Making Ben-Hur look like an epic: Monty Python at the movies

Justin Smith, L. Porter, I. Hunter, L. Napper

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


    Between 1971 and 1983 the British comedy team Monty Python made four feature-length films for the cinema: 'And Now for Something Completely Different' (1971), 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail' (1974), 'Monty Python's Life of Brian' (1979) and 'Monty Python's the Meaning of Life' (1983). The first and last of these exploited the sketch format on which their original BBC television show, 'Monty Python's Flying Circus', was based (four series, 1969-74). But from the early 1970s, the cult appeal of their distictive brand of surreal British humour was also marketed through audio recordings, books and live shows, gaining international recognition over 40 years culminating in the recent of the stage musical 'Spamalot'. It is the purpose of this chapter to examine the role of the Monty Python films in transforming the innovative work of a group of comedy writers and performers into worldwide popular comic currency. This affords an oppotunity to reassess the unique contribution of Monty Python to British comedy cinema.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationBritish comedy cinema
    EditorsI. Hunter, L. Porter
    Place of PublicationLondon
    Number of pages13
    ISBN (Print)9780415666657
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

    Publication series

    NameBritish popular cinema


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