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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 March, 2004, 09:42 GMT
Python film to challenge Passion
The Life of Brian
Monty Python said The Life of Brian spoofed Bible films and intolerance
Monty Python's film The Life of Brian is to return to US cinemas next month following the success of The Passion of the Christ.

The Biblical satire will be re-released in Los Angeles, New York and other US cities to mark its 25th anniversary.

Adverts will challenge Mel Gibson's blockbuster with the lines "Mel or Monty?", "The Passion or the Python?"

Distributor Rainbow said it hoped the film would "serve as an antidote to all the hysteria about Mel's movie".

The Life of Brian follows a Jewish character from Nazareth who is worshipped as the Messiah then crucified by Romans.

We decided this is an important time to re-release this film
Henry Jaglom
Rainbow Film Company

It was condemned as blasphemous before its original release, although Monty Python said it was intended as a spoof on Bible films and intolerance rather than Christianity.

The film could not be completed until former Beatle George Harrison stepped in to finance it after EMI Films withdrew, fearing it was too controversial.

Rainbow president Henry Jaglom said: "We decided this is an important time to re-release this film, to provide some counter-programming to The Passion."

He said the surviving members of the Monty Python comedy team "all agreed this was a good time" to bring back the film and would help promote it.

Mr Jaglom, whose partner John Goldstone produced the original film, said trailers for the comedy would start to appear in cinemas on Good Friday.

Tom Brook reports
"The Passion of the Christ has been seen by one in 10 Americans"


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