Monty Python's The Life of Brian was banned for a year in Norway after its release in 1979, and in Ireland for eight years. But that's nothing compared to the comedy drought suffered in Torbay. According to The Guardian, the area of England known as the English Riviera banned the movie when it was released and hasn't shown it publicly since. That is, until now. Nearly 30 years after it got the cold shoulder from Torbay, Brian will be screened as part of a comedy film festival -- and in the grounds of a former abbey, no less. Seems fitting for a movie that was once met with many protests for its "blasphemous" take on faith.
Apparently, organisers of the festival held a poll to see what comedy film Torbay residents considered their favorite, and Brian took top honors. Back in the day, Torbay's regional government disagreed with the film's rating, which would have allowed the under-18 set to watch it. But times change, and so do licensing laws, which have rendered the old ruling "null and void." Torbay's fine citizens will finally be able to treat their funny bones to a lisping Pontius Pilate, the perils of being mistaken for the Messiah, an assortment of improbable-but-hilarious Roman names, and a chipper musical number about always looking on the bright side of life even if you happen to be doomed to death.
If Torbay can change its mind about banning The Life of Brian, might the day come when others follow suit? Might Vatican City someday hold a special screening of The DaVinci Code? Don't hold your breath--you'll need it to laugh.