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Bach Movies: Bach's Life & Documentaries: Index by Title | Index by Year
Filmed Performances: Index by Work | Index by Main Performer
Bach's Music in Soundtracks: Index by Title | Index by Year
General: Index by Number | Discussions of Movies on Bach

Bach Movies



The Meaning of Life
Monty Python's The Meaning of Life
(UK, complete title)








Film: Mar 1983 (USA)
DVD: Mar 1998; Sep 2003 (2); Aug 2005; Jun 2007 (HD)
VHS: Mar 2002; Sep 2003


Terry Jones; Terry Gilliam (segment "The Crimson Permanent Assurance")


Graham Chapman; John Cleese; Terry Gilliam; Eric Idle; Terry Jones; Michael Palin


Graham Chapman (Fish #1 / Obstetrician / Harry Blackitt / Wymer / Hordern / General / Narrator #2 / Dr. Livingstone / Strange woman / Eric / Coles / Chairman / Guest #4 / Arthur Jarrett / Geoffrey / Tony Bennett); John Cleese (Fish #2 / Dr. Spenser / Humphrey Williams / Sturridge / Ainsworth / Waiter / Man / Maitre D / Grim Reaper); Terry Gilliam (Fish #4 / Walters / Zulu announcer / M'Lady Joeline / Mr. Brown / Howard Katzenberg / Window Washer); Eric Idle (Fish #3 / Singer / Mr. Moore / Mrs. Blackitt / Watson / Atkison / Perkins / Victim #3 / Front End / Mrs. Hendy / Man in pink / Noel Coward / Gaston / Angela); Terry Jones (Fish #6 / Mum / Priest / Biggs / Sergeant / Strange man / Mrs. Brown / Mr. Creosote / Maria / Bert / Leaf #1 / Fiona Portland-Smyth); Michael Palin (Fish #5 / Mr. Pycroft / Dad / Narrator #1 / Chaplain / Carter / Spadger / Sergeant Major / Pakenham-Walsh / Rear End / Lady presenter / Mr. Marvin Hendy / Harry / Padre / Debbie Katzenberg / Window Washer); Carol Cleveland (Wife of Guest #4 / Heaven greeter); Simon Jones (Cedric); Patricia Quinn (Mrs. Williams); Judy Loe (Nurse #1); Andrew MacLachlan (Groom); Mark Holmes (Severed head); Valerie Whittington (Mrs. Moore); Jennifer Franks (Bride); Imogen Bickford-Smith (Nurse #2)


The comedy groups last full length movie returns to the feel of the hugely popular BBC TV show. It features small comedy sketches dealing with all of the stages and trials of life. Expect the un-expected. Plenty of religious, vulgar, and sexual humor may offend some groups. There are even musical numbers, but with that same unmistakable brand of Python humor. (Greg Bole)

The Monty Python group examines the meaning and purpose of life in a series of sketches from conception to death and beyond. In typical Monty Python fashion they satirizes and humourizes almost everyone. (Baldach Jones)

Perhaps only the collective brilliant minds of the Monty Python film and television troupe are up to the task of tackling a subject as weighty as the Meaning of Life. Sure, Kierkegaard, Wittgenstein, and their ilk have tried their hands at this puzzler, but only Python has attempted to do so within the commercial motion picture medium. Happily for us all, Monty Python's the Meaning of Life truly explains everything one conceivably needs to know about the perplexities of human existence, from the mysteries of Catholic doctrine to the miracle of reproduction to why one should avoid the salmon mousse to the critical importance of the machine that goes ping! Using fish as a linking device (and what marvelous links those aquatic creatures make), The Meaning of Life is presented as a series of sketches: a musical production number about why seed is sacred; a look at dining in the afterlife; the quest for a missing fish (there they are again); a visit from Mr. Death; the cautionary tale of Mr. Creosote and his rather gluttonous appetite; an unflinching examination of the harsh realities of organ donation, and so on. Sadly, this was the last original Python film, but it's a beaut. You'll laugh. You'll cry (probably because you're laughing so hard). You may even learn something about the Meaning of Life. Or at least about how fish fit into the grand scheme of things. (Jim Emerson, Amazon)

Those six pandemonium-mad Pythons are back with their craziest adventure ever! John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Terry Jones, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam and Michael Palin have returned to explain The Meaning of Life. These naughty Brits offer the usual tasteful sketches involving favorite body parts and bodily functions, the wonders of war, the miracle of birth and a special preview of what's waiting for us in Heaven. Nothing is too sacred for the probing Python crew. You'll never look at life in quite the same way again. Time pronounces it "an exhilarating experience!" Newsweek agrees, calling it, "the best movie from England's satirical sextet." Winner of the 1983 Cannes Film Festival Special Jury Award. (




107 min / 112 min (film, German, 2003 restored director's cut) / 108 min (DVD, VHS) / 107 min (DVD) / 103 min (VHS)

Bach's Music:

Toccata & Fugue in D Minor, BWV 565


Film: Color (Technicolor)
DVD: (AC-3, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC) | (2-DVD, AC-3, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC) | AC-3, Color, Dolby, Letterboxed, Widescreen, NTSC, Region 1) | (PAL, Region 2) | (HD, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen) | (Anamorphic, NTSC, Region 2)
VHS: (Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC) | (PAL) | (Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, Special Edition, NTSC) | (NTSC, Full length, Color, VHS, Dolby)


Film: Celandine Films
DVD: Universal Studios Home Entertainment; Image Entertainment
VHS: Universal Studios; MCA Home Video


Watch selections:

Buy movie at:

DVD: | [2] | | [PAL] | [HD] | [Region 2]
VHS: | [PAL] | |

Source/Links: IMDB
Contributor: Aryeh Oron (November 2007)

Bach Movies: Bach's Life & Documentaries: Index by Title | Index by Year
Filmed Performances: Index by Work | Index by Main Performer
Bach's Music in Soundtracks: Index by Title | Index by Year
General: Index by Number | Discussions of Movies on Bach


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Last update: Wednesday, May 31, 2017 09:55