Monty Python and the Holy Grail is a great, original comedy and the most profitable independent film made in the U.K. If you’d invested £1,000 in it, you’d have made £130,000 back. With more to come.
As a young man, Mark Forstater produced the film. He set it up so that the Pythons had total creative control. Each Python also made many millions. Mark got over 5 % of the profits. Everyone was happy – well as happy as John Cleese could be before he started therapy. Then golden icing on the cake: Eric Idle hit on the idea of turning the hit film into a musical. Spamalot was a smash. Spamalot was also cashalot for everyone involved and it should have been for Mark.
But the Pythons, or their managers, or their lawyers, or the gorilla in their collective unconscious, decided Mark didn’t deserve so much. No one used the word ‘deserved’. It was a question of how lawyers, accountants and managers re-interpreted his contract. Back in 1974, it had been amended by hand. Lawyers poured over these squiggles as if they were holy writ – apt since we’re into the Holy Grail.
Forstater decided he had to fight the battle of his life. After 7 years of struggle it came to court, where the judge, the lawyers and the Pythons were all Oxbridge men. Forstater, an American, had gone to Manchester. Yet he won. If there were a Nobel Prize for Bitching, Eric Idle would be proud to win it. In revenge he called Forstater a loser, an idiot and a twat. The twat, however, has now decided to speak.
An original, lively and at times moving account of the inside story of one man’s battle against the mighty Python.
Mark Forstater is a film, TV, radio and audio producer as well as the author of six non-fiction books. His most famous film production is Monty Python and The Holy Grail, but he has also made twenty nine other films in a career that has lasted for over 40 years.Forstater has written six books and audios on philosophy and spirituality, including . He has also produced an audio of the famous Chinese classic the Tao Te Ching, read by the late Sir Nigel Hawthorne. Mark Forstater was born in Philadelphia, USA, and moved to England in 1964 to attend Manchester University. After graduating from Temple University, Philadelphia in 1965 he returned to the UK and has lived in London ever since. After attending the London Film School he began making films in 1969. Mark’s interest in spiritual matters began in the early 1970s when he was introduced to the works of Confucius, Mencius, Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu. He was immediately inspired by Chinese philosophy, in particular Taoism. He is a member of the British Taoist Association, a group which aims to bring the authentic teachings of Taoism to the West. Mark Forstater’s self-cultivation practices include meditation, yoga, tai chi, as well as massage and self-massage. He has recently published The 7th Python. Mark has been married twice, has four children and three grandchildren.I Survived A Secret Nazi Extermination Camp ,The Spiritual Teachings of Yoga, The Spiritual Teachings of The Tao, The Spiritual Teachings of Marcus Aurelius and The Living Wisdom of Socrates
The PDF is a short extract from the book.