Recently I had the great privilege of viewing the re-release of a timeless classic which forever changed the face of the silver screen. "Casablanca"? "The Godfather"? "Gone With the Wind"? No, this cinematic masterpiece was none other than "Monty Python and the Holy Grail."
Originally released in the '70s, the new version comes complete with 24 bonus seconds and free trading cards with each ticket. Starring comic pioneers Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Eric Idle, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam and the late Graham Chapman, the 25-year-old film still evokes sidesplitting laughter from moviegoers.
"Monty Python and the Holy Grail" is an outrageously funny mockery of the romantic legends of King Arthur's search for the grail. A completely unromantic film, the movie contains such characters as communist peasants, killer rabbits, a three-headed knight, amorous maidens between the ages of 16 and 19 1/2 , Scottish enchanters named Tim and the dreaded knights who say "Ni!"
Although the movie is ridiculously silly, the period research as observed by Dave George was surprisingly accurate in portraying the filthy conditions in medieval England.
Possibly the most amazing aspect of this film is its ability to transcend generations. Monty Python was a cult classic 30 years ago. Now, in a completely different millennium, it is still able to entertain a crowd diverse in age with its nonsensical mix of flying cows, rude Frenchmen, wacky animations, moronic witch hunts and holy hand grenades.
Another of the pieces that contribute to the hilarity of this and other of Python's work is the actors' nationality. They more than live up to the British reputation of dry humor, repeatedly delivering lines about soiling one's armor, not merely straight-faced but with very believable anger. Their thick accents give ridiculous comments ("logically if she weighs the same as a duck she's made of wood") a sense of hilarity not found in American films.
The movie is only being shown at the Amherst Theater on Main Street. Once you see it, you will want to see more, so check your local video store for other Monty Python classics such as "Life of Brian" and "Now for Something Completely Different."
Will Burns is a sophomore at Pembroke High School.