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

Graham Chapman , John Cleese , Terry Jones    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (224 customer reviews)
Price: 4.10 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Monty Python's Life Of Brian [DVD] [1979] + Monty Python and the Holy Grail -- Two-disc set [DVD] + 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
  • Language: Hungarian, English, German
  • Subtitles: Arabic, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Swedish, Turkish
  • 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: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (224 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008RWS7
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 457 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



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

Product Description

Director Nick Love knows how to pick up a poisoned chalice. In choosing to tackle a modern day take on Alan Clarkes 1989 The Firm, he risks the wrath of upsetting those who regard the original so highly, while also being accused of jumping aboard the remake bandwagon. As it turns out, though, he gets away with it all. Loves version of The Firm wisely uses the early film as inspiration rather than a firm template. Thus, while the setting remains underground football violence, Love switches the attention to a different character, the youngster breaking into the crowd. This allows the narrative to focus on his becoming accepted by the group, and then his struggle to break free, which settles into a solid three-act story. Its very much aimed at an adult audience, but that doesnt mean that The Firm is a cheap piece of cinema. Far from it, as it happens. Loves film mixed in sharp violence with sparks of humour, and does so to very good effect. In the process, it sidesteps comparisons to the original by simply going off in a different direction, and works well because of it. Its a little more tempered than some of Nick Loves earlier work too, but perhaps as a consequence, its also his best film to date.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
62 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What have the Romans ever done for us? 1 April 2003
By Touring Mars VINE VOICE
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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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funniest Film Ever! 3 Jan 2004
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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100 of 111 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Always read the small print 9 July 2004
By John Wyant VINE VOICE
I have steadfastly resisted buying previous versions of this DVD, as the 'extras' are virtually non-existent. Where is the spoof travelogue that accompanied the cinema release (with John Cleese getting increasingly frustrated with the number of scenes including gondolas)? Where is the short Christmas card animation, without which the appearance of the cut-out stagecoach in the film itself makes no sense? Both of them together can't take up more than 15 minutes, so space can't be the issue.
But at last - 'a special edition' - surely this will have everything that was missing from the previous releases? And the package IS very nice - script book, postcards, film cell, sturdy box to house them in. But what's the point of good packaging if the DVD is the same? As far as I can make out, there is no difference at all, and for the first time I actually regret buying a DVD - I really should have read the small print.
The film itself, of course, is an absolute classic that everyone should see. Not only is it extremely funny, it has a serious sub-text about not just believing what you're told - with religious fundamentalism on the rise, it feels more relevant today than it did when it was first released. So just buy the cheapest version you can find - you'll enjoy it more without the nasty taste in your mouth.
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89 of 100 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic film. Shame about the DVD 27 Aug 2004
There are arguably only two even slightly good movies featuring Jesus as a character; one is Pasolini's gritty and soulful "The Gospel According to Matthew", the only film to have been given awards by both the Vatican and the Italian Communist Party, and the other is "Monty Python's Life of Brian". Jesus turns up early on, played by the superb British character actor Kenneth Colley, giving a Sermon on the Mount with unparalleled sincerity - he gradually recedes from view (and gets fainter and fainter) until we are scuffling around the edge of the crowd with the eponymous Brian and his ratbag mother, who shouts "Speak up!" at the unheeding Christ. The whole film takes place here - on the edge of potentially great events, as its hero gets loaded by everyone around him with more and more burdens of significance and responsibility, just because that's the way it goes in Judea in AD 33.

It's maybe the best Python movie because it handles such dynamite material so brilliantly. So many priceless moments that can make you laugh out loud even when you're in a room on your own - like the intricate committee structure of the People's Front of Judea, or Pilate not being able to pronounce his "r"'s ("No, no. Spiwit! Bwavado! A touch of...dewwing-do!"), or the saintly passer-by who offers to shoulder the burden of a crucifixee, and finds himself being hung on the cross for his good heart. Brian's life mirrors that of Jesus not because he has ambitions in that direction, but because everyone around him (except his mother - "He's not the Messiah! He's a very naughty boy!") wants it to. This gives the film a truly satisfying narrative that none of the other Python movies managed to achieve. (While I love the "Holy Grail", I always get disappointed that it just stops, with no real ending.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars You All know this film
Everyone knows this film so there is not much that I can say that has already not been said, it is a very very funny film.
Published 1 day ago by ian
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatest British comedy ever
I had a video copy of this film, but I felt it was time to upgrade to the DVD. I have always loved this film, and the special features are great. Read more
Published 5 days ago by rachgal
2.0 out of 5 stars meh
i have watched this life of Brian and i believe it is meant to be funny but i have found it a completely stupid movie to watch however it is good sound picture and quality
Published 15 days ago by Jason
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious after all this time
Bought this to watch with my daughter - used to know it off by heart as It was my most watched film in the 80s - still made me belly laugh and my daughter laughed a lot and not... Read more
Published 1 month ago by PXRFenton
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film
Still makes me laugh after many years. You definitely do have to 'get' this type of humour though. Excellent and recommended for any DVD collection.
Published 1 month ago by stephen bradley
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece
One of the best movies I have ever watched. Fun fun fun! Genious at work! I really recommend it to you all.
Published 2 months ago by Faffy1980
4.0 out of 5 stars Monty Python's Life of Brian.
Monty Python's Life of Brian is very funny, there are part's that fall flat, but overall it's a very funny movie.
Published 2 months ago by Leigh RybakRajewski
5.0 out of 5 stars life of brian
came sealed in wrapper it was brand new and I consider it the funniest film in the world great Christmas present
Published 2 months ago by vimesy
4.0 out of 5 stars Life of Brian
Bought it as I love the film but not really worth the money and would of been better buying the DVD as the picture quality would of been the same due to the age of the film
Published 2 months ago by Graeme Mullen
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Python.
This is definitely the best Python film. Even though I've seen it countless times it never fails to make me laugh with it's ludicrous humour. "Crucifixion? Read more
Published 3 months ago by Posy Demon
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