Why Was The Life Of Brian Banned In Bournemouth For 35 Years?


Monty Python’s classic ‘The Life of Brian’ is to be screened in Bournemouth after the town 'banned’ the movie some 35 years ago.

It’s now thanks to Python fan Adrian Cox that the film will finally be shown, after he asked censors to reclassify it following a row that broke out on its release in 1979.

Distributors of the film back then said that they would not release the film unless it was given the old AA rating, the rating that later became the 15.

But at the time, Bournemouth council were appalled by the blasphemy in the film – which follows the life of an ordinary man called Brian who is mistaken for Jesus Christ – and gave it the adult 'X’ certificate, thus meaning that it would not be shown.


Ben Grower, who was on the environmental services committee which handed out such rulings at the time, told the BBC: “There were quite a number of right wing, religious councillors in those days. Maybe they thought it would offend the people of Bournemouth.

“Personally I think the people of Bournemouth would have laughed their socks off. It is better late than never, I hope those who go enjoy it.”

Cox, a train driver, has said that screening the movie for his birthday at the ABC cinema has proved 'horribly expensive’, costing him £3000 to show the film to 150 to 200 people. But presumably it’s worth it.


Andrew Morgan, who is the current chairman of the Licensing Board at Bournemouth Borough Council, added: “I wasn’t formally asked but if I had been I would have said it was high time the film was shown.”

It’ll be screened publicly in Bournemouth next month.

Bournemouth wasn’t the only place to object to the movie, far from it.

Torbay Council in Devon acted similarly, only lifting the ban in 2008, as did Aberystwyth in Wales, which decided to do the same in 2009.

It was also banned in Norway and Ireland until 1987.

Find a wonderful clip from the movie below…

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Image credits: Yahoo File