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Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979)

Life of Brian (original title)
R | | Comedy | 17 August 1979 (USA)
Trailer
2:51 | Trailer
Born on the original Christmas in the stable next door to Jesus Christ, Brian of Nazareth (Graham Chapman) spends his life being mistaken for a messiah.

Director:

Terry Jones
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Popularity
1,784 ( 51)
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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:

It's Even Funnier The Second time You See It. But remember- you've got to see it once before you can see it twice. See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The English town of Bournemouth banned this movie in 1979. It was finally shown there in 2015, when the ban was lifted. See more »

Goofs

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. 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 end of Idle's song "Bright Side Of Life" we can hear him saying "It's the end of the film. Incidently this record's available in the foyer. Some of us have got to live as well you know. Who do you think pays for all this rubbish? They'll never make their money back, you know. I told him, I said to him, Bernie, I said, they'll never make their money back... That should give you enough." See more »

Alternate Versions

The film was originally over two hours long, but was edited down after audience previews. Amongst the scenes that were cut were an opening sequence in which the three shepherds attend the birth of Brian, and more scenes featuring King Otto, some of which were restored for the DVD release. See more »

Connections

Featured in 30 Years of Monty Python, a Revelation (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Brian
Music by
André Jacquemin and Dave Howman (as David Howman)
Arranged by Trevor Jones
Sung by Sonia Jones
See more »

User Reviews

 
A Massive Achievement in Satire
11 December 2019 | by TheAll-SeeingISee all my reviews

Because it so loudly cuts against the trappings of today's "cancel culture," 1979's "Monty Python's Life of Brian" arguably now stands as the comedy troupe's most distinguished masterpiece. Filmed in Tunisia while repurposing sets from "Jesus of Nazareth (1977)," this film is perched among the top branches of our very greatest satires. There's no doubt its brilliant fingerprints are all over more modern day parodies and spoofs, from the culturally eviscerating "South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999)," to fellow religious farce "Sausage Party (2016)," to recent and raunch-heavy music industry satire "Stadium Anthems (2018)."

And the film almost didn't happen. Beatle George Harrison had to dole out millions to save it after the studio pulled out over fears of backlash. Good on ya, George, because what resulted is nothing short of a landmark achievement in comedy. While "Life of Brian" has all the elite DNA of typical Python, it elevates beyond its siblings with an ending for the ages, as the crucifixion itself is repurposed as musical comedy of gleefully poor taste. A choir of convicts nailed into wooden slabs breaks out in song with "Always Look On The Bright Side of Life," cementing the scene as a culturally understood reference point throughout Britain, and in much the same way that "this goes to eleven" from "This Is Spinal Tap (1984)" is established nomenclature in the States.

Sadly, this movie couldn't be made today, as the use of superficially insensitive comedic material to lambaste ignorance has somehow become verboten. What a shame, that. Fortunately, "Monty Python's Life of Brian" wasn't a stage production, and instead remains immortalized on film for the weathering of all shifts in the cultural winds. - (Was this review of use to you? If so, let me know by clicking "Helpful." Cheers!) - WATCHED IT? THEN WATCHLIST: "Sausage Party (2016)," "Stadium Anthems (2018)," "South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999)"


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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:

$20,738,621
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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