This is a scathing and hilarious attack on religious dogma done by some of the most accomplished satirists of the 20th century. Unfortunately, it’s doubtful a film seething with such merciless parody heaped on religion and its followers could be made or financed today.
Monty Python’s Life Of Brian was originally financed by EMI, but they withdrew after reading the script. Late Beatles member George Harrison stepped in and personally financed the film (about US$4 million); see if you can spot his cameo appearance.
The cast all seemed to agree they hit their creative and writing peaks for this project.
The story is about the travails of Brian, who is mistaken for a prophet and even the Messiah for awhile. However, it’s not a comedy about Jesus as it is a satire about messiah cults and blind religious following that distorts ideas.
During the opening scene, faraway listeners misinterpret Christ’s Sermon on the Mount to mean, "Blessed are the cheese makers. " The film represents the Monty Python group’s most complete and accomplished ensemble writing and acting, showcasing their best skills in skits, pathos, plot development and one liners.
Each member turns in memorable performances ("Biggus Diccus",’Haggling" and "Stoning" skits are hilarious even after repeated viewings). Ironically, Life of Brian was theatrically released in Italy in the 1990s without any statement that it was made in 1979. It became a local hit.