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Life of Brian (1979)

R | | Comedy | 17 August 1979 (USA)
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1:36 | Trailer

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

Director:

Terry Jones
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1,500 ( 26)
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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 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, 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:

He who laughs twice laughs loudest. See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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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, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$20,045,115

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$36,045,115
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Originally banned by Frank Hall, the Irish film censor, in 1979. He described as "offensive to Christians and to Jews as well, because it made them appear a terrible load of gobshites." It has been widely available on PAL UK TV videocassette in Ireland since 1980, and later on DVD to this day (legally & uncut). See more »

Goofs

When the three wise men praise Brian, an electrical extension cord is clearly visible, hanging down on the right of the screen (widescreen). 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

Shot on location In Tunisia. The Producers would like to thank the Tunisian authorities for facilitating the shooting of the film. 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, then she is attacked by a salesman who wants her to haggle. She leaves.
See more »

Connections

References Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1948) See more »

Soundtracks

Vision of Fear
(uncredited)
(played when Brian is taken to jail)
Written by Edward Michael
Published by De Wolfe Music Ltd.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Not necessarily laugh-out-loud every minute, but it's satirical edge and wit is as clever as the technical side of the film
21 June 2004 | by MisterWhiplashSee all my reviews

Monty Python's follow-up to their cult smash Holy Grail was Life of Brian, a film that takes on (if not always with the utmost seriousness, then usually with a mix of silliness and slight intellectualism) the believers in religions, the zealous nature that belief brings out in people. I first saw the film in the theater upon its re-release last month, and I found it very funny, though not with the kind of belly laughs that I had on my first reaction to Holy Grail. It's not without it's scenes that stick out as some of Python's finest (the Stoning, Pilate's scenes, the Spaceship sequence), even as sometimes it goes a little too broad for comfort (part of the colisseum).

Yet, the great strengths that lie in Life of Brian are that 1) the writers and performers (Chapman, Cleese, Gilliam, Jones, Idle, Palin) bring their irreverent strengths to a fine point with the script and multiple roles. Even when a scene doesn't get the laughs it could've or should've, it turns out to be a scene brimming with a cleverness that could only exist in the "Python-esque" universe. 2) the director (Jones) and designer/animator (Gilliam) lay the groundwork for this realistic atmosphere of 33 A.D. and bring out what is the best in the acting, Pythons or otherwise (famous British comedian Spike Milligan has a role of note). Held over from the sets of Franco Zeferelli's Christ film, the Pythons use all these locations and settings and little details to spring out their wild, brilliant gags. The look of the film enriches the comedic elements, and the result is (arguably, of course) the troupe's best film. Not for all tastes by the way (Monty Python in general for me took some while to warm up to, but paid off once it worked). Grade: A


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