Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time!
Empire's Guardians Of The Galaxy Cover
Does Star Wars Have A Brain Trust?
Nick Frost:
My Movie Life

The World's End star's pick of the flicks
Subscribe: 6 Issues For £15!
Subscribe today and save 37% off the cover price!
Feature
The Real Story Behind the McGuffins
Your handy guide to the Indiana Jones artefacts

submit to reddit

1 2 3 4
Back 3 of 4 Next

The Holy Grail

The Holy Grail

As seen in: Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade

The Power: The Holy Grail is the cup, goblet or plate used by Jesus at the Last Supper. It is said to be imbued with all sorts of miraculous powers and, in fiction, the hero must prove and battle to be worthy in its presence.

The Real Life Version: The development and history of the Grail legend is a complex one, some experts arguing that it derived from Celtic myth while others believe it is a purely Christian symbol. While the Grail first came to prominence in a poem by Chretien de Troyes, it is Robert de Boron's verse romance Joseph d'Arimathie that introduced the idea of a Holy Grail with Joseph acquiring the chalice to collect Christ's blood upon the cross - Joseph later founded a line of guardians in Britain to keep it safe. The search for the grail also plays an important part in Arthurian legend, most famously revolving around the knight Sir Galahad. Conceptions of it vary, some texts describing variously as a bowl, a cup or a platter. It has even been described as a stone that fell from heaven.

Ownership of the Grail has been assigned to various groups, most famously the Knights Templar in the 12th and 13th Century. Differing sources ascribe the whereabouts of the Grail to different Churches, mostly in Spain.

The Movie Version: "The Holy Grail was sort of feeble," says Lucas. "But, at the same time, we put the father in there to cover for it. I mean, the whole reason it became a dad movie was because I was scared to hell that there wasn't enough power behind the Holy Grail to carry a movie." While the Grail is said to have mystical properties, the notion of it granting immortality is completely an invention of the filmmakers.

Effectiveness as a MacGuffin: 3/5 It's true that a cup doesn't overflow with cinematic possibilities but, nevertheless, the Grail legend sets up some intriguing backstory and the search for the Grail provides a nice metaphor for the journey of reconnecting father-son relationships.

1 2 3 4
Back
3 of 4
Next

Have Your Say
Register or login now to let us know what you think.

Your Comments

1
The first movie was by far the best in many ways including the mcguffin. The second was by far the worst including the mcguffin. Having read many official and unofficial Jones scripts I have to say that there are many great stories out there that are better than the original movies. I liked the fourth one alright but the problem for me was that they set the bar too high and that is one of the reasons we haven't got a 5th Indy movie yet. From God to Hindu then God then Aliens. Aliens are too hard to top. And I can't forgive them for not making the amazing comic book story about Atlantis. It is absolutly amazing and with some small changes it could ROCK! More

Posted by smakris04 on Sunday October 14, 2012, 12:28

2 I loved the Grail....
as much as the Ark....Sankara stones were ok no no no alien heads More

Posted by Paddy Kieran on Tuesday October 9, 2012, 20:51

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Empire's Guardians Of The Galaxy Review
Our official verdict on Marvel's latest addition to their cinematic universe

Frank Grillo's Ten Toughest Hollywood Tough Guys
The Purge: Anarchy star picks his favourite badasses

Role By Role With Joel McHale
The star of The Soup and Community on Spider-Man 2 and much more

'I Have The Club But I Didn't Get The Lion's Head'
Dwayne Johnson (and pals) talks Hercules props, action and ancient superheroes

Classic Feature: The Making Of The Silence Of The Lambs
Is this the most frightening movie ever made?

Classic Feature: Jack Nicholson - Gods Among Us
Charisma, consistency and cunning summed up in a single word: Jack.

Peter Fonda On Peter Fonda
The Hollywood legend relives his career highlights

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time Subscribers' Cover

Subscribe today and get the cover and 3 issues for only £10!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)