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And five minutes before the take it's fairly radically rewritten. I didn't hear any mention that the cost was a motivation for cutting parts of the script.So in fact at the very last minute there's usually these little extra bits creep in. Whether it was or not, the ending was clearly planned well before filming began, for artistic reasons to boot, so it's not a case of running out of money.
ARTHUR: If you will not show us the Grail, we shall take your castle by force! ---Go and boil your bottoms, sons of a silly person.
GUARD: I don't want to talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough wiper! GUARD: No, now go away or I shall taunt you a second time-a!
Before filming began, the script underwent a lot of change.
Eric Idle- ..only at the end do you realise there's no plot whatsoever. I contributed the ending because I said, "You should just stop it. We had all these university students on £4 a day and they shot them every angle they could, but there weren't many of them at all.
Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government.
Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony. Dennis: You can't expect to wield supreme power just 'cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!
I suppose they could have been filmed later as well and interspersed, but the impression I had always had was that they just cut the last bits of the movie, replacing them with the arrest scene, not filmed several other short scenes to mix in earlier. Yeah, I think the Pythons, we usually stick fairly closely to the script, actually. As the scene seemed to go well, the theme was expanded to tie up the plot.
They're usually pretty careful to work out, because they're so involved, usually, you have to stick, you have to work everything out in advance. And then we get together, and then just about ten minutes before a take, the script is slightly rewritten. In , a 2001 documentary, Julian Doyle (production manager, special effects photographer, and the police sergeant who directs the final arrest and covers the camera lens with his hand to stop the film) mentions that he very much liked the idea of the ending (I don't remember if he specifically came up with it).
I've heard from many sources that the ending to Monty Python and the Holy Grail (where it abruptly ends just before an invasion on the French castle, due to the police arriving to arrest the cast) was put in at the last moment because they were essentially out of money. This is about when the quest for the Holy Grail became the main plot thread; at that stage it was to be found in Harrods (because they have everything).
This doesn't really strike me as true, given the foreshadowing that built up to it (the historian scenes). If so, what was the original ending supposed to be? The historian sequences were added at some point during the writing, well after the first draft.