Henry IV and the Holy Grail

· 12 May 2016 ·

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

I won’t subject you to my full-bore Python Geek Mode, although I could. Today I want to share one special gem with you.

The troupe’s first film[1], Monty Python and the Holy Grail, arrived in cinemas in 1975 – more than 40 years ago. Hasn’t aged a day. It was re-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 and 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. 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 and watch is a disc that contains an English subtitle track called “Subtitles For People Who Don’t Like The Film”. It should be listed among the bonus features on the packaging[2].

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. It’s genius. The first time I saw it, I would have died laughing, if that had been possible.

I was so flattered.
.
coronet-spacer-200x50
[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 find the SRT for this Henry IV version at opensubtitles.org.

.

VERO NIHIL VERIUS