Thursday, June 11, 2009

Monty Python's The Holy Grail

If you like to laugh, I have a film for you. Clever, silly and contradictory, Monty Python and the Holy Grail is the defining film of British humor. From the writers and actors of Flying Circus, Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life comes a series of skits that happen to add up to the story of King Richard’s great crusade. If you aren’t already quoting the banter, open your ears and await the French insults: “I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries.” Or the Black Knight’s famous, “It's just a flesh wound.” And Sir Bedevere’s surprising exchange with a peasant: “What makes you think she's a witch? Well, she turned me into a newt! A newt? …I got better.” Regardless of your friends irritating and incessant quotation of this film, it is a must see.

The Adventures of Robin Hood

If you like the story of Robin Hood, clever action heroes, or old movies, you’ll love the 1938 Adventures of Robin Hood (in color!) featuring adventure star Errol Fynn. As always, our hero must rescue maid Marion from a terrible fate and stop Prince John from robbing the good people of England. Olivia de Halvilland sparkles as Marion, however impotent the fair lady may be. The reality is that no matter her competencies, any woman should prefer rescue from the Errol Flynn Robin Hood to the Kevin Costner Robin Hood. The Flynn Hood knows the smooth words for Marion and the sharp quips for the sheriff, a better hood I have yet to see (save perhaps the adorable Brian Bedford as Robin Hood the fox). I give it 5 out of 5 stars for the witty banter and the “Roaring” retro action shots. If you haven’t seen an Errol Flynn film, The Adventures of Robin Hood is the best place to start.