Monty Python’s Life of Brian review – Jokes are joyously silly

Yet when this knockabout 33BC-set comedy was released in 1979, it was met with protests from outraged members of religious groups who hadn’t seen the film. In the UK, 39 local authorities bowed to pressure by either banning it or insisting it had an X rating.

Now, the story about a bemused man being mistaken for the saviour of Judea is being released with a much more family-friendly 12A certificate.

Certain sections feel shockingly out of touch in this current age of outrage. Michael Palin’s lisping Roman and the cross-dressing jokes would summon up instant Twitter storms.

I’m not sure a studio would back a movie that found laughs in the foundation stories of any religion.

But this wonderful film also feels like a product of a smarter and more intellectually curious age.

All the Pythons are at the top of their game here. The jokes are joyously silly and the writing razor sharp.

On TV, their sketches often lacked a killer punchline. But Eric Idle’s musical crucifixion scene is one of the greatest comedy finales of all time.

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