Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life (1983)

Released: April 1, 1983 | DVD Release Date: December 24, 2002


DVD_The_Meaning_of_LifeThe Meaning of Life is a 1983 musical sketch comedy that chronicles phases of life in seven parts. There is a bonus “middle of the film” segment in which viewers are invited to play “find the fish.”







Douglas Adams has deep ties to Monty Python. Graham Chapman was his writing partner for a time and Adams is one of the few non-Python members to have a writing credit in Monty Python’s Flying Circus. In the opening sequence a tombstone reading “The Meaning of Liff” is struck by lightning turning the title to “The Meaning of Life,” a clear reference to Adams’s book featuring the former title released the same year. Monty Python’s Flying Circus is the fourth and last film that Monty Python would make as a comedy troupe. Graham Chapman died in 1989 after a short battle with cancer.

I adore the humor of Monty Python and Monty Python’s Flying Circus is my favorite film to watch. The humor is brilliantly irreverent. From the song “Every Sperm is Sacred” to Heaven as a Las Vegas Style Restaurant in which every day is Christmas, these brilliant artists hit viewers’ funny bones right in the sweet spot. Not to say that the film is for everyone. My mother would despise the idea of a teacher and his wife teaching sex-ed through action. She would cringe at a hugely fat man who succumbs to pressure to have “one thin wafer” until he very literally explodes. The humor of Python is cerebral. While a pratfall can be visually entertaining the surrealism a literal human explosion finds its humor in subtext. That Monty Python’s Flying Circus is extremely vulgar at points is its charm.

Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life is available as a DVD, Blu-ray and Amazon Instant Video.

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Title Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life
Director Terry Jones
Actors Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin
Length 1 hour and 48 minutes
Rating R
DVD Release February 27, 2001

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