8.1/10
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348 user 130 critic

Life of Brian (1979)

R | | Comedy | 17 August 1979 (USA)
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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.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Wise Man #2 / Brian Cohen / Biggus Dickus
... Wise Man #1 / Reg / Jewish Official / First Centurion / Deadly Dirk / Arthur
... Man Even Further Forward / Revolutionary / Jailer / Blood & Thunder Prophet / Frank / Audience Member / Crucifee
... Mr. Cheeky / Stan aka Loretta / Harry the Haggler / Culprit Woman / Warris / Intensely Dull Youth / Jailer's Assistant / Otto / Lead Singer Crucifee
... Mandy Cohen / Colin / Simon the Holy Man / Bob Hoskins / Saintly Passer-by / Alarmed Crucifixion Assistant
... Wise Man #3 / Mr. Big Nose / Francis / Mrs. A / Ex-Leper / Announcer / Ben / Pontius Pilate / Boring Prophet / Eddie / Shoe Follower / Nisus Wettus
... Gregory
... Mrs. Gregory
... Jesus
Neil Innes ... A Weedy Samaritan
... False Prophet / Blind Man / Giggling Guard / Stig
... Matthias, Son of Deuteronomy of Gath
... Mrs. Big Nose
Sue Jones-Davies ... Judith
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 wasn't the messiah. He was a very naughty boy. See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

17 August 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Monty Python's Life of Brian  »

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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the Venice Film Festival, the UAAR (Italian Union of Rationalist Atheists and Agnostics) assigns the Premio Brian (Brian Award) to the most rationalist/atheist movie presented to the Festival. The name of the award is dedicated to this movie. See more »

Goofs

Whilst selling concessions in the arena, Brian offers jaguar and ocelot bits. These are New World animals not to be discovered for 1500 years. 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

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

Connections

Referenced in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

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