Director: Terry Jones
Stars: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Michael Palin
Plot: The story of Brian of Nazareth, born on the same day as Jesus of Nazareth, who takes a different path in life that leads to the same conclusion. Brian joins a political resistance movement aiming to get the Romans out of Judea. The movement is not very effective but somehow Brian becomes a prophet and gathers his own following.
The only character to appear in all four Python films (And Now for Something Completely Different (1971), Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), The Meaning of Life (1983) and this one) is God.
John Cleese wanted George Lazenby to play the part of Jesus. He said it would be absolutely hilarious, and he wanted the film's tagline to be "George Lazenby IS Jesus Christ". When the film's producers contacted Lazenby's agent they found out Lazenby was overseas working on another film project.
George Harrison has a cameo as Mr. Papadopolous, owner of "The Mount", who shakes hands with Brian and gives a very Liverpudlian "'ullo". The original recording proved unusable, so Michael Palin dubbed it in post-production.
When Michael Palin as Pontius Pilate addressed the soldiers daring them to laugh, he was truly daring them. The soldier extras were ordered to stand there and not laugh, but not told what Palin was going to do. Palin, in fact, can barely stifle his own laughter when saying "Biggus Dickus" in front of the soldier asked if he finds the name "risible".
After the first take of the scene where a nude Brian addresses the crowd from his window, Terry Jones pulled Graham Chapman aside and said "I think we can see that you're not Jewish", referring to Chapman being uncircumcised. It was corrected in subsequent takes with a rubber band.
Despite a signed contract, EMI pulled out as producers, a week before production was to begin. George Harrison, a huge fan of Monty Python, felt so strongly about the movie that he "pawned" (his words) his home in London and his office building, to raise $4 million. He founded Hand Made Films and produced the movie. When asked why, he said because I want to go see it. Eric Idle joked that it was the highest price ever paid for a cinema ticket.
One original concept for the film was having Brian be the 13th Apostle, and miss all the critical moments of Jesus' life, like the Last Supper.
The scene with Brian and the others on their crosses was recorded early in the morning, and it was very cold. John Cleese is wearing clothes, while the others are not, because he couldn't stand the cold.
During production of Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), they became increasing irritated by the press, who seemed to always ask the same questions, such as "What will your next project be?" One day, Eric Idle flippantly answered, "Jesus Christ's Lust For Glory". It quickly shut up reporters, and the group adopted it as their stock answer. After production completed, they realized that while satirizing Christ was out of the question, they could create a parody of first-century life. An early idea for a scene involved Jesus, a skilled carpenter, frustrated by being crucified on a poorly-built cross.
Ireland banned the film for blasphemy until 1987. Torbay Council, Devon, refused to show the film until September 2008. Aberystwyth, Wales, lifted its local ban in 2009 after cast member Sue Jones-Davies was elected mayor.