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Monty Python's Life of Brian [DVD] [1979]

372 customer reviews

Price: £3.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Monty Python's Life of Brian [DVD] [1979] + Monty Python And The Holy Grail [DVD] [1975] + Monty Python's: The Meaning of Life [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle
  • Directors: Terry Jones
  • Writers: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle
  • Producers: Denis O'Brien
  • Format: Subtitled, PAL, Anamorphic, Widescreen, Mono
  • Language: English, Hungarian, German
  • Subtitles: Arabic, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish
  • Dubbed: German
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 14 April 2003
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (372 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008RWS7
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 795 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Monty Python delivers the group's sharpest and smartest satire of both religion and Hollywood's epic films. Set in 33 A.D. Judea where the exasperated Romans try to impose order, it is a time of chaos and change with no shortage of messiahs and followers willing to believe them. At it's center is Brian Cohen, born in Bethlehem in a stable next door, who, by a series of absurd circumstances is caught up in the new religion and reluctantly mistake for the promised messiah, providing ample opportunity for the entire ensemble (Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin) to shine in multiple roles as they question everyone and everything from ex-lepers, Pontius Pilate and haggling to revolutionaries, crazy prophets, religious fanaticism, Roman centurions and crucifixion, forever changing our biblical view.

From Amazon.co.uk

There is not a single joke, sight-gag or one-liner in Monty Python's Life of Brian that will not forever burn itself into the viewer's memory as being just as funny as it is possible to be, but--extraordinarily--almost every indestructibly hilarious scene also serves a dual purpose, making this one of the most consistently sustained film satires ever made. Like all great satire, the Pythons not only attack and vilify their targets (the bigotry and hypocrisy of organised religion and politics) supremely well, they also propose an alternative: be an individual, think for yourself, don't be led by others. "You've all got to work it out for yourselves", cries Brian in a key moment. "Yes, we've all got to work it our for ourselves", the crowd reply en masse. Two thousand years later, in a world still blighted by religious zealots, Brian's is still a lone voice crying in the wilderness. Aside from being a neat spoof on the Hollywood epic, it's also almost incidentally one of the most realistic on-screen depictions of the ancient world--instead of treating their characters as posturing historical stereotypes, the Pythons realised what no sword 'n' sandal epic ever has: that people are all the same, no matter what period of history they live in. People always have and always will bicker, lie, cheat, swear, conceal cowardice with bravado (like Reg, leader of the People's Front of Judea), abuse power (like Pontius Pilate), blindly follow the latest fads and giggle at silly things ("Biggus Dickus"). In the end, Life of Brian teaches us that the only way for a despairing individual to cope in a world of idiocy and hypocrisy is to always look on the bright side of life.

On the DVD: Life of Brian returns to Region 2 DVD in a decent widescreen anamorphic print with Dolby 5.1 sound--neither are exactly revelatory, but at least it's an improvement on the previous release, which was, shockingly, pan & scan. The 50-minute BBC documentary, "The Pythons", was filmed mainly on location in 1979 and isn't especially remarkable or insightful (a new retrospective would have been appreciated). There are trailers for this movie, as well as Holy Grail plus three other non-Python movies. There's no commentary track, sadly. --Mark Walker

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Touring Mars VINE VOICE on 1 April 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
John Cleese once said that this film is what he'd most like to be remembered for, which coming from a man who wrote some of the best Python sketches and Fawlty Towers, should tell you something about how good this film is.
Hugely controversial at the time, the subject matter of 'The Life of Brian' was considered strictly taboo in 1979, and even today it can still rattle a few cages, but ultimately the Python team all shared the same conviction that they were not poking fun at religion (or Jesus) per se, but at the people who blindly follow and misunderstand. In this way, 'The Life Of Brian' became not just a comedy classic, but a ground-breaking movie that pushed the barriers of what was previously considered 'off-limits'.
Graham Chapman revels in the lead role of 'Brian of Nazareth', and the rest of the team play multiple rolls, in a very Goon Show-esque type way, with the story always revolving around Brian. The turning point comes when, in an attempt to evade the notice of the Romans, Brian pretends to be a street preacher and gathers the attention of a small crowd. Once the Romans pass by, however, he stops preaching and tries to walk away, only to find that the small crowd want to hear the rest of what he was saying. As more and more people come along to find out what is happening, his followers multiply until they are convinced that he must be some sort of messiah. They follow Brian home only to be told by his mother that "There's a mess alright, but no messiah.." (I'm paraphrasing, by the way!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Mr. A. Larkin on 3 Jan. 2004
Format: DVD
I'm a Christian, and had heard the claims from people about this film. Blasphemous, evil etc. Clearly though, to say it is blaphomous is wrong though. I mean, Jesus is in the film twice. The Pythons are also admitted fans of Jesus' teachings in the Bible, and so deliberately made sure they weren't taking the mick out of him.
The film is hilarious, with some of the most classic comedy moments ever. It attacks religion a bit, but many of the criticsms the film makes are real ones. Also, I think it's important to have a joke at your own expense.
For a Christian, I suggest watch this film, enjoy it, then think about the things said about religion. Once you question and think about it, answers will come. Christianity is a great religion and I think is true, but some of the things the Church has done in the name of Christianity has been wrong - and the Pythons are more than capable of pointing it out.
Superb film!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Reid TOP 500 REVIEWER on 5 Jan. 2013
Format: DVD
Some people think this is not just one of but the funniest film ever made. If it isn't, it is certainly the funniest satire ever made. It is certainly up there with the very best and I thoroughly recommend it.

When it first came out, I remember a very po-faced commentator attempting to rip it to shreds, not realising that he was actually making a fool of himself and not the film. The Pythons with him said virtually nothing and just let him dig a hole for himself. But it was controversial and, I suppose, still is.

But a satire it is ... Life of Brian quickly established a brilliant reputation for itself and, to my mind, is undoubtedly the best thing the Monty Python team ever produced. The scenes where Brian is thought to be the new Messiah, where people follow him, where the new religion schisms into 'followers of the sandal' and 'followers of the gourd': these are pure genius. And the slapstick scenes featuring Romans with speech impediments (impedimentia?) are side-splittingly funny.

The Latin lesson ... that really brings back memories! Like much good humour, it is an exaggeration of the truth that many of us experienced. The final song 'Always look on the bright side', has become so well known that it is regularly sung at public events. And the question 'What did the Romans ever do for us ...?' has passed into common parlance, often modified, frequently used.

This film has burned itself into modern-day consciousness. If you haven't seen it, you are in for a treat. If you have, then enjoy repeated viewings. A must-have: five stars.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By jackiew on 3 Dec. 2001
Format: DVD
wow,in this age of political correctness it's a breath of fresh air to see something that is enjoyable and very funny-and life of brian is just that.On the other hand if you are easily offended then please ignore this outrageous comedy and watch DUMBO instead.This movie is a reminder to how good british comedies used to be.Just a shame the dvd is empty on the extras front.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By bernie VINE VOICE on 24 Nov. 2003
Format: DVD
There are certain movies that stand out on the holidays. This is not one of them. It probably should be. You will find that many of the Python crew plays many different characters in the movie.
Now the truth can be told. It all starts with three wise men delivering gifts to young Brian. Oops they correct their mistake. Later, Judea, 33 A.D., on a Saturday afternoon, once again Brian (Graham Chapman) is a tad far down the mount when they hear what sounds as “blessed are the cheese makers” (it’s not meant to be taken literally that could mean any manufacturer). That is where Brian first sees Judith (Sue Jones.) Later he shall be involved in the People's Front of Judea. Later still he will be mistaken for the messiah (it is a logical mistake). Two factions fight over who owns the messiah (the Shoe Followers and Gourd Followers.)
You will recognize many of your favorite vices and verses. One of the highlights of the story is the speech given by Pilate and Biggus Dickus.
As with most complex movies you will find the one you are looking for Python comedy, fanatic parody, or if you wish a deeper meaning.
If you enjoyed this movie the next on your list should be “Wholly Moses” (1983) with Dudley Moore and Laraine Newman.
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