Life of Brian | Chicago Reader

Life of Brian

Rated R 93 minutes 1979

Originally titled Jesus Christ: Lust for Glory, this Monty Python parody of the New Testament (1979) stars Graham Chapman as the title character, a nebbish who's acclaimed by the rabble as a messiah and put to death by the Romans. Some Python fans swear by this, but I've always considered it the group's nadir: with a few exceptions (Michael Palin's lisping Pilate, the cheery musical number during the crucifixion) it's silly but toothless, sidestepping its ostensible target in favor of academic riffs on Pharisaic hairsplitting and pre-Christian cultism. The group came roaring back four years later with the more aggressive and inspired The Meaning of Life. Terry Jones directed.

Film Credits

Director: Terry Jones

Writer: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin

Producer: Tarak Ammar, George Harrison, Denis O'Brien and John Goldstone

Cast: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Ken Colley, Gwen Taylor, Eric Idle, Terence Bayler, Carol Cleveland, Charles McKeown, Sue Jones-Davis, John Young, Bernard McKenna, Andrew MacLachlan, Neil Innes, Spike Milligan and George Harrison

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