Henry IV and the Holy Grail

· 12 May 2016 ·

[Monty Python mashes up 2H4 with their movie about King Arthur]

It should come as no surprise to anyone that I am a huge fan of Monty Python. Python is the second-best chunk of culture ever to come from this scepter’d isle. And it’s a close second.

I won’t subject you to my full-on Python Geek Mode, though I could. Today I am sharing one particular gem.

The troupe’s first real film [1], Monty Python and the Holy Grail, arrived in cinemas in April 1975 – more than 40 years ago. Hasn’t aged a day. It was released later on videocassette (those bloody tapes), and more recently on various flavours of DVD and Blu-ray discs. Last fall brought the 40th Anniversary Limited Edition Gift Set Blu-ray, which came in a castle-shaped box that included a catapult and miniature farm animals.

Plastic cows aside, many of the disc versions have included an assortment of entertaining, and differing, bonus features. Python loves to keep tinkering with their work (who does that reminds me of – oh yes, me). These added bits of new content keep people buying the same movies over and over again. I have three different copies of Holy Grail. Smart lads.

Now for the gem: what you want to get hold of is a disc that contains an English subtitle track [2] called “Subtitles For People Who Don’t Like The Film”. It should be listed among the bonus features on the packaging.

Here’s a sample of what you’ll see when you turn on that track. It’s all text from Henry IV Part 2. But pay attention, because it isn’t just random quotes, and it isn’t the play’s lines in sequence.

They’ve done this for the entire film. The first time I saw it, I would have died laughing, if that had been possible.

I was so flattered.

1.  I omit 1971’s And Now For Something Completely Different, because despite the title, it’s just re-done sketches from the first two seasons of the Monty Python’s Flying Circus television series.

2.  If you’ve gone disc-less and you know how to mess with subtitle files, you can download an SRT for the 2H4 version at opensubtitles.org. Or you can save time and download this SRT file instead, which should be timed properly for 1080p versions of the film, although you’ll have to try it out to be sure, videos can vary. I might possibly have edited this file a wee bit at the beginning of the opening credits.