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
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 »
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 »
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.
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