Friday, 8 November 2013

His Vs. Hers - Life of Brian vs. Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Terry Jones and Micheal Palin: the creators of one of the funniest televison programmes to have ever existed, Monty Python's Flying Circus. With five films their under their belt, we present to you the first ever His Vs. Hers - what is the best Monty Python film?

THE LIFE OF BRIAN as chosen by Layla

Banned for longer in Aberystwyth then A Clockwork Orange, The Life of Brian was one of the most controversial films of the 1970's, and still causes disagreement today (in certain parts of Germany its banned to show it on a Good Friday). With accusations of being blasphemous and heretical, the Pythons have had to systematically defend their film from Christians and even fellow comedians. They needn't do it alone though, as this film is routinely voted one of the funniest films ever made.

A massive chunk of the humour comes from the very source of its controversy. Following the travails of Brian Cohen, born on the same day and in the neighbouring barn to Jesus, Brian joins the People's Front of Judea (not to be confused with the Judean People's Front) in order to out the Romans (because really, what have they ever done for us?). After several mishaps with the law, Brian finds himself being chased by the Romans and then literally falls into a platform for pseudo-prophets. After spouting some religious sounding truisms ("Consider the lily..."), he finds himself being chased by fanatics declaring him the messiah.

Many people presumed that this film was criticism of Christianity. I see it more as a satire on the way people need to be told what to believe in, and how easy it is to fall into a half-baked way of thinking (much like the recent film The Master did). It is really a testament to how daring the Pythons were to put out such a scathing film, still in the time of Mary Whitehouse, on such a major platform. Thank god for people like George Harrison too, who set up HandMade Films and raised £3 million pounds, after EMI dropped out due to the controversy, just to see the film made.

But what really makes the film worth seeing is the ridiculous amount of jokes in it. From the over arching storyline to the iconic one liners ("He's not the messiah, he's a very naughty boy!"), this film is eternally quotable and rightly deserves its position at the top of the polls. It also includes the most optimistic song you'll ever hear.

I remember seeing this film when I was very young, and it has never got old. Whereas some of the other Pythons films seem like extended sketch shows, The Life of Brian is the most coherent and most clever of their output. Whether you have an opinion about religion or not, this film needs to be seen.


In 1975 this iconic film came out and it's still referred to today, from the Black Knight's "tis just a flesh wound" to the Knight's who say Ni, who want a shrubbery, and the classic holy hand grenade they use to kill the Killer Rabbit.

The film follows Arthur, King of the Britons, in his search for glory. First assembling his Knights of the Round Table, which include Sir Galahad the pure, Sir Lancelot the brave, the quiet Sir Bedevere and ending with Sir Robin the not quite so brave. They roam around with their servants banging two coconut halfs together to imitate the sounds of a horse. They receive the quest from God which see's them searching for the Holy Grail. They stumble across a French castle who all ready have a Holy Grail so taunt them mercilesly then many other challenges lay before them in there quest.

Much like the shows, this film has got many segments ranging from each Knight's attempt to aquire the Holy Grail, and the typical animation that was used in the show. In one scene the animator dies causing the monster he was drawing to also die thus the Knight's defeated the monster. This film has no problem breaking the fourth wall, also having police officers hunting down the knight's due to a historian being killed in one of the scene's.

This is Monty Python at there best and the film is absolutley hilarious from start to finish, with characters which consistently steal the show. This is just an awesome comedy film from the comedy greats and is their best film, not by much, 'cause the other films are great too, just not as great. Just remember there is nothing wrong with running away ALOT.

Which Monty Python film do you prefer? Join us on our new Facebook page His and Hers Views and Reviews and let us know which one you find the funniest.

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