Holy Grail Working Script Part 3
|Notes about this script:|
This is the 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail' screenplay as it appeared on March 20, 1974. It's a 'working' version of the script., NOT the final script that was filmed. In reading this, you'll be able to see the creative process at work. Many of the scenes were altered from the way they were originally written and others disappeared entirely. Other bits, including some of the funniest and most quoted lines from the film were written into this version of the script, and others were added in later on during filming. I've color-coded the changes so you can follow them more easily.
Some of the key points to watch out for: The 'King Brian the Wild' scene (and several characters that appeared only in that scene) disappeared entirely. A few other minor characters, like Sir Gawain, also were eliminated. The scene in which Sir Robin meets the 3-headed Knight was extensively re-written. The 'shrubbery', 'Knights of Ni' and 'Bridge of Death' scenes also were changed quite a lot from how they were originally planned. One rather famous change that doesn't appear here is the 'Directors Cut' of the Castle Anthrax scene. That wasn't included in this version of the script, so I didn't add it.
I've resisted adding this script onto the site for over a year now because I know I'm going to get flooded with e-mails from clueless newbies (most from AOL probably) trying to get me to fix the errors in this script because their version of the movie is different. REMEMBER! This is not the way the film was shot. A lot of things were changed between this version and the final screenplay. Many lines were changed, added, eliminated or were said by different characters. The staging was altered from the directions contained here. DO NOT e-mail me with things like 'You have the Black Knight scene wrong. Fix it!!' This will merely prove just how ignorant you truly are.
|.||BLACK: Regular text. The way the script was originally written|
|.||GREY: Originally written into the script, but crossed out by this time.|
|.||GREEN: Not included in the original draft. Had been pencilled in by this version.|
|.||PINK: Staging directions|
[29 EXTERIOR - DAY]
[CUT BACK to the glade where the KNIGHTS OF NI! were. A police car roars up. Two PLAIN CLOTHES DETECTIVE and a CONSTABLE get out, look around suspiciously, perhaps kneel and examine the ground. One POLICEMAN finds PATSY's shoe and the other finds a strange scientific instrument that was hanging from BEDEVERE.]
[They nod grimly to each other. Climb back in the car and drive off.]
[30 EXTERIOR - DAY]
[Back in KING BRIAN's Court. The FIRST ADVISER has been dragged off. There are muffled screams coming from the nearby tree. The FIRST ADVISER is being hauled up it on pulleys.]
SECOND ADVISER: Your Majesty, I can find you a Lute player, whose music is passing sweet.
KING BRIAN: It's not the same, You thick-headed fool! (KING BRIAN hits him on the back of the head. He falls.) There's no fun in killing soloists!
SECOND ADVISER: (picking himself up) He may have a friend...
KING BRIAN: GUARDS!
SECOND ADVISER: Oh Please your majesty! Please!
KING BRIAN: Take him away and tie his kidneys to the longest hedge in the kingdom!
[The GUARDS drag the ADVISER roughly away.]
SECOND ADVISER: No! (he is dragged off screaming and protesting)
KING BRIAN: (roaring at the rest of the court) I will personally disembowel the next little bastard who tells me that there are no more close harmony ...
[At this moment we hear faintly the sound of singing. KING BRIAN stopped to listen. The entire COURT turns thankfully towards the mellifluous sounds.]
We're the knights of the round table
our shows are formidable
but many times we're given rhymes
that are quite unsingable...
KING BRIAN: Wait a minute! Five point harmony with a counter-tenor lead!
[Various members of the COURT sigh and breathe more easily.]
CREEP: Thank goodness.
KING BRIAN: Shut up! (punches him right on the end of the nose and shouts to the SECOND ADVISER) Oy you!
SECOND ADVISER: (doubled-up, Surrounded by soldiers busy with his stomach) Yes, Your majesty?
KING BRIAN: Go and get 'em!
SECOND ADVISER: (gratefully) Thank you sir! (He staggers off with some difficulty)
GUARD: 'ere... We'd just started taking his kidneys out.
[CUT TO ARTHUR, BEDEVERE, GALAHAD and LANCELOT. (Garwin,Trystam, Hector) plus all their pages. They are riding along singing cheerily.]
We're baby mad and Camelot
we nurse and push the pram a lot
in war we're tough and able
between our quests we sequin vests
and dress like Betty Grable
SECOND ADVISER: HALT!
SIR GALAHAD: Who are you who dares to halt the knights of King Arthur's round table in mid-verse?
SECOND ADVISER: I bring greetings from the court of KING BRIAN.
SIR LANCELOT: KING BRIAN the wild?
SECOND ADVISER: Some call him that, but he's calmed down a lot recently.
SIR GALAHAD: Are those YOUR kidneys?
SECOND ADVISER: (covering his stomach) No no... It's nothing - just a flesh wound. (The KNIGHTS look at each other) He has herd your beautiful melody and wishes you to come to his court, that he may listen at his ease. oOoh!
SIR LANCELOT: You must be joking! (general murmur of agreement from the other KNIGHTS.) Go to the court of KING BRIAN the wild and sing close harmony?
OTHER KNIGHTS: No fear! (etc)
SECOND ADVISER: (in increasing pain) It need not be close harmony oooh agh!
SIR GALAHAD: Ah but it would get round to close harmony, wouldn't it?
SECOND ADVISER: Not necessarily ... As I say KING BRIAN is much more relaxed than he used to be.
SIR GALAHAD: I mean could we just stick to one line of plainsong with a bit of straight choral work?
SECOND ADVISER: Well obviously he'd prefer a bit of close harmony arghhh!
KNIGHTS: Ah! There you are!
SIR LAUNCELOT: We'd end un-like the Shalott Choral Society.
SECOND ADVISER: Oh that was an accident - honestly he's so calm now oh!
ARTHUR: No we must be on our way.
[They start off.]
SECOND ADVISER: (by now lying on the ground at his last gasp but still trying to sound threatening) If you don't come and sing for him ... ah ... he'll drive ... oh ... iron spikes though your heads.
KNIGHTS: Ah! That sounds more like Brian the wild!
SECOND ADVISER: (looking helplessly at his intestines) He ... he ... still gets irritable occasionally.
SIR GALAHAD: Like with close harmony groups.
SECOND ADVISER: Ooh ... Look if you're scared ...
SIR LAUNCELOT: We're not SCARED!
SECOND ADVISER: (With his last ounce of strength) Very well! KING BRIAN challenges your to sing before him in close harmony!
ARTHUR: A challenge?
[The KNIGHTS look at each other rather taken aback but an idealistic glow suffuses KING ARTHUR's eyes as he looks heaven-wards. The other KNIGHTS look at him rather fearfully.]
ARTHUR: (majestically) It is a challenge. We cannot refuse.
SIR GALAHAD: KING BRIAN's a fucking looney.
SECOND ADVISER: Great! (dies)
SIR GALAHAD: Are you all right?
[CUT TO KING BRIAN the wild on his dias. He sees the KNIGHTS enter the arena.]
KING BRIAN: Ah good!
[CUT TO TRUMPETERS who executes a rather bad fanfare full of missed notes. Meanwhile various SHOTS of preparation.]
[KING BRIAN settling down.]
[KNIGHTS being led up to the podium. The last of the previous close harmony group is being loaded onto a cart and pushed away by the CART DRIVER from scene two (Perhaps we see him being paid off)]
[SHOT of KING BRIAN on his podium and the HERALD being untied and having his gag removed.]
[SHOT of ARTHUR and KNIGHTS getting into a group on the podium still rather nervous.]
[The fanfare comes to an end, and several wrong notes.]
KING BRIAN: (who can't wait) RIGHT! Carry on gentleman.
HERALD: KING BRIAN SAYS CARRY ON!
ARTHUR: (wispering) All right ... two tenor lines - I'll take the base. (They all nod) One... Two... Three...
[Sound of Bows being drown very near by.]
[ARTHUR looks up and frowns.]
[CUT to reveal a line of twenty ARCHERS they all have their left leg missing, but they DO have two arms.]
[Their arrows are drawn back and point directly at ARTHUR: & CO.]
ARTHUR: Hold it! Err ... KING BRIAN!
HERALD: (Louder than ever) ARTHUR OF CAMELOT ADDRESSES THEE OH MIGHTY KING BRIAN!
KING BRIAN: (trueulently) What?
ARTHUR: What are THEY For? (Indicates the archers)
KING BRIAN: Them? they're... just to show you where the audience would be.
ARTHUR: Well we'd prefer to do it without an audience.
KING BRIAN: Oh you've GOT to have an AUDIENCE!
HERALD: KING BRIAN THE WISE AND GOOD RULER OF THIS LAND SAYS YOU'VE GOT TO HAVE AN AUDIENCE!
ARTHUR: We'd rather give a private recital.
HERALD: THEY SAY THEY'D RATHER GIVE A PRIVATE RECITAL! O WISE GOOD AND JUST KING BRIAN AND NOT THE LEAST BIT WILD!
KING BRIAN: (to himself) Turds...
[HE nods to the ARCHERS who turn and hop smartly off in step.]
ONE-LEGGED RSM: Left ... Left ... Left, left, left, left Left ... Left ... Left, left, left, left.
[They hop round behind a long fence and disappear from sight (Fence needs to be about 7 or 9 feet high)]
KING BRIAN: Right! Ready when you are.
HERALD: KING BRIAN IS READY!
ARTHUR: And ... One ... Two ... Three ... Four ...
[They are just about to sing when the ARCHERS, bows read and arrows points, peep over the top of the fence.]
ARTHUR: HOLD IT!
SIR GAWAIN: (singing) We're...
[Quick flash of ARCHERS tensed to fire, one tries to hold his shot back but fails and fires his arrows by accident in the air.]
[Quick flash of FIRST ADVISER who is hanging by his nostrils from the highest tree in the kingdom, moaning, getting hit by the arrow.]
KING BRIAN: What is it now?
ARTHUR: We're not entirely happy with the acoustics.
HERALD: THEY'RE NOT ENTIRELY HAPPY WITH...
KING BRIAN: (impatiently) Oh Sod the acoustics! Get on with the singing!
HERALD: KING BRIAN SAYS SOD THE ACOUSTICS!
ARTHUR: In that case we shall just have to perform elsewhere. (turns to his knights and begins to usher them off)
HERALD: THEY SAY IN THAT CASE THEY SHALL HAVE TO PERFORM ELSEWHERE, O RICH, FAMOUS AND EXTREMELY CALM KING!
KING BRIAN: (getting very angry and dribbling slightly) NO! you've GOT to sing on the target are - er - convert ... er ... thing ...
HERALD: KING BRIAN HAS STUMBLED OVER HIS WORDS! WHAT A WONDERFULLY HUMAN INCIDENT.
KING BRIAN: Don't editorialize!
HERALD: SORRY, KING.
KING BRIAN: Come on you bastards! Sing close harmony!
[KING BRIAN snaps his finders and the ARCHERS rise above the fence without any pretence in concealment - fitting arrows into their bows.]
HERALD: KING BRIAN CALLS THEM BASTARDS AND DEMANDS TO HEAR CLOSE HARMONY! WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT?
KING BRIAN: I said don't.
HERALD: Sorry, King.
KING BRIAN: Right! On the count of three ... one ...
HERALD: THE KING'S SAID ONE!
KING BRIAN: Two!
HERALD: THE KING'S SAID TWO! THEY'VE ONLY GOT ONE LEFT!
[We hear the sound of bows being drawn back. Tension mounts. The KNIGHTS all look pretty grim. The end is clearly pretty near.]
KING BRIAN: (face in a paroxysm of blood-lust) Three!
[Sound in the distance of beautiful close harmony singing... 'Bravely, Good Sir Robin was not at all afraid...']
[CUT TO see SIR ROBIN and his MINSTRELS approaching from round a corner of the castle. SIR ROBIN walks a few feet in from of the them looking rather embarrassed.]
KING BRIAN: (turning to the sound) FANTASTIC!
[CUT BACK TO ROBIN'S MINSTRELS... 'To have his eyeballs skewered and his kidneys ... argh!' They are suddenly pin-cushioned with arrows.]
KING BRIAN: HA! HA! HA! HA! HO! HO! HO! HO! Oh bloody marvellous!
[ROBIN turns and looks at the decimated remains of his MINSTRELS, surprised but relieved.]
ARTHUR: Sir Robin! this way!
[ARTHUR leads is MEN off the platform and they are joined by their PAGES and make good their escape.]
KING BRIAN: HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HO! HO! HO! HO!
HERALD: KING BRIAN'S SHOT THE WRONG GROUP!
KING BRIAN: Shut up!
[HE swings his sword and slices the HERALD'S head off.]
HERALD'S HEAD: (as it rolls away) PRESS FREEDOM INFRINGED!
[31 EXTERIOR - BEYOND FOREST - DAY - ANIMATION]
[Shots of ARTHUR etc. Riding out of the forest. They leave the forest and they meet LAUNCELOT and GALAHAD.]
VOICE OVER: And so Arthur and Bedevere and Sir Robin set out on their search to find the Enchanter of whom the old man had spoken in scene twenty-four. Beyond the forest they met Launcelot and Galahad, and there was much rejoicing.
[32 EXTERIOR - ANOTHER LANDSCAPE - DAY - ANIMATION]
VOICE OVER: In the frozen land of Nador, they were forced to eat Robin's minstrels ... And there was much rejoicing ... A year passed ...
[MONTAGE of shots of the KNIGHTS.]
VOICE OVER: Autumn changed into Winter ... Winter changed into Spring ... Spring changed back into Autumn and Autumn gave Winter and Spring a miss and went straight on into Summer ... Until one day ...
[33 EXTERIOR - WASTES - DAY]
[The KNIGHTS are riding along the top of a ridge. The country is wild and inhospitable. Suddenly some of them see fire in the distance and ride towards it. As they approach they see an impressive WIZARD figure striding around conjuring up fire from the ground and causing various bushes and branches to burst into flame.]
ARTHUR: What manner of man are you that can conjure up fire without flint or tinder?
TIM: I am an enchanter.
[ARTHUR looks at BEDEVERE.]
ARTHUR: By what name are you known?
TIM: There are some who call me Tim?
ARTHUR: Greetings Tim the Enchanter!
TIM: Greetings King Arthur.
ARTHUR: You know my name?
TIM: I do. (does another fire trick) You seek the Holy Grail.
ARTHUR: That is our quest. You know much that is hidden O Tim.
TIM: (does another fire trick) Quite.
[Ripple of applause from the KNIGHTS.]
ARTHUR: Yes we seek the Holy Grail. (clears throat very quietly) Our quest is to find the Holy Grail.
ONE OR TWO KNIGHTS: Yes it is.
ARTHUR: And so we're looking for it.
KNIGHTS: Yes, we are.
BEDEVERE: We have been for some time.
ARTHUR: Yes ... and obviously any help we get is ... is very ... helpful.
GALAHAD: Do you know where it ...
[TIM does another fire trick]
ALL OTHER KNIGHTS: Sssssh!
ARTHUR: Fine ... well er ... we mustn't take up anymore of your time ... I don't suppose ... sorry to sort of keep on about it ... you haven't by any chance ... aaah ... any idea where one might find ... a ... aaa ...
ARTHUR: A G...g...g...
TIM: A Grail?
[They all jump slightly and look about apprehensively.]
ARTHUR: Er ... yes ... I think so.
ALL OTHER KNIGHTS: Yes.
OTHERS: Yes, marvellous.
[TIM looks thoughtful and they all stand around a little. Then TIM produces another fire trick producing several different colours.]
ARTHUR: Look, you're a busy man ...
TIM: Yes, I can help you with your guest.
ALL OTHER KNIGHTS: Thank you. Yes, thank you very much.
TIM: To the north there lies a cave, the cave of Caerbannog, wherein, carved in mystic runes, upon the very living rock, the last words of Olfin Bedwere of Rheged ...
[There is a thunderclap and a wind starts. They KNIGHTS get nervous.]
TIM: ... make plain the last resting place of the most Holy Grail.
ARTHUR: How shall we find this cave, O Tim?
[The KNIGHTS register delight and wheel round on themselves.]
TIM: But follow only if you are men of valour. For the entrance to this cave is guarded by a monster, a creature so foul and cruel that no man yet has fought with it and lived. Bones of full fifty men lie strewn about its lair ... therefore sweet knights if you may doubt your strength or courage come no further, for death awaits you all with nasty pointy teeth.
ARTHUR: What an eccentric performance!
[34 EXTERIOR - DAY]
[CUT TO impressive rock face with caves in it. The KNIGHTS are 'riding' towards it. A foreboding atmosphere supervenes. TIM gives a signal for quietness. ARTHUR shushes the 'horses'.]
[The PAGES decrease the amount of noise they are making with the coconuts for a few seconds. Then there is a burst of noise from them including whinnying.]
BEDEVERE: (to ARTHUR) They're nervous, sire.
ARTHUR: Then we'd best leave them here and carry on on foot.
[TIM takes a strange look at them. They walk on leaving the PAGES behind. After a few more strides TIM halts them with a sign.
TIM: Behold the Cave of Caerbannog!
[CUT TO shot of cave. Bones littered around. The KNIGHTS get the wind up partially. A little dry ice, glowing green can be seen at the entrance. Suddenly we become aware of total silence. Any noises the KNIGHTS make sound very exaggerated. They unsheathe their swords.
ARTHUR: Keep me covered.
[Stir among KNIGHTS.]
BEDEVERE: What with?
ARTHUR: Just keep me covered.
TIM: Too late.
TIM: There he is!
[They all turn and see a large white RABBIT lollop a few yards out of the cave. Accompanied by terrifying chord and jarring metallic monster noise.]
ARTHUR: Behind the rabbit?
TIM: It is the rabbit.
ARTHUR: ... You silly sod.
ARTHUR: You got us all worked up.
BEDEVERE: You cretin!
TIM: That is not an ordinary rabbit ... 'tis the most foul cruel and bad-tempered thing you ever set eyes on.
ROBIN: You tit. I soiled my armour I was so scared!
TIM: That rabbit's got a vicious streak. It's a killer!
GALAHAD: Oh, fuck off. Get stuffed.
TIM: He'll do you up a treat mate!
GALAHAD: Oh yeah?
ROBIN: You turd! Mangy scots git!
TIM: Look. I'm warning you.
ROBIN: What's he do? Nibble your bum?
TIM: Well, It's got huge ... very sharp ... it can jump a... look at the bones.
ARTHUR: Go on, Bors, chop its head off.
BORS: Right. Silly little bleeder. One rabbit stew coming up.
[As TIM points they all spin round to see the RABBIT leap at BORS' throat with an appalling scream. From a distance of about twenty feet there is a tin opening noise, a cry from BORS. A quick CLOSE-UP of a savage RABBIT biting through tin and BORS' head flies off. The RABBIT leaps back to the mouth of the cave and sits there looking in the KNIGHTS' direction and growling menacingly.]
ARTHUR: Je...sus Christ!
TIM: I warned you!
ROBIN: I done it again.
TIM: Did I tell you? Did you listen to me? Oh no, no, you knew better didn't you? No, it's just an ordinary rabbit isn't it. The names you called me. Well, don't say I didn't tell you.
ARTHUR: Oh, shut up.
TIM: (quietly) It's always the same ... if I've said it once.
[They all charge with swords drawn towards the RABBIT. A tremendous twenty second fight with Peckinpahish shots and borrowing heavily also on the Kung Fu and karate-type films ensues, in which some four KNIGHTS are comprehensively killed.]
ARTHUR: Run away! Run away!
ALL KNIGHTS: (taking up cry) Run away! Run away!
[They run down from the cave and hide, regrouping behind some rocks. TIM, some way away, is pointing at them and laughing derisively.]
TIM: Ha ha ha. Ha ha ha.
ARTHUR: Who did we lose?
LAUNCELOT: Sir Gawain.
ARTHUR: And Bors. Five.
GALAHAD: Three, sir!
ARTHUR: Three. Well, we'll not risk another frontal assault. That rabbit's dynamite.
ROBIN: Would it help to confuse him if we ran away more.
ARTHUR: Shut up. Go and change your armour.
[ROBIN leaves, walking strangely.]
GALAHAD: Let us taunt it. It may become so cross that it will make a mistake.
ARTHUR: Like what?
[GALAHAD cannot find a suitable answer to this.]
GALAHAD: Do we have any bows?
LAUNCELOT: We have the Holy Hand Grenade.
ROBIN: The what?
ARTHUR: The Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch. 'Tis one of the sacred relics Brother Maynard always carries with him.
ALL: Yes. Of course.
ARTHUR: (shouting) Bring up the Holy Hand Grenade!
[Slight pause. Then from the area where the 'HORSES' are, a small group of MONKS process forward towards the KNIGHTS, the leading MONK bearing an ornate golden reliquary, and the accompanying MONKS chanting and waving incense. They reach the KNIGHTS. The hand grenade is suffused with the holy glow.]
[ARTHUR takes it. Pause.]
ARTHUR: How does it ... er ...
LAUNCELOT: I know not.
ARTHUR: Consult the Book of Armaments.
BROTHER MAYNARD: Armaments Chapter Two Verses Nine to Twenty One.
ANOTHER MONK: (reading from bible) And St. Attila raised his hand grenade up on high saying 'O Lord bless this thy hand grenade that with it thou mayest blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy. And the Lord did grin and people did feast upon the lambs and sloths and carp and anchovies and orang-utans and breakfast cereals and fruit bats and...'
BROTHER MAYNARD: Skip a bit brother ...
ANOTHER MONK: ... Er ... oh, yes ... and the Lord spake, saying, 'First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin, then shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shalt be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shalt be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thou foe, who being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it.'
[He pulls Pin out. The MONK blesses the grenade as ...]
ARTHUR: (quietly) One, two, three ..., five ...
GALAHAD: Three, sir!
[ARTHUR throws the grenade at the RABBIT. There is an explosion and cheering from the KNIGHTS.]
ALL KNIGHTS: Praise be to the lord. Huzzah!
[35 INTERIOR - CAVE - DAY]
[MIX THROUGH TO the KNIGHTS entering the cave. It is a large cave and as they walk inside it we see in the darkness at the side of the cave a fearsome looking CREATURE which watches them with some surprise as they walk to some writing carved on the back of the cave wall. The KNIGHTS are accompanied by BROTHER MAYNARD.]
ARTHUR: There! Look!
BEDEVERE: What does it say?
GALAHAD: What language is this?
BEDEVERE: Brother Maynard, you are a scholar.
BROTHER MAYNARD: It is Aramaic!
GALAHAD: Of course. Joseph of Aramathea!
ALL: Of course.
ARTHUR: What does it say?
BROTHER MAYNARD: It reads ... 'Here may be found the last words of Joseph of Aramathea.'
BROTHER MAYNARD: 'He who is valorous and pure of heart may find the Holy Grail in the aaaaarrrrrrggghhh...'
BROTHER MAYNARD: 'The Aaaaarrrrrrggghhh...'
BEDEVERE: What's that?
BROTHER MAYNARD: He must have died while carving it.
BEDEVERE: Oh, come on.
BROTHER MAYNARD: That's what it says.
ARTHUR: (miming) But if he was dying, he wouldn't bother to carve 'Aaaaarrrrrrggghhh'. He'd just say it.
BROTHER MAYNARD: It's down there carved in stone.
GALAHAD: Perhaps he was dictating.
ARTHUR: Shut up. Is that all it says?
BROTHER MAYNARD: That's all. 'Aaaaarrrrrrggghhh'.
BEDEVERE: Do you think he meant the Camargue?
GALAHAD: Where's that?
BEDEVERE: France, I think.
LAUNCELOT: Isn't there a St. Aaaaarrrrrrggghhh's in Cornwall?
ARTHUR: No, that's Saint Ives.
[A muffled roar is heard.]
BEDEVERE: No, that's in Herefordshire.
ROBIN: (more urgently) No ... HEY!!!
LAUNCELOT: 'Aaaaarrrrrrggghhh ...'
ROBIN: No! 'Hey'! is surprise and alarm!
LAUNCELOT: No 'Aaaaarrrrrrggghhh ...' at the back of the throat.
BEDEVERE: No! 'Oooooh!' in surprise and alarm!
[He indicated the entrance of the cave. They all turn and look. There in the opening is a huge, unpleasant, fairly well drawn cartoon beast.]
GALAHAD: My God!
LAUNCELOT: What is it?
BEDEVERE: I know! I know! I Know!
BEDEVERE: It's the ... oh ... (snaps his fingers as he tries to remember) it's the ... it's on the tip of my tongue ...
[Another hideous roar.]
BEDEVERE: That's it!
BEDEVERE: It's The Legendary Black Beast of Aaaaarrrrrrggghhh!
[At that moment there is a yell and a scream OUT OF VISION. ARTHUR turns.]
ARTHUR: Who was that?
HECTOR: (from back of group; northern and helpful) It was Sir Alf.
ARTHUR: I didn't know we had a Sir Alf.
HECTOR: He was feeding it bread.
ARTHUR: (shouting back) Well, that was a very silly thing to do. Now the rest of you stand well back from the BLACK BEAST of Aaaaarrrrrrggghhh!
ROBIN: Look out.
[The animation MONSTER starts lumbering towards them. The KNIGHTS retreat into the darkness of the cave.]
GAWAIN: (as they run) It's only a cartoon.
[They run off. Darkness. The MONSTER lumbering through on animation.]
VOICE OVER: As the horrendous Black Beast lunged forward, escape for Arthur and his knights seemed hopeless, when, suddenly ... the animator suffered a fatal heart attack.
VOICE OVER: The cartoon peril was no more ... The Quest for Holy Grail could continue.
[ANIMATED SEQUENCE. Leads through to the group reappearing and seeing a distant opening to the cave. They reach the opening. It is day.]
[36 EXTERIOR - DAY]
[The KNIGHTS emerge from the mouth of the cave to find themselves in a breathtaking, barren landscape. Glencoe. They are half they way up the side of a mountain. They rest a few seconds and get their breath back.]
GALAHAD: There it is!
ARTHUR: The Bridge of Death!
ROBIN: (to himself) Oh! Great ...
[They look and see on the side of the mountain there is a sort of milestone which bears the words: 'Aaaaarrrrrrggghhh! 5 miles' and an arrow.]
ARTHUR: God be praised. This must be the gorge of which the old man spoke in scene twenty-four.
[The KNIGHTS set off along and rather perilous track edging along the side of the mountain. GALAHAD is leading.]
[MIX THROUGH they are climbing higher. The path gets more and more slippery and dangerous. They reach another milestone which says: 'Aaaaarrrrrrggghhh! 4 miles' and an arrow, and 'Ni! 82 miles' and an arrow pointing in the opposite direction. They go on. It is dangerous and difficult. Tension in their faces.]
[As they are climbing, BEDEVERE turns to ROBIN and ARTHUR.]
BEDEVERE: We must find the bridge ... the Bridge of Death ...
ROBIN: (to himself) Oh, great!
BEDEVERE: The Bridge is guarded by a bridgekeeper, who asks each traveller three questions. And he who answers the three questions can cross in safety.
ROBIN: (warily) And if you get a question wrong?
BEDEVERE: You are cast into the Gorge of Eternal Peril.
[37 EXTERIOR - DAY]
[CUT TO them struggling along. Perhaps downhill now. It is growing misty. SIR LAUNCELOT stops them and points. They peer.]
[CUT TO see in the mist ... a weird bridge with mist swirling up from the gorge below. We cannot see the other side.]
[Beside the bridge an OLD MAN stands, he is the blind soothsayer they met earlier in the forest.]
ARTHUR: (to BEDEVERE) He's the Keeper of the Bridge. It's the old man.
BEDEVERE: (swallowing hard) Who's going to answer the questions?
ARTHUR: You go, Robin, and God be with you.
ROBIN: (looking round wildly) Er ... I tell you what - (lowering voice) Why doesn't Launcelot go?
ARTHUR: (considering a moment) Very well ... Sir Launcelot. Brave Sir Launcelot. This is the Bridge of Death ...
LAUNCELOT: Oh, yes sir ... I will take it single-handed. (drawing his sword) I will ...
[ARTHUR restrains him.]
ARTHUR: No, hang on. All we want is for you to approach the old man and he will ask you three questions. Answer those question as best you can, and we will watch ... and pray.
LAUNCELOT: Yes, my liege ...
ARTHUR: Good luck, brave Sir Launcelot! Be careful ...
[They shake hands, Arthur's eyes moisten. LAUNCELOT approaches the Bridge of Death.]
ARTHUR: Listen to the questions.
BEDEVERE: Look! It's the old man from scene 24 - what's he doing here?
ARTHUR: He is the keeper of the Bridge. He asks each traveler five questions ...
GALAHAD: Three questions.
ARTHUR: Three questions ... he who answers the five questions
GALAHAD: Three questions.
ARTHUR: Three questions, may cross in safety.
ROBIN: (warily) And if you get a question wrong?
ARTHUR: You are cast into the Gorge of Eternal Peril.
ROBIN: Oh ... wacho!
GALAHAD: Who's going to answer the questions?
ARTHUR: Sir Robin, Brave Sir Robin you go.
ROBIN: Hey! I've got a great idea! Why doesn't Launcelot go?
LAUNCELOT: Yes. Let me. I will take it single-handed ... I will make feint to the north-east ...
ARTHUR: No, hang on! Just answer the five questions ...
GALAHAD: Three questions ...
ARTHUR: Three questions ... And we shall watch ... and pray.
LAUNCELOT: I understand, my liege.
ARTHUR: Good luck, brave Sir Launcelot ... God be with you.
[LAUNCELOT APPROACHES THE BRIDGEKEEPER.]
[SIR LAUNCELOT stops. The KNIGHTS watch anxiously. ARTHUR sniffs briefly and glances momentarily down at SIR ROBIN's lower armour.]
Who approaches the Bridge of Death
Must answer me
These questions three!
Ere the other side he see.
LAUNCELOT: Ask me the questions, Bridgekeeper. I am not afraid.
BRIDGEKEEPER: What is your name?
LAUNCELOT: My name is Sir Launcelot.
BRIDGEKEEPER: What is your quest?
LAUNCELOT: To find the Holy Grail.
BRIDGEKEEPER: What is your favorite colour?
BRIDGEKEEPER: Right. Off you go.
[SIR LAUNCELOT runs across into the mist. The bridge perhaps disappears into the mist and we cannot see the other side. ARTHUR and SIR ROBIN exchange glances. ROBIN breathes a great sigh of relief.]
ROBIN: That's easy!
Who approacheth the Bridge of Death
Must answer me
These questions three!
Ere the other side he see!
ROBIN: Ask me the questions, Bridgekeeper. I am not afraid.
BRIDGEKEEPER: What is your name?
ROBIN: My name is Sir Robin of Camelot!
BRIDGEKEEPER: What is your quest?
ROBIN: To seek the Grail!
BRIDGEKEEPER: What is the capital of Assyria?
ROBIN: (indignantly) I don't know that!
[He is immediately hurled by some unseen force over the edge of the precipice.]
[38 EXTERIOR - DAY]
[CUT TO SIR LAUNCELOT who is only just arriving on the other side. He looks back across the invisible chasm. Dimly in the distance he hears:]
GAWAIN: (OUT OF VISION) Sir Gawain of Camelot!
BRIDGEKEEPER: (OOV) What is your quest?
GAWAIN: (OOV) To seek the Holy Grail.
BRIDGEKEEPER: (OOV) What goes: black white ... black white ... black white?
GAWAIN: (OOV) Oh, er ... Babylon! er ... Aaaaarrrrrrggghhh!
[SIR LAUNCELOT stands on the other side of the bridge. In the distance we hear the ritual of questions and then a scream and thud, suddenly a hand lands on LAUNCELOT's shoulder.]
POLICEMAN: (VOICE OVER) Just want to ask you some questions, sir.
[LAUNCELOT turns and reacts. He is led away.]
[39 EXTERIOR - LAKE - DAY]
[CUT TO ARTHUR, GALAHAD and BEDEVERE struggling towards the lake.]
BEDEVERE: (to ARTHUR) How did you know how many wing-beats a swallow needs to maintain velocity?
ARTHUR: Oh ... when you're king you know all those things.
BRIDGEKEEPER: What is your favorite colour?
GAWAIN: Blue ... No yelloooooww!
[ARTHUR and BEDEVERE step forward.]
BRIDGEKEEPER: What is your name?
ARTHUR: It is Arthur, King of the Britons.
BRIDGEKEEPER: What is your quest?
ARTHUR: To seek the Holy Grail.
BRIDGEKEEPER: What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?
ARTHUR: What do you mean? An African or European swallow?
BRIDGEKEEPER: Er ... I don't know that ... Aaaaarrrrrrggghhh!
[BRIDGEKEEPER is cast into the gorge.]
BEDEVERE: How do you know so much about swallows?
ARTHUR: Well you have to know these things when you're a king, you know.
[Suddenly they appear at water's edge. They look across the water. A huge expanse disappearing into the mist. How can they cross?]
[Suddenly the air is filled with ethereal music, and out of the mist appears a wonderful barge silently and slowly drifting towards them.]
[They gaze in wonder. The mysterious boat comes to where they are standing. As if bewitched, they find themselves drawing closer to the boat. As they are about to step in, a ragged figure looks up at them.]
BOATKEEPER: (he is the same as the BRIDGEKEEPER and the SOOTHSAYER)
He who would cross the Sea if Fate
must answer me these questions twenty-eight.
[He fixes them with a baleful eye, ARTHUR and BEDEVERE exchange glances, then turn, with minds made up, pick him up bodily and throw him in the water. They climb into the boat and the boat moves off into the mist]
[A wondrous journey in animation carries them across the lake.]
[41 EXTERIOR - DAY]
[The boat carries them across a magical lake. They land and get out of the boat, their faces suffused with heavenly radiance, and fall to their knees.]
[Crescendo on music.]
ARTHUR: God be praised! The deaths of many fine knights have this day been avenged.
[Music swells. They bend their heads in prayer, before the castle for which they have searched for so long. Suddenly a voice comes from the battlements.]
[Music cuts dead.]
FROG: Ha ha! Hello! Smelly English K...niggets ... and Monsieur Arthur King, who has the brain of a duck, you know.
[The KNIGHTS look up.]
FROG: We French persons outwit you a second time, perfidious English mousedropping hoarders ... how you say: 'Begorrah!'
[ARTHUR stands and shouts.]
ARTHUR: How dare you profane this place with your presence! I command you, in the name of the Knights of Camelot, open the door to the Sacred Castle, to which God himself has guided us! (he turns to the KNIGHTS) Come.
[ARTHUR and the KNIGHTS advance towards the castle.]
FROG: How you English say: I one more time, mac, I unclog my nose towards you, sons of a window-dresser, so, you think you could out-clever us French fellows with your silly knees-bent creeping about advancing behaviour. (blows a raspberry) I wave my private parts at your aunties, you brightly-coloured, mealy-templed, cranberry-smelling, electric donkey-bottom biters.
[By this time ARTHUR and BEDEVERE and GALAHAD have reached the door. ARTHUR bangs on the door.]
ARTHUR: In the name of the Lord, we demand entrance to this sacred castle.
[Jeering from the battlements.]
FROG: No chance, English bed-wetting types. We burst our pimples at you, and call your door-opening request a silly thing. You tiny-brained wipers of other people's bottoms!
ARTHUR: If you do not open these doors, we will take this castle by force ...
[A bucket of slops land on ARTHUR. He tries to retain his dignity.]
ARTHUR: In the name of God ... and the glory of our ...
[Another bucket of what can only be described as human ordure hits ARTHUR.]
ARTHUR: ... Right! (to the KNIGHTS) That settles it!
[They turn and walk away. French jeering follows them.]
FROG: Yes, depart a lot at this time, and cut the approaching any more or we fire arrows into the tops of your heads and make castanets of your testicles already.
ARTHUR: (to KNIGHTS) Walk away. Just ignore them.
[ARTHUR, BEDEVERE and GALAHAD walk off. A small hail of chickens, watercress, badgers and mattresses follows them. But they are on their dignity as they try to talk nonchalantly as they walk away into the trees.]
FROG: And now remain gone, illegitimate-faced bugger-folk! And, if you think you got a nasty time this taunting, you ain't heard nothing yet, dappy k...niggets, and A. King Esquire.
[CUT BACK TO the drenched BRIDGEKEEPER/SOOTHSAYER beside the lake He rises up into SHOT.]
He would cross the sea of fate,
Must answer me these questions
[CUT TO see he is talking to two PLAIN-CLOTHES POLICEMEN and two CONSTABLES.]
INSPECTOR: All right, put him in the van.
[THE BRIDGEKEEPER is led away and put into a police van.]
[CUT BACK TO ARTHUR still walking away. French taunts still audible in the distance.]
FRENCH: You couldn't catch clap in a brothel, silly English K...niggets ...
ARTHUR: (to BEDEVERE) We shall attack at once.
BEDEVERE: Yes, my liege. (he turns) Stand by for attack!!
[CUT TO enormous army forming up. Trebuchets, rows of PIKEMEN, siege towers, pennants flying, shouts of 'Stand by for attack!' Traditional army build-up shots. The shouts echo across the ranks of the army. We see various groups reacting, and stirring themselves in readiness.]
ARTHUR: Who are they?
BEDEVERE: Oh, just some friends!
[We end up back with ARTHUR. He seems satisfied that the ARMY is ready.]
[PANNING down the serried ranks, pikes ready, pennants flapping in the wind. Some of the horses whinny nervously, and rattle their coconuts.]
[ARTHUR is satisfied at last. He addresses the castle.]
ARTHUR: French persons! Today the blood of many valiant knights shall bee avenged. In the name of God, we shall not stop our fight until each one of you lies dead and the Grail returns to those whom God has chosen.
[ARTHUR lowers his visor, turns to have a last look at ARMY, then:]
[The mighty ARMY charges. Thundering noise of feet. Clatter of coconuts. Shouts etc.]
[They charge towards the castle.]
[Suddenly there is a wail of a siren and a couple of police cars roar round in front of the charging ARMY and the POLICE leap out and stop them. TWO POLICEMAN and the HISTORIAN'S WIFE. Black Marias skid up behind them.]
[The ARMY halts.]
HISTORIAN'S WIFE: They're the ones, I'm sure.
INSPECTOR END OF FILM: Grab 'em!
[The POLICE grab ARTHUR and bundle him into the maria.]
[SIR BEDEVERE is led off with a blanket over his head. They are bundled into the black maria and the van drives off.]
[The rest of the ARMY stand around looking at a loss.]
INSPECTOR END OF FILM: (picks up megaphone) All right! Clear off! Go on!
[A few reaction shots of the ARMY not quite sure what to do.]
INSPECTOR END OF FILM: Move along. There's nothing to see! Keep moving!
[Suddenly he notices the cameras.]
[As the black maria drives away QUICK SHOT through window of all the KNIGHTS huddled inside.]
INSPECTOR END OF FILM: (to camera) All right, put that away sonny.
[He walks over to it and puts his hand over the lens.]
[The film runs out through the gate and the projector shines on the screen.]
[There is a blank screen for some fifteen seconds.]
[Suddenly jazzy music. Animated titles. (A new film completely free with the Monty Python film.)]
[Four or five minute film (mainly animated) about the credits, i.e it includes the actual credits for the film but is really elaborate.]
Slushy organ music starts and the houselights in the cinema come on ... organ music continues as the audience leave.
Back to Part One: Scene 1 to Scene 14
Back to Part Two: Scene 15 to Scene 28