FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Spanish Inquisition

by MONTY PYTHON

In the early years of the 16th century, to combat the rising tide of religious unorthodoxy, the Pope gave Cardinal Ximinez of Spain leave to move without let or hindrance throughout the land, in a reign of violence, terror and torture that makes a smashing film. This was the Spanish Inquisition…

Chapman: Trouble at mill.
Cleveland: Oh no – what kind of trouble?
Chapman: One on’t cross beams gone owt askew on treadle.
Cleveland: Pardon?
Chapman: One on’t cross beams gone owt askew on treadle.
Cleveland: I don’t understand what you’re saying.
Chapman: [slightly irritatedly and with exaggeratedly clear accent] One of the cross beams has gone out askew on the treadle.
Cleveland: Well what on earth does that mean?
Chapman: *I* don’t know – Mr Wentworth just told me to come in here and say that there was trouble at the mill, that’s all – I didn’t expect a kind of Spanish Inquisition.

[JARRING CHORD]

[The door flies open and Cardinal Ximinez of Spain [Palin] enters, flanked by two junior cardinals. Cardinal Biggles [Jones] has goggles pushed over his forehead. Cardinal Fang [Gilliam] is just Cardinal Fang]

Ximinez: NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise…surprise and fear…fear and surprise…. Our two weapons are fear and surprise…and ruthless efficiency…. Our *three* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency…and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope…. Our *four*…no… *Amongst* our weapons…. Amongst our weaponry…are such elements as fear, surprise…. I’ll come in again.

[The Inquisition exits]

Chapman: I didn’t expect a kind of Spanish Inquisition.

[JARRING CHORD]

 

[The cardinals burst in]

Ximinez: NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition! Amongst our weaponry are such diverse elements as: fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency, an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope, and nice red uniforms – Oh damn!
[To Cardinal Biggles] I can’t say it – you’ll have to say it.
Biggles: What?
Ximinez: You’ll have to say the bit about ‘Our chief weapons are …’
Biggles: [rather horrified]: I couldn’t do that…

[Ximinez bundles the cardinals outside again]

Chapman: I didn’t expect a kind of Spanish Inquisition.

[JARRING CHORD]

[The cardinals enter]

Biggles: Er…. Nobody…um….
Ximinez: Expects…
Biggles: Expects… Nobody expects the…um…the Spanish…um…
Ximinez: Inquisition.
Biggles: I know, I know! Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition. In fact, those who do expect –
Ximinez: Our chief weapons are…
Biggles: Our chief weapons are…um…er…
Ximinez: Surprise…
Biggles: Surprise and —
Ximinez: Okay, stop. Stop. Stop there – stop there. Stop. Phew! Ah! … our chief weapons are surprise…blah blah blah. Cardinal, read the charges.
Fang: You are hereby charged that you did on diverse dates commit heresy against the Holy Church. ‘My old man said follow the–‘
Biggles: That’s enough.
[To Cleveland] Now, how do you plead?
Clevelnd: We’re innocent.
Ximinez: Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

[DIABOLICAL LAUGHTER]

Biggles: We’ll soon change your mind about that!

[DIABOLICAL ACTING]

Ximinez: Fear, surprise, and a most ruthless– [controls himself with a supreme effort] Ooooh! Now, Cardinal — the rack!

[Biggles produces a plastic-coated dish-drying rack. Ximinez looks at it and clenches his teeth in an effort not to lose control. He hums heavily to cover his anger]

Ximinez: You….Right! Tie her down.

[Fang and Biggles make a pathetic attempt to tie her on to the drying rack]

Ximinez:Right! How do you plead?
Clevelnd: Innocent.
Ximinez: Ha! Right! Cardinal, give the rack [oh dear] give the rack a turn.

[Biggles stands their awkwardly and shrugs his shoulders]

Biggles: I….
Ximinez: [gritting his teeth] I *know*, I know you can’t. I didn’t want to say anything. I just wanted to try and ignore your crass mistake.
Biggles: I…
Ximinez: It makes it all seem so stupid.
Biggles: Shall I…?
Ximinez: No, just pretend for God’s sake. Ha! Ha! Ha!

[Biggles turns an imaginary handle on the side of the dish-rack]

[Cut to them torturing a dear old lady, Marjorie Wilde]

Ximinez: Now, old woman — you are accused of heresy on three counts — heresy by thought, heresy by word, heresy by deed, and heresy by action — *four* counts. Do you confess?
Wilde: I don’t understand what I’m accused of.
Ximinez: Ha! Then we’ll make you understand! Biggles! Fetch…THE CUSHIONS!

[JARRING CHORD]

[Biggles holds out two ordinary modern household cushions]

Biggles: Here they are, lord.
Ximinez: Now, old lady — you have one last chance. Confess the heinous sin of heresy, reject the works of the ungodly — *two* last chances. And you shall be free — *three* last chances. You have three last chances, the nature of which I have divulged in my previous utterance.
Wilde: I don’t know what you’re talking about.
Ximinez: Right! If that’s the way you want it — Cardinal! Poke her with the soft cushions!

[Biggles carries out this rather pathetic torture]

Ximinez: Confess! Confess! Confess!
Biggles: It doesn’t seem to be hurting her, lord.
Ximinez: Have you got all the stuffing up one end?
Biggles: Yes, lord.
Ximinez [angrily hurling away the cushions]: Hm! She is made of harder stuff! Cardinal Fang! Fetch…THE COMFY CHAIR!

[JARRING CHORD]

[Zoom into Fang’s horrified face]

Fang [terrified]: The…Comfy Chair?

[Biggles pushes in a comfy chair — a really plush one]

Ximinez: So you think you are strong because you can survive the soft cushions. Well, we shall see. Biggles! Put her in the Comfy Chair!

[They roughly push her into the Comfy Chair]

Ximinez [with a cruel leer]: Now — you will stay in the Comfy Chair until lunch time, with only a cup of coffee at eleven. [aside, to Biggles] Is that really all it is?
Biggles: Yes, lord.
Ximinez: I see. I suppose we make it worse by shouting a lot, do we? Confess, woman. Confess! Confess! Confess! Confess
Biggles: I confess!
Ximinez: Not you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More articles by:
May 31, 2016
Miguel A. Cruz-Díaz
Imperial Blues: On Whitewashing Dictatorship in the 21st Century
Vijay Prashad
Stoking the Fires: Trump and His Legions
Uri Avnery
What Happened to Netanyahu?
Corey Payne
Reentry Through Resistance: Détente with Cuba was Accomplished Through Resistance and Solidarity, Not Imperial Benevolence
Patrick Howlett-Martin
Libya: How to Bring Down a Nation
Bill Quigley
From Tehran to Atlanta: Social Justice Lawyer Azadeh Shahshahani’s Fight for Human Rights
Manuel E. Yepe
Trump, Sanders and the Exhaustion of a Political Model
Bruce Lerro
“Network” 40 Years Later: Capitalism in Retrospect and Prospect and Elite Politics Today
Robert Hunziker
Chile’s Robocops
Aidan O'Brien
What’ll It be Folks: Xenophobia or Genocide?
Binoy Kampmark
Emailgate: the Clinton Spin Doctors In Action
Colin Todhunter
The Unique Risks of GM Crops: Science Trumps PR, Fraud and Smear Campaigns
Dave Welsh
Jessica Williams, 29: Another Black Woman Gunned Down By Police
Gary Leupp
Rules for TV News Anchors, on Memorial Day and Every Day
May 30, 2016
Ron Jacobs
The State of the Left: Many Movements, Too Many Goals?
James Abourezk
The Intricacies of Language
Porfirio Quintano
Hillary, Honduras, and the Murder of My Friend Berta
Patrick Cockburn
Airstrikes on ISIS are Reducing Their Cities to Ruins
Uri Avnery
The Center Doesn’t Hold
Raouf Halaby
The Sailors of the USS Liberty: They, Too, Deserve to Be Honored
Rodrigue Tremblay
Barack Obama’s Legacy: What Happened?
Matt Peppe
Just the Facts: The Speech Obama Should Have Given at Hiroshima
Deborah James
Trade Pacts and Deregulation: Latest Leaks Reveal Core Problem with TISA
Michael Donnelly
Still Wavy After All These Years: Flower Geezer Turns 80
Ralph Nader
The Funny Business of Farm Credit
Paul Craig Roberts
Memorial Day and the Glorification of Past Wars
Colin Todhunter
From Albrecht to Monsanto: A System Not Run for the Public Good Can Never Serve the Public Good
Rivera Sun
White Rose Begins Leaflet Campaigns June 1942
Tom H. Hastings
Field Report from the Dick Cheney Hunting Instruction Manual
Weekend Edition
May 27, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
Silencing America as It Prepares for War
Rob Urie
By the Numbers: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are Fringe Candidates
Paul Street
Feel the Hate
Daniel Raventós - Julie Wark
Basic Income Gathers Steam Across Europe
Andrew Levine
Hillary’s Gun Gambit
Jeffrey St. Clair
Hand Jobs: Heidegger, Hitler and Trump
S. Brian Willson
Remembering All the Deaths From All of Our Wars
Dave Lindorff
With Clinton’s Nixonian Email Scandal Deepening, Sanders Must Demand Answers
Pete Dolack
Millions for the Boss, Cuts for You!
Gunnar Westberg
Close Calls: We Were Much Closer to Nuclear Annihilation Than We Ever Knew
Peter Lee
To Hell and Back: Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Karl Grossman
Long Island as a Nuclear Park
Binoy Kampmark
Sweden’s Assange Problem: The District Court Ruling
Robert Fisk
Why the US Dropped Its Demand That Assad Must Go
Martha Rosenberg – Ronnie Cummins
Bayer and Monsanto: a Marriage Made in Hell
Brian Cloughley
Pivoting to War
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail