Two brilliant comedic troupes hit high points today. We’ll start with the boys in Britain who, with a successful TV show behind them and absolutely zero money to back them up, put together a comic take on the Knights of the Round Table that we’re pretty sure you’re familiar with. Monty Python and the Holy Grail opened today in 1975.
The Marx Brothers didn’t need any funding in 1946 when they produced their classic A Night in Casablanca. The brothers play managers of a hotel where an escaped Nazi war criminal has murdered the managers who came before them. The film supposedly earned controversy when Warner Bros tried to sue them for copyright infringement of their film Casablanca. Groucho always claimed that he countersued, arguing that the Marxes used the term “brothers” before Warners did. It’s likely balderdash, but the controversy didn’t stop the film from joining the ranks of Marx Brothers classics.
Finally, we have the middle entry in Sergio Leone’s famous Dollars trilogy, For a Few Dollars More. Though not quite as compulsively watchable as the two films surrounding it, it retains its spaghetti western charm thanks to the pairing of Clint Eastwood’s Man with No Name with Lee Van Cleef’s revenge-driven Colonel Mortimer. It opened today in 1967.