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Friday, 29 September, 2000, 12:45 GMT 13:45 UK
Life of Brian tops comedy poll
Life of Brian
Always look on the bright side of opinion polls...
Monty Python's Life of Brian has been voted the funniest film of all time in a poll conducted by Total Film magazine.

The movie, which satires the rise of organised religion, caused controversy when released in 1979 and was banned in some parts of the UK, with church leaders accusing it of blasphemy.

The comedy team's spoof on the Arthurian legend, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, was voted the fifth funniest film.

Top 10 comedy films
1. Life of Brian
2. Airplane!
3. Withnail & I
4.There's Something About Mary
5. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
6. American Pie
7. Groundhog Day
8. Some Like it Hot
9. Blazing Saddles
10. Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Another British film, Withnail & I, is at number three in the chart, behind the disaster movie spoof Airplane!.

Withnail & I, starring Richard E Grant and Paul McGann, was released with little impact 15 years ago but has become a cult favourite, with many lines quoted endlessly by fans.

Life of Brian contains a number of quotable lines as well, including "He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy!", "What have the Romans ever done for us?" and the song Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life.

Scene from Life of Brian
A sign of things to come for Messiah films?

The poll results will come as good news to Python star Terry Jones who is launching his own film company, Messiah Films, the title of which is possibly inspired by the Life of Brian.

The company will focus on unearthing new talent.

Terry Jones said: "We will focus on the three most important requirements for successful movie-making: one, a good script, two, a good script, and three, a good script, in that order."

The first film to be produced by the company comes from a script by Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson.

The Chemical Wedding is to made into a 3.5m movie.

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BBC News Online's Python special, from October 1999Nudge, nudge...
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See also:

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Monty Python - still funny?
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