I recently wrote about the controversy over the film Monty Python’s Life of Brian. Those who have seen the film may recall a funny but puzzling episode near the very end, involving a uniformed ‘suicide squad’ of soldiers who appear at the scene of Brian’s crucifixion.
The puzzling aspect was that the appearance and actions of this strange squad did not seem to surprise Brian at all. He did not look hopeful of being saved at the last minute by their appearance, nor did he look disappointed at the way things turned out. He merely seemed resigned and exasperated.
The reason for his reaction is that an earlier scene that set up the final joke was cut from the final release. The cut scene involves a militaristic Jewish leader named Otto with Nazi-type ideas about racial purity who dreams of ridding the region of all non-Jews. Here is a compilation of deleted scenes from the film, with the one that I am referring to starting at around the 9:10 minute mark.
In later interviews, members of the Python said that the backers of the film thought that such a scene was too controversial and would anger Jews and would add to the problems they already had with Christians over the film.