Monty Python's the Meaning of Life

Monty Python's the Meaning of Life

3.8 18

Cast: Graham Chapman, John Cleese

     
 

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Monty Python's The Meaning of Life might be the most bare-bones DVD released to the market thus far. Compared to Criterion's extensive Life of Brian disc, Meaning of Life does nothing short of fall flat on its face. Considering that this film was Python's most professionally made foray into feature film (it even won the 1983 Cannes Film Festival…  See more details below

Overview

Monty Python's The Meaning of Life might be the most bare-bones DVD released to the market thus far. Compared to Criterion's extensive Life of Brian disc, Meaning of Life does nothing short of fall flat on its face. Considering that this film was Python's most professionally made foray into feature film (it even won the 1983 Cannes Film Festival Special Jury Prize) the low grade of the picture and sound is truly unforgivable. While distributor Image Entertainment is not exactly known for high-end DVDs, one would hope that it would see better treatment since Universal owns the film. The only advantage the DVD has over the video is the non-anamorphic 1.85:1 widescreen transfer. There is no main menu, only a chapter menu. The disc does not even include a trailer. The picture, while looking a little sharper due solely to the digital format, is shoddy and full of grain and dirt, while the sound is muddy and unspectacular. The Meaning of Life is a great film, but the DVD should be left alone until either Universal or Criterion has the good sense to improve it.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Though their work as a television comedy troupe ended in 1974, Monty Python would intermittently reunite for features, including 1975's Monty Python and the Holy Grail, 1979's The Life of Brian, and 1983's The Meaning of Life. Unlike Brian, their most cohesive effort, Meaning is a likably scattershot collection of vignettes, reminiscent of the Monty Python's Flying Circus series and their first film, 1971's And Now for Something Completely Different. The film swings wildly between pointed hilarity and just plain silliness; the humor is also notably coarser and more vulgar their previous work, exemplified by the classic scene with a gastrologically challenged overeater. In this outing, the directing tasks were handed over to Terry Jones, but Meaning retains the idiosyncratic visual style established by longtime Python director Terry Gilliam. The comedy unexpectedly garnered the Grand Jury Prize at the 1983 Cannes Film Festival.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/18/1998
UPC:
0014381422627
Original Release:
1983
Rating:
R
Source:
Image Entertainment
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Surround]
Time:
1:47:00

Special Features

Closed captions

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Graham Chapman First Fish, Tony
John Cleese Second Fish, Grim
Terry Gilliam Donor,Howard,Max,Private Walters,Third Fish
Eric Idle Fourth Fish
Terry Jones Fifth Fish,Mrs. Brown
Michael Palin Carter,Chaplain,Father,Sixth Fish, Lady,Spadger
Carol Cleveland Headmaster's wife
Simon Jones Chadwick, Jeremy
Patricia Quinn Mrs. Williams
Mark Holmes A Severed Head,
Valerie Whittington Mrs Moore
Jennifer Franks Actor
Imogen Bickford-Smith Second Nurse
Angela Mann Actor
Peter Lovstrom Young Man
Victoria Plum Actor
Anne Rosenfeld Actor
George Silver Creosotish Man
Matt Frewer Actor
Andrew Maclachlan Groom
John Scott Martin Actor
Myrtle Devenish Actor

Technical Credits
Terry Gilliam Director,Animator,Screenwriter,Special Effects
Terry Jones Director,Score Composer,Screenwriter
James Acheson Costumes/Costume Designer
Jim Acheson Costumes/Costume Designer
Graham Chapman Score Composer,Screenwriter
John Cleese Score Composer,Screenwriter
Ray Corbett Art Director
Richard Dawking Production Designer
Julian Doyle Editor
John Du Prez Score Composer
George Gibbs Special Effects
John Goldstone Producer
Peter Hannan Cinematographer,Screenwriter
Dave Howman Score Composer
Eric Idle Score Composer,Screenwriter
André Jacquemin Score Composer
Harry Lange Production Designer
Michael Palin Score Composer,Screenwriter
Arlene Phillips Choreography

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Scene Index

1. The Crimson Permanent Assurance.
2. Main Title.
3. Part I: The Miracle of Birth.
4. The Miracle of Birth Part 2: The Third World.
5. Part II: Growth and Learning.
6. Part III: Fighting Each Other.
7. The Middle of the Film.
8. Part IV: Middle Age.
9. Part V: Live Organ Transplants.
10. Part VI: The Autumn Years.
11. Part VI B: The Meaning of Life.
12. Part VII: Death.
13. The Finale.
14. End Credits.

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