The Life of Brian 30.03.18 [15]

Monty Python’s Life of Brian is a 1979 British religious satire comedy film starring and written by Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gillam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin and directed by Jones. It was the fourth-highest box office success in the UK and most popular British film in America in 1979.

The Three Wise Men initially mistakenly deliver their gifts to Brian of Nazareth (born in a stable next to Jesus). Brian (Chapman) continues to be mistaken for a Messiah throughout his life, despite his obvious lack of divinity or interest in religion.

He grows up to be an idealistic young man who resents the continuing Roman occupation of Judea. While attending Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, he becomes attracted to a young female rebel, Judith and his desire for her and hatred for the Romans lead him to join the People’s Front of Judea, whose members spend more time fighting each other than the Romans.

Assigned to scrawl graffiti on the governor’s palace wall, his poor grammar is spotted by an appalled passing Centurion, who orders him to write out the grammatically correct “Romans Go Home” message one hundred times. By dawn, the walls of the fortress are literally covered in text when the new guards try to arrest Brian.

Finding himself amidst a motley group of mystics and prophets in a plaza, he babbles pseudo-religious nonsense to blend in. Successfully dodging the Roman guards, he finds his intrigued audience now following him, hailing even the tiniest unusual incident as a “miracle.”

After escaping this group mob and spending the night with Judith, Brian wakes up to find crowds outside his mother’s house, proclaiming him to be Jesus Christ. They too misinterpret everything he says and does as divine.

The Romans finally catch Brian and he is scheduled to be crucified. When Pontius Pilate (Palin) asks the crowd whom he should pardon, he eventually orders Brian’s release but, when a number of others claim to be “Brian of Nazareth”, the wrong man is released. Brian and his fellow crucifixes break into song with “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”…

Only two days before shooting was to begin in Monastir, Tunisia, EMI Films cancelled the financing fearing the film was too controversial to be profitable and, after every other major movie studio rejected the script, George Harrison provided the necessary $3 million, setting up HandMade Films company.

Although unlikely that such a film, described by Rotten Tomatoes as one of the more cutting-edge films of the 1970s, would even be contemplated nowadays, the closing song “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” has come to represent a sort of British resilience, appropriated by football fans and chosen as the final song at funerals.

One Response to “The Life of Brian 30.03.18 [15]”
  1. Pat&David Murrell says:

    We thought we were booked in for Life of Brian but we have not had a reminder. Would you please let us know if we have tickets already and if let us know if there are any left. We have really been looking forward to this, so fingers crossed.
    Kind regards
    Pat Murrell

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