04 July, 2010

Extended Python

I was amused to discover, trawling through the European Film Academy archives, that the Monty Python team (surely the greatest British contributors to comedy?) were honoured with an EFA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001. So, a small tribute to a little-known outtake from what is perhaps their funniest film, Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979).

What? Extended Python? And I thought this was a film site. Fear not, for despite the innuendo-laden title, I have some superb news. Many of you may be wondering why, at the end of Life of Brian, the self-proclaimed Suicide Squad stepped forward and promptly, well, committed suicide. I had wondered this myself for some time.

It seemed to me to be a complete non sequitur as far as the plot and general story line went. It turns out that there is something of a back story to this particular piece of silliness. The Suicide Squad actually appeared in a segment of the film that was cut from the final release. The reason? Well, it probably had something to do with the fact that the Suicide Squad were something of a bunch of hardline Nazis. Jewish Nazis to be exact: ("All dead good Jewish boys – no foreigners"). They were quite happy to share the Holy Land but only with people who were properly Jewish, and the fact that their initials were 'SS' was, I’m sure, entirely coincidental. I am guessing the Python team may have already been in enough trouble for having a well-aimed crack at organized religion by parodying the birth and life of Jesus, and thought better of it.

The piece itself could not be more ridiculous and I personally found it very amusing. When placed in the original context of the film, it does make sense; burlesque rather than offensive. You can judge for yourself by clicking here. The quality of the clip is very poor indeed in places but is still watchable – especially if you aren’t lucky enough to have seen it before.


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