Life of Brian

Year: 1979
Production Co: Handmade Films
Director: Terry Jones
Writer: Terry Jones/Graham Chapman/John Cleese/Eric Idle/Michael Palin/Terry Gilliam
Cast: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Eric Idle
I came of age a little too late to notice this film when it came out in the cinema, caused an uproar and cemented Monty Python as the premier British comedy act of the ages.

If you don't know the film, you probably shouldn't be reading this website because you can't possibly be interested in movies. Ask a hundred people what their favourite comedy is, and a good proportion will tell you it's the story of Brian Cohen and his travels and adventures during the time of Christ.

Starting with his mistaking for the real Messiah, the young Jew (Chapman) is born to humble circumstances and mostly stays that way, growing up in an age where savagery and peace tussle for supremacy, the people want a saviour, and the Judean People's Front can't organise a simple kidnapping.

Not just a classic comedy, this must also be near the top of the list of endlessly quotable movies. Phrases like 'he's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy' and 'Biggus Dickus' are now entrenched in popular culture, in some cases even more so than the movie.

Deciding to rise up and fight the political power occupying the Holy Land and wondering what the Romans have ever done for him -besides health, housing, education and the aqueduct - Brian joins a militant activist group determined to usurp their oppressors, hailed a hero after writing 'Romans Go Home' a hundreds time all over one of their temples.

His Jewish mum's not at all happy, either by the crowds of worshippers waiting for his appearance outside the window or the girl he's developed a fancy for, and when Brian meets his final fate, he must learn to look on the bright side of life while the Judean People's Front crack suicide squad enact their heroic bid to save him.

True to the Pythons' method, the troupe played every major role between them, and they made a classic in every sense. One of those movies where you wonder if the cast and crew realised what a slice of indelible culture they were making in the tiny editing and filming decisions that were made every day.

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