This Easter, the hilarious, controversial and timeless comedy classic MONTY PYTHON’S LIFE OF BRIAN is showing in over 100 UK cinemas from 7th April. A smash hit on its original release in 1979, the film is about an ordinary man (played by Graham Chapman) who is mistaken for the Messiah in Judea in 33 CE. Life of Brian went on to be named No.1 in Channel 4’s 50 Greatest Comedy Films poll. Plus, it is one of the Top 250 movies on IMDb and has a staggering 96 per cent on the Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer.
Controversy erupted when the film was released – accused of being blasphemous by religious groups, 39 local authorities in the United Kingdom (including Harrogate, Dudley and Swansea) banned it or slapped an X-rating on the film. Meanwhile, in certain parts of Germany, it is still illegal to screen the film on Good Friday – alongside nearly 800 other movies!
But controversy equals column inches, and the film garnered a massive amount of publicity and proved to be a huge hit in the UK, ending up the 4th biggest-grossing film of the year in 79. It then went on to become a home video favourite, with the song, Always Look On The Bright Side of Life, becoming an instant classic.
Neil Baker, Executive Editor at Cinerama Film, said, “Monty Python’s – Life of Brian remains one of the most audacious, surreal and damn-right brilliant movies ever made. Life of Brian was debated on TV due to its blasphemy, banned for insolence and lambasted by the wannabe censor of British media, Mary Whitehouse. But all this furore only enhanced the movie’s appeal, especially among young cinema-goers, and it became more than just a movie; it became a landmark in British comedy. However, one has to ask whether Life of Brian would be made today. The answer is probably no, causing me to question how much we have really progressed. But that debate is for another day, so sit back and enjoy one of the most extraordinary cinematic achievements in irreverent British comedy“.
Still, as irreverent, outrageous, timely and laugh-out-loud funny as when it was first released, Monty Python’s Life of Brian is a must-see on the big screen. So if you like bad taste, they-couldn’t-make-it-today, close-to-the-bone rib-ticklers of the highest order, make sure to catch it in cinemas this Easter (including Harrogate!) before it is cancelled by the Judean Popular People’s Front.