A botched card game in London triggers four friends, thugs, weed-growers, hard gangsters, loan sharks and debt collectors to collide with each other in a series of unexpected events, all for the sake of weed, cash and two antique shotguns.
The story of Brian of Nazareth, born on the same day as Jesus of Nazareth, who takes a different path in life that leads to the same conclusion. Brian joins a political resistance movement aiming to get the Romans out of Judea. Brian scores a victory of sorts when he manages to paint political slogans on an entire wall in the city of Jerusalem. The movement is not very effective but somehow Brian becomes a prophet and gathers his own following. His fate is sealed however and he lives a very short life.Written by
Several scenes were filmed involving a group of Jewish zealots led by a psychopath named Otto, whose symbol was a combination of the Nazi swastika and a Star of David. The scenes were cut from the film during post-production, largely because several cast members decided that an analogy of Nazism and extreme Zionism, even if played for laughs, was too incendiary for a movie that was already going to be extremely controversial. In "The Pythons Autobiography by The Pythons," Terry Gilliam, said he thought it should have stayed, saying "Listen, we've alienated the Christians, let's get the Jews now." Idle himself was said to have been uncomfortable with the character. "It's essentially a pretty savage attack on rabid Zionism, suggesting it's rather akin to Nazism, which is a bit strong to take, but certainly a point of view". Michael Palin's personal journal entries from the period when various edits of Brian were being test-screened consistently reference the Pythons' and filmmakers' concerns that the Otto scenes were slowing the story down and thus were top of the list to be chopped from the final cut of the film. However, Oxford Brookes University historian David Nash says the removal of the scene represented "a form of self-censorship" and the Otto sequence "which involved a character representative of extreme forms of Zionism" was cut "in the interests of smoothing the way for the film's distribution in America." See more »
Whilst selling concessions in the arena, Brian offers jaguar and ocelot bits. These are New World animals not to be discovered for 1500 years. See more »
The opening credits are presented as an elaborate Terry Gilliam animated sequence of Roman temples being destroyed. See more »
The film was originally over two hours long, but was edited down after audience previews. Amongst the scenes that were cut were an opening sequence in which the three shepherds attend the birth of Brian, and more scenes featuring King Otto, some of which were restored for the DVD release. See more »
One of my fave films of all time, this film has so many laugh-out-loud jokes and ridiculous thought processes that it would probably be unfair to pick out just a few. Tough - I'm going to: John Cleese as the legionnary Latin teacher rebuking Brian not for daring to use graffiti on the Roman fort but for using the wrong tense, Michael Palin trying to find his place in life as an ex-leper, Terry Jones as Brian's mother trying to protect him from myrrh - let's face it, we've all wondered what myrrh is ! The bit that always makes me laugh without fail is something that isn't always noticed - when Michael Palin is having a go at the guards; "Do you find it risible when I say the name of my friend Biggus Diccus ?" if you look carefully you'll see that Palin is trying really hard not to laugh.
Puerile, silly but also very very clever. This film doesn't criticise religion or Jesus in any way ( what was wrong with the people who tried to ban it ? ) - it's just asking what it could have been like in a society that was expecting the Messiah to show up at any moment, and covering it in a massive coating of comedy.
This film is an absolute classic - 10 out of 10.
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