Complete A-Z list

Monty Python's Life of Brian (reissue)


Stars: Michel Palin, John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Terry Jones, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Carol Cleveland, Spike Milligan, George Harrison

Director: Terry Jones

Bound to offend some and tickle the ribs of others, the Python gang's riotously irreverent take on the New Testament begins with the Three Wise Men visiting the stable next door to Jesus by mistake, with the result that the hapless baby Brian spends the rest of his blighted life being mistaken for the Messiah.

Everyone will have their favourite gag or moment, but the final Crucifixion song Always Look on the Bright Side of Life is hysterical and cringeworthy at the same time. It's tough to know what a new generation will make of a venture that understandably provoked a furious reaction from religious organisations in its time.

Director Terry Jones and his merrie band of iconoclasts, all of whom play several different roles in the movie, professed themselves baffled at the protests and demonstrations. 'We didn't have any quarrel with Christ himself,' he said at the time. 'My feelings towards Christ is that he was a bloody good bloke, even though he wasn't as funny as Margaret Thatcher'.

David Quinlan

UK 1979. UK Distributor: Trafalgar Releasing (originally CIC). Eastman Colour.
93 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 14 Apr 2019