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The films of Monty Python Week

The 1975 film "Monty Python and the Holy Grail."

Columbia Pictures

The 1975 film "Monty Python and the Holy Grail."


A compilation of reworked sketches from the first two seasons of “Monty Python’s Flying Circus,” the film flopped on its initial 1972 US release but became a midnight movie staple once the TV show was seen here.

Best bit: “The Pet Shop” — A man tries to return a dead parrot.

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Best line: Customer (John Cleese): “He’s passed on. This parrot is no more. He has ceased to be! He’s expired and gone to meet his maker. He’s a stiff. Bereft of life, he rests in peace. If you hadn’t nailed him to the perch he’d be pushing up the daisies! His metabolic processes are now history! He’s off the twig! He’s kicked the bucket, he’s shuffled off his mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisible. He’s snuffed it. This is an ex-parrot!”


King Arthur is on a quest to find the Holy Grail.

Best bit: The king and his knights encounter a deadly rabbit.

Best line: Tim the Enchanter (John Cleese): “That’s no ordinary rabbit. That’s the most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered rodent you ever set eyes on. That rabbit’s got a vicious streak a mile wide; it’s a killer!”


Brian Cohen, born on the same day as Jesus, is eventually, against his will,
mistaken for the Messiah.

Best bit: A group of followers try to get Brian to heal them.

Best line: Reg (John Cleese): “Keep the noise down, please! Those possessed by devils, try and keep them under control a bit, can’t you? Incurables, you’ll just have to wait for a few minutes. Women taken in sin, line up against that wall, will you?”


AP Photo/Universal Studios Home Video

The 1982 film "The Meaning of Life."

Returning to the sketch format, the Pythons explore the three phases of life: birth, growth, and death.

Best bit: Mr. Creosote dines in a fancy restaurant.

Best line(s): Maitre D’ (John Cleese): “Today we have, for appetizers, moules marinieres, pate de foie gras, beluga caviar, eggs Benedictine, tart de poireaux — that’s leek tart — frogs’ legs amandine, or oeufs de caille Richard Shepherd — c’est a dire, little quails’ eggs on a bed of pureed mushroom. It’s very delicate. Very subtle.”

Mr. Creosote (Terry Jones): “I’ll have the lot.”


Authorities allow a pirate to escape from prison, hoping he’ll lead them to his buried treasure.

Best bit: Umm, there really isn’t one.

Best line: Yellowbeard (Graham Chapman), meeting his adult son: “She couldn’t be your mother. No woman ever slept with me and lived.”


Ed Symkus can be reached at
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