Holy Flying Circus

Synopsis: In 1979 the Monty Python comedy team return from making their film 'Monty Python's Life of Brian' in Tunisia. Premiered in America the film is pilloried by ultra-right religious groups for its depiction of Christ. In England the Popular Peoples' Church of St Sophia (whose members include a Tourette's sufferer who shouts out swear words) find a copy of the script in a dustbin and lobby the British censor for its suppression, leading to many local councils banning its screening. Death threats follow and Michael Palin - "the nicest man in Britain" - has his effigy burned on his front lawn. Finally crazed TV programmer Alan Dick persuades Palin and co-star John Cleese to defend the picture on a late night chat show against the Bishop of Southwark and religious commentator Malcolm Muggeridge. Thanks to Cleese's reasoning the Pythons are seen to triumph, winning over the Popular Peoples' Church. A later encounter with God will show how the film's controversy paved the way for other artistic
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Director(s): Owen Harris
Production: FremantleMedia
  1 win & 3 nominations.
89 min


This programme contains adult humour

and very strong language.


That's a bit controversial,

isn't it?


Holy (BLEEP) Circus.

Theme from

Monty Python's Flying Circus:

"The Liberty Bell" by JP Sousa


I'll sit over here.

Hello, Graham. Johnny.


So what did you think?

Of the rough cut?

Fantastic. Absolutely fantastic.

Loved it. I think it might be the

best thing we've done. Oh, easily.

By miles. Now I've spoken to Chris

who's head of North America

and we'd like to open it first

in the States.

Aw Terrific. Really terrific.

So what's the thinking?

The First Amendment guarantees

the right to freedom of speech.

Plus it's a melting pot, there's all

kinds of different religions

out there. And it's Hollywood.

And Chris reckons you're ready

to play with the big boys now.

Jolly good.

I love Americans.

Here in New York City Monty Python's

Life of Brian had its world premiere

and Americans have come

from far and wide to see it.

Not to watch the film,

but to protest against it.

I'm going to ask them why.

This film is disgusting.

Enough with the stereotypes.

It's not funny. How is this funny?

Life Of Brian is an evil film.

And Monty Python is an evil man.

I would like to say

it's morally repugnant.

And also, kill the blacks.

I agree with him.

Except the bit about killing black

people. Obviously, that's not cool.

That went well.

I knew it. Americans. Total idiots.

Waste of space. Wasn't all bad.

I got this lovely jacket.

Yes. Very nice. We won't have the

same problems here though, right?

Protests? Here?

Oh, no, I wouldn't think so no.

Because the Great British Public,

they aren't quick to judge

or completely close-minded?

Oh, no, sorry.

They ARE quick to judge

and massively closed-minded. Not

the queers. Apart from the queers.

Right, here are the press cuttings

and early box office breakdowns.

Listen to this. This is from Variety.

Rabbi Hecht says the film, quote,

'could result in violence'. Oh, yes.

Copycat crucifixions.

I hadn't thought of that.

That is a worry, isn't it? Cretin.

I mean, they've been out of favour

for two thousand years but suddenly

all the kids will be doing it.

"Hey, Johnny, want to come out

for a kick-about?"

"No, no, no. Me and Gary thought

we'd nail his brother to a tree."

I think the Rabbi meant violent

protest. As in violence against us.

Right. Well, that wasn't clear.

It sort of was. Wasn't.

Was. Wasn't.

Really was. Really wasn't.

He goes on to say the movie

was produced in Hell.

Oh, I love that.

Could we have a scene where we show

some Christians killing some babies?

Oh, yeah, funny.

That is funny. I like that.

Jesus having sex with Judas?

Good. Offensive. Put that in.

Maybe a scene where Jesus is on

the cross and gets quite turned on

and ejaculates over everyone?

Oh, that is sick.

That's... you've gone way too far.

That crosses a f***ing line.

Oh, crap!

So, while you're all

in the same room, gents,

I just need you to sign these

release forms for

distribution in France.

Oh, so we're getting

released in France? Yeah.

Have you seen French films?

It's all picnics and incest.

You can't shock that lot.

And what about here?

There's no need to worry.

Well, I wasn't going to worry

but now you've said there's no need

to worry I'm thinking I might worry.

You're not getting cold feet,

are you, Barry?

No, course not.

All I'm saying is,

you know, let's not project it

on to the side of Westminster Abbey

or start selling Life of Brian

Christmas crackers.

Have you seen Monty Python's

Life of Brian Christmas crackers?

Knock knock. Who's there? No-one.

We're all alone

in a godless universe.


Monty Python's Life of Brian

Christmas crackers.

Fun for all the family. As long

as you're not Christian, easily

offended or expecting good jokes.



it's all going OK here so far?

Yes, there's been the odd article,

nothing too bad.

Mind you, we haven't opened yet.

If it wasn't going well,

if things got bad...

would you be OK?

Even if all the religious leaders

in the world denounce you,

I'll be there for you. Thank you.

Until we die. When I'll go to heaven

and you'll be in hell.

That's nice. Oh, I'm joking!

It's a joke.

It's not a very funny joke.

Terry would have found it funny.

Terry's got a terrific

sense of humour.

Can I have a cuddle?

Oh, of course you can.

Oh, God, gently love!

Sorry... (HIGH-PITCHED) Sorry!

I just came from Wildlife...

Shall we begin?

Right! Listen up. I'm in charge.

This is the office for

Friday Night, Saturday Morning?

Yes. Good. Well, listen up.

I know you were all expecting

to be working with Trevor

and I'm sure you were terribly

saddened by his sudden death

but I'm in charge now

and he's history. Moving on.

Point two. That was point one.

Point two. I don't care what you

think you were doing before.

You're not doing that now. You,

what did you think you were doing?

A chat show? Wrong!

Chat shows are bullshit.

I don't want to make a chat show.

People chatting? Uh-uh. Boring.

People talking? Now you're talking.

I'm not sure I follow.

I want this show to be about

where Britain's at today.

The Sixties were all free love,

anything goes.

The Seventies were

No Sex Please, We're British

and everything's a downer.

But we're about to

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Tony Roche

Anthony Dalton Roche, AO MBE (born 17 May 1945) is a former professional Australian tennis player, native of Tarcutta. He played junior tennis in the New South Wales regional city of Wagga Wagga. He won one Grand Slam singles title and thirteen Grand Slam doubles titles, and was ranked as high as World No. 2 by Lance Tingay of The Daily Telegraph in 1969. He also coached multi-Grand Slam winning World No. 1s, Ivan Lendl, Patrick Rafter, Roger Federer, Lleyton Hewitt and former World No. 4, Jelena Dokic. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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