This revisioning of the Gospels by the immortal British comedy sextet was greeted by howls of Catholic protest — or, as Hollywood calls it, free publicity. In the Python reading, Brian (Graham Chapman) is an ordinary Israelite who is mistaken for Jesus and crucified. The climax is a mob scene: 139 people are to be crossed up, and this perpendicular Golgotha gang displays all manner of traditional English class snobbery, transported to Palestine. Eric Idle has a few good bits as a series of incorrigibly sunny prisoners. “See,” he tells Brian as their crosses are planted, “not so bad when you’re up.” Idle tops this with the immortal, blithely idiotic music-hall cheerer-upper, “The Bright Side of Life,” making Life of Brian that rare Crucifixion movie you could hum your way home from. Words to live and die by:
Life’s a piece of s—t
When you look at it.
Life’s a laugh and death’s a joke, it’s true.
You’ll see it’s all a show.
Keep ’em laughing as you go.
Just remember that the last laugh is on you
And always look on the bright side of life.
Always look on the right side of life.