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The Meaning Of Life Essay

1508 words - 7 pages

The meaning of life

his article is about the film. For the soundtrack of the same name, see Monty Python's The Meaning of Life (album).
"Live organ transplants" redirects here. For the general term, see Organ transplant.

|Monty Python's The Meaning of Life |
|[pic] |
|Theatrical release poster |
|Directed by |Terry Jones |
|Produced by |John Goldstone |
|Written by |Graham Chapman ...view middle of the document...

Unlike Holy Grail and Life of Brian, this film's two predecessors, which each told a single, more-or-less coherent story,[2] The Meaning of Life returns to the sketch comedyformat of the troupe's original television series, loosely structured as a series of comic sketches about the various stages of life. It was made with a much bigger budget than the earlier films, so that much more time could be spent on each sketch, and the sound track was better made, with more performers. Michael Palin later said that the larger budget, and not making the film for the BBC (i.e., television) allowed the film to be more daring and dark.[2]


• 1 Plot
• 2 Cast
• 3 Pre-production and production
• 4 Release
o 4.1 Awards
o 4.2 Censorship and ratings
• 5 References
• 6 External links

The film begins with a stand-alone 17-minute supporting feature entitled The Crimson Permanent Assurance (directed by Terry Gilliam). A group of elderly office clerks in a small accounting firm rebel against their emotionlessly efficient, yuppie corporate masters. They commandeer their building, turn it into a pirate ship, and sail into a large financial district, where they raid and overthrow a large multinational corporation.

The film itself opens with several fish in a restaurant aquarium, performed by the Pythons. They look on and see one of their number, Howard, being eaten by a customer, and then start to ask themselves about the meaning of life.

The film proper consists of a series of distinct sketches, broken into seven chapters.

Part I – The Miracle of Birth
• A woman in labour is taken into a hospital delivery room, where she is largely ignored by doctors (Cleese and Chapman) and nurses, who are more concerned with using the hospital's most expensive equipment to impress the hospital's administrator (Palin). The idea came from Chapman, himself a physician, who had noticed that hospitals were changing, with "lots and lots of machinery".[2]
• In Yorkshire, a Roman Catholic man (Palin) loses his employment. He goes home to his wife (Jones) and an impossible number of children, where he discusses the church's opposition to the use of contraception, leading into the musical number "Every Sperm Is Sacred". Watching this unfold, a Protestant man (Chapman) proudly lectures his wife (Idle) on their church's tolerance towardscontraception and having intercourse for fun, although his frustrated wife points out that they never do. The sketch was filmed with language suitable for the many children acting, and dubbed afterwards—"He has to put a little rubber thing on the end of his sock" was said, but was dubbed with "cock" instead.[2]
Part II – Growth and Learning
A schoolmaster (Cleese) and chaplain (Palin) conduct a nonsensical Anglican church service in an English public school. The master lectures the boys on excessively detailed school etiquette regarding the school cormorant, and hanging...

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