back to article Glasgow unbans Life of Brian

Glasgow councillors yesterday took the bold decision to allow the burghers of that fine city to enjoy Monty Python's Life Of Brian on the big screen for the first time in 29 years. According to the Daily Record, Glaswegian licensing chiefs ruled back in 1980 that the movie could only be shown with an adult X cert. The …


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  1. The March Hare

    Up the Peoples Front of judea

    waiting for the deluge of comments quoting lines from the film...

    I think the moderaterix should thwough them to the floor....woughly!

  2. Simon Round

    @The March Hare - Here you go....

    But apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh-water system, and public health, what have the Glasgow Council ever done for us?

  3. Liam Johnson

    Seen It

    I saw the film at the cinema as a teenager and can definitely say that it warped my fragile little mind.

  4. Francis Fish

    The highest ranker in Rome

    ah, the memories

    Anything that annoyed that pompous git Malcolm Muggeridge was find by me

    "I can't see what's funny about a man's genitals"

    Ah, Malcolm, yours were hilarious

  5. Andrew Norton

    They're not the messiah...

    just a very naughty council

  6. Craig Roberts 1

    .deriuqer si eltit A


  7. disgruntled yank

    A bright side at last!

    Some friends of mine went to see it with an Aussie RC priest--he enjoyed it a great deal, I understand.

  8. disgruntled yank

    Oh, and also,

    Regarding Ms. Jones-Davies, I can only say "Eat your heart out, Minnesota!"

  9. The Original Ash


    Celticus aeunt domus!

  10. steogede

    If it were classified today...

    It would be a U (or maybe a PG for the fake blood), unless it were a computer game - then it would be an 18 (or more likely refused) as it contains a scene with exposed breasts.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Down with The Peoples Front of Judea

    the scabs ...

    Up the Judean Peoples Front!!

  12. Elmer Phud

    @ March Hare

    But how should we fuck off, o Hare?

  13. Ben Parr-Ferris
    Thumb Up

    @ The March Hare

    Nail 'em up, I say.


  14. Ben Cooper

    To be fair... the council, it's not as if they had an ongoing ban - it's just that the GFT are the first people in 29 years to ask to show it.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Torbay Council

    I'd expect that from the barmy Torbay Council. They just keep spending our Council Tax on bloody big balloons and crap like that.

    I'd say Torbay's major is nearly as bad as old Red Ken with his barmy ideas.

    Anon because, well they're out there...

  16. david 64

    "Jehovah Jehovah Jehovah!"

    That scene above "Thwough him to the floor \ Bickuth Dickuth" is pure genius. Watching Palin desperately trying to keep it together.

    Epitamy of British comedy IMHO, and still stands proud to this day.

    My other faves:-

    "Conjugate the verb 'To Go'" - Romanes eunt dormus Horrifyingly similar to a particular Latin teacher i had a school....

    And the 'Jehovah' sketch at the stoning with Cleese. Brilliant.

    Will be spending the rest of the afternoon watching clips on youtube now methinks! Thanks reg!

  17. rpjs

    All I can say is

    Romanes eunt domus!

  18. Anonymous Coward

    Death to the Peoples Front of Judea up the Judean peoples front


  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A title is not required!

    Reg: If you want to join the People's Front of Judea, you have to really hate the Romans.

    Brian: I do!

    Reg: Oh yeah, how much?

    Brian: A lot!

    Reg: Right, you're in.

    Replace Romans with the film title and I think you have what happened to this film when all the outrage started.

  20. Piers

    @The March Hare

    You spelt modewatewix wong, silly!

    Should be:

    I think the modewatewix should thwough them to the flaw....woughly!

    /pointless pedantwy

  21. Dex

    On that note.....

    ....Where is the Moderatrix? Not seen her in ages, Has she realised she will NEVER tame the ravid males of El Reg + Vulture Central?

    Badgers....Vag badger....Moderatrix....ok maybe it should be my coat


  22. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse
    Thumb Up

    Because we are all individuals...

    Let's not let this thread become a quote fest.

    Follow the gourd...

    Half a shekel for an old ex-leper...

    Errr... found this spoon sir!

  23. Dan 34

    While in Norway...

    ... after initially banning the film for a year, the Life of Brian was recently shown on an Easter Sunday. Reckon Glasgow will be following suit next year? :D Got to love that Scandinavian sense of humour (in Sweden the film was advertised as "So funny they banned it in Norway!").

    [inserts token quote] We found this spoon sir" /happy

  24. WhatWasThat?

    Ah, childhood

    I have to admit, this film holds a special place in my heart...

    There it was, rented VHS on the telly. My Mom and Dad sitting beside me as my legs almost touched the floor while sitting on the sofa. We all laughed and laughed and laughed, just like other MP films we all enjoyed. Until...

    Suddenly, FULL FRONTAL FEMALE NUDITY. My Mom gasped. My Dad gasped. I ogled. Eagerly.

    I was then sent sailing over the back of the sofa as both hands of each parent slapped me about the face and head as they tried to sheild my tender eyes from the travesty of 70's nether region hair stylings. Since then I have been mentally scarred for life. But, a Brazilian is a small price to pay for functional mental health, eh?

  25. hi_robb

    Welease Bwian

    Officials had to have bigus dickus to welease bwian

  26. Schalor Visari
    Big Brother

    Good ol' GFT :)

    Nice one, can't help but imagine the Glasgow Film Board back then refusing to have heeven's blemish the lord's name etc.

  27. Dán


    Isn't religion great?

  28. Rob Morton

    Not banned in the posh suburbs

    My then girlfriend's sister drove us out to Bearsden to watch it and, as I recall, nearly crashed us 5 times coming back due to laughing fits.

  29. Scott 19
    IT Angle


    But it just instantly makes you want to start running round the office shouting one liners.

    "Your funking nicked me old china"

    "OOOHHHH, You lucky bastard"

    and my favorite "Bigas Dickas"

  30. Sweep

    No news here

    It hasn't really been banned for almost 30 years. In fact it wasn't really banned in the first place, the council refused to let it be shown as a cert 15 and the distributors refused to let it be shown on an adult certificate, as it says in the article.

    Also i would suspect that this is the first application to show the film since 1980.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Sue Jones-Davies

    "Aberystwyth took exception to the film, a fact only recently discovered by mayor Sue Jones-Davies, who rather fantastically played Brian's squeeze Judith Iscariot in the film."

    Her of 1970's style downstairs beard?

    Paris because she's probably a little neater.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    same movie about a different religion

    Can you imagine the same type of movie with a title "Life of Ahmed" ? The fatwas issued, churches burnt, governments trying to appease muslims, etc...

  33. Peter Gant

    Happy Memories

    When this was released in Manchester all of the churches had people with placards marching up and down outside the Odeon cinema and included in their number were my Mum and Dad. So, there I was in the queue to get in and see the movie and I couldn't help saying hello to them. The rest of the people in the queue had a right giggle on that one.

  34. anarchic-teapot

    female nudity? In the 70s???

    Oh come off it, I would have thought Graham Chapman's quick flash of his sausage-on-burnt-toast would have been the main reason. One of the film's funniest moments, natch.

  35. Jeff 10
    Thumb Up

    My first R-rated movie

    That was my first R-rated movie as I was still in high school. My dad being a religious wonk thought the movie was about a football player (confused with Brian's Song). If he only knew.

    I'm not surprised by Ireland, but guess I was surprised about Scotland. Damn religious fanatics (don't watch that movie- it'll turn you into a newt!)

  36. Anonymous Coward

    Reminds me of Frankie Boyles line from 'Mock The Week'

    'Ladies and gentelmen, we will shortly be landing at Glasgow International Airport. Please set your watches back 20 years'

  37. Robert Grant


    Jesus is also in the film, and does at least one actual miracle, so in no way could Brian's accidental rise to saviourhood be confused with the real deal.

  38. Calum Morrison

    They're not the only ones...

    IIRC, The Last Temptation of Christ is still banned in Inverness. If only there was some other way of watching a film not allowed to be shown in my local cinema...

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Simon Round

    "But apart from ... public order ... what have the Glasgow Council ever done for us?"

    You've never had to suffer the Strathclyde Police then, clearly. Just try being in the visitors' end at Ibrox of Celtic Park. Grr... snarl...

  40. Dave 125
    Thumb Up

    I've never seen the problem

    I've never seen the problem with Life Of Brian, and I am a Christian (and for those that need disclaimers: this is my opinion and not necessarily in line with the official opinion of anyone or anything else). It's clear in the opening sequence that Brian isn't Jesus - the 3 wise men turn up in the wrong tent and after discovering their mistake go on to retrieve the GFM and go on to the right one. After the opening credits there's a shot of Jesus giving the Sermon on the Mount and the camera pans back, and back, and Brian. Plus who can forget:

    He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy.

    I'm not the Messiah!

    Only the true messiah would deny that he is!

    OK then, I AM the messiah.

    He is the messiah!

    If there's any valid criticism it's that the film solidly takes the mickey out of the Jews, having them chasing after messiahs left right and centre, not knowing their Latin, having loads of anti-Roman factions with similar names (People's Front Of Judaea, Judaean People's Front etc) that are all against each other (Where's the Popular People's Front? He's over there) and so on.

    Seriously I've watched the film several times and I can't spot a single nanosecond of blasphemy in the whole lot. The only blasphemy IMHO is in the minds of the people who assume that Brian==Jesus and it's made absolutely clear right from the beginning that he's not.

    And that mock interview where the Python crew were complaining about Life of Jesus being a mickey-take of Life Of Brian was absolutely hilarious.

  41. Shagbert

    It wasn't ever banned in Aberystwyth, that would be what's known as an Urban Legend

    Naughty El Reg - took me about 15 seconds in Google to find this out..

  42. xjy
    Paris Hilton

    Life of Mohammed, Sonny and Sheer

    It'll come, only it'll be made by Saudis or Iranians on a sandal-strap budget. Or US black ex-Muslims. Or a Bosnian. It needs the authentic ethnic frisson. The Muslim equivalent of Onward Christian Soldiers, religion and the parade ground permeating every pore of the body politic (BO!).

    Like Israelis making Seed of the Patriarchs. Or Mel Brooks - America - the First 200 Years...

    (Paris because Piss sorry Peace and much else should be upon her too)

  43. GavinL
    Thumb Up

    Church Youth Group

    I have shown this film to a number of church youth groups, one because it is very funny and not blasphemous at all, and two to teach teenagers to make their own minds up about what is offensive or not.

    I don't know anyone, having seen the film has problem with it from a religious point of view.

    Almost nobody that complained about the film at the time of it's release saw the film for themselves or knew anybody that had.

    The whole thing was blown up by the churches and the right wing press.

    Unfortunately the daily mail and its readers are still doing this today with them campaigning about people and things they have no experience or knowledge of.

  44. Lol 1

    No one is to stone anyone until I blow this whistle!

    ...even if they do say Jehova!

    It was funny when the Beeb did a Python night, they played the interview where Cleese and Idle tore the C of E guy a new bumhole, because it turns out that arguments for and against have to be subjected to certain standards of proof - something organised religion lacks.

    Mine's the one with three flat ones and a packet of gravel in the pocket!

  45. James Pickett


    The mayor of Aberystwyth has certainly gone up in my estimation...

  46. Big Pete

    Although i thoroughly enjoyed LoB...

    It was The Holy Grail that ruined my enjoyment of any documentary about the middle ages, I keep expecting to see a cart loaded with body's, and a guy ringing a bell crying out, "bring out your dead".

  47. Moss Icely Spaceport

    Are there any men here?

    No, no, no......NO, NO, NO...

  48. Moss Icely Spaceport

    I meant: Are there any woman here?



  49. Doogs


    Ravid males?

    "I'm only telling the truth. You have got a very big nose..."

  50. Andrew Denton 1

    @Dave 125

    Not The 9 O Clock News also did a sketch like that. The General Synod's Life Of Christ was an affront to Pythonists the world over. The main character, this Jesus Christ bloke was obviously a parody of their lord John Cleese. Jesus Christ was just someone who happened to be born in Weston-super-Mare at the same time as John Cleese. But even the initials JC are exactly the same! :)

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What have the other religions ever done for us ?

    Can't wait for the other religions catch up with Christianity and allow parodies - I wonder when Life Of Allah will be released ?

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ye, merrily...

    There shall, in that time, be rumours of things going astray, erm, and there shall be a great confusion as to where things really are, and nobody will really know where lieth those little things wi-- with the sort of raffia work base that has an attachment. At this time, a friend shall lose his friend's hammer and the young shall not know where lieth the things possessed by their fathers that their fathers put there only just the night before, about eight o'clock. Yea, it is written in the book of Cyril that, in that time, shall the third one...

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