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The Meaning of Life (1983)

The comedy team takes a look at life in all its stages in their own uniquely silly way.
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Chadwick / Jeremy Portland-Smythe
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Andrew MacLachlan ...
Mark Holmes ...
Victim #2 / Troll Waiter / Guest #2
Valerie Whittington ...
Jennifer Franks ...
Imogen Bickford-Smith ...
Nurse #2 (as Imogen Bickford Smith)
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Storyline

Why are we here, what's it all about? The Monty Python-team is trying to sort out the most important question on Earth: what is the meaning of life? They do so by exploring the various stages of life, starting with birth. A doctor seems more interested in his equipment than in delivering the baby or caring for the mother, a Roman Catholic couple have quite a lot of children because 'every sperm is sacred'. In the growing and learning part of life, catholic schoolboys attend a rather strange church service and ditto sex education lesson. Onto war, where an officer's plan to attack is thwarted by his underlings wanting to celebrate his birthday and an officer's leg is bitten off by presumably an African tiger. At middle age a couple orders 'philosophy' at a restaurant, after which the film continues with live organ transplants. The autumn years are played in a restaurant, which, after being treated to the song 'Isn't It Awfully Nice to Have a Penis?' by an entertainer, sees the arrival ... Written by Arnoud Tiele (imdb@tiele.nl)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

What it is, Where it is, and how to avoid treading in it [Video Australia] See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 March 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Monty Python's The Meaning of Life  »

Box Office

Budget:

$9,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,987,000 (USA) (3 April 1983)

Gross:

$14,929,552 (USA)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (2003 restored director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the opening sequence, the title is struck by lightning on the bottom of the final "e". The resulting words, "The Meaning Of Liff", is also the title of a book written by Douglas Adams and John Lloyd, published in 1983. John Lloyd explained in a BBC Radio 4 documentary celebrating its 30th anniversary of publication, that Douglas Adams had called Terry Jones to ask if he could title their book to (almost) match the film's title. Adam's idea was that the potential confusion of titles would help sell the book. Notably, Adams was the only "Official Unofficial Member" of Monty Python. See more »

Goofs

When The Grim Reaper talks to the couple and their dinner guests, the boom mic moves along the fabric ceiling. See more »

Quotes

Maitre d': Et maintenant, would monsieur care for an aperitif, or would he prefer to order straightaway? Today, we have for appetizers - excuse me - uh, moules marinières, pâte de foie gras, beluga caviar, eggs Benedictine, tarte de poireaux - that's leek tart - frogs legs amandine or oeufs de caille Richard Shepherd - C'est à dire, little quails' eggs on a bed of pureed mushrooms. It's very delicate, very succulent.
Mr. Creosote: I'll have the lot.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Not the Production Accountant....................Steve Abbott See more »

Connections

Referenced in Conker's Bad Fur Day (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Galaxy Song
Lyrics Eric Idle
Music by Eric Idle & John Du Prez
Performed by Eric Idle
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Michael Palin sums it up best.
13 July 1999 | by (L.A. CA) – See all my reviews

The Meaning of Life finds the Monty Python boys going back to their Flying Circus roots in a film that examines the many stages of life, and reduces them all to the absurdity that one would expect from these six loons. A very neat short film from Terry Gilliam starts off this search for the meaning of life and we go from birth, to examining the benefits of being a Prostestant. From there we are treated to war, live organ transplants, a very bizarre middle section of the film, sex education, Terry Jones puking and exploding in what has to be one of the most disgusting but extremely funny scenes ever committed to film. It all leads up to death, and I personally like Grahm Chapman's way of execution. It all winds up in Heaven, where every day is Christmas and it's all set up like a Las Vegas lounge show. At the end, Michael Palin gives us the meaning of life. I think he's right.


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