The Life Of Brian came out a few years after the Holy Grail masterpiece, and to no great surprise, it was not well received by viewers or critics. Many, especially the religiously impaired, could not look past the blistering blasphemy and recognize what a wonderful work of craft this film was. The obvious satire of the life of Jesus was just icing on the cake of an expertly written and delivered, naughty school-boy humor film.
Brian was coincidentally born in the stable right next to the “real” mythological Jesus, a serendipity that would haunt him from the cradle to his ultimate unfortunate crucifixion. Brian is actually half Jew and half Roman and eventually joins up with the People’s Front of Judea (or is it the other way around?…a running gag). They plan to overthrow (or mostly talk about overthrowing) the Romans, led by Pontius Pilate. Hundreds of gags, puns and side-splitting lines later, Brian is mistakenly crucified. In spite of his obvious protests, he’s told basically to just “get over it”, by both the Romans and his own terrorist allies.
As I mentioned earlier, the Twice Born community lost their minds when this movie was released, and in some areas it was outright banned as being too blasphemous. In Britain, the film was given an X rating, if it was shown at all. The Life Of Brian is a scathing satire and indictment of both the Judeo-Christian religions and Hollywood’s bloated epics centered around 1st Century Judea. From the reluctant Messiah to the lisping Pontius Pilate, no one is spared from the non-stop hilarious parody of the Python crew.
There are too many memorable scenes to list them all, but the ‘Biggus Dickus’ sketch has to be the most gut-busting few minutes of hilarity ever put up on the screen. Michael Palin (Pontius Pilate) had a real struggle staying in character as he trolled and taunted his palace guards with his lisping tirade about Biggus Dickus. It was just too funny for words, and must be seen to be totally appreciated.
The Life Of Brian fully exploits the incompetence of the Romans and the willful misunderstanding of the Jewish people. The Jews are desperate for a Messiah, and Brian’s pleas of mistaken identity fall on deaf ears. Not even a deus ex machina can save the desperate and exasperated Brian as he makes his way to his inevitable date with a cross at Calvary.
This great comedy masterpiece is available for streaming at Netflix. If you have never seen this film and want to see the Judeo-Christian religions relentlessly mocked, this is your film.
10.0+/10.0 With the Goatesians rating of Let’s look on the Bright Side of Death
Memorable Quotes, Quips and One-Liners:
- ” He’s not the Messiah. He’s a very naughty boy! Now, piss off!” -Brian’s Mother
- “Crucifixion? Good. Out of the door, line on the left, one cross each. ” -Nisus Wettus
- “I will not have my fwiends widiculed by the common soldiewy. – – Anybody else feel like a little… giggle… when I mention my fwiend… Biggus… [another guard chuckles] ….DICKUS!” -Pontius Pilate
- “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!” -Brian
- “He has a wife, you know. Do you know what she’s called? She’s called… Incontinentia. Incontinentia Buttocks” -Pontius Pilate
- “Enjoy it, it’s your last chance anyhow, So always look on the bright side of death…” -Mr. Cheeky
- “Who cured you?” -Brian
- “Jesus did, sir. I was hopping along, minding my own business, all of a sudden, up he comes, cures me! One minute I’m a leper with a trade, next minute my livelihood’s gone. Not so much as a by-your-leave! “You’re cured, mate.” Bloody do-gooder. -Ex-Leper
- “Stwike him, Centuwion. Stwike him vewy wuffly!” -Pontius Pilate