A Book about the Film Monty Python and the Holy Grail: All the References from African Swallows to Zoot

Rowman & Littlefield
2
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Monty Python’s Flying Circus aired from 1969 until 1974, but the conclusion of the series did not mark the end of the troupe’s creative output. Even before the final original episodes were recorded and broadcast, the six members began work on their first feature-length enterprise of new material. Rather than string together a series of silly skits, they conceived a full-length story line with references to the real and imagined worlds of the mythical King Arthur, the lives of medieval peasants, and the gloomy climate of 1970s Britain. Released in 1975, Monty Python and the Holy Grail was a modest success but has since been hailed as a modern classic.

In A Book about the Film Monty Python and the Holy Grail:All the References from African Swallows to Zoot, Darl Larsen identifies and examines the cultural, historical, and topical allusions in the movie. In this entertaining resource, virtually every reference that appears in a scene—whether stated by a character, depicted in the mise-en-scène, or mentioned in the print companion—is identified and explained. Beyond the Arthurian legend, entries cover literary metaphors, symbols, names, peoples, and places—as well as the myriad social, cultural, and historical elements that populate the film.

This book employs the film as a window to both reveal and examine “Arthurian” life and literature, the historical Middle Ages, and a Great Britain of labor unrest, power shortages, and the common man. Introducing the reader to dozens of medievalist histories and authors and connecting the film concretely to the “modern” British Empire, A Book about the Film Monty Python and the Holy Grail will appeal to fans of the troupe as well as medieval scholars and academics who can laugh at themselves and their work.
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About the author

Darl Larsen is professor in both the Media Arts department and the Center for Animation at Brigham Young University, where he teaches film, animation, screenwriting, and popular culture studies. He is the author of Monty Python, Shakespeare and English Renaissance Drama (2003), Monty Python's Flying Circus: An Utterly Complete, Thoroughly Unillustrated, Absolutely Unauthorized Guide to Possibly All the References (Taylor, 2013), and A Book about the Film Monty Python's Life of Brian: All the References from Assyrians to Zeffirelli (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019).
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Additional Information

Publisher
Rowman & Littlefield
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Published on
Mar 6, 2015
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Pages
632
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ISBN
9781442245549
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Language
English
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Genres
Performing Arts / Film / Genres / Comedy
Performing Arts / Film / Reference
Social Science / Popular Culture
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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In 1969, the BBC aired the first episode of a new comedy series titled Monty Python's Flying Circus, and the rest, as they say, is history. An instant success, the show ran until 1974, producing a total of 45 episodes. Despite the show's very English humor and allusions to many things British, the series developed a cult following outside the U.K., particularly in the United States. Known for its outrageous humor, occasionally controversial content, and often silly spirit, Monty Python's Flying Circus poked fun at nearly all institutions—domestic or foreign, grand or intimate, sacred or not. Indeed, many of the allusions and references in the program were uniquely British and routinely obscure, and therefore, not always understood or even noticed outside the British Isles.

This exhaustive reference identifies and explains the plethora of cultural, historical, and topical allusions of this landmark series. In this resource, virtually every allusion and reference that appeared in an episode—whether stated by a character, depicted in the mise-en-scene, or mentioned in the printed scripts—is identified and explained. Organized chronologically by episode, each entry is listed alphabetically, indicates what sketch it appeared in, and is cross-referenced between episodes. Entries cover literary and metaphoric allusions, symbolisms, names, peoples, and places; as well as the myriad social, cultural, and historical elements (photos, songs, slogans, caricatures) that populate and inform these episodes.

Entries Include:
·"Arabella Plunkett"
·Group of famous characters from famous paintings
·Hell's Grannies
·HRH The Dummy Princess Margaret
·"Kandinsky"
·"On the Dad's Liver Bachelors at Large"
·Raymond Baxter type
·Scun
·"Spanish Inquisition"
·"Third Parachute Brigade Amateur Dramatic Society"
·"total cashectomy"
·"Two-Sheds"
·"Umbonga's hostile opening"
·Vicar sitting thin and unhappy in a pot
·"What's all this then?"
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