Today: February 22, 2024

Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life

The Meaning of Life was the last full-length Monty Python film before the untimely death of Graham Chapman in 1989. And, in may ways, it’s a return to their roots. Unlike The Holy Grail and The Life of Brian, which both had fairly coherent storylines, Life  follows a sketch-show format, based loosely on the theme of the various stages of life, from the miracle of birth, to death.

Despite this anarchic approach, The Meaning of Life is probably the most quoted of all the Python films thanks to iconic sketches, such as Every Sperm is Sacred, the Galaxy Song, and the unforgettable Mr Creosote restaurant scene. A sketch which, apparently even grossed-out Quentin Tarantino. For those who like to know such things, the scene involved 900 gallons of pre-mixed vomit, which was thrown at the actors using a giant catapult. Oh, and don’t blink or you’ll miss Michael Caine’s cameo, as a dead Zulu War soldier. 

On it’s release critic Robert Egbert called The Meaning of Life “a barbed, uncompromising attack on generally observed community standards” and that still stands. Yes, there’s something here to offend almost everyone—and enough laughs to make you forgive them.

The blu-ray release comes with  136 minutes of extras including:

An hour-long ”The Meaning of Monty Python” 30th Anniversary Reunion with an introduction by Eric Idle.
An hilarious feature commentary with Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam.
The Snipped Bits: 7 Deleted Scenes.
Selling The Meaning of Life: In your face promotional material song-and-dance featurette.
Alternate versions of songs.
Promotional material … and much more.

Paula Hammond - Features Editor

Paula Hammond is a full-time, freelance journalist. She regularly writes for more magazines than is healthy and has over 25 books to her credit. When not frantically scribbling, she can be found indulging her passions for film, theatre, cult TV, sci-fi and real ale. If you should spot her in the pub, after five rounds rapid, she’ll be the one in the corner mumbling Ghostbusters quotes and waiting for the transporter to lock on to her signal… Email: writerpaula@icloud.com

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