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The Meaning of Life ()


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

Awards:
  • Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win & 1 nomination.
  • See more »
Reviews:

Photos and Videos

Cast verified as complete

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Chairman / Fish #1 / Doctor / Harry Blackitt / Wymer / Hordern / General / Coles / Narrator #2 / Dr. Livingstone / Transvestite / Eric / Guest #1 / Arthur Jarrett / Geoffrey / Tony Bennett
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Fish #2 / Dr. Spencer / Humphrey Williams / Sturridge / Ainsworth / Waiter / Eric's Assistant / Maître D' / Grim Reaper
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Window Washer / Fish #4 / Walters / Middle of the Film Announcer / M'Lady Joeline / Mr. Brown / Howard Katzenberg
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Gunther / Fish #3 / 'Meaning of Life' Singer / Mr. Moore / Mrs. Blackitt / Watson / Blackitt / Atkinson / Perkins / Victim #3 / Front End / Mrs. Hendy / Man in Pink / Noël Coward / Gaston / Angela
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Bert / Fish #6 / Mum / Priest / Biggs / Sergeant / Man with Bendy Arms / Mrs. Brown / Mr. Creosote / Maria / Leaf Father / Fiona Portland-Smythe
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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
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Beefeater Waitress / Wife of Guest #1 / Leaf Mother / Leaf Daughter / Heaven Receptionist
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Chadwick / Jeremy Portland-Smythe
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Mrs. Williams
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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)
Angela Mann ...
Wife of Guest #2
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Brown's Son
George Silver ...
Diner Eating Howard the Fish
Chris Grant
Sydney Arnold ...
(segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance")
Guy Bertrand ...
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Ross Davidson ...
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Old Lady (segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance")
Tim Douglas ...
(segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance")
Eric Francis ...
(segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance")
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Cornered Executive who Jumps (segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance")
Billy John ...
(segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance")
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(segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance")
Peter Mantle ...
(segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance")
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(segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance")
Peter Merrill ...
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Cameron Miller ...
(segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance")
Gareth Milne ...
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Paddy Ryan ...
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Eric Stovell ...
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Jack Armstrong ...
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Robert Carrick ...
(segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance")
Douglas Cooper ...
(segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance")
George Daly ...
(segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance")
Chick Fowles ...
(segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance")
Terry Grant ...
(segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance")
Robin Hewlett ...
(segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance")
Tommy Isley ...
(segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance")
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(segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance")
Anthony Lang ...
(segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance") (as Tony Lang)
John Murphy ...
(segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance")
Terry Rendell ...
(segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance")
Ronald Shilling ...
(segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance")
Albert Welch ...
(segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance")
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Luke Baxter ...
Dancer
Stephen Beasley ...
Dancer (as Stephen Beagley)
Paul Bourke ...
Dancer
Bonnie Bryg ...
Dancer
Charlotte Corbett ...
Dancer
Geoff Davids ...
Dancer
Emma-Kate Davies ...
Dancer
Sandra Easby ...
Dancer
Jane Eve ...
Dancer (as Jane Newman)
Donna Fielding ...
Dancer
Roy Hamlyn Gayle ...
Dancer (as Roy Gayle)
Dawn Gerrard ...
Dancer
Natascha Gilbrooke ...
Dancer (as Natasha Gilbrook)
Donnette Goddard ...
Dancer
Heavon Grant ...
Dancer
Alison Jane Hierlihy ...
Dancer (as Alison Herlihy)
Laura James ...
Dancer
Kim Elizabeth Leeson ...
Dancer (as Kim Leeson)
Maddie Loftin ...
Dancer
Michelle Mackie ...
Dancer
Paul Madden ...
Dancer
Helen Mason ...
Dancer
Caroline Meacher ...
Dancer
Lorraine Meacher ...
Dancer
Sue Menhenick ...
Dancer
Kerri Murphy ...
Dancer
Tammy Needham ...
Dancer
Garry Noakes ...
Dancer (as Gary Noakes)
Trudy Pack ...
Dancer
Floyd Anthony Pearce ...
Dancer (as Floyd Pearce)
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Dancer (as Wanda Rockiki)
Peter Salmon ...
Dancer
Lizie Saunderson ...
Dancer
Steve St. Klonis ...
Dancer
Voyd ...
Dancer
Timothy Ward ...
Dancer
Michelle Welch ...
Dancer
Gess Whitfield ...
Dancer
Lorraine Whitmarsh ...
Dancer
Dominique Wood ...
Dancer
Carole Anne ...
Topless Pursuer (uncredited)
Lynne Hazelden ...
Student Doctor (uncredited)
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Dancer (uncredited)
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Restaurant Diner (uncredited)
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Restaurant Patron (uncredited)
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Restaurant Diner (uncredited)
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Branded Man in Dungeon Room (uncredited)

Directed by

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Terry Jones
Terry Gilliam ... (animation and special sequence)

Written by

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Graham Chapman ... (written by) &
John Cleese ... (written by) &
Terry Gilliam ... (written by) &
Eric Idle ... (written by) &
Terry Jones ... (written by) &
Michael Palin ... (written by)

Produced by

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John Goldstone ... producer

Music by

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John Du Prez

Cinematography by

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Peter Hannan
Roger Pratt ... (segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance")

Film Editing by

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Julian Doyle

Editorial Department

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Roy Baker ... editing department
Margarita Doyle ... editing department
Keith Lowes ... editing department
Simon Milton ... editing department
Diane Ryder ... editing department

Casting By

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Michelle Guish
Debbie McWilliams

Production Design by

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Harry Lange

Art Direction by

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John Beard ... (segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance")
Richard Dawking

Set Decoration by

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Sharon Cartwright
Simon Wakefield

Costume Design by

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James Acheson ... (as Jim Acheson)

Makeup Department

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Elaine Carew ... (segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance") makeup artist
Sallie Evans ... (segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance") hairdresser
Mary Hillman ... makeup supervisor
Mike Jones ... hairdresser / makeup artist
Pamela Rayson ... hairdresser / makeup artist
Hilary Steinberg ... hairdresser / makeup artist
Maureen Stephenson ... (segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance") hairdresser
Christopher Tucker ... makeup artist: Mr. Creosote (as Chris Tucker)
Maggie Weston ... hair designer / makeup designer

Production Management

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David Wimbury ... production manager

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

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Jonathan Benson ... (segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance") first assistant director
Matthew Binns ... (segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance") second assistant director
Ray Corbett ... first assistant director
Derek Harrington ... (segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance") third assistant director
Callum McDougall ... third assistant director
Kieron Phipps ... key second assistant director
Paul Taylor ... (segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance") third assistant director
Gary White ... (segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance") first assistant director
Bob Wright ... (segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance") second assistant director (as Bobby Wright)

Art Department

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Peter Browne ... construction department
Roger Cain ... art department
Alan Chesters ... construction department
John Cole ... properties
Mel Coleman ... construction department (as Melvin Coleman)
Steve Cooper ... art department
Peter Cull ... construction department
Dennis Griffin ... art department
Richard Hornsby ... art department
Brian Humphrey ... properties
Tommy Kavanagh ... construction department
Reginald Keywood ... construction department (as Reg Keywood)
Mick Law ... construction department
Colin Lovering ... construction department
Dave Newton ... properties
Brian Payne ... properties
Ken Powell ... construction department
Bill Sansom ... construction department
Dick Savery ... construction department
Vic Simpson ... construction manager
John Skinner ... construction department
Bob Walker ... art department
Andrew Ackland-Snow ... draughtsman (uncredited)
Gari Bacon ... props (uncredited)
Gerry Bourke ... props (uncredited)
Dennis Murray ... plasterer (uncredited)
Martin Smeaton ... model sculptor (uncredited)

Sound Department

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Paul Carr ... dubbing mixer
Philip Chubb ... sound maintenance (as Phil Chubb)
Bob Doyle ... boom operator
Rodney Glenn ... dubbing editor
Debbie Kaplan ... (segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance") sound
Garth Marshall ... sound mixer
Brian Paxton ... dubbing mixer

Special Effects by

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Richard Conway ... special effects
George Gibbs ... special effects supervisor
Ray Hanson ... special effects
Bob Hollow ... special effects
David Watson ... special effects
Terence J. Cox ... special effects technician (uncredited)

Visual Effects by

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Michael Beard ... (segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance") model maker
Valerie Charlton ... model maker (as Val Charlton)
Carol De Jong ... model maker (as Carole De Yong)
Nick Dunlop ... optical effects
Roy Field ... optical effects
Kent Houston ... optical effects
Tim Ollive ... animation & backgrounds
Peter Pullen ... (segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance") model maker
Tim Spence ... optical effects
Paul Whitbread ... optical effects
Janice Body ... visual effects assistant (uncredited)
Martin Body ... rotoscope artist (uncredited)

Camera and Electrical Department

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David Appleby ... still photographer
Fred Ashby ... electrical department
Kenneth Atherfold ... grip (as Ken Atherfold)
Barry Brown ... focus puller
John Clark ... (segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance") electrician
Clive Coote ... (segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance") still photographer
Mark Cridlin ... (segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance") clapper loader
Tony Cridlin ... (segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance") grip
Chuck Finch ... gaffer
Dewi Humphreys ... camera operator
John Ignatius ... (segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance") focus puller
Sue Knight ... (segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance") clapper loader
Alan McPherson ... electrical department
Stewart Monteith ... electrical department
Reg Parsons ... (segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance") best boy
Larry Randall ... electrical department
Roy Rodhouse ... (segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance") gaffer
Richard Seal ... electrical department
Malcolm Smith ... (segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance") grip
Stefan Stankowski ... clapper loader
Toby Tyler ... (segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance") electrician
George White ... (segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance") electrician (as Geo. J. White)
Kevin Brookner ... video operator (uncredited)

Animation Department

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Jill Brooks ... animator
Kate Hepburn ... animator
Richard Ollive ... animator
Tim Ollive ... animator
Mike Stuart ... animator

Costume and Wardrobe Department

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William Baboo ... costume maker
Vin Burnham ... costume maker
Shirley Denny ... costume maker
Linda Eke ... wardrobe department
Gilly Hebden ... costume assistant
Janet Lucas-Wakely ... wardrobe department (as Janet Lucas)
Stephen Miles ... costume assistant (as T. Stephen Miles)
David Murch ... wardrobe department
Ray Scott ... costume maker
Joyce Stoneman ... (segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance") wardrobe
Jill Thraves ... costume maker
James Wakely ... wardrobe department (as James Wakley)
Lizzie Willey ... costume maker

Location Management

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Peter Kohn ... location manager

Other crew

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Steve Abbott ... not the production accountant
Patricia Carr ... (segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance") production assistant
Valerie Craig ... production assistant
Penny Eyles ... continuity
William Hobbs ... (segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance") fight arranger
Barbara Holloway ... assistant to producer
Anne James ... python manager
Maggie Jones ... (segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance") continuity
Nancy Lewis ... director of python US relations
Arlene Phillips ... choreographer
Heather Seymour ... assistant choreographer
Mike Smith ... production accountant
Paul Taylor ... production department
Tim Vaughan-Hughes ... assistant to producer
Robin Demetriou ... catering supervisor (uncredited)
Steve Meek ... stand-in for mr. cleese (uncredited)
Adam Samuelson ... louma crane technician (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production Companies

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Distributors

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Special Effects

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Other Companies

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Storyline

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Plot Summary

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 of an extremely fat man. He can eat a lot, but also throw up quite copiously. The Grim Reaper brings for the final stage of human life, death, a visit to a mansion, where the people are rather interested in him. But life doesn't stop at death. It's onto heaven, where it's always Christmas. Written by Arnoud Tiele (imdb@tiele.nl)

Plot Keywords
Taglines What it is, Where it is, and how to avoid treading in it [Video Australia] See more »
Genres
Parents Guide View content advisory »
Certification

Additional Details

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Also Known As
  • Part II - Growth and Learning (United Kingdom)
  • Part VI - The Autumn Years (United Kingdom)
  • Part VI-B - The Meaning of Life (United Kingdom)
  • Part III - Fighting Each Other (United Kingdom)
  • The Middle of the Film (United Kingdom)
  • See more »
Runtime
  • 107 min
Country
Language
Color
Aspect Ratio
Sound Mix
Filming Locations

Box Office

Budget $9,000,000 (estimated)

Did You Know?

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Trivia Terry Jones spent most of the budget on the "Every Sperm Is Sacred" sequence. The rest of the team found out later. See more »
Goofs In the death sequence, the name at the top of the mausoleum is "nitruc" instead of "curtin", so the segment is reversed/flipped. See more »
Movie Connections Edited into The Meaning of Life (1997). See more »
Soundtracks The Meaning of Life See more »
Crazy Credits The Producers would like to thank all the fish who have taken part in this film. We hope that other fish will follow the example of those who have participated, so that, in future, fish all over the world will live together in harmony and understanding, and put aside their petty differences, cease pursuing and eating each other and live for a brighter, better future for all fish, and those who love them. See more »
Quotes New Mother: Is it a boy or a girl?
Obstretrician: I think it's a bit early to start imposing roles on it, don't you?
See more »

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