Monty Python’s Life of Brian (1979)

10 Overall Score
Story: 10/10
Acting: 10/10
Visuals: 10/10

Favorite Monty Python film

Religious themes might not sit with everyone

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Monty Python’s Life of Brian

Studio:  HandMade Films

Genre(s):  Comedy

Release Date(s):  August 17, 1979 (US)/November 8, 1979 (UK)

MPAA Rating:  R


When you’re born down the street from Jesus, you have a lot to live up to…

Brian Cohen (Grahm Chapman) was born behind eight-ball.  He was born just down from Jesus and always seemed to live in his shadow.  When he sees Judith (Sue Jones-Davies) working with the People’s Front of Judea, Brian decides he’ll join the movement despite being part Roman.  Brian begins an odyssey that finds him a spiritual leader…and a potential sacrifice.

Directed by Terry Jones, Monty Python’s Life of Brian is Monty Python’s follow-up to Monty Python and the Holy Grail from 1975.  The  movie’s religious subject matter led to bans, protests, and controversy.  The film has gained a cult following over the years and is frequently considered one of the best comedies of all time.  The movie was released by Criterion (Criterion #61) but is since out of print.


May the Force be with you!

Despite it totally being what I should like, Monty Python is rather hit or miss for me.  Life of Brian is a complete hit.  The film is smart, the subject it witty, and the acting and delivery is great.  Monty Python’s Life of Brian is perfect.

Monty Python was allegedly quite proud of the fact that they really researched stuff for this movie.  It does show in the writing.  The movie has the general word play of Monty Python but also possesses a deeper level of writing with real ideas about the Bible and political movements…it is this second layer that makes this movie stand out more to me than some of their other films.


Always look at the bright side of life!

The cast also nails it.  Almost all the cast members play multiple roles, but you wouldn’t really know it because they commit to each role completely.  Graham Chapman is great as the troubled Brian who finds greatness thrust upon him (despite his attempts to get rid of it).  He has the challenge of what is generally a straight role while everyone around him is in a comedy.

The movie also looks bigger than many of Monty Python’s other ventures.  It also uses sight gags for laughs like the attempts to capitalize on the popularity of movies like Star Wars by having Brian suddenly becoming involved in an epic space adventure…even if it is only for a few minutes.

Monty Python’s Life of Brian is highly recommended.  The movie could anger those with a deep religious background, but it is more of a parody of the organization of religion rather than the beliefs themselves.  Brian might become a martyr but as he’s told always looks on the bright side of life and viewers should allow themselves to enjoy a good laugh.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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