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The Meaning of Life (1983)

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1:04 | Trailer
The comedy team takes a look at life in all its stages in their own uniquely silly way.
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4,382 ( 891)
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Graham Chapman ... Chairman / Fish #1 / Doctor / Harry Blackitt / Wymer / Hordern / General / Coles / Narrator #2 / Dr. Livingstone / Transvestite / Eric / Guest #1 / Arthur Jarrett / Geoffrey / Tony Bennett
John Cleese ... Fish #2 / Dr. Spencer / Humphrey Williams / Sturridge / Ainsworth / Waiter / Eric's Assistant / Maître D' / Grim Reaper
Terry Gilliam ... Window Washer / Fish #4 / Walters / Middle of the Film Announcer / M'Lady Joeline / Mr. Brown / Howard Katzenberg
Eric Idle ... 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
Terry Jones ... Bert / Fish #6 / Mum / Priest / Biggs / Sergeant / Man with Bendy Arms / Mrs. Brown / Mr. Creosote / Maria / Leaf Father / Fiona Portland-Smythe
Michael Palin ... 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
Carol Cleveland ... Beefeater Waitress / Wife of Guest #1 / Leaf Mother / Leaf Daughter / Heaven Receptionist
Simon Jones ... Chadwick / Jeremy Portland-Smythe
Patricia Quinn ... Mrs. Williams
Judy Loe ... Nurse #1
Andrew MacLachlan Andrew MacLachlan ... Groom / Wycliff / Victim #1 / Guest #3
Mark Holmes Mark Holmes ... Victim #2 (Cheerful Severed Head) / Troll Waiter / Guest #2
Valerie Whittington Valerie Whittington ... Mrs. Moore
Jennifer Franks Jennifer Franks ... Bride
Imogen Bickford-Smith 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:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 March 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Monty Python's The Meaning of Life See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$9,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,987,853, 3 April 1983

Gross USA:

$14,929,552

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$14,949,697
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (2003 restored director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The skyscrapers that appear at the end of the Crimson Permanent Assurance segment are replicas of actual buildings from a variety of cities. The IDS Center in Minneapolis, Terry Gilliam's hometown, is one of the replicas. 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

Humphrey: Oh, no, do share your little joke with the rest of the class.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

Film prints and early video releases contain narration over the "Our [Short] Feature Presentation" pretitle cards that is not present on later video releases (such as later VHS, DVD, and Blu-ray). Both are in a low male voice. The first one says "There will be a short film of approximately ten minutes before our feature presentation" (even though the short film is about 16 minutes), and the second one, over a short organ fanfare, says "And now, our feature presentation." Later versions leave these completely silent. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Gamera vs. Guiron (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Christmas in Heaven
Lyrics by Terry Jones
Music by Eric Idle
Performed by Graham Chapman
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The answer you've all been looking for
2 February 2006 | by BroadswordCallinDannyBoySee all my reviews

A series of skits and songs that try to answer the question that we all want answered: what does it all mean? Addressing topics from love and sex to war and death (and halibut) the crazy entourage known as Monty Python will keep you informed, thinking, and of course laughing your ass off.

It is really more of a big budget production of Saturday Night Live since there is no real connecting plot throughout it all the segments, other than the issues being talked about and made fun of, but it still manages to be outrageously entertaining. 8/10

Rated R: near constant crudeness


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