Monty Python's Life of Brian Brian . the babe they called Brian Grew . grew grew and grew,
Monty Python's Life of Brian
Brian ... the babe they called Brian
Grew ... grew grew and grew, grew up to be
A boy called Brian
A boy called Brian
He had arms and legs and hands and feet
This boy whose name was Brian
And he grew, grew, grew and grew
Grew up to be
Yes he grew up to be
A teenager called Brian
A teenager called Brian
And his face became spotty
Yes his face became spotty
And his voice dropped down low
And things started to grow
On young Brian and show
He was certainly no
No girl named Brian
Not a girl named Brian
And he started to shave
And have one off the wrist
And want to see girls
And go out and get pissed
This man called Brian
This man called Brian
Three camels are silhouetted against the bright stars of the
moonless sky, moving slowly along the horizon. A star leads
them towards Bethlehem. The Wise Men enter the gates of the
sleeping town and make their way through the deserted streets.
A dog snarls at them. They approach a stable, out of which
streams a beam of light. They dismount and enter to find a
typical manger scene, with a baby in a rough crib of straw and
patient animals standing around. The mother nods by the side
of the child. Suddenly she wakes from her lightish doze, sees
them, shrieks and falls backwards off her straw. She's up
again in a flash, looking guardedly at them. She is a ratbag.
Mandy: Who are you?
Wise Man 1: We are three wise men.
Wise Man 2: We are astrologers. We have come from the East.
Mandy: Is this some kind of joke?
Wise Man 1: We wish to praise the infant.
Wise Man 2: We must pay homage to him.
Mandy: Homage!! You're all drunk you are. It's disgusting.
Wise Man 3: No, no.
Mandy: Coming bursting in here first thing in the morning
with some tale about Oriental fortune tellers...
Wise Man 1: No. No we must see him.
Mandy: Go and praise someone else's brat, go on.
Wise Man 2: We were led by a star.
Mandy: Led by a bottle, more like. Get out!
Wise Man 2: We must see him. We have brought presents.
Wise Man 1: Gold, frankincense, myrrh.
(her attitude changes immediately)
Mandy: Well, why didn't you say so? He's over here...Sorry
this place is a bit of a mess. What is myrrh, anyway?
Wise Man 3: It is a valuable balm.
Mandy: A balm, what are you giving him a balm for? It might
Wise Man 3: What?
Mandy: It's a dangerous animal. Quick, throw it in the trough.
Wise Man 3: No it isn't.
Mandy: Yes it is.
Wise Man 3: No, no, it is an ointment.
Mandy: An ointment?
Wise Man 3: Look.
Mandy: (sampling the ointment with a grubby finger)
Oh. There is an animal called a balm or did I dream it?
You astrologers, eh? Well, what's he then?
Wise Man 2: H'm?
Mandy: What star sign is he?
Wise Man 2: Capricorn.
Mandy: Capricorn, eh, what are they like?
Wise Man 2: He is the son of God, our Messiah.
Wise Man 1: King of the Jews.
Mandy: And that's Capricorn, is it?
Wise Man 3: No, no, that's just him.
Mandy: Oh, I was going to say, otherwise there'd be a lot of
(The Wise Men are on their knees)
Wise Man 2: By what name are you calling him?
(Dramatic Holy music)
Three Wise Men:
We worship you, Oh, Brian, who are Lord over
us all. Praise unto you, Brian and to the
Lord our Father. Amen.
Mandy: Do you do a lot of this, then?
Wise Man 1: What?
Mandy: This praising.
Wise Man 1: No, no, no.
Mandy: Oh! Well, if you're dropping by again do pop in. (they
take the hint and rise) And thanks a lot for the gold
and frankincense but...don't worry too much about the
myrrh next time. Thank you...Goodbye. (to Brian)
Well, weren't they nice...out of their bloody minds,
In the background we see the Wise Men pause outside another door
as a gentle glow suffuses them. They look at each other, confer
and then stride back in and grab the presents from Mandy and turn
to go again, pushing Mandy over.
Mandy: Here, here, that's mine, you just gave me that. Ow!
The Leper Scene
(As MANDY and BRIAN pass through the city gate, they attract a sort of
muscular, fit and healthy young BEGGAR, who pursues them relentlessly through
the busy streets.)
Spare a talent for an old ex-leper, sir.
(The EX-LEPER has come round to BRIAN's side.)
Spare a talent for an old ex-leper, sir.
Did you say -- ex-leper?
That's right, sir. (he salutes) ... sixteen years behind the bell, and
proud of it, thank you sir.
I was cured, sir.
Yes sir, a bloody miracle, sir. Bless you.
Who cured you?
Jesus did. I was hopping along, when suddenly he comes and cures me.
One minute I'm a leper with a trade, next moment me livelihood's gone.
Not so much as a by your leave.
(gestures in the manner of a conjuror)
You're cured mate, sod you.
Look. I'm not saying that being a leper was a bowl of cherries. But it
was a living. I mean, you try waving muscular suntanned limbs in people's
faces demanding compassion. It's a bloody disaster.
You could go and get yourself a decent job, couldn't you?
Look, sir, my family has been in begging six generations. I'm not about
to become a goat-herd, just because some long-haired conjuror starts
mucking about. (makes gesture again)
Just like that. "You're cured." Bloody do-gooder!
Well, why don't you go and tell him you want to be a leper again?
Ah yeah, I could do that, sir yes, I suppose I could. What I was going
to do was ask him if he could ... you know, just make me a bit lame in one
leg during the week, you know, something beggable, but not leprosy, which
is a pain in the arse to be quite blunt, sir, excuse my French but ...
(They have reached BRIAN and MANDY's house. MANDY goes in. BRIAN gives the
BEGGAR a coin.)
There you are.
Thank you sir ... half a denary for my bloody life story!
There's no pleasing some people
That's just what Jesus said.
The Inalienable Rights Scene
(A huge Roman amphitheatre sparsely attended. REG, FRANCIS, STAN and JUDITH
are seated in the stands. They speak conspiratorially.)
... Any Anti-Imperialist group like ours must *reflect* such a divergence
of interests within its power-base.
I think Judith's point of view is valid here, Reg, provided the Movement
never forgets that it is the inalienable right of every man ...
Or woman ... to rid himself ...
Or herself. Agreed. Thank you, brother.
Thank you, brother. Or sister. Where was I?
I thought you'd finished.
Oh, did I? Right.
Furthermore, it is the birthright of every man ...
Why don't you shut up about women, Stan, you're putting us off.
Women have a perfect right to play a part in our movement, Reg.
Why are you always on about women, Stan?
... I want to be one.
I want to be a woman. From now on I want you all to call me Loretta.
It's my right as a man.
Why do you want to be Loretta, Stan?
I want to have babies.
You want to have babies?!?!?!
It's every man's right to have babies if he wants them.
But you can't have babies.
Don't you oppress me.
I'm not oppressing you, Stan -- you haven't got a womb. Where's the
fetus going to gestate? You going to keep it in a box?
(STAN starts crying.)
Here! I've got an idea. Suppose you agree that he can't actually have
babies, not having a womb, which is nobody's fault, not even the Romans',
but that he can have the *right* to have babies.
Good idea, Judith. We shall fight the oppressors for your right to have
babies, brother. Sister, sorry.
What's the point?
What's the point of fighting for his right to have babies, when he can't
It is symbolic of our struggle against oppression.
It's symbolic of his struggle against reality.
The Front's Demands Scene
(The interior of MATTHIAS'S HOUSE. A cellar-like room with a very
conspiratorial atmosphere. REG and STAN are seated at a table at one end of
the room. FRANCIS, dressed in commando gear -- black robes and a red sash
around his head -- is standing by a plan on the wall. He is addressing an
audience of about eight MASKED COMMANDOS. Their faces are partially hidden.)
We get in through the underground heating system here ... up through to
the main audience chamber here ... and Pilate's wife's bedroom is here.
Having grabbed his wife, we inform Pilate that she is in our custody and
forthwith issue our demands. Any questions?
What exactly are the demands?
We're giving Pilate two days to dismantle the entire apparatus of the
Roman Imperialist State and if he doesn't agree immediately we execute her.
Cut her head of?
Cut all her bits off, send 'em back every hour on the hour ... show him
we're not to be trifled with.
Also, we're demanding a ten foot mahogany statue of the Emperor Julius
Caesar with his cock hanging out.
What? They'll never agree to that, Reg.
That's just a bargaining counter. And of course, we point out that they
bear full responsibility when we chop her up, AND ... that we shall NOT
submit to blackmail.
(Applause) No blackmail!!!!
They've bled us white, the bastards. They've taken everything we had,
not just from us, from our fathers and from our fathers' fathers.
And from our fathers' fathers' fathers.
And from our fathers' fathers' fathers' fathers.
All right, Stan. Don't labour the point. And what have they ever given
us IN RETURN? (he pauses smugly)
Oh yeah, yeah they gave us that. Yeah. That's true.
And the sanitation!
Oh yes ... sanitation, Reg, you remember what the city used to be like.
All right, I'll grant you that the aqueduct and the sanitation are two
things that the Romans HAVE done ...
And the roads ...
(sharply) Well YES OBVIOUSLY the roads ... the roads go without saying.
But apart from the aqueduct, the sanitation and the roads ...
ANOTHER MASKED COMMANDO
OTHER MASKED VOICES
Medicine ... Education ... Health
Yes ... all right, fair enough ...
COMMANDO NEARER THE FRONT
And the wine ...
Oh yes! True!
Yeah. That's something we'd really miss if the Romans left, Reg.
MASKED COMMANDO AT BACK
AND it's safe to walk in the streets at night now.
Yes, they certainly know how to keep order ...
... let's face it, they're the only ones who could in a place like this.
(more general murmurs of agreement)
All right ... all right ... but apart from better sanitation and medicine
and education and irrigation and public health and roads and a freshwater
system and baths and public order ... what HAVE the Romans done for US?
(very angry, he's not having a good meeting at all)
What!? Oh ... (scornfully) Peace, yes ... shut up!
Brian is writing a slogan to a wall, oblivious to the Roman patrol approaching
from behind. The slogan is "ROMANES EUNT DOMUS".
C: What's this thing?
"ROMANES EUNT DOMUS"?
"People called Romanes they go the house"?
B: It, it says "Romans go home".
C: No it doesn't. What's Latin for "Roman"?
C: Come on, come on!
B: (uncertain) "ROMANUS".
C: Goes like?
C: Vocative plural of "-ANUS" is?
C: (takes paintbrush from Brian and paints over) "RO-MA-NI".
"EUNT"? What is "EUNT"?
C: Conjugate the verb "to go"!
B: "IRE". "EO", "IS", "IT", "IMUS", "ITIS", "EUNT".
C: So "EUNT" is ...?
B: Third person plural present indicative, "they go".
C: But "Romans, go home!" is an order, so you must use the ...?
(lifts Brian by his hairs)
B: The ... imperative.
C: Which is?
B: Ahm, oh, oh, "I", "I"!
C: How many romans? (pulls harder)
B: Plural, plural! "ITE".
C: (strikes over "EUNT" and paints "ITE" to the wall)
"DOMUS"? Nominative? "Go home", this is motion towards, isn't it, boy?
B: (very anxious) Dative?
C: (draws his sword and holds it to Brian's throat)
B: Ahh! No, ablative, ablative, sir. No, the, accusative, accusative,
ah, DOMUM, sir.
C: Except that "DOMUS" takes the ...?
B: ... the locative, sir!
C: Which is?
C: (satisfied) "DOMUM" (strikes out "DOMUS" and writes "DOMUM") "-MUM".
B: Yes sir.
C: Now write it down a hundred times.
B: Yes sir, thank you sir, hail Caesar, sir.
C: (salutes) Hail Caesar.
If it's not done by sunrise, I'll cut your balls off.
B: (very reliefed) Oh thank you sir, thank you sir, hail Caesar and
The Brian in Jail Scene
(BRIAN wakes up with a smile on his face to find himself being dragged along a
cell corridor by TWO GUARDS. The horrible figure of the JAILER spits at him
and flings him into a dark damp cell, slamming the iron grate behind him and
turning the key hollowly in the lock. BRIAN slumps to the floor. A voice
comes out of the darkness behind him.)
You LUCKY bastard!
(spins around and peers into the gloom)
(In the darkness BRIAN just makes out an emaciated figure, suspended on the
wall, with his feet off the ground, by chains round his wrists. This is BEN.)
You lucky, lucky bastard.
(with great bitterness) Proper little gaoler's pet, aren't we?
(ruffled) What do you mean?
You must have slipped him a few shekels, eh?
Slipped him a few shekels!? You saw him spit in my face!
Ohh! What wouldn't I give to be spat at in the face! I sometimes hang
awake at nights dreaming of being spat in the face.
Well, it's not exactly friendly, is it? They had me in manacles ...
(his eyes go quite dreamy)
My idea of heaven is to be allowed to be put in manacles ... just for a
few hours. They must think the sun shines out of your arse, sonny!
Listen! They beat me up before they threw me in here.
Oh yeah? The only day they don't beat me up is on my birthday.
Oh shut up.
Well, your type makes me sick! You come in here, you get treated like
Royalty, and everyone outside thinks you're a bloody martyr.
Oh, lay off me ... I've had a hard time!
YOU'VE had a hard time! Listen, sonny! I've been here five years and
they only hung me the right way up yesterday!
All right! All right!
I just wish I had half your luck. They must think you're Lord God
What'll they do to me?
Oh, you'll probably get away with crucifixion.
Yeah, first offence.
Get away with crucifixion!
Best thing the Romans ever did for us.
Oh yeah. If we didn't have crucifixion this country would be in a right
bloody mess I tell you.
(who can stand it no longer) Guard!
Nail 'em up I say!
(dragging himself over to the door) Guard!
Nail some sense into them!
(looking through the bars) What do you want?
I want to be moved to another cell.
(GUARD spits in his face.)
Oh! (he recoils in helpless disgust)
Oh ... look at that! Bloody favouritism!
Shut up, you!
(he lowers his voice)
Now take my case. I've been here five years, and every night they take
me down for ten minutes, then they hang me up again ... which I regard as
very fair ... in view of what I done ... and if nothing else, it's taught
me to respect the Romans, and it's taught me that you'll never get
anywhere in life unless you're prepared to do a fair day's work for a fair
day's pay ...
Oh ... Shut up!
Pilate wants to see you.
Pilate? What does he want to see me for?
I think he wants to know which way up you want to be crucified.
(He laughs. The TWO SOLDIERS smirk. BEN laughs uproariously.)
... Nice one, centurion. Like it, like it.
(to BEN) Shut up! (BRIAN is hustled out. The door slams.)
Terrific race the Romans ... terrific.
The Pilate's Chamber Scene
(BRIAN is hauled into PILATE'S audience chamber. It is big and impressive,
although a certain amount of redecorating is underway. The CENTURION salutes.)
Only one survivor, sir.
Thwow him to the floor.
Thwow him to the floor.
(He indicates to the two roman GUARDS who throw BRIAN to the ground.)
Now, what is your name, Jew?
BRIAN (trying to be helpful)
(The CENTURION cuffs him.)
The little wascal has spiwit.
Has what, sir?
Yes, he did, sir.
No, no, spiwit ... bwavado ... a touch of dewwing-do.
CENTURION (still not really understanding)
Ah. About eleven, sir.
PILATE (to BRIAN)
So you dare to waid us.
BRIAN (rising to his feet)
Stwike him, centuwion, vewwy woughly.
And throw him to the floor, sir?
THWOW him to the floor again, sir?
Oh yes. Thwow him to the floor.
(The CENTURION knocks BRIAN hard on the side of the head again and the TWO
GUARDS throw him to the floor.)
Now, Jewish wapscallion.
I'm not Jewish ... I'm a Roman!
(But he's not quick enough to avoid another blow from the CENTURION.)
So, your father was a *WOMAN*. Who was he?
He was a centurion in the Jerusalem Garrison.
Oh. What was his name?
(An involuntary titter arises from the CENTURION.)
Centuwion, do we have anyone of that name in the gawwison?
Well ... no sir.
You sound vewwy sure ... have you checked?
Well ... no sir ... I think it's a joke, sir ... like ... Sillius Soddus
or ... Biggus Dickus.
What's so funny about Biggus Dickus?
Well ... it's a ... joke name, sir.
I have a vewwy gweat fwend in Wome called Biggus Dickus.
(Involuntary laughter from a nearby GUARD surprises PILATE.)
Silence! What is all this insolence? You will find yourself in
gladiator school vewwy quickly with wotten behaviour like that.
(The GUARD tries to stop giggling. PILATE turns away from him. He is angry.)
Can I go now sir ...
(The CENTURION strikes him.)
Wait till Biggus hears of this!
(The GUARD immediately breaks up again. PILATE turns on him.)
Wight! Centuwion ... take him away.
Oh sir, he only ...
I want him fighting wabid wild animals within a week.
(He starts to drag out the wretched GUARD. BRIAN notices that little
attention is being paid to him.)
I will not have my fwends widiculed by the common soldiewy.
(He walks slowly towards the other GUARDS.)
Now ... anyone else feel like a little giggle when I mention my fwend ...
(He goes right up to one of the GUARDS.)
Biggus ... Dickus. He has a wife you know.
(The GUARDS tense up.)
(The GUARDS relax.)
(The GUARDS fall about laughing. BRIAN takes advantage of the chaos to slip
Silence! I've had enough of this wowdy wabble webel behaviour. Stop it!
Call yourselves Pwaetonian guards. Silence!
(But the GUARDS are all hysterical by now. PILATE notices BRIAN escaping.)
You cwowd of cwacking-up cweeps. Seize him! Blow your noses and seize
him! Oh my bum.
The Market Haggling Scene
(After BRIAN has escaped the CENTURIONS, he runs off towards the crowded
market square. At one end of the market there is a speakers' corner, with
many strangely bearded and oddly dressed PROPHETS attempting to attract an
audience. The noisiest or the most controversial are clearly doing best at
attracting PASSERS-BY. A STRANGE FIGURE with a rasta hairstyle, covered in
mud, and with two severed hands on a pole waves wildly at the audience.)
BLOOD & THUNDER PROPHET
... and shall ride forth on a serpents' back, and the eyes shall be red
with the blood of living creatures, and the whore of Babylon shall rise
over the hill of excitement and throughout the land there will be a great
rubbing of parts ...
(Beside him, another PROPHET with red hair, none the less fierce, is trying to
attract some of the BLOOD & THUNDER PROPHET'S audience.)
And he shall bear a nine-bladed sword. Nine-bladed. Not two. Or five
or seven, but nine, which he shall wield on all wretched sinners and that
includes you sir, and the horns shall be on the head ...
(In front of each PROPHET is a ROMAN GUARD, clearly bored but there to break
up any trouble. BRIAN races into the market place. A cohort of ROMANS are
searching the square roughly turning over baskets and shaking down PASSERS-BY.
BRIAN appears near a rather dull little PROPHET, who is standing underneath
the high window that backs out of MATTHIAS' house, the revolutionary HQ.
And there shall in that time be rumours of things going astray, and there
will be a great confusion as to where things really are, and nobody will
really know where lieth those little things with the sort of raffia work
base, that has an attachment they will not be there.
(Across the square the ROMANS appear, searching. BRIAN spots HARRY, the beard
salesman and moves towards his stall, an idea forming in his mind.)
(The BORING PROPHET drones on and on.)
At this time a friend shall lose his friends'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 ...
(BRIAN runs up to HARRY the beard seller's stall and hurriedly grabs an
How much? Quick!
It's for the wife.
Oh. Twenty shekels.
(as he puts down 20 shekels) There you are.
Wait a moment.
We're supposed to haggle.
No, no, I've got to ...
What do you mean, no?
I haven't time, I've got to get ...
Give it back then.
No, no, I paid you.
Burt! (BURT appears. He is very big.)
This bloke won't haggle.
(looking around) Where are the guards?
Oh, all right ... I mean do we have to ...
Now I want twenty for that ...
I gave you twenty.
Now are you telling me that's not worth twenty shekels?
Feel the quality, that's none of yer goat.
Oh ... I'll give you nineteen then.
No, no. Do it properly.
Haggle properly. This isn't worth nineteen.
You just said it was worth twenty.
I'll give you ten.
That's more like it. (outraged) Ten!? Are you trying to insult me?
Me? With a poor dying grandmother ... Ten!?!
Now you're getting it. Eleven!?! Did I hear you right? Eleven? This
cost me twelve. You want to ruin me.
No, no, no. You go to fourteen now.
Fourteen, are you joking?
That's what you told me to say.
(HARRY registers total despair.)
Tell me what to say. Please.
Offer me fourteen.
I'll give you fourteen.
(to onlookers) He's offering me fourteen for this!
Seventeen. My last word. I won't take a penny less, or strike me dead.
Done. (He grasps BRIAN'S hand and shakes it.) Nice to do business with
you. Tell you what, I'll throw in this as well. (He gives BRIAN a gourd.)
I don't want it but thanks.
(appearing rapidly) Yes?
All right! All right!! Thank you.
Where's the sixteen then?
I already gave you twenty.
Oh yes ... that's four I owe you then. (starts looking for change)
... It's all right, it doesn't matter.
(Pause as HARRY can't find change. BRIAN sees a pair of prowling ROMANS.)
It's all right, that's four for the gourd -- that's fine!
Four for the gourd. Four!!!! Look at it, that's worth ten if it's worth
You just gave it to me for nothing.
Yes, but it's *worth* ten.
All right, all right.
No, no, no. It's not worth ten. You're supposed to argue. "What? Ten
for that, you must be mad!"
(BRIAN pays ten, runs off with the gourd, and fixes the beard on his face.)
Ah, well there's one born every minute.
Always Look on the Bright Side of Life
Cheer up, Brian. You know what they say.
Some things in life are bad,
They can really make you mad.
Other things just make you swear and curse.
When you're chewing on life's gristle,
Don't grumble, give a whistle!
And this'll help things turn out for the best...
(the music fades into the song)
..always look on the bright side of life!
Always look on the bright side of life...
If life seems jolly rotten,
There's something you've forgotten!
And that's to laugh and smile and dance and sing,
When you're feeling in the dumps,
Don't be silly chumps,
Just purse your lips and whistle -- that's the thing!
And... always look on the bright side of life...
(other start to join in)
Always look on the bright side of life...
For life is quite absurd,
And death's the final word.
You must always face the curtain with a bow!
Forget about your sin -- give the audience a grin,
Enjoy it -- it's the last chance anyhow!
So always look on the bright side of death!
Just before you draw your terminal breath.
Life's a piece of shit,
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 bright side of life
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank