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Monty Python and the Holy Grail Alternate Ending
Monty Python and the Holy Grail remains a Boomer classic—a movie still oft-quoted among dads to eye-rolling teens. Now, more than four decades after the film’s release, troupe member Michael Palin has given his private archive to the British Library in London, which includes a few lost scenes from the 1975 film, The Times of London reports.
Among these lost scenes is an alternate ending which involves a battle between the Knights of Camelot, the French, the Killer Rabbit of Camelot. Another is a scene between King Arthur and the Pink Knight, who won’t let him cross a bridge until he gets a kiss. The Times posted the entire script online:
P.K: Oh just a little one. I won’t touch you with my handsARTHUR (TRYING TO GET BY): no no I’m afraid notP.K: Come on, it won’t lead to anything, I promise.ARTHUR: No I don’t want toP.K: I won’t get involved or anything. Just a bit of funARTHUR: NoP.K: Oh go on. No-one’ll know. We don’t have to go all the wayARTHUR: Get awayP.K (TRYING TO MAUL HIM): Come onARTHUR: Stand back!P.K: You’ve got super little dimples just there (INDICATES)ARTHUR SLAMS HIS VISOR DOWN AND STARTS TRYING TO GET AT HIS SWORD BUT THE PINK KNIGHT IS MAULING HIMP.K: Come on, come on, it’ll be superARTHUR: No noP.K: You want to reallyARTHUR: Leave me aloneTHE PINK KNIGHT TRIES TO EMBRACE HIM AND AFTER A VERY BRIEF STRUGGLE THEY LOSE THEIR BALANCE AND FALL OVER ON TOP OF EACH OTHER. A COUPLE OF BITS OF THEIR ARMOUR GET CAUGHTARTHUR: Get off! Get off!!P.K: I can’t I’m stuckARTHUR: Get off meP.K: My knees got caught in your tassetARTHUR: Will you stop itP.K: Oh it’s no goodIt’s a scene that Palin acknowledges was inappropriate back in the ’70s and certainly wouldn’t fly today.
“When we were writing Python in 1973, there was much more homophobia—or rather not homophobia exactly, but awkwardness of dealing with the whole subject of homosexuality,” Palin told the Times of London.
Another lost scene for some reason includes a Wild West saloon that has been transformed into “the last bookshop before you get to Mexico.”
DUDE: Haven’t you got some water even?BAR: Well you see this hyar town’s right in the middle of a goddam dried up creek. Ain’t no good for nothing but reading.SCOTT: Yup. Rootin, Ridin and Readin.THEY SUDDENLY LOOK UP TERRIFIED. SOUND OF DOORS SWINGING OPEN. CUT TO SEE THE KID AND HIS SIDEKICK – BOTH EVIL TREACHOUROUS BANDITS.EVERYONE LOOKS TERRIFIED AND PRETEND TO READ ALL THE HARDER. KID SWAGGERS UP TO BAR.SIZES UP THE PLACE. BARMAN QUAILS.KID: Hey you! Come here?BARMAN: Who me?KID: Come here. (BARMAN APROACHES. KID LEANS OVER AND DROPS HIS VOICE SLIGHTLY) Do you have “Black Beauty” by Anna Sewell?BARMAN: Yeah yeah…I think so. I’ll have a look.HE RUSHES OFF TERRIFIED. THE KID AND SIDEKICK STARE ROUND THE ROOM HOSTILELY.BARMAN COMES BACK WITH A SMALL RATHER SHABBY PAPERBACK.BARMAN: Yeah. I got it. It’s the last one.KID TAKES IT.KID: What kind of edition do you call this?BAR: It’s…it’s a nice little book, isn’t it?KID: Listen! We gotta ride south tonight. We got another 5 days on the trail. This is gonna get all crumpled and bent.BAR: It’s quite strong.KID: Listen, Mister! When you ride like we do, things get real rough treatment. You don’t know what it’s like til you’ve settled down round the campfire to the sound of the wild dogs and the rattlesnakes, and you get out a book to read, and it’s bent in the cover, and it’s got creases right across the pages, and the paper’s got all roughed up…BAR: (LOOKING WITH FEAR FROM FACE TO FACE) We…we’re expecting some more in, boys.KID: Do you have any other stories about horses?
Thankfully both were cut in the final film, along with other scenes that included the Shakespearean character Hamlet as a “foul-mouthed private detective.”
“Sometimes you have things like that. I can’t think why it wasn’t used,” Palin explained. “The Holy Grail took shape gradually and at the beginning it had far more ideas in it than ended up on screen because you had to have a narrative. In the end the story of the knights was strong enough.”
Hey, not every idea is a good idea. Good thing the Monty Python crew realized that.