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Monty Python's The Meaning of Life

Monty Python's The Meaning of Life (1983)


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Release Date: Mar 31, 1983 Wide



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Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 201,023

My Rating

Movie Info

The Meaning of Life is without a doubt the most tasteless of the Monty Python feature films; it also happens to be one of the funniest. Life's questions are "answered" in a series of outrageous vignettes, beginning with a pre-credits sequence at a staid London insurance company which transforms before our eyes into a pirate ship. One of our favorite bits involve the National Health doctors who try to claim a healthy liver from a still-living donor, pointing out that there's nothing in his

Sep 2, 2003

Universal Pictures

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January 26, 2012:
Surviving Monty Python Members Reunite for New Film
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All Critics (35) | Top Critics (2) | Fresh (27) | Rotten (3) | DVD (17)

Despite its obvious shortcomings, The Meaning of Life also happens to be devastatingly funny at times, hitting a few beats of silliness with traditional Python precision.

November 23, 2013 Full Review Source:

The skits range from hilarious to humdrum.

November 6, 2013 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing

It's a weird kind of fun.

October 9, 2013 Full Review Source: Movie Chambers
Movie Chambers

Edgy Python schtick better for older viewers.

January 1, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Perfect Python!

November 5, 2004
7M Pictures

Prime Monty Python, primo laughs.

October 15, 2004
Kansas City Kansan

Mostly dead-on and characteristically Pythonesque.

March 11, 2004
F5 (Wichita, KS)

Spotty and fitfully very funny. Lacks the structure of the other Python big screen films.

January 29, 2004
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

MP, always funny...

January 7, 2004

Com sua irreverência habitual, o Monty Python cria um filme que diverte o espectador com seus enlouquecidos esquetes e seu humor sem concessões.

October 7, 2003
Cinema em Cena

Strictly for people with dark senses of humor, any Python film should be avoided by anyone that thinks Jay Leno is funny

September 20, 2003 Full Review Source: Old School Reviews
Old School Reviews

A zany and outrageous comedy about the wrong-headedness of many serious people.

July 23, 2003 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

An okay comedy. More jokes fall flat than bring out a laugh.

May 30, 2003 | Comments (5)
Juicy Cerebellum

Classic Python

February 19, 2003
Henderson Home News (Henderson, NV)

The vomiting scene is one of the funniest moments ever filmed.

January 27, 2003
San Francisco Examiner

Python's curtain call, a random grab-bag of sketches ranging from the sublime to the forgettable to the appallingly hysterical. But always, the troupe's iconoclastic spirit shines through.

September 6, 2002
Flipside Movie Emporium

Some of the troupe's finest moments ever are here.

August 14, 2002
Kalamazoo Gazette

Most every scene in the film employs humor as its function, yet retains the offshoot depth associated with its philosophic ambition.

April 30, 2002 Full Review Source: Not Coming to a Theater Near You
Not Coming to a Theater Near You

Not the sextet's finest effort, but still drop-dead funny.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source:

Audience Reviews for Monty Python's The Meaning of Life

Monty Python discusses life, from the sanctity of every sperm to the rudeness of the Grim Reaper, in a series of sketches. Unlike the team's story-based feature movies, this one resembles a big-budget episode of the TV show with R-rated jokes (including the infamously sickening exploding glutton); it's still an irreverent classic, though.
October 21, 2013
Greg S

Super Reviewer

Humphrey: What's wrong with a kiss, boy? Hmm? Why not start her off with a nice kiss? You don't have to go leaping straight for the clitoris like a bull at a gate. Give her a kiss, boy. 

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

The Meaning of Life is the first Monty Python film I have the pleasure of watching, so I can't put any emphasis on comparing this to any of the others. That may actually be a good thing because I've heard the others are better. Overall, The Meaning of Life is a funny movie from the opening short film through to the feature presentation starting with Part 1- The Miracle of Birth to the last part, Death. Now some parts were great and some were not so great. 

There's definitely a weirdly intelligent humor level in all of this despite just how stupid and ridiculous it all is. The wacky imagination of these guys is something of a mystery to me, but come on; it's impossible to not say their geniuses. The humor at work here may be unflattering, at times gross, and at other times just obscene, but there's a level of genius, and not just comedic genius, in it all. 

Some of my favorite scenes were the sex-ed class, the whole Miracle of Birth, part one and two, and the Death scenes. The Middle Age part was kind of lazy and the whole Autumn years thing had its moments, but wasn't particularly satisfying.

The Meaning of Life is definitely worth a look. These guys are extremely funny and their jokes in this one work more often then they don't. And of course you get to find out the actual meaning of life at the end. It's pretty profound too, so give it a look.
February 15, 2013
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

Hysterically amusing.
November 8, 2012
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

Monty Python's The Meaning of Life is a great comedy. Brilliantly acted, and directed, The Meaning of Life is one of those comedies that are still refreshing to watch after all these years. This is one of my personal favorite films that Monty Python has made along with Holy Grail. The use of comedy here is brilliant, like with every other film the troupe has done. This is comedy at its finest. I thoroughly enjoyed the film from start to finish. This is a great comedy, one that should be seen if you're in the mood for a great laugh. This is a well crafted comedy that delivers on the laughs. As far as the jokes are concerned, they are always consistent, and in pure Monty Python fashion, always witty, ridiculous and in this case, vulgar. However, this film isn't as vulgar as many comedies nowadays, which I feel only, use it for shock value. In Monty Python's case they use it to elevate the jokes and it works. The cast is terrific, and they all deliver great performances. The Meaning of Life is a well crafted comedy, one that remains a classic of the genre. If you want to experience a crude, hilarious Monty Python film, The Meaning of Life is the one. With this film, Monty Python stepped up a notch, took their creative energy of past works, and created a film that is one of the best films in their history. I always loved Monty Python films, along with Monty Python and the Holy Grail; this is my favorite film of theirs. A true classic and a great film filled with crude, but intelligent gags.
May 8, 2012
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

    1. Max: Can we have your liver then?
    2. Mrs. Brown: Yeah, all right. You talked me into it.
    – Submitted by Ben C (17 months ago)
    1. Young Man: I hope monsieur was not overdoing it last night.
    2. Creosotish Man: Shut up!
    3. Young Man: D'Accord.
    – Submitted by Ben C (17 months ago)
    1. Young Man: Well, I know it is not a great philosophy but....Well, fuck you! I can live my life in my own way if I want to. Fuck off!
    – Submitted by Matthew D (23 months ago)
    1. Mrs. Brown: [walks in the room and sees two doctors disembowling her husband] What's going on?
    2. Max: [the first doctor] He's donating his liver, madame.
    3. Donor: GAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!
    4. Mrs. Brown: Is this because he took out one of those silly cards?
    5. Max: Yes, you're right, madame.
    6. Mrs. Brown: Typical of the man. He goes down to the public library, sees a few side-up, comes home all full of 'good intentions'. He gives blood, does cold reserch, all that sort of thing.
    8. Mrs. Brown: What do you do with them all, anyway?
    9. Howard: [the second doctor] Oh, all go to saving lives, madame.
    10. Mrs. Brown: That's what he used to say. 'It's ALL for the good of the country' he used to say.
    11. Donor: AHCK!!! AHCK!!! BLAAAAAUUGGHHHHHA!!!!
    12. Mrs. Brown: Do you think it's all for the good of the country?
    13. Max: Hm?
    14. Mrs. Brown: Do you think it's all for the good of the country?
    15. Max: Well, I wouldn't know about that, madame. We're just doing our jobs.
    16. Mrs. Brown: ... You're not doctors, then?
    17. Max: Oh, blimey no. [both doctors laugh]
    – Submitted by Jed G (2 years ago)
    1. Donor: [hears a ring at the door] Don't worry dear. I'll get it. [opens door] Yes?
    2. Max: [the first doctor] Hello, can we have your liver?
    3. Donor: What?
    4. Max: Your liver. It's a large glandular organ in your abdomen.
    5. Donor: ...
    6. Max: You know, it's reddish-brown, sort of, um...
    7. Donor: Yeah, yeah, I know what it is, but, um... I'm using it.
    8. Howard: [the second doctor] *sigh* Come on sir, don't mug us about. [pulls card out of donor's shirt]
    9. Max: What's this, then?
    10. Donor: A liver donor's card...
    11. Max: Need we say more?
    12. Donor: Now listen, I can't give it to you now! It says 'in the event of death'!
    13. Max: [pushes donor on the table] Nobody's ever taken out their liver for US to survive.
    14. Howard: Don't worry, this is only gonna take a minute. (drives knife into donor's stomach)
    – Submitted by Jed G (2 years ago)
    1. Young Man: Oh dear. I have trodded in monsieur's bucket.
    – Submitted by Jed G (2 years ago)
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