One of Monty Python's most famous scenes was nearly banned for inappropriate moment
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Whether they're teaching us to always look on the bright side of life, or telling us the meaning of it, the hilariously absurd Monty Python films have been a British TV comedy staple for as long as we can remember.
But it's come to light that not all of their jokes have landed without their criticism a few years down the line.
In fact, unseen files released by the British Board of Film Classification have revealed how the famous Black Knight scene was almost banned from TV for being considered as 'too gory'.
The scene in question, from 1975 film Monty Python and The Holy Grail, features the Black Knight (John Cleese) battling with a green knight before piercing his face through the helmet visor, sending spurts of blood flying everywhere.
Watching the fight from afar is King Arthur (Graham Chapman) and his assistant, Patsy (Terry Gilliam), who approach the Black Knight and ask for him to join their quest by offering a place at the Round Table.
The Black Knight declines and refuses to let King Arthur and his servant through, stating "None shall pass…I move for no man", causing a fight to break out between King Arthur and the Black Knight.
The sword fight leads to King Arthur chopping off the Black Knight's left arm, resulting in the iconic line "'tis but a scratch, I've had worse" as he continues to fight. The violent-yet-funny scene escalates until the Black Knight is left with no arms or legs.
Without wanting to admit defeat, the Black Knight says "We’ll call it a draw" before King Arthur crosses the stream with his servant and they continue on their way.
During the film's production, John Cleese received a letter from Stephen Murphy, who was in charge of the BBFC at the time.
The letter reads: “We have had lengthy discussions about Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
“First, I think you must accept that you are asking for an A certificate for this film
“In television terms this is equivalent to a transmission time somewhere between 6 and 8.
“The original has never been transmitted on television, nor have any of the television episodes contained so much bad language, or quite so much blood.
“We have discussed it fairly carefully. There are one or two places where the language appears to us to be obtrusive, and I must ask you to look at these points again.
“Secondly, though, we accept that much of the blood-letting is meant to be funny, there are one or two places, where, in our view the humour is not very effective."
Along with the Black Knight clip, Murphy also deemed the following scenes to be too offensive for TV:
"Reel 2 (a) - We are less than enchanted by your funny Frenchman -"
Reel 2 (b) - The shot of A J P Taylor having his throat gashed is really too bloody
Reel 3 (a) - The phrase ‘oral sex’
Reel 3 (b) - The Sister saying ‘S***’.
Reel 4 - The close up of blood on the Bride’s mouth is really too much."
Featured Image Credit: Monty Python and the Holy Grail