MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Up 1,116 this week

The Meaning of Life (1983)

 -  Comedy | Musical  -  31 March 1983 (USA)
7.6
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.6/10 from 61,568 users  
Reviews: 186 user | 54 critic

The comedy team takes a look at life in all its stages in their own uniquely silly way.

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 28 titles
created 29 Mar 2011
 
a list of 37 titles
created 02 Apr 2011
 
a list of 26 titles
created 28 Feb 2013
 
a list of 22 titles
created 8 months ago
 
a list of 31 titles
created 4 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Meaning of Life (1983)

The Meaning of Life (1983) on IMDb 7.6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Meaning of Life.

User Polls

Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Life of Brian (1979)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Brian is born on the original Christmas, in the stable next door. He spends his life being mistaken for a messiah.

Director: Terry Jones
Stars: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Michael Palin
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A newly engaged couple have a breakdown in an isolated area and must pay a call to the bizarre residence of Dr. Frank-N-Furter.

Director: Jim Sharman
Stars: Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick
The Producers (2005)
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

After putting together another Broadway flop, down-on-his-luck producer Max Bialystock teams up with timid accountant Leo Bloom in a get-rich-quick scheme to put on the world's worst show.

Director: Susan Stroman
Stars: Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Uma Thurman
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Mayhem and zaniness ensue when a valuable painting goes missing during a party in honor of famed African explorer Captain Spaulding.

Director: Victor Heerman
Stars: Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Heidi, the star of the "Meet The Feebles Variety Hour" discovers her lover Bletch, The Walrus, is cheating on her, and with all the world waiting for the show the assorted co-stars must ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Jackson
Stars: Danny Mulheron, Donna Akersten, Stuart Devenie
The Cocoanuts (1929)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

During the Florida land boom, the Marx brothers run a hotel, auction off some land, thwart a jewel robbery, and generally act like themselves.

Directors: Robert Florey, Joseph Santley
Stars: Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx
Duck Soup (1933)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Rufus T. Firefly is named president/dictator of bankrupt Freedonia and declares war on neighboring Sylvania over the love of wealthy Mrs. Teasdale.

Director: Leo McCarey
Stars: Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An outrageous tongue-in-cheek musical comedy adaptation of the classic 1936 anti-marijuana propaganda film.

Director: Andy Fickman
Stars: Kristen Bell, Christian Campbell, Neve Campbell
Animation | Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

When the four boys see an R-rated movie featuring Canadians Terrance & Phillip, they are pronounced "corrupted", and their parents pressure the United States to wage war against Canada.

Director: Trey Parker
Stars: Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Mary Kay Bergman
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Mel Brooks brings his one-of-a-kind comic touch to the history of mankind covering events from the Old Testament to the French Revolution in a series of episodic comedy vignettes.

Director: Mel Brooks
Stars: Mel Brooks, Gregory Hines, Dom DeLuise
True Stories (1986)
Musical | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A small but growing Texas town, filled with strange and musical characters, celebrates its sesquicentennial and converge on a local parade and talent show.

Director: David Byrne
Stars: David Byrne, John Goodman, Annie McEnroe
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A New York girl sets her father up with a beautiful woman in a shaky marriage while her half sister gets engaged.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Woody Allen, Goldie Hawn, Julia Roberts
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Chairman / Fish #1 / Doctor / Harry Blackitt / Wymer / Hordern / General / Coles / Narrator #2 / Dr. Livingstone / Transvestite / Eric / Guest #1 / Arthur Jarrett / Geoffrey / Tony Bennett
...
Fish #2 / Dr. Spencer / Humphrey Williams / Sturridge / Ainsworth / Waiter / Eric's Assistant / Maître D' / Grim Reaper
...
Window Washer / Fish #4 / Walters / Middle of the Film Announcer / M'Lady Joeline / Mr. Brown / Howard Katzenberg
...
Gunther / Fish #3 / Gaston / 'Meaning of Life' Singer / Mr. Moore / Mrs. Blackitt / Watson / Blackitt / Atkinson / Perkins / Victim #3 / Front End / Mrs. Hendy / Man in Pink / Noël Coward / Angela
...
Bert / Fish #6 / Mum / Priest / Biggs / Sergeant / Man with Bendy Arms / Mrs. Brown / Mr. Creosote / Maria / Leaf Father / Fiona Portland-Smythe
...
Window Washer / Harry / Fish #5 / Mr. Pycroft / Dad / Narrator #1 / Chaplain / Carter / Spadger / Regimental Sergeant Major / Pakenham-Walsh / Rear End / Female TV Presenter / Mr. Marvin Hendy / Governor / Leaf Son / Debbie Katzenberg
...
Beefeater Waitress / Wife of Guest #1 / Leaf Mother / Leaf Daughter / Heaven Receptionist
...
Chadwick / Jeremy Portland-Smythe
...
Mrs. Williams
...
Nurse #1
Andrew MacLachlan ...
Groom / Wycliff / Victim #1 / Guest #3
Mark Holmes ...
Victim #2 / Troll Waiter / Guest #2
Valerie Whittington ...
Mrs. Moore
Jennifer Franks ...
Bride
Imogen Bickford-Smith ...
Nurse #2 (as Imogen Bickford Smith)
Edit

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 | Add 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:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 March 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Monty Python's The Meaning of Life  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$9,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (2003 restored director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Graham Chapman opens the door to Death and is the first person to speak to him in one sketch. By eerie coincidence, Graham Chapman was the first of the Monty Python team to die. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where The Grim Reaper is talking to the couple and their dinner guests, you can see the boom mic moving along the fabric which is the ceiling. See more »

Quotes

Chaplain: Let us praise God. O Lord...
Congregation: O Lord...
Chaplain: ...Ooh, You are so big...
Congregation: ...ooh, You are so big...
Chaplain: ...So absolutely huge.
Congregation: ...So absolutely huge.
Chaplain: Gosh, we're all really impressed down here, I can tell You.
Congregation: Gosh, we're all really impressed down here, I can tell You.
Chaplain: Forgive us, O Lord, for this, our dreadful toadying, and...
Congregation: And barefaced flattery.
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Soundtracks

The Liberty Bell
(uncredited)
Written by John Philip Sousa
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The Pythons' Last Stand
27 July 2001 | by (Plymouth, England) – See all my reviews

"The Meaning of Life" as a whole is clearly not Monty Python's best work, yet some of the individual sketches - the film is really just a big-budget sketch show - provide some of their most inspired moments. But overall, this is not the sort of swansong that befits the Monty Python legend.

Part of the problem is that, when the film was made (1983), British comedy was in the grip of the "alternative" revolution, as a new generation of comic writer/performers (Ben Elton, Rik Mayall, Ade Edmondson, etc) were beginning their rise to stardom and making the Python brand of humour look hopelessly out-of-date - alternative comedy was essentially comedy's "punk" to the "prog-rock" of Python.

The film opens with a beautifully-shot, but utterly pointless Terry Gilliam creation, "The Crimson Permanent Assurance", which serves little purpose other than to provide a set-up for a gag later in the film. When the film proper begins, though, the familiar Pythonesque humour kicks in, and normal business is resumed, albeit patchily.

The highlights for me are the "Live Organ Transplants" sketch, in which a man has his liver forcibly removed on his own kitchen table, and "Mr Creosote", the grossly fat diner who gorges and vomits his way to an explosive demise, both of which are the type of gross-out gags which have always found a place in British humour - even today, the "League of Gentlemen" team are proudly carrying on this tradition.

Also, some of the songs in the film are among Python's best, particularly "Every Sperm Is Sacred", a wonderfully over-the-top song-and-dance number, and the cheesey "Christmas In Heaven", in which Graham Chapman gives the greatest Tony Bennett impersonation ever committed to celluloid. Unfortunately, much of the remaining material is meandering and tedious, and just serves to pad the thing out to its already over-long 107 minutes.

Python fans will find a lot to amuse them in "The Meaning of Life", but don't expect it to be another "Holy Grail" or "Life of Brian" - it isn't.


46 of 74 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Monty Python vs. Americans ahw0510
Favorite bit? grantcatton
Meaning of the Fish wantapieceapizza
someone illuminate me (creepy side to this movie) Teven
Did anyone else think of Marilyn Manson........... djevolution-1
Who else saw Michael Caine in this? lovesick80
Discuss The Meaning of Life (1983) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?