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Scott Ventura >> Movie Commentary >> September 1999 >> Monty Python's The Meaning of Life

Monty Python's The Meaning of Life

Movie Commentary by Scott Ventura


Scott's Rating:
3 / 5
Times Seen:
Viewing Date:
September 1999
IMDB Name:
Monty Python's The Meaning of Life (1983)
Terry Jones
Terry Gilliam (Crimson Permanent Assurance segment)
MPAA Rating:


Ah ha! Now I have seen the Machine That Goes "Bing". Now I know what inspired "Every Sperm is Sacred". Perhaps most importantly, I know what happens to Crimson Permanent Assurance. I first saw part of Meaning of Life on a dubbed tape with Holy Grail. Since Grail has a rather strange and abrupt ending, and Meaning of Life has such a bizarre and credit-free beginning, I didn't realize I'd switched films!


There are large stretches of Meaning of Life which are better in concept than in execution. I found myself yearning for the faster transitions of "Monty Python's Flying Circus". There were long stretches of unfunny exposition leading up to a few big laughs, but I was frequently losing faith that big laughs were still forthcoming. The performers seem a bit dull, almost like they're being weighed down by the process of making the movie.

Good Bits, Bad Bits

Thinking back on it, most of the good bits were also the naughty bits. Watching a very prim John Cleese discuss condoms is topped only by his presentation in a sex education class. The dance to "Every Sperm is Sacred" complete with a chorus of children had me wondering what studio let it even be made! I wouldn't expect something that wonderfully edgy, even by today's standards, to make it to the screen easily!

Copyright 1999-2002 by Scott Ventura. All rights reserved.