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The Meaning of Life (1983)

cover Directed by
Terry Jones
Terry Gilliam

Writing credits
Graham Chapman (written by) &
John Cleese (written by) ...
 (more)

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Genre: Comedy / Musical / Fantasy (more)

Tagline: It took God six days to create the earth, and Monty Python just 90 minutes to screw it up.

Plot Outline: The comedy team takes a look at life in all its stages in their own uniquely silly way. (more) (view trailer)

User Comments: Looking For Answers? No Better Place To Look Than Here... (more)

User Rating: ********__ 7.4/10 (14,395 votes) Vote Here

Cast overview, first billed only:
Graham Chapman .... Fish #1/Obstetrician/Harry Blackitt/Wymer/Hordern/General/Narrator #2/Dr. Livingstone/Strange woman/Eric/Coles/Chairman/Guest #4/Arthur Jarrett/Geoffrey/Tony Bennett
John Cleese .... Fish #2/Dr. Spenser/Humphrey Williams/Sturridge/Ainsworth/Waiter/Man/Maitre D/Grim Reaper
Terry Gilliam .... Fish #4/Walters/Zulu announcer/M'Lady Joeline/Mr. Brown/Howard Katzenberg/Window Washer
Eric Idle .... Fish #3/Singer/Mr. Moore/Mrs. Blackitt/Watson/Atkison/Perkins/Victim #3/Front End/Mrs. Hendy/Man in pink/Noel Coward/Gaston/Angela
Terry Jones .... Fish #6/Mum/Priest/Biggs/Sergeant/Strange man/Mrs. Brown/Mr. Creosote/Maria/Bert/Leaf #1/Fiona Portland-Smyth
Michael Palin .... Fish #5/Mr. Pycroft/Dad/Narrator #1/Chaplain/Carter/Spadger/Sergeant Major/Pakenham-Walsh/Rear End/Lady presenter/Mr. Marvin Hendy/Harry/Padre/Debbie Katzenberg/Window Washer
Carol Cleveland .... Wife of Guest #4/Heaven greeter
Simon Jones .... Jeremy Portland-Smythe
Patricia Quinn .... Mrs. Williams
Judy Loe .... Nurse #1
Andrew MacLachlan .... Groom
Mark Holmes .... Severed head
Valerie Whittington .... Mrs. Moore
Jennifer Franks .... Bride
Imogen Bickford-Smith .... Nurse #2
  (more)

Also Known As:
Monty Python's The Meaning of Life (UK) (complete title)
Runtime: 107 min / Germany:112 min (2003 restored director's cut)
Country: UK
Language: English
Color: Color (Technicolor)
Sound Mix: Dolby
Certification: Canada:18 (Nova Scotia) (re-rating) (2003) / Canada:R (Manitoba/Ontario) / Canada:R (Nova Scotia) (original rating) / Australia:M / Canada:13+ (Quebec) / Finland:K-16 / Ireland:(Banned) (original rating) / Ireland:15 (re-rating) / New Zealand:R16 / Norway:15 (re-rating) / Norway:16 (original rating) / Singapore:M18 (cut) / Sweden:15 / UK:15 (video re-rating) (2000) / UK:18 (original rating) / USA:R / West Germany:16

Trivia: In the Find The Fish sketch, Terry Jones and Graham Chapman are joined by a green, elephant-like waiter creature that was a left over (unseen) costume from Terry Gilliam's Time Bandits (1981). (more)

Goofs: Continuity: In the war sequence, the soldiers give their sergeant a clock which is placed on the edge of the mound they are hiding behind and is clearly visible. In the next shot, the clock is gone. (more)

Quotes:
Ainsworth: During the night, old Perkins got his leg bitten sort of... off.
Dr. Livingstone: Ah, been in the wars, have we?
Perkins: Yes.
Dr. Livingstone: Ah, any headache? Bowels all right? Hm. Well, let's have a look at this "one leg" of yours, then, eh? Yes, yes, yes, yes. Yes, yes...
[Pokes the stump with his pipe]
Dr. Livingstone: Yes yes. Yes, well, this is nothing to worry about.
Perkins: Oh, good.
Dr. Livingstone: Yes, there's a lot of it around, probably a virus. Keep warm, plenty of rest, and if you're playing football or anything, try and favor the other leg.
(more)

Awards: Nominated for BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win & 1 nomination (more)
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User Comments:

9 out of 11 people found the following comment useful:-
Looking For Answers? No Better Place To Look Than Here..., 23 August 2004
8/10
Author: hokeybutt from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

MONTY PYTHON'S THE MEANING OF LIFE (4 outta 5 stars)

I never really thought this was anywhere near the best work of the Pythons... but, the more I see this movie, the more I like it. People not in tune with the Python sense of humour will find this film unbearable I'm sure. (When I saw it in the theatre when it first came out there were an incredible numbers of walkouts... even *before* the infamous "Mr. Creosote" scene.) Not an actual movie so much as an extended (and expensively-produced) episode of the classic BBC TV series "Monty Python's Flying Circus"... depicting several stages in the lives of human beings, from birth to death. There are some hilarious bits (the sex education class, Death crashing a dinner party), some clever bits (the opening fish skit, the show-stopping dance number "Every Sperm is Sacred") and some just plain gross, disgusting bits (Mr. Creosote, organ donations). Plus, the movie has its own special short subject "The Crimson Permanent Assurance"... where an accounting office staffed by aging workerbees suddenly metamorphosizes into a pirate ship! Most people find this bit incredibly boring and pointless... but, dang, its cleverly done!

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most bizarre python scene everathibbs87
What did the song mean?ebbgenius
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