Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979, UK)

In Terry Gilliam's controversial religious satire about a young Jewish boy named Brian mistaken for Jesus (the Messiah):

  • the opening animated title sequence featuring a James Bond-like musical number and the "I love sheep!" scene with three Shepherds
  • the scene in which Three unwise Kings, astrologers from the East, erroneously visited infant Brian Cohen's (Graham Chapman) stable manger thinking he was the future King of the Jews - bringing gifts to an ungrateful Virgin Mandy (Terry Jones): ("Well, what are you doing creeping around a cow shed at two o'clock in the morning? That doesn't sound very wise to me....Is this some kind of joke?...Homage? You're all drunk. It's disgusting. Out! The lot, out!...Go and praise someone else's brat! Go on!"), and Mandy's change of heart when they mentioned their gifts; the discussion about what myrrh was: ("It is a valuable balm" - misunderstood as a 'bomb'), and after realizing their mistake, the three decided to grab back their presents of gold, frankincense, and myrrh
  • the famous scene in which listeners were too far away to hear the real Jesus clearly when he delivered his Sermon on the Mount, and thought they heard the words: ("Blessed are the cheesemakers" and "Blessed are the Greek...apparently he's going to inherit the Earth")
  • the hysterical "stoning" skit in which a group of women (disguised as men) anxiously awaited permission from an annoyed, weary Jewish Official (John Cleese) to stone a prisoner named Matthias: (Official: "You have been found guilty by the elders of the town of uttering the name of our Lord, and so, as a blasphemer, you are to be stoned to death"); they ended up stoning the official himself when he accidentally said Jehovah: ("I'm warning you. If you say Jehovah once more...!"), even though he cautioned everyone: ("Now, look! No one is to stone anyone until I blow this whistle! Do you understand?! Even, and I want to make this absolutely clear, even if they do say 'Jehovah'") - he ended up being crushed by a massive boulder
The Stoning Scene (Literally) of a Jewish Official
  • the "PFJ" scene: ("Are you the Judean People's Front?!...We're the People's Front of Judea!")
  • the conjugation scene, when a Centurion (John Cleese) caught Brian painting "Romanes Eunt Domus" [Romans Go Home] on a wall - and Brian received a lesson in proper Latin grammar for the graffiti, and by sunrise, had written out the corrected phrase 100 times on the palace wall: "Romani Ite Domum" (known as "The Graffiti Scene")
  • the "What Have the Romans Done For Us?" scene, when disgruntled Reg (Cleese) asked his commando followers: ("And what have they ever given us in return?") - and received numerous suggestions: the aqueduct, sanitation, the roads, irrigation, medicine, education, wine, public baths, public order, the fresh water system, public health - and peace!
  • the "Biggus Dickus" scene, when lisping, effeminate Pontius Pilate (Michael Palin) was upset when he mentioned his friend Biggus Dickus (Chapman) and his guards began to snigger: ("I have a vewy good fwiend in Wome named 'Biggus Dickus'" and his taunt: "Anybody else feel like a little giggle when I mention my friend 'Biggus Dickus'? And what about you? Do you find it risible when I say the name 'Biggus Dickus'? He has a wife, you know. You know what she's called? She's called 'Incontinentia'. 'Incontinentia Buttocks'!"); then, he ordered: ("Shut up! What is all this? I've had enough of this wowdy webel sniggewing behavior. Silence! Call yourselves Pwaetowian guards? You're not -- Seize him! Seize him! Blow your noses and seize him!")
  • the scenes in which Brian was mistaken for a prophet, and the subsequent, insanely devoted worship of Brian as the Messiah by followers (one group worshipped a gourd he used, while another a sandal he lost while being chased) as Brian made futile attempts to get rid of his followers
  • Brian fled from a crowd of crazed Messiah followers and jumped in a pit with Simon the Holy Man (Terry Jones), the hermit accidentally broke his vow of silence for 18 years when Brian landed on his foot; Brian repeatedly denied his Messiah-hood: ("Now, f--k off!"), when one of the men shouted back: ("How shall we f--k off, oh Lord?")
  • the two full-frontal nudity scenes: Brian's nude appearance when he opened his window after a night of love-making with feisty lover Judith Iscariot (Sue Jones-Davies) - and was rudely greeted by thousands of followers demanding to follow him; and Judith's vow to Brian's mother about how she would follow Brian - the Messiah, as Brian cowered behind her: ("Your son is a born leader. Those people out there are following him because they believe in him, Mrs. Cohen. They believe he can give them hope - hope of a new life, a new world, a better future!"); Brian's mother later warned: "Leave that Welsh tart alone!"
Brian with Welsh Tart Judith Iscariot
  • Brian's mother Mandy made assertions and protestations against the crowds: "He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy!" - and "There's no Messiah in here. There's a mess all right, but no Messiah"
  • in the final crucifixion scene, a despondent Brian was crucified next to others, and was encouraged by fellow sufferer Mr. Frisbee (Eric Idle) to be cheerful: ("Cheer up, Brian. You know what they say. Some things in life are bad. They can really make you mad. Other things just make you swear and curse. When you're chewing on life's gristle, don't grumble, give a whistle. And this'll help things turn out for the best. And..")
  • and then, Mr. Frisbee sang the upbeat song: "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life": ("Always look on the bright side of life. (whistling) Always look on the light side of life. (whistling) If life seems jolly rotten, There's something you've forgotten, And that's to laugh and smile and dance and sing. When you're feeling in the dumps, Don't be silly chumps. Just purse your lips and whistle. That's the thing. And, always look on the bright side of life")

Three Unwise Kings at The Wrong Stable Manger

The Sermon on the Mount: "Blessed are the Cheesemakers"

[Romans Go Home]

Lesson on Proper Latin Grammar

The "Biggus Dickus" Scene

Brian with Simon the Holy Man

Brian's Mother Mandy: "He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy!"

Ending: Crucifixion Scene ("Always Look on the Bright Side of Life")


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