Monty Python-Life of Brian (Criterion Collection)

Directed By: Terry Jones

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Product Overview

After slaying the arthurian legend in their now classic holy grail, the pythons set their sights on the greatest story ever told. Blind faith, virgin birth, crucifixion, nothing is sacred in this epic send-up of ancient times, which draws on the cornball biblical blockbusters of the 1950s.


Studio Criterion Collection
SKU 40119205
UPC 715515010320
UPC 14 00715515010320
Format DVD
Release Date 11/16/1999
Rating NR
Ancient World
Black Comedy
Theatrical Release
Editors Note
Note Monty Python delivers a scathing, anarchic satire of both religion and Hollywood's depiction of all things biblical with their second--and tightest--full-length film. The setting is the Holy Land in 33 A.D., a time of poverty and chaos, with no shortage of messiahs, followers willing to believe in them, and exasperated Romans trying to impose some order. At the center of it all is Brian Cohen (Graham Chapman), a reluctant would-be messiah who rises to prominence as a result of a series of absurd and truly hilarious circumstances that parallel the life of Christ--providing ample opportunity for the entire ensemble (John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, and Chapman) to shine in multiple roles as they blaspheme and mock everyone and everything from ex-lepers, Pontius Pilate, and the art of haggling to crazy prophets, Roman centurions, and crucifixion.^Directed by Python Terry Jones, MONTY PYTHON'S LIFE OF BRIAN is an uproarious biblical parody that does to ancient Rome what THE HOLY GRAIL did to the Middle Ages. Rome is run by pathetic wimps, liberation fronts fight with each other over acronyms, and gladiators put on bloody children's matinees as the people search desperately for someone to lead them out of their life of misery and poverty. And Brian is that man. Sort of. Well, not really. Chapman excels as Brian, a simple, quiet man suddenly thrust in the role of leading the revolution--while constantly being yelled at by his shrew of a mother.
Plot Summary
Summary Monty Python's comic take on the New Testament tells the tale of Brian Cohen, a highly unlikely candidate for messiah-hood who has the miserable luck of always being in the wrong place at the right time. Born in Nazareth, baby Brian is mistakenly visited by the Three Wise Men, who were actually looking for a different infant--the one born down the street in the glowing manger. Brian leads a fairly normal life while growing up: He works as a vendor at the local coliseum, gets involved in terrorist activities, and paints anti-Roman slogans around town, but he soon finds his life changed forever when he is abducted by aliens and taken on an excursion through the cosmos. Upon his return, a group of locals decide that he's the messiah and begin worshiping him--but he wants them to start the revolution without him.
Memorable Quotes
Quote "What is myrrh? It sounds like some kind of animal to me. Something with horns..."--Mandy (Terry Jones), Brian's mum
Quote "What was that?--Gregory (Terence Bayler) |"I don't know. I was too busy talking to Bignose."--Cheeky (Eric Idle) |"I think it was 'Blessed are the cheesemakers.'"--crowd member |"Ah, what's so special about the cheesemakers?"--Mrs. Gregory (Carol Cleveland) |"Well, obviously, it's not meant to be taken literally. It refers to any manufacturers of dairy products."--Gregory
Quote "Hear that? 'Blessed are the Greek.'"--Spork |"The Greek?"--Gregory
Quote "If you want to join the People's Front of Judea, you have to really hate the Romans."--Reg (John Cleese) to Brian (Graham Chapman)|"I do!"--Brian |"Oh yeah, how much?"--Reg|"A lot!"--Brian|"'re in."--Reg
Quote "I'm Brian!"--Brian (of course, you silly person)
Quote "He's not the Messiah! He's a very naughty boy!"--Mandy speaking to a crowd about Brian
Quote "You are all individuals!"--Brian to a huge crowd of his followers|"We are all individuals!"--the crowd
Quote "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?"--Reg (John Cleese) to others in the People's Front of Judea (not to be confused with the Judean People's Front)
New York Times "...Just when you thought that the uproarious English comedy troupe had taken bad taste as far as it could go....Bad taste of this order is rare but not yet dead..." 08/17/1979 p.C15
Total Film "...Always hilarious..." 07/01/2003 p.137,5 stars out of 5 -- "[With] a consistently high strike rate that puts this on a par with HOLY GRAIL as the team's best big-screen foray." 01/01/2008 p.164
Los Angeles Times "[I]ts free-form humor and fearless blasphemy still intact and as potent as ever." 04/30/2004 p.E13
Empire 5 stars out of 5 -- "[It] might bear similarities to the greatest story ever told, but you'll be laughing too hard to take offense." 12/01/2007 p.224
Ultimate DVD 4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]his saucy, provocative satire on the sometimes ridiculous nature of religion is absolutely brilliant...the effervescent gags never grow tired." 04/01/2008 p.69
Terry Jones
Name Jones,Terry
Link Search Link
Cast & Crew
Monty Python Cast - Star
Graham Chapman - Star
Gwen Taylor - Star
Terence Bayler - Star
Terry Jones - Star
Kenneth Colley - Star
Carol Cleveland - Star
Michael Palin - Star
John Cleese - Star
Eric Idle - Star
Charles McKeown - Star
John Cleese - Screenwriter
Eric Idle - Screenwriter
Michael Palin - Screenwriter
Roger Christian - Art Director
Julian Doyle - Editor
Peter Biziou - Director of Photography
Eric Idle - Composer
Graham Chapman - Screenwriter
Terry Gilliam - Screenwriter
David Howman - Composer
Geoffrey Burgon - Composer
John Goldstone - Producer
Andre Jacquemin - Composer
Terry Jones - Screenwriter
Terry Jones - Director
Technical Info
Original Release Date 1979
Catalog ID 1554
UPC 00715515010320
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 94 minutes
Color Color
Original Language English
Available Audio Tracks English [CC], English
Product Attributes
Actor Jones,Terry
Music Format DVD
Video Format DVD

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