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Life of Brian

As hilarious and relevant today as it was nearly 40 years ago, Life of Brian is a farcical parade of caricatures, wordplay and sight gags about all the ways humanity finds to corrupt (and be corrupted by) the power of religion.

A brief case of mistaken identity at birth (involving a manger, three wise men, and a guiding star) foreshadows Brian’s life to be: the ordinary mistaken for the divine – and he’s paying for the mistakes. Played to humble, hapless perfection by Graham Chapman, Brian falls in with the inept People’s Front of Judea (not to be mistaken for the Judean People’s Front), finds himself committing absurdist acts of terrorism, has an hysterical audience with the lisping Pilate, struggles not to be taken so literally when he is again assumed to be the Messiah, and is ultimately serenaded by a chorus of the crucified in the all-time great musical number, “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.” The Pythons are at the peak of their game here, with Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, and Terry Gilliam taking on numerous roles in scene after scene, slaying pretension and assumption and ignorance, scoring huge laughs all the while. More than just a silly series of slapstick sketches, Life of Brian is the most sophisticated of the Monty Python works and maybe the funniest.

DIRECTOR: Terry Jones
CAST: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Jones, Eric Idle, Michael Palin
LANGUAGE: English, Latin
YEAR: 1979
LENGTH: 94 min
Thursday, October 29

7:30pm EDT