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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 (462 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 (462 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 1559409010
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #173,249 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
167 of 176 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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128 of 135 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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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Monty Python's Life of Brian--Criterion Edition May 14, 2000
Format:DVD
You have to be a genius to be this silly. Monty Python has done a fantastic amount of research into Jewish history and the birth of Christianity to make a total mockery of the hypocrisy found in people who claim to practice these religions. As a deeply spiritual man, I found this film completely unoffensive. This film doesn't poke fun at those who are a part of their religion because of an informed, knowledgeable decision, but rather at those who believe what they believe despite all evidence to the contrary and can't offer any valid explanation for it. Most people have probably been embarassed by people of that sort even in there own religion. Anybody who thinks that Monty Python's sense of humor is stupid isn't smart enough to understand the vast amount of research they must have done to turn verifiable history into such a ridiculous commentary on unchanging human behaviour. From the political issue made out of Stan's irrational desire to be a woman so he could have babys (You haven't got a womb. Where's the fetus going to gestate? You gonna put it in a box?) to the embarrasing meeting where the PFJ finds out that maybe the Romans aren't so bad (Okay, they did provide the roads, the aqueduct, public sanitation, education, the wine, etc.) to Pontius Pilate's speech impedement (Who do you want weleased? And no more Wudolph the Wed-nosed Weindeer.) followed by his best friend's linguistic problems (Thampthon of Thithily the Thaduthee thtrangler wanted for theveral theditious crimeth) to the finale of optomistics on crosses singing "Always look on the bright side of life." If you don't get this epic joke and at least appreciate some of what they deleted to keep the plot tight (DVD--Criterion Edition only) I feel sorry for you. But I'm not your judge. Review this film for yourself.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars One really has towatch this movie several times to catch all the...
Monty Python's Masterpiece !!! One really has to watch this movie several times to catch all the thought provoking jokes and the many serious religious implications it contains. Read more
Published 3 days ago by George Sterpka
5.0 out of 5 stars I Love Life!
Outstanding movie! Very funny and full of allegories that are still true today. A real classic.
Published 6 days ago by ANTHONY M DICENZO
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
GREAT ITEM! BUY BUY FROM AGAIN!
Published 8 days ago by Deborah A. Walsh
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, stupid review
I'm so glad to know the Greek's are going to inherit the earth. They deserve what's left when the rest of us use it up.

That's a joke, by the way. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Christopher D. Estes
5.0 out of 5 stars A dollop of truth
Always look on the bright side of life!
Published 18 days ago by happy hippy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Awsome
Published 19 days ago by Rodney Holliday
5.0 out of 5 stars ... gave it to him for his Birthday and he loved it he thought he...
My Husband had been Talking about this movie for a long time and my Daughter found it on Amazon
He was so surprised when I gave it to him for his Birthday and he loved it he... Read more
Published 20 days ago by Janette Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Monty Python always delivers
An all time classic. I've seen Monty Python's other movies many, MANY times and this one somehow gets overlooked. A classic to be sure.
Published 1 month ago by Chris Pardue
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
If you are one of those who haven't seen this film, lighten up and go for it….
Published 1 month ago by MB
5.0 out of 5 stars SImply the best
Most of my friends site The Holy Grail as their favorite, and certainly I love it too. But for me, Life of Brian is the pinnacle achievement of the fantastic Monty Python troop. Read more
Published 2 months ago by E. Lindahl
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Topic From this Discussion
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
Blu Ray Holy Grail ? Be the first to reply
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