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Monty Python and the Holy Grail (rewatch)

Posted by martinteller on March 10, 2012

It’s been seven years (and one day) since I last watched Holy Grail and basically said that even though I still recognized its humor, I probably didn’t need to see it ever again.  I said that I’d “milked it dry.”  So why did I buy the Blu-Ray?  I think I still have a weakness for this format, as I did for DVD in its early days.  I’m buying stuff on the margins, movies that aren’t really favorites (or once were but are no longer).  I like my collection to be films that I know I’ll watch again, so why am I still purchasing things that I’ve already seen enough of?  I just end up selling them off, usually at a slight loss.  It’s been happening too often lately, I need to keep this consumerist habit in check.

But while it’s true that I no longer laugh at this film like I did when I was 13, quoting it endlessly with other like-minded nerds, it does still elicit some chuckles.  It probably isn’t fair to judge a comedy by how it holds up on the umpteenth viewing… especially one that’s so entirely devoted to jokes.  It occurred to me that we don’t get many comedies like this these days.  Now they’ve all got so much focus on plot arcs and character growth, no one just gets outright silly and anarchic like the Pythons, or the Marxes, or Zucker/Abrahams/Zucker.  Probably the closest thing is all those terrible-looking “____ Movie” parodies (or the very rare good spoof like Black Dynamite).

What tickles me most now in Holy Grail — having exhausted the laughs out of all the big moments — are the little details, like Arthur repeatedly confusing the numbers three and five, or the goofy dancing in the “Camelot” scene, or Neil Innes’ expression while singing the “Sir Robin” song.  I guess I’ll keep it in the collection for the time being, at least until I run out of shelf space and need to do some pruning.  While I’m not sure I would ever feel the need to watch it yet again, I can’t rule out the possibility.  Rating: Great


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