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Life of Brian (1979) Poster

(1979)

Goofs

Revealing mistakes 

During the crucifixion scene, after the PFJ sings "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow", a very obvious double for John Cleese is playing "Reg" among the PFJ when Cleese enters the scene as the Centurion, looking to free Brian.
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Anachronisms 

The letter U first appeared around the 14th century. At the time of Jesus, ROMANES EUNT DOMUS would be written ROMANES EVNT DOMVS.
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.
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Audio/visual unsynchronised 

When the Suicide Squad arrives during the crucifixion scene, Otto's first line is clearly dubbed. An earlier scene featuring the Suicide Squad was cut, so Michael Palin needed a different line to introduce them.
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Boom mic visible 

When Brian's mother buys rocks for the stoning, the boom mic is visible at the top of the screen, swinging from side to side.
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Character error 

When the Centurion corrects Brian's slogan, "Romanes Eunt Domus", he says Domum is the locative case, which would be Domi. It's actually the accusative of place, which drops the preposition Ad from Ad Domum. However, the resulting sentence, "Romani Ite Domum", is correct.

Continuity 

The number of Roman guards searching the PFJ headquarters changes as they enter and leave the house.
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Crew or equipment visible 

During "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life," when the camera looks down the line of crosses, a man in a suit and tie walks in the background.
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A camera shadow appears on Brian the first time people chase him, thinking he's the messiah.
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When the three wise men praise Brian, an electrical extension cord is clearly visible, hanging down on the right of the screen (widescreen).
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When Michael Palin turns around and walks past the two guards to the one standing behind them to say Biggus Dickus to him too, a stage hand is on the right sorting out the contents of a bowl or something. His clothes look contemporary 1970's not Roman era - possibly from a rehearsal scene put in after all the useless re-takes due to Michael Palin giggling himself during it - obvious edits are apparent.
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When the crowd of people following Brian claim he is performing miracles, a blind man says he is healed. A stunt mat is visible when he falls into the hole.
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When the Roman guards drag Brian away after he fails to abduct Pilate's wife, the padding in his costume is visible.
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Errors in geography 

According to the caption text, Brian meets the People's Front of Judea for the first time in the Colosseum in Jerusalem. In fact, the only amphitheater known as the Colosseum is the big one in Rome, officially called the Amfitheatrum Flavium.
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Pontius Pilate is portrayed as having a palace in Jerusalem. Although one would easily assume this, due to his role in the New Testament, he actually resided in Caesarea, which was the Roman capital of the Judean province. There are historical mentions of Pilate visiting Jerusalem, but he never lived there.
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Factual errors 

A Roman centurion in full dress would be recognizable by 3 things: greaves covering his shins and knees, a vine in his hand and especially a helmet with the crest positioned from left to right. Cleese's centurion is wearing none of these badges of rank. His helmet is in fact more like that of a Roman general.
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Whilst selling concessions in the arena, Brian offers jaguar and ocelot bits. These are New World animals not to be discovered for 1500 years.
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Revealing mistakes 

The prisoners carry crosses considerably smaller than the ones they end up being crucified upon.
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When Brian falls off the balcony and knocks the prophet into a large jar, he is clearly hanging on a bar with his hands.
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In the manger scene, John Cleese has obvious lines on his face where his make-up has run from sweat.
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Spoilers

The goof items below may give away important plot points.

Audio/visual unsynchronised 

When Brian climbs from the crashed spaceship, a spectator says, "You lucky bastard" but his lips clearly say "You jammy bastard". "Jammy" is a very English word, and probably wouldn't make much sense to an international audience.
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Errors in geography 

When the alien spaceship falls toward Earth, it is headed toward South America, not the Middle East.
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See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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