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      Holy Flying Circus

      2011 1 hr. 30 min. Drama Comedy List
      Reviews 48% 50+ Ratings Audience Score Controversy surrounds the release of the movie "Monty Python's Life of Brian" in 1979. Read More Read Less

      Audience Reviews

      View All (18) audience reviews
      Frau B Im not a fan of Monty python, but this film was hilarious! Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/07/24 Full Review Audience Member Rubbish. It is a lie, you are led to believe that the comedic genius of the Python troupe would be represented, it is not. It is a cheap, and dreadful counterfeit. Shame on BBC. Rated 0.5 out of 5 stars 02/16/23 Full Review Audience Member This is an embarrasingly bad film that could have been so very good. The leadup to Cleese and Palin's interview was a topic that had potential as a comedic drama, but the decision to make it a lightly dramatic comedy instead was a bad one for one reason: the lead writers don't have a comedic bone in their body. This film is aggressively unfunny. Every. Single. Joke. Falls. Flat. Not a one hits its target. Just by the laws of probability we should get at least one working joke. Heck, even serious dramas can pull that off. But the jokes here suck. The basic approach to humor is to ramp up the absurdity to ten and then continue on as if nothing happened. This was basically the Python approach so kudos for that, but the Pythons clearly knew the limits and style of their humor. They could make serious points provided that they exaggerated the beliefs of others into absurdity thus poking fun at the basic ideas they espoused. They also loved to make absurd characters who argued their viewpoints very seriously. In short, it was the contrast between absurdity and mundanity that made them so funny. Here the characters who are supposed to be absurd act absurd and when people are supposed to be serious they act serious. There's really awful interplay between these two modes. And these absurd bits are absolutely trying too hard. Take the following scene: Terry Gilliam upon getting early reviews immediately tears them apart to put them into one of his typical animations, which has the Pythons seated around with the devil arguing only to have Graham Chapman struck by lightning and run off setting the paper on fire to which Terry goes 'oh damn' and drops it. Now that doesn't make sense. The Pythons rarely do but they could get away with it because it was a comedy. This is structured like a drama but with random interludes like that every few minutes because 'hey, aren't the Pythons funny?' Needless to say it's very jarring. Like Michael Palin and John Cleese turning into puppets and fighting with lightsabers and swords. Why? There has to be some contrast with reality to be funny, certainly in the Python mode. Which is too bad because some of the performances are quite good, even if they are more focused on caricture than character. If they had been given a better script I don't doubt that they could have done wonders with it. As it stands though, they never get the chance. Rated 0.5 out of 5 stars 02/22/23 Full Review Audience Member Nothing is really LESS funny than people and programs that attempt to imitate the Pythons - even the best impressions of Cleese, Palin, Idle, Chapman, Jones and Gilliam come off (predictably) lame and even embarrassing. I've read and heard the Pythons discussing "Life of Brian" REPEATEDLY for the last 35 years or so, and the DRIEST account by the Pythons themselves is profoundly more entertaining than this "imaginative" and cliché-filled made-for-TV mockumentary. Not one laugh throughout the entire screening. Rated 1 out of 5 stars 01/22/23 Full Review Audience Member I cannot reccomend this film. A documentary about the world's reaction to "Life of Brian", Python's finest effort, would be a worthy consideration. But instead, we get a scripted recreation of what the filmmakers surmise the troop members might do & say. Actors who do resemble the boys give uneven impersonations of the Pythons which are, for the most part, unconvincing. Here's the deal. There are certain things you don't mess with because you're just not going to do it justice to include The Marx Brothers, The Blues Brothers, Richard Pryor, George Carlin & The Kids In The Hall. In other words, Flying Circus is holy & Holy Flying Circus is no more than a very pale imitation. FYI, there is absolutely no documentary footage whatsoever. Will be extremely disappointing to an authentic fan. Just pull out your " Life Of Brian" bluray & watch it instead. Rated 1 out of 5 stars 02/09/23 Full Review Audience Member "Holy Flying Circus" is a docudrama focusing on the public outcry at the release of the cult British comedy film, "Monty Python's Life of Brian", and the response by religious group and the Pythons themselves. Starring mainly unknown actors who are all cast brilliantly as the six Pythons (as well as Stephen Fry, whose appearance fulfilled, I assume, some sort of BBC requirement), and special mention is in order for Charles Edwards and Darren Boyd, two actors who perfectly encapsulate Michael Palin and John Cleese respectively. The film remains true to the spirit of the Pythons while similarly finding it's own unique tone. Reference not only to "Life of Brian", but also "Holy Grail", "Fawlty Towers" and "Flying Circus" are plentiful, along with references to other 70's properties "Doctor Who" and "Star Wars". Plenty of sterotypes are played up for laughs (Cleese's contradiction - "You're contradictory" "No, I'm not!"; Idle's hunger for money; Michael Palin's "nicest guy in the world" act; Gilliam's bizarre animations), but like the Pythons themselves, some of the humor can be hit and miss. Still, full credit for trying, and making a memorable TV movie. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/28/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

      Movie Info

      Synopsis Controversy surrounds the release of the movie "Monty Python's Life of Brian" in 1979.
      Owen Harris, Jack C. Arnold
      Tony Roche
      Production Co
      Talkback Thames
      Drama, Comedy
      Original Language
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Mar 21, 2017