The second film to come out of our 101 movies poster, was the Monty Python film, Life Of Brian.
Seriously controversial on its release, the film deals with Brian, a regular guy in Judah around the time of Jesus. Due to a serious of misunderstandings, Brian is mistaken for the Messiah. Quickly gaining a massive following wanting to hear his teachings.
Unfortunately after being arrested, he is sentenced to crucifixion. The film ends with him on the cross, and one of his fellow sufferers singing “Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life”! Famously the sailors on HMS Sheffield sang this during the Falklands War whilst awaiting rescue.
The film has the usual farcical Python jokes, such as a crack suicide squad turning up as Brian is suffering on the cross. Just as Brian thinks they have come to rescue him, they all commit suicide.
The film on its release was quickly banned in various places. This included Norway (leading to the sales pitch in Sweden of come and see the film Norway banned). Additionally some councils banned it being shown in the cinema, even though they didn’t have a cinema! I remember the BBC’s Friday Night, Saturday Morning debate. John Cleese and Michael Palin appeared to debate the film with the Bishop Of Southwark. What stood out was the farcical argument put up by the Church side. Especially seeing as they hadn’t even seen the entire film.
Truth be told, this isn’t going to go down as one of our most popular movies. I don’t think the younger generation get the humour of Pythons satire, in fact I think many struggle with the subtlety of satire. To be honest, the older generation find it a bit tired too. It does however have 2 of my favourite comedy lines. Brian’s mother exclaiming to the assembled multitude, that “Brian is not the Messiah, he’s just a very naughty boy”. The other when Brian is on the cross, and Pontius Pilot has agreed to pardon someone called Brian. When the centurions turn up and ask who is Brian, everyone starts shouting I am Brian. This includes one well spoken man who shouts “I am Brian and so is my wife!”
Anyway the next panel has been rubbed off, and the next movie night will see us watching Everest. The true story of 2 groups of climbers caught in a massive storm whilst ascending Everest.