MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Up 251 this week

Life of Brian (1979)

R  |   |  Comedy  |  17 August 1979 (USA)
8.1
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.1/10 from 242,596 users   Metascore: 75/100
Reviews: 310 user | 107 critic | 14 from Metacritic.com

Brian is born on the original Christmas, in the stable next door. He spends his life being mistaken for a messiah.

Director:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

IMDb Picks: August

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in August.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 27 Sep 2013
 
a list of 40 titles
created 03 Mar 2014
 
a list of 35 titles
created 6 months ago
 
a list of 28 titles
created 3 months ago
 
a list of 24 titles
created 3 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Life of Brian" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Life of Brian (1979)

Life of Brian (1979) on IMDb 8.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Life of Brian.

User Polls

Top 250 #171 | See the Top 250 movies as voted by our users.

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Adventure | Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

King Arthur and his knights embark on a low-budget search for the Grail, encountering many very silly obstacles.

Directors: Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones
Stars: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The comedy team takes a look at life in all its stages in their own uniquely silly way.

Directors: Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam
Stars: John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle
Comedy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9/10 X  

The original surreal sketch comedy showcase for the Monty Python troupe.

Stars: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam
Groundhog Day (1993)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A weatherman finds himself living the same day over and over again.

Director: Harold Ramis
Stars: Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An anthology of Monty Python's best sketches from their 1st & 2nd seasons of their original TV show.

Director: Ian MacNaughton
Stars: John Cleese, Michael Palin, Graham Chapman
Mystery | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

In a future world devastated by disease, a convict is sent back in time to gather information about the man-made virus that wiped out most of the human population on the planet.

Director: Terry Gilliam
Stars: Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe, Brad Pitt
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

An insurance salesman/adjuster discovers his entire life is actually a T.V. show.

Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Jim Carrey, Ed Harris, Laura Linney
Platoon (1986)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A young recruit in Vietnam faces a moral crisis when confronted with the horrors of war and the duality of man.

Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe
Ben-Hur (1959)
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

When a Jewish prince is betrayed and sent into slavery by a Roman friend, he regains his freedom and comes back for revenge.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Stephen Boyd
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Two parts Monty Python German television comedy specials.

Director: Ian MacNaughton
Stars: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle
Stand by Me (1986)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

After the death of a friend, a writer recounts a boyhood journey to find the body of a missing boy.

Director: Rob Reiner
Stars: Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman
The Thing (1982)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Scientists in the Antarctic are confronted by a shape-shifting alien that assumes the appearance of the people that it kills.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Wise Man #2 / Brian Cohen / Biggus Dickus
...
...
...
Mr. Cheeky / Stan aka Loretta / Harry the Haggler / Culprit Woman / Warris / Intensely Dull Youth / Jailer's Assistant / Otto / Lead Singer Crucifee
...
...
...
...
Kenneth Colley ...
Neil Innes ...
Charles McKeown ...
John Young ...
Matthias, Son of Deuteronomy of Gath
...
Sue Jones-Davies ...
Peter Brett
Edit

Storyline

The story of Brian of Nazareth, born on the same day as Jesus of Nazareth, who takes a different path in life that leads to the same conclusion. Brian joins a political resistance movement aiming to get the Romans out of Judea. Brian scores a victory of sorts when he manages to paint political slogans on an entire wall in the city of Jerusalem. The movement is not very effective but somehow Brian becomes a prophet and gathers his own following. His fate is sealed however and he lives a very short life. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The film that is so funny it was banned in Norway. See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

17 August 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Monty Python's Life of Brian  »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$26,376 (USA) (30 April 2004)

Gross:

$646,124 (USA) (22 October 2004)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Michael Palin:  at The Mount, with Mr. Papadopolous. Tom was the only Python child who wanted to be in the film. Michael Palin later joked that his son would be able to tell people he appeared in a scene with the Pythons and one of The Beatles. See more »

Goofs

When a nude Brian speaks with his followers and his mother storms into the room, a Star of David is on the wall. The Star of David became a symbol of Judaism in the Middle Ages. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Wise Man #1: Ahem!
Brian's mother: Oh!
[falls over in chair]
Brian's mother: Who are you?
Wise Man #2: We are three wise men.
Brian's mother: What?
Wise Man #1: We are three wise men.
Brian's mother: Well, what are you doing creeping around a cow shed at two o'clock in the morning? That doesn't sound very wise to me.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the very end (after copyright) is still shown: If you have enjoyed this film, why not go and see "La Notte"? See more »

Connections

Referenced in Italiano medio (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Brian Song
Words by Michael Palin
Music by André Jacquemin and David Howman
Arranged by John Du Prez (as Trevor Jones)
Sung by Sonia Jones
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Still one of the funniest films of all time.
13 October 1999 | by (Dublin, Ireland) – See all my reviews

It's impossible for me to be objective about this film. I know every scene and line by heart. Not because I'm one of those ghastly Python nerds, whose anal obsessiveness sucks the whole spirit out of everything they did, and actually misses the joke, which is on them; they are the perfect subjects for a Python lampoon. No. I only know LIFE OF BRIAN so intimately because I've seen it so often, it's still one of the funniest comedies I've ever seen, and persists in being hilarious despite familiarity, which, as in so much Python did, is the reverse of what comedy is 'supposed' to be made of (i.e. surprise).

Also, nostalgia value. MONTY PYTHON were my first heroes, before I even reached double figures. I gobbled up every programme, film and record in a space of a couple of short years, so they are bound up with a period of my life when I was very happy and hopeful, so I go all misty-eyed when I see it. Bizarrely, we were first encouraged to watch BRIAN by our Latin teacher, who felt it was very insightful about Roman society.

But no-one watches PYTHON anymore, except that dorkish clique. My brother, only a couple of years my junior, is as mystified now by my reaction to it as my parents were then. But surely BRIAN is a comic masterpiece in itself, accessible to anyone who found the very male, elitist, academic bias of the programme somewhat alienating?

How can I implore you to watch this? It's got a straight narrative, with some of the greatest set-pieces and dialogue of any film ever. It's not a great FILM comedy - Terry Jones is no Gilliam - but the style suits the humour perfectly, allowing it to breathe, and sometimes pulling off an extraordinarily evocative shot, such as when Brian and his mother are walking from Jesus' sermon, and squabbling about petty things like big noses, and the camera pulls back to a vast Judean wasteland, with a massive Roman statue being wheeled, and a set of crucifixes being planted: a marvellous encapsulation of a period in history.

This is the film's true triumph - it's a magnificent deconstruction of historical distortion. By paralleling the life of Christ with that of an ordinary little man, Python reclaim history from symbol and myth. It brings the body back into history. Its resolute rejection of divinity leads to a bleak, ironic conclusion (listen to 'Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life' carefully, and in context: it's NOT comforting) - the story of Jesus without redemption is ghastly.

The intelligence behind the juvenile gags is astonishing - the film is a learned commentary on power, totalitarianism, repression, language, gender, the writing of history, the politics of subversion, the complicity of the repressed. Myth is thrown to the wind - the film succeeds where Reg and his revolutionaries fail, by revealing a whole series of repressive apparatum (sic?). No-one is spared - the film is unashamedly destructive, but the film's satire is not arid or narrow; there are many rich parallels with our own time, as the extraordinary reaction from the religious on the film's release showed.

But BRIAN is not just an attack on religion, but on all who would seek to write selective histories for their own interests, suppressing others' voices. The silliest jokes are also the most profound - in one scene, the kidnappers enter Pilate's palace through a tiled floor. They emerge through a modesty-concealing leaf painted on this floor. This is snickering schoolboy humour, and very very funny, but is also a comment on the phallocentricity of imperialism. Jokes like these are why BRIAN will always remain vital - it turns you into a ludicrous, ill-informed amateur historian.

The acting is an astonishing feat of multiple performances, but Graham Chapman, always my favorite Python, holds the chaos together, ironically as the Kafkaesque hero who races towards the abyss, an anti-Jesus to love and identify with. If I've made the film sound like hard work, than I'm an idiot. The seriousness is only there if you want it. Like Alice in Wonderland, or Buster Keaton, PYTHON seem to be full of metaphors that encapsulate the pains of life, but are also damnably entertaining. It's strange that men as supposedly 'surreal' and 'out there' as the Pythons should speak such good sense. Only BRINGING UP BABY, THE PALM BEACH STORY, and MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL, are funnier than this. Treasure it.


148 of 189 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Hugely innacurate sarahwellis
Life of Brian or Holy Grail elijam
What quote comes to your mind right now? Ikillthreads
Am I missing something? AlienFanboy
The part that makes me laugh the hardest (every time I see it). ckanelevy
This is not an anti-christian or an atheist movie. san-fairy-ann
Discuss Life of Brian (1979) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?