Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life

Returning to the sketch format of their first movie and television series, the Monty Python team teamed up with Universal in 1983 to make the first film of their’s I ever saw on Betamax no less with my Cousin.

Before everything starts we get a surreal ‘Support Feature’ called The Crimson Permanent Assurance which is as you would expect is mad as a box of frogs then its on to the ‘actual film’ where we greeted by talking fish and Eric Idle’s title song.

Sex, death, organ transplants, vomit, the machine that goes ‘ping!’ and teachers beating kids up are the sort of things that appear on the screen for its running time.  As you would expect they are all hilarious, some hitting harder than others but always funny.

Of course the film is famous for one particular scene featuring Mr. Creosote an extremely fat man who loves his food and brown ale.  This scene was criticised by humourless morons for going too far on so many levels but Terry Jones covered in prosthetics turns in one of cinema’s most grotesque and side splitting (pun intended) characters.

The film features everything bar the kitchen sink although there is one in the scene set ‘up north’ with Terry Jones literally dropping a sprog on the floor before we get a BAFTA nominated musical number. In fact there are a few songs in the film which are all extremely clever and scarily rather catching especially ‘a frightfully witty song’ named after an appendage.

Is it as good as Life of Brian?  Probably not but definitely on par with Holy Grail and guaranteed to make you scream with laughter.  Sadly some of the humour might not to be everyone’s tastes but that’s your problem, its a work of near genius and should be cherished.  So there.

  • Starring Eric Idle  John Cleese  Terry Gilliam  Terry Jones  Michael Palin  Graham Chapman
  • Directed by Terry Jones