Few sketch comedy troupes have become international phenomenons the way the Monty Python’s Flying Circus fellows have. It certainly helped that their series was syndicated to PBS in America and similar stations around the world, but with the exception of the “Dead Parrot,” the “Lumberjack Song,” and a few others, their most famous bits don’t come from their BBC program but from their first narrative film, 1975’s Monty Python and the Holy Grail, an epic and silly retelling of the myth of King Arthur and his knights of the round table (who dance whenever they’re able). People who’ve never even heard of the “Argument Clinic” will certainly have heard of the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.
And to celebrate the 40th anniversary of this cultural touchstone—that also happens to be mightily hilarious even still—Park Circus and Sony Pictures will be re-releasing the film to UK cinemas and by Rainbow Releasing in the U.S. It will be done in a special Sing-A-Long version to make the experience more interactive, although if you’ve ever gone to a revival screening anywhere you’ll know that a lot of patrons don’t need on-screen prompting to sing along, or indeed quote the entire movie out loud. Not the best environment for someone seeing it for the first time, I’ll say.
To make the experience even cooler, the surviving Pythons—Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam (both of whom directed the film), John Cleese, Michael Palin, and Eric Idle—have recorded a special introduction for the screenings, and attendees are encouraged to dress up for the event, though you’ll need to check your feral rabbits at the door.
The re-release will hit UK cinemas on Wednesday, October 14th, 2015, on over 500 screens. No word yet on when it will come Stateside, but I’d imagine it’d be sometime close to that. And if you miss this adventure, fear not! Sony is also releasing a new Blu-ray later this year as well. Perhaps special editions will come wiiiiiiiith…. A SHRUBBERY!
Are you going to partake in the merriment? Which of the film’s absurd characters is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below!