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Monty Python's Life of Brian (The Criterion Collection) (1979)

Graham Chapman , John Cleese , Terry Jones  |  R |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (453 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Michael Palin
  • Directors: Terry Jones
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, NTSC, Special Edition, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: November 16, 1999
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (453 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 1559409010
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #148,379 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Monty Python's Life of Brian (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Five Rarely Seen Deleted Scenes With Commentary by the Pythons
  • Four original Radio British Ads
  • Documentary The Pythons, Shot on Location During the Making 0f Life of Brian

Editorial Reviews

After slaying the Arthurian legend in their now classic Holy Grail, the Pythons set their sights on the Greatest Story Ever Told. Blind faith, virgin birth, crucifixion-nothing is sacred in this epic send-up of ancient times, which draws on the cornball biblical blockbusters of the 1950s to lampoon celebrity culture in any era. Criterion has gathered the guilty parties-including John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin-for two commentary tracks as provocative and hilarious as the film itself. Available for the first time in a 16:9 enhanced transfer, Monty Python's Life of Brian can finally be viewed in all its - ahem - glory.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
165 of 173 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Double-dip is warranted January 30, 2008
Format:DVD
I suspect most fans of this film and Monty Python in general already own a copy on DVD. The bonus features in this new double-disc edition definitely make it worth the repeat buy. Most of the features from the Criterion edition (two commentary tracks, five deleted scenes, radio ads) are here. (The nice 1979 BBC documentary "The Pythons" is the only feature from the Criterion version missing from this new set.)

The new hour-long documentary included with this edition is worth the purchase alone. All five surviving Pythons are interviewed and offer a lot of insight into the film, from its conception, to the controversy surrounding its opening (in the US and in the UK), to its lasting standing as the Pythons' greatest work. (Yes, I know, many fans like "Grail" even more.) I'm always pleased to see up-to-date interviews with the team, now all in their sixties.

The other significant feature is an audio reading of the original script, recorded with all six members several months before filming began. This is much more enjoyable and watchable than you might expect, illustrated onscreen with storyboard drawings and script pages. The reading is 20 minutes longer than the film, and you hear some bits that never made it past this stage.

And the film itself, of course, is a treasure. A hysterically funny, yet thought-provoking satire whose target is group-think in general, and not merely religion or superstition.
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125 of 131 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blessed are the Cheesemakers!!!! January 31, 2008
Format:Blu-ray
This is the 4th iteration of this movie that I have owned. My first was on VHS, then came the Criterion LaserDisc, which was followed by the Criterion DVD edition. I really wasn't expecting much of an improvement over the Criterion DVD since this is an older movie. Regardless of what version you own, if you are a Python fan, you are in for a HUGE surprise with this latest edition on Blu-ray. The picture is near perfection with only a couple of scenes where I noticed the tiniest bit of film grain. Perhaps the biggest surprise for me was the remastered sound elements. After trying the different sound choices, I found the PCM soundtrack to be the best. I really wasn't expecting the sound to be that great for this movie, but BOY was I surprised. Sony has truly outdone themselves with this latest high def remastering of Life of Brian. This is the absolute best I have ever seen or heard of this zany film. There are details in the picture that I have NEVER seend before, and I have seen this movie MANY MANY times. If I had to complain about anything, it would be that the special features were not in HD, but that is not that big a deal since everything else about this title is just spot on.

There are many who would say this movie is a sacrilege. As a Christian, I would disagree with such a statement. I have heard some say that this movie is making light of Jesus' ministry, and especially his crucifixion. They are missing the whole point. I think this movie illustrates how some people will blindly follow religious leaders, or will just go with the crowd without really questioning what they're doing, or why they're doing it. The scene where Brian is mistaken for Jesus and chased by the crowd is a good example.
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64 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get the Criterion edition of this marvellous comedy! April 11, 2000
Format:DVD
To put it simple, this is one of THE funniest comedies ever made, and following the old Python tradition, it makes fun of everyone and anything. Also, if you didn't know it, this is the Python movie that also contains Eric Idle's now classic song, "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life".
I recommend you get the Criterion collection if you're going to purchase this DVD. I got it today, and it has tons of extra features, plus it is a high-quality-transfer widescreen (I don't think the standard DVD is widescreen, but I won't bet money on it).
I haven't had time to hear the TWO, yes two, additional sets of audio tracks, with commentary from all of the five Pythons (sadly excluding Graham Chapman, for obvious reasons), but I can only imagine that they alone are worth the extra bucks you spend on getting the Criterion edition.
Go get yourself this DVD right away -- you won't regret it!
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56 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blessed are the Cheesemakers September 30, 2000
Format:DVD
...and blessed are the Pythons, the crackerjack British comedy troupe creating one of the most funniest movies I have seen in a long time.
The Life of Brian has long been one of my most favorite comedies, and no matter how many times I watch it, I cannot help but break out into raucous laughter at the insanity of this film. Truly blasphemous, truly hilarous, John Cleese and his troupe of merry men leave no stone unturned poking fun at anything and everything religious. From brainless mobs finding shoes as signs from God, to a lisping Roman emperor, to the classic cruxifiction song, this movie is not for the religious light-hearted.
Even better, this Criterion Collection version has so many extras, the true fan will be preoccupied for many hours enjoying it all. Especially wonderful were the deleted scenes and the running commentary by members of the troupe. Also, I appreciated the subtitles. For once I was able to get more of the jokes due to the British accents hard to understand with this untrained ear. If all DVD's were this rich, I'd be a happy camper. You are getting your money's worth for the price!
Rent or buy "Life of Brian - Criterion Collection" immediately!!
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Why is this rated X?
There is a full frontal nude male for less than a second and a nude girl (fleetingly). Also several curse words are said. I suspect some overzealous person at a local theatre decided to kill any potential customers by labelling it with an X. It was 1979.
Feb 15, 2009 by Mike Dupske |  See all 7 posts
Any word on if this has been remastered?
I just found this on a Brit DVD site. Looks like it's worth buying, although it is also included in the new Monty Python Monster Box set:

Disc 1: Main Feature
Immaculately Remastered Picture and Sound
1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
English and Italian DD5.1 Surround
Subtitles: English HOH, Arabic,... Read More
Nov 2, 2007 by J. Glahn |  See all 3 posts
I don't get it..
I think they mean Region A (North America and Japan), which still will not play on an European PS3 because that is Region B or C. Sony, Philips and the rest of the BDA want to continue Region Coding on the next generation format. Why...I don't know. Hopefully, we will begin to see Multi-region... Read More
Jan 21, 2008 by E. D. Stebbins |  See all 4 posts
Life of Brian DVD
I do not think so but i am not sure.
Nov 6, 2006 by K. W. O'donoghue |  See all 2 posts
Benny Hill considered funnier than Monty Python by two TV stations Be the first to reply
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