Born on the original Christmas in the stable next door to Jesus Christ, Brian of Nazareth spends his life being mistaken for a messiah.

Director:

Terry Jones
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Graham Chapman ... Wise Man #2 / Brian Cohen / Biggus Dickus
John Cleese ... Wise Man #1 / Reg / Jewish Official / First Centurion / Deadly Dirk / Arthur
Terry Gilliam ... Man Even Further Forward / Revolutionary / Jailer / Blood & Thunder Prophet / Frank / Audience Member / Crucifee
Eric Idle ... Mr. Cheeky / Stan aka Loretta / Harry the Haggler / Culprit Woman / Warris / Intensely Dull Youth / Jailer's Assistant / Otto / Lead Singer Crucifee
Terry Jones ... Mandy Cohen / Colin / Simon the Holy Man / Bob Hoskins / Saintly Passer-by / Alarmed Crucifixion Assistant
Michael Palin ... Wise Man #3 / Mr. Big Nose / Francis / Mrs. A / Ex-Leper / Announcer / Ben / Pontius Pilate / Boring Prophet / Eddie / Shoe Follower / Nisus Wettus
Terence Bayler ... Gregory
Carol Cleveland ... Mrs. Gregory
Kenneth Colley ... Jesus
Neil Innes ... A Weedy Samaritan
Charles McKeown ... False Prophet / Blind Man / Giggling Guard / Stig
John Young ... Matthias, Son of Deuteronomy of Gath
Gwen Taylor ... Mrs. Big Nose
Sue Jones-Davies Sue Jones-Davies ... Judith
Peter Brett Peter Brett
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Storyline

The story of Brian of Nazareth (Graham Chapman), 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:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The famous 'Biggus Dickus' scene required a fair bit of planning. Michael Palin, John Cleese and Graham Chapman rehearsed it many times the day before the shoot, with other extras playing the Roman centurion guards, so as to get their timing and movement right and to allow director Terry Jones to ensure the lighting, camera blocking and positioning were all correct. On the day of shooting the extras were changed at the last minute as Jones knew that the only way the scene would work was if the extra's did not know in advance what was going to be said to them so as to capture their reactions to the dialogue and Palin's delivery of it. The resulting comedy gold from this scene is mostly down to he unrehearsed reaction of the new extras (one of whom was comedian Chris Langham), who were told that under no circumstances were they to react to what Palin would say to them. The new extras really did break down laughing on set and the ones who were ordered to take the laughing guards away were the ones who had been present at the rehearsals the day before, so were less likely to crack up laughing. In order to keep these reaction shots as fresh and natural as possible ,Terry Jones made sure that the whole scene was shot in just two takes. It is believed the second take for most of the set ups were the ones used in the film. See more »

Goofs

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. 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.
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Crazy Credits

The opening credits are presented as an elaborate Terry Gilliam animated sequence of Roman temples being destroyed. See more »

Alternate Versions

The Criterion LD/DVD features the following deleted scenes:
  • A scene with three shepherds in the beginning of the film.
  • A scene featuring the Peoples Front of Judea breaking into Pilate's wife's bedroom, only to be defeated by her strength.
  • A scene introducing us and Brian to the suicide squad, led by King Otto (Idle).
  • A scene showing Judith releasing doves that fly out over Nazareth, and that are spotted by Otto and interpreted as "the sign that is the sign". He sends his troops into town.
  • A very brief scene showing Judith watching Brian carrying his cross through the streets; she is attacked by a salesman who wants her to haggle, resulting in her leaving.
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Connections

Referenced in Charlie Brooker's Weekly Wipe: Episode #1.5 (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life
Written by Eric Idle
Arranged by John Altman
Sung by Eric Idle and chorus (uncredited)
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User Reviews

 
Stunningly funny
11 February 2002 | by ptpenrySee all my reviews

One of my fave films of all time, this film has so many laugh-out-loud jokes and ridiculous thought processes that it would probably be unfair to pick out just a few. Tough - I'm going to: John Cleese as the legionnary Latin teacher rebuking Brian not for daring to use graffiti on the Roman fort but for using the wrong tense, Michael Palin trying to find his place in life as an ex-leper, Terry Jones as Brian's mother trying to protect him from myrrh - let's face it, we've all wondered what myrrh is ! The bit that always makes me laugh without fail is something that isn't always noticed - when Michael Palin is having a go at the guards; "Do you find it risible when I say the name of my friend Biggus Diccus ?" if you look carefully you'll see that Palin is trying really hard not to laugh.

Puerile, silly but also very very clever. This film doesn't criticise religion or Jesus in any way ( what was wrong with the people who tried to ban it ? ) - it's just asking what it could have been like in a society that was expecting the Messiah to show up at any moment, and covering it in a massive coating of comedy.

This film is an absolute classic - 10 out of 10.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Latin

Release Date:

17 August 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Monty Python's Life of Brian See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$140,034, 19 August 1979

Gross USA:

$20,206,622

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$20,742,331
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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