Holy Flying Circus (2011)

TV Movie  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  19 October 2011 (UK)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 1,205 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 11 critic

Tells the story of the outraged, and sometimes violent, response to 'The Life of Brian' the Monty Python movie that satirized the life of Jesus.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ben Crispin ...
Steve Punt ...
Eric Idle / Disciple / Rabbi / Singing Protester / Bishop
Michael Palin / Michael Palin's Mother / Devil
Rufus Jones ...
Terry Jones / Jones the Wife / Bishop
Tom Fisher ...
Graham Chapman / Tramp
John Cleese / Devil
Phil Nichol ...
Terry Gilliam
Simon Greenall ...
Barry Atkins / Pub Landlord
Robin Sebastian ...
US News Reporter / BBFC Representative / Montage Man
Nun / Montage Woman
Black Panther / Montage Man
Paul Chahidi ...
Harry Balls / News Vendor
Ian Bonar ...
Production Person 1 / Sam Lowry
Selina Griffiths ...
Production Person 2 / Personal Assistant to BBC Head of Rude Words
Alan Dick / Desmond Lovely


In 1979 the Monty Python comedy team return from making their film 'Monty Python's Life of Brian' in Tunisia. Premiered in America the film is pilloried by ultra-right religious groups for its depiction of Christ. In England the Popular Peoples' Church of St Sophia (whose members include a Tourette's sufferer who shouts out swear words) find a copy of the script in a dustbin and lobby the British censor for its suppression, leading to many local councils banning its screening. Death threats follow and Michael Palin - "the nicest man in Britain" - has his effigy burned on his front lawn. Finally crazed TV programmer Alan Dick persuades Palin and co-star John Cleese to defend the picture on a late night chat show against the Bishop of Southwark and religious commentator Malcolm Muggeridge. Thanks to Cleese's reasoning the Pythons are seen to triumph, winning over the Popular Peoples' Church. A later encounter with God will show how the film's controversy paved the way for other artistic... Written by don @ minifie-1

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Comedy | Drama


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Release Date:

19 October 2011 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Holy Flying Circus - Voll verscherzt  »

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Did You Know?


Rufus Jones plays both Terry Jones and Michael Palin's wife. This is in fitting with the Monty Python sketches, in which Terry Jones usually played most of the female characters. See more »

Crazy Credits

Boxed Shits Provided By - Boutique Pootique (Thames Ditton), Gary's Shit Shop (Feltham) See more »


References Blue Peter (1958) See more »

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User Reviews

Funniest thing I've seen this year!
5 August 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I have just seen this television play, which I recorded some time ago. I haven't laughed so much in ages. The subject is the events in 1979 when the Monty Python team launched "The Life of Brian", and came under attack from Christians on both sides of the Atlantic. The whole thing is done in the spirit of MP, with fantasy sequences and lots of silliness. The actors, particularly those portraying John Cleese and Michael Palin, are so realistic, that I had trouble remembering that I was not watching the originals. Steve Punt also makes a very convincing Eric Idle. The highlight of the play is the well-known confrontation on the chat show, Saturday Night, Sunday Morning between Cleese and Palin on the one side, and Malcolm Muggeridge, former Communist and then born-again Christian journalist, and Mervyn Stockwood, the closetly homosexual Church of England bishop, on the other. A straightforward representation of the facts would not have been worthwhile, but the hilarious way in which events and characters are represented is like watching MP in their prime. Utterly recommended!

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