on 'The Frost Report' for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).  Cleese and Chapman were offered their own show, as were Palin, Idle, Jones, and Gilliam for ITV; but when Cleese invited Palin to join himself and Chapman, Palin suggested they invite the rest of his crew...and Monty Python was born!   

The group enjoyed increasing success over four seasons of 'Monty Python's Flying Circus' on BBC, one feature film 'And Now For Something Completely Different' in 1971, and five albums (Monty Python's Flying Circus in 1970,   Another Monty Python Record  in 1971,    Monty Python's Previous Record in 1972,   Matching Tie and Handkerchief in 1973,  and   Live at Drury Lane in 1974); before embarking on their most ambitious venture:  a motion picture based on the legend of King Arthur and his quest for the Holy Grail.  

Monty Python and the Holy Grail was filmed on location in Scotland around Doune Castle, Glen Coe, and Castle Stalker; as well as Kidwelly Castle in South Wales and Bodiam Castle in East Sussex.  The film was produced by 40 Specially Trained Ecuadorian Mountain Llamas, 6 Venezuelan Red Llamas, 142 Mexican Whooping Llamas, 14 North Chilean Guanacos (Closely Related to the Llama), Reg Llama of Brixton, 76000 Battery Llamas From “Llama-Fresh” Farms Ltd. Near Paraguay, and Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones.    Charisma Records founder Tony Stratton-Smith helped to finance the film by convincing members of  Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and Genesis to contribute.  Despite such assistance, the budget precluded using horses, and so they came up with the idea to use coconuts which were used on radio to simulate the sound of hooves.  

The film was a box office success, grossing over five million dollars and establishing the group in the US. The album version was entitled 'The Album of the Soundtrack of the Trailer of the Film of Monty Python and the Holy Grail'.   In 2005, the film became the inspiration for the Tony Award-winning musical Spamalot.


We're knights of the round table

We dance whenever we're able
We do routines and chorus scenes
With footwork impeccable

We dine well here in Camelot

We eat ham and jam and spam a lot

We're knights of the round table

Our shows are formidable
But many times we're given rhymes
That are quite unsingable

We're opera mad in Camelot

We sing from the diaphragm a lot

War we're tough and able, quite indefatigable

Between our quests we sequin vests
And impersonate Clark Gable
It's a busy life in Camelot

I have to push the pram a lot

Constitutional Peasant

A Foul-Tempered Rabbit

 'The Album of the Soundtrack of the Trailer of the Film of Monty Python and the Holy Grail'

full album:

1    Introduction  1:07
2    Introduction, Pt. 2  4:02
3    Arrival At Castle   2:42
4    Constitutional Peasants   2:57
5    Witch Burning   2:47
6    Logician   2:53
7    Camelot   0:27
8    Camelot Song   1:07
9    Arthur and God   1:09
10    Classic (Silbury Hill)   0:49
11    French Castle   3:05
12    Announcement  0:28
13    Apology   0:18
14    Story So Far   0:21
15    Brave Sir Robin   3:45
16    The Knights Who Say "Ni"   2:30
17    Classic (Silbury Hill), Pt. 2   0:33
18    Marilyn Monroe   2:10
19    Sir Lancelot & Swamp  4:08
20    Tim the Enchanter   0:38
21    Drama Critic  2:43
22    Hand Grenade of Antioch  2:41
23    Announcement, Pt. 2   0:54
24    End of Quest   2:46
25    Arthur's Song   2:30
26    Documentary - Terry Jones and Michael Palin   5:47
27    Run Away Song   2:27

Monty Python and the Holy Grail 

full film (in little tiny bits)

part 1
part 2
part 3
part 4
part 5
part 6
part 7
part 8
part 9
part 10
part 11
Graham Chapman:
King Arthur
Voice of God
Middle Head
Hiccuping Guard

John Cleese:
Second Soldier with a Keen Interest in Birds
The Black Knight
Mr. Newt
Sir Lancelot the Brave
A Quite Extraordinarily Rude Frenchman
Tim the Enchanter

Eric Idle:
The Dead Collector
Peasant #3
Sir Robin the Not-Quite-So-Brave-as-Sir Lancelot
The Guard Who Doesn't Hiccup But Tries To Get Things Straight
Roger the Shrubber
Brother Maynard

Terry Gilliam:
Green Knight
The Old Man from Scene 24
Sir Bors

Terry Jones:
Dennis' Mother
Sir Bedevere
Left Head
Voice of Cartoon Scribe
Prince Herbert

Michael Palin:
First Swallow-Savvy Guard
Peasant 2
Man Playing Instrument in the Knights of the Round Table song
Random French Guard
Right Head
Sir Galahad the Pure
King of Swamp Castle
Brother Maynard's Roommate
Leader of The Knights who say NI!

Connie Booth:
The "Witch"

Carol Cleveland:

Neil Innes:
First Monk
Singing Minstrel
Page Crushed by the Rabbit
Peasant #4

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