Monty Python's the Meaning of Life

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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 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 ...
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Ross Davidson, Andrew Bicknell, Guy Bertrand, Sydney Arnold, Graham Chapman, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, Eric Idle, Terry... 03/18/1998 DVD Good 1983 Run time: 103. Connecting ... viewers with great movies since 1972. All used discs are inspected and guaranteed. Used discs may not include digital content. Customer service is our top priority! Read more Show Less

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Ross Davidson, Andrew Bicknell, Guy Bertrand, Sydney Arnold, Graham Chapman, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, Eric Idle, Terry... 03/18/1998 DVD Good 1983 Run time: 103. Connecting ... viewers with great movies since 1972. All used discs are inspected and guaranteed. Used discs may not include digital content. Customer service is our top priority! Read more Show Less

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Ross Davidson, Andrew Bicknell, Guy Bertrand, Sydney Arnold, Graham Chapman, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, Eric Idle, Terry... 03/18/1998 DVD Good 1983 Run time: 103. Connecting ... viewers with great movies since 1972. All used discs are inspected and guaranteed. Used discs may not include digital content. Customer service is our top priority! Read more Show Less

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Ross Davidson, Andrew Bicknell, Guy Bertrand, Sydney Arnold, Graham Chapman, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, Eric Idle, Terry... 03/18/1998 DVD Good 1983 Run time: 103. Connecting ... viewers with great movies since 1972. All used discs are inspected and guaranteed. Used discs may not include digital content. Customer service is our top priority! Read more Show Less

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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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Special Features

Closed captions
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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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/18/1998
  • UPC: 014381422627
  • Original Release: 1983
  • Rating:

  • Source: Image Entertainment
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Theatre Wide-Screen (1.85.1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Surround
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:47:00
  • Format: DVD

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
Imogen Bickford-Smith Second Nurse
Angela Mann
Peter Lovstrom Young Man
Victoria Plum
Anne Rosenfeld
George Silver Creosotish Man
Matt Frewer
Andrew Maclachlan Groom
John Scott Martin
Myrtle Devenish
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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Menu

Chapter Listing
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 18 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(7)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

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  • Posted November 27, 2013

    All I have to say is greatest opening scene ever, Otherwise film

    All I have to say is greatest opening scene ever, Otherwise film is full of hit or miss humor. Not the best Monty Python film made.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Pretty awful

    I saw this movie when it came out in the early 80's. Guess I only remembered a few funny scenes because most of this movie is typical British "junior high" sexual jokes/humor (think Benny Hill).

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    a MP classic

    I love this movie so much...I flip back and forth on if this is my favorite or if The Holy Grail is. But there are so many funny, different scenes in this one---from the "machine that goes 'bing!", to the fat guy exploding, to the "every sperm is sacred" scene---you will laugh out loud. If you don't, you probably don't have a pulse.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Hilariously great movie!

    A perfect showing of a MP comedy. The best of all Monty Python movies. A must see!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Scenes you'll remember forever

    Absolutely the best of Monty Python's work! A few scenes fall flat but several of them you'll remember, with a goofy smile, forever - especially the sex education class and the musical swipe at the Catholic Church's prohibition on birth control. The meaning of life, it turns out, is to enjoy every moment you can of it and not take it all too seriously.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    BRING A CHANGE OF DRAWERS!

    THIS MOVIE IS SOOOO FUNNY! THE SCENE WHERE THE FAT GUY BLOWS UP MADE ME TINKLE IN MY UNDEROOS.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Saw this in the theater

    When we went to see this movie, it was partly to get out of the heat. There were 16 people there. As the movie progressed, some of the people left. Our group thought it was hilariously funny. I was in my 50's at the time with my 20 to 30 year old children. We all liked it. I might add that my children were National Merit finalists. I think I can only recommend this movie to smart people who can understand the paradoxes and subtle jokes.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted March 23, 2010

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