8.1/10
360,304
396 user 112 critic

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 spends his life being mistaken for a messiah.

Director:

Terry Jones
Reviews
Popularity
2,427 ( 275)
Top Rated Movies #218 | See the Top Rated Movies as rated by our users.

Videos

Photos

Edit

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
Edit

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:

He wasn't the messiah. He was a very naughty boy. See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Shortly after this movie was released in 1979, the BBC talk show "Friday Night, Saturday Morning" hosted a televised debate between John Cleese and Sir Michael Palin versus Catholic Bishop Mervyn Stockwood and broadcaster and Christian convert Malcolm Muggeridge. The latter two men had agreed to view this movie earlier that day and discuss it with the Pythons. The show was hosted by Tim Rice, who composed the lyrics to "Jesus Christ Superstar". The Pythons defended the movie as not an attack on Jesus, but rather a satirical commentary on his followers and the institutions they created, but without questioning anyone's beliefs. Stockwood and Muggeridge, meanwhile, derided it as "a little squalid number", "tenth-rate", "buffoonery", and "unworthy of an educated man". In one tense exchange between Muggeridge and Cleese, the former affirmed his position that Christianity had provided the most good in the world where Cleese responded "You mean like the Spanish Inquisition?" Stockwood dismissed Cleese and Palin with "You'll get your thirty pieces of silver", which drew an audible gasp from the audience. In 2013, Cleese and Palin watched the debate again after which Cleese remarked that they had not only won, but added that he "was astonished, first of all, at how stupid (the two members of the Church) were, and how boring the debate became." The debate was subsequently spoofed by Rowan Atkinson in a sketch where he played a Bishop debating whether or not Jesus making fun of Monty Python was blasphemous. See more »

Goofs

A Roman centurion in full dress would be recognizable by 3 things: greaves covering his shins and knees, a vine in his hand and especially a helmet with the crest positioned from left to right. John Cleese's centurion is wearing none of these badges of rank. His helmet is in fact more like that of a Roman general. 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 very end (after copyright) is still shown: If you have enjoyed this film, why not go and see "La Notte"? 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.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Nostalgia Critic: Surf Ninjas (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Bright Side Of Life
Music by Eric Idle
Arranged by John Altman
Sung by Eric Idle and chorus (uncredited)
See more »

User Reviews

 
Classic seamless comedy.
14 January 2005 | by pstancerSee all my reviews

This film is by far the best of the Python outings. It ranks as one of my favorite films of all time, which unlike 'The Holy Grail', hasn't dated with time but improves with repeated viewing.

The Pythons supposed take on Christianity, which caused outrage when it was first released (mostly by people who hadn't seen it), is actually a take on cults, both religious and political, and the people who follow them.

Brian, our hapless hero, is confused, horny, and constantly mistaken for the Messiah; who just happened to be born in the manger next to him. Brian just wants to be left alone, and to pursue his love for Judith, a member of the People's Front of Judea. Judith just wants the Romans to go home; but only after they've left the sanitation, the medicine, education, irrigation, roads, public order, etc., etc. ... oh and don't forget the wine!

Will Brian's love for Judith go unrequited? Will only the cheese makers be blessed, or does this refer to all manufacturers of dairy products? And just what have the Romans ever done for us?

It's subtle; it's anarchic; and it's possibly still banned in Norway. This is classic seamless comedy at its best. 10/10.


121 of 183 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 396 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

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 »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$140,034, 19 August 1979

Gross USA:

$20,206,622

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$20,738,770
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page



Recently Viewed