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The Life of Brian Criterion Collection DVD

A Previous Irreverant Presentation
at Friday Night Movies:

Life of Brian

Friday the 19th of March
Pot luck supper @ 7pm, Movie @ 8pm

See the movie that's controversial, sacrilegious, and blasphemous. But if that's not playing, see The Life of Brian.
--Original tagline

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UK: 1979 -- Directed by Terry Jones
Starring and Written by Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin

He's not the Messiah. He's a very naughty boy!
--Terry Jones as Brian's Mother


"Blessed are the cheesemakers," a wise man once said. Or maybe not. But the point is Monty Python's Life of Brian is a religious satire that does not target specific religions or religious leaders (like, say, Jesus of Nazareth). Instead, it pokes fun at the mindless and fanatical among their followers--it's an attack on religious zealotry and hypocrisy--things that that fellow from Nazareth didn't particularly care for either. Nevertheless, at the time of its release in 1979, those who hadn't seen it considered it to be quite "controversial." Life of Brian, you see, is about a chap named Brian (Graham Chapman) born December 25 in a hovel not far from a soon-to-be-famous Bethlehem manger. Brian is mistaken for the messiah and therefore manipulated, abused, and exploited by various religious and political factions. And it's really, really funny. Particularly memorable bits include the brassy Shirley Bassey/James Bond-like title song; the bitter rivalry between the anti-Roman resistance groups, the Judean People's Front and the People's Front of Judea; Michael Palin's turn as a lisping, risible Pontius Pilate; Brian urging a throng of false-idol worshippers to think for themselves--to which they reply en masse "Yes, we must think for ourselves!"; the fact that everything Brian does, including losing his sandal in an attempt to flee these wackos, is interpreted as "a sign." Life of Brian is not only one of Monty Python's funniest achievements, it's also the group's sharpest and smartest sustained satire. Blessed are the Pythons. --Jim Emerson

Hope to see you there. I'll save you an aisle seat and a place to set aside the cross you bear.


Awards

Ranks #157 on the Internet Movie Database's Top 250 Movies

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Memorable Quotes

Brian: I'm not a Roman, Mum, I'm a kike, a yid, a heebie, a hook-nose, I'm kosher mum, I'm a Red Sea pedestrian, and proud of it!

Mandy: What star sign is he?
Wise Man #2: Capricorn.
Mandy: Capricorn, eh? What are they like?
Wise Man #2: He is the son of God, our Messiah.
Wise Man #1: King of the Jews.
Mandy: And that's Capricorn, is it?

Matthias: Look, I don't think it should be a sin, just for saying "Jehovah."
[Everyone gasps]
Jewish Official: You're only making it worse for yourself!
Matthias: Making it worse? How can it be worse?!?! Jehovah! Jehovah! Jehovah!

Brian: You are all individuals!
The Crowd: We are all individuals!
Man in crowd: I'm not.

Reg: All right, but apart from the sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh water system and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?

Boring Prophet: There shall in that time be rumors of things going astray, erm, and there shall be a great confusion as to where things really are, and nobody will really know where lieth those little things with the sort of raffia-work base, that has an attachment. At that time, a friend shall lose his friend's hammer, and the young shall not know where lieth the things possessed by their fathers that their fathers put there only just the night before, about eight O'clock.

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Trivia

Years before the film was made, someone asked Eric Idle what the next Python picture would be, and he replied Jesus Christ: Lust for Glory. They began to like the idea of a comedy set in this time period, and an early idea for a scene involved Jesus, a skilled carpenter frustratingly trying to be crucified on a poorly built cross.

Originally financed by EMI, but they backed out when they believed the script to be blasphemous. EMI was sued by the Pythons and settled out of court. Finance was then arranged through George Harrison, who created Handmade Films for this purpose.

This film was initially banned in Norway for blasphemy. It wasn't released there until 1980. Subsequently, it has been marketed in Sweden as "The film that is so funny that it was banned in Norway!"

Cameo: [George Harrison] Mr. Papadopolous, owner of "The Mount", who shakes hands with Brian and gives a very Liverpudlian "'ullo".

Graham Chapman, a qualified doctor, would hold surgeries for the cast and crew after a day's work on the set.

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Goofs

You can see that Brian is hanging on a bar by his hands when he supposedly falls off the balcony and knocks the prophet into a large jar.

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