monty python and the holy grail blu-ray

Monty Python and the Holy Grail has been making us laugh, and prompting us to quote its absurd dialogue, for forty years. The 1975 release will enjoy a new anniversary blu-ray edition in October. One bit of packaging for the disc is meant to evoke one of the most ridiculous concepts in the movie — and that’s saying a lot when discussing this film.

The new Monty Python and the Holy Grail blu-ray will feature a working catapult — a tiny one, these people aren’t monsters, and the shipping for an actual war machine would be outrageous — that will fling appropriately-sized animal toys about your room.

Even better, there’s a video featuring the Monty Python crew (Terry Jones, Michael Palin, John Cleese, and Terry Gilliam, who is thankfully very much alive) playing with the modestly-sized weapon. The glee with which Michael Palin puts the catapult to work might be the best thing I’ve seen today.

Just watch this, which comes from Monty Python.

In fact, Michel Palin had such a good time he got his own video.

In the event you didn’t pay very close attention to the video, or you’re perhaps watching at a racetrack or in the middle of an MRI where the sound is drowned out, the 40th anniversary disc is available to pre-order on Amazon. (If you’re interested in a blu of the film with packaging made of more solid stuff, see the steelbook version at Monty Python’s own shop.)

The $50 disc will feature, in addition to the catapult and a packet of little plastic farmyard stock — and, really, aren’t those enough? — special features such as the ones below.

  • Letters from co-directors Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam
  • New Q&A with the Pythons recorded at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival, hosted by John Oliver
  • Commentaries by Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, John Cleese, Eric Idle, and Michael Palin
  • Outtakes and extended scenes with introduction by Terry Jones
  • Lost animations with introduction by Terry Gilliam
  • How to Use Your Coconuts (An Educational Film)

I can’t imagine we need to recap anything about this film; it’s the Python’s second movie, after And Now For Something Completely Different. Since that film was basically a set of sketches edited into a movie, Holy Grail was the group’s first proper feature, directed by Jones and Gilliam.

The film was done between the third and abbreviated fourth (and final) season of Monty Python’s Flying Circus. John Cleese had broken from the show after the third season, but returned to the group to do this movie, as his complaints that the group was stagnating with unoriginal material were alleviated with the script for this movie.

By the way, the Monty Python YouTube channel has been uploading good-quality copies of some of the best sketches from the original TV series, so that is also something you might spend a few precious minutes enjoying.

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