Monty Python's The Meaning of Life

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Monty Python's The Meaning of Life (aka The Meaning of Life), is a 1983 movie by Monty Python

Part I: The Miracle of Birth

Obstetrician 1: Get the EEG, the BP monitor, and the AVV.
Obstetrician 2: And get the machine that goes "Ping!".
Obstetrician 1: And get the most expensive machine - in case the Administrator comes.

Patient: What do I do?
Obstetrician: Nothing, dear, you're not qualified.

Hospital Administrator: Ah, I see you have the machine that goes 'ping!'. This is my favourite. You see, we lease this back from the company we sold it to - that way it comes under the monthly current budget and not the capital account. [the doctors and onlookers applaud] Thank you, thank you. We try to do our best. Well, do carry on.

[As the doctors drop the baby into an incubator, the mother looks up]
Patient: Is it a boy or a girl?
Obstetrician: Now, I think it's a little early to start imposing roles on it, don't you? Now, a word of advice. You may find that you suffer for some time a totally irrational feeling of depression. PND is what we doctors call it. So it's lots of happy pills for you, and you can find out all about the birth when you get home. It's available on Betamax, VHS, and Super 8.

Dad: The mill's closed. There's no more work. We're destitute. I've got no option but to sell you all for scientific experiments. [the children protest and cry] That's the way it is my loves. Blame the Catholic Church for not letting me wear one of those little rubber things. Oh, they've done some wonderful things in their time. They preserved the might and majesty, even the mystery, of the Church of Rome, the sanctity of the sacrament, and the indivisible oneness of the Trinity. But if they'd let me wear one of those little rubber things on the end of my cock, we wouldn't be in the mess we are now.

Dad: [singing]
Every sperm is sacred, every sperm is great.
If a sperm is wasted, God gets quite irate.

Mum: [singing]
Hindu, Taoist, Mormon spill theirs just anywhere,
But God loves those who treat their semen with more care.

Mr Blackitt: When Martin Luther nailed his protest up to the church door in 1517, he may not have realised the full significance of what he was doing, but four hundred years later, thanks to him, my dear, I can wear whatever I want on my John Thomas. And Protestantism doesn't stop at the simple condom. Oh, no! I can wear French Ticklers if I want.
Mrs Blackitt: You what?
Mr Blackitt: French Ticklers, Black Mambos, Crocodile Ribs...Sheaths that are designed not only to protect but also to enhance the stimulation of sexual congress.
Mrs Blackitt: Have you got one?
Mr Blackitt: Have I got one? Well, no. But I can go down the road any time I want and walk into Harry's and hold my head up high, and say in a loud steady voice: 'Harry I want you to sell me a condom. In fact, today I think I'll have a French Tickler, for I am a Protestant.'
Mrs Blackitt: Well, why don't you?
Mr Blackitt: But they! They cannot. Because their Church never made the great leap out of the Middle Ages, and the domination of alien episcopal supremacy.

Narrator: But despite the efforts of Protestants to promote the idea of sex for pleasure, children continue to multiply everywhere.

Part II: Growth and Learning

Headmaster: [supposedly reading from The Bible] And spotteth twice they the camels before the third hour. And so the Midianites went forth to Ram Gilead in Kadesh Bilgemath by Shor Ethra Regalion, to the house of Gash-Bil-Betheul-Bazda, he who brought the butter dish to Balshazar and the tent peg to the house of Rashomon, and there slew they the goats, yea, and placed they the bits in little pots. Here endeth the lesson.

Chaplain and students: O Lord! Ooh, you are so big! So absolutely huge. Gosh, we're all really impressed down here, I can tell you.

Chaplain and students: [singing a hymn]
O Lord, please don't burn us.
Don't grill or toast your flock.
Don't put us on the barbecue
Or simmer us in stock.
Don't braise or bake or boil us,
Or stir-fry us in a wok.

Part III: Fighting Each Other

General: Well, of course, warfare isn't all fun. Right, stop that! It's all very well to laugh at the military, but when one considers the meaning of life, it is a struggle between alternative viewpoints of life itself. And without the ability to defend one's own viewpoint against other perhaps more aggressive ideologies, then reasonableness and moderation could, quite simply, disappear. That is why we'll always need an army, and may God strike me down were it to be otherwise.
[A lightning bolt destroys the general. Cut to outside, where the Hand of God rises into the clouds. Outside, a Sergeant Major stands before his troops]

[The Sergeant Major has dismissed all his troops to go home, read books, learn the piano, etc.]
Sergeant Major: Bloody Army, I dunno what it's coming to! Right, then! Sergeant Major, marching up and down the square: go! Left, right, left right...
Narrator: Democracy and humanitarianism have always been trademarks of the British Army.
Sergeant Major: RUBBISH!
Narrator: Shh!

Ainsworth: During the night old Perkins had his leg bitten sort of... off.
Dr. Livingstone: Eh? Been in the wars, have we? Well, let's take a look at this one leg of yours. Yes... Yes, well, this is nothing to worry about.
Perkins: Oh, good.
Dr. Livingstone: There's a lot of it about - probably a virus. Keep warm, plenty of rest, and if you're playing any football try and favour the other leg.
Perkins: So it'll just grow back again, will it?
Dr. Livingstone: Er...I think I'd better come clean with you about this. It's not a virus, I'm afraid. You see, a virus is what we doctors call 'very, very small'. So small, it could not possibly have made off with the whole leg. What we're looking for here for is, I think - and this is no more than an educated guess, I'd like to make that clear - is some multicellular life form with stripes, huge razor-sharp teeth, about eleven feet long, and of the genus felis horribilis - what we doctors, in fact, call a tiger.
Pakenham-Walsh/Ainsworth/Perkins: A tiger?!
Soldiers and Warriors: [outside the tent] A tiger?!
[The African warriors flee in terror]
Pakenham-Walsh: A tiger in Africa?
Ainsworth: Erm, well, it's probably escaped from the zoo.

Soldier: Here is better than home, eh, sir? I mean, at home if you kill someone they arrest you, here, they'll give you a gun and show you what to do, sir. I mean, I killed fifteen of those buggers. Now, at home they'd hang me. Here, they'll give me a fucking medal, sir!

The Middle of the Film

Man with Bendy Arms: I wonder where that fish has gone!
Transvestite: You did love it so. You looked after it like a son.
Man with Bendy Arms: And it went wherever I did go.
Transvestite: Is it in the cupboard?
Moviegoers: Yes! / No!
Transvestite: Wouldn't you like to know? It was a lovely little fish.
Man with Bendy Arms: And it went wherever I did go.
Moviegoer: It's behind the sofa!
Transvestite: Where can that fish be?
Moviegoer: Have you thought of the drawers in the bureau?
Transvestite: It is a most elusive fish.
Man with Bendy Arms: And it went wherever I did go.
Transvestite: Oh, fishy fishy fishy fish!
Man with Bendy Arms: I wish a fish, a fish, a fishy — oh!
Transvestite: Oh, fishy fishy fishy fish!
Man with Bendy Arms: That went wherever I did go.
Moviegoers: Look up his trunk! / It's in his trousers!

Part IV: Middle Age

Joeline: It's real Hawaiian food served in an authentic medieval English dungeon atmosphere.

Mrs. Hendy: Oh! I never knew that Schopenhauer was a philosopher!
Mr. Hendy: Oh, yeah! He's the one that begins with an s, like Nietzsche.
Mrs. Hendy: Does Nietzsche begin with an S?
Mr. Hendy: There's an s in Nietzsche.
Mrs. Hendy: Oh, wow! Yes there is. Do all philosophers have an s in them?
Mr. Hendy: Yeah, I think most of them do.
Mrs. Hendy: Oh. Does that mean Salena Jones is a philosopher?
Mr. Hendy: Right, she could be. She sings about the meaning of life.
Mrs. Hendy: Yeah, that's right, but I don't think she writes her own material.
Mr. Hendy: No. Maybe Schopenhauer writes her material?
Mrs. Hendy: No. Burt Bacharach writes it.
Mr. Hendy: There's no s in Burt Bacharach.
Mrs. Hendy: Or in Hal David.
Mr. Hendy: Who's Hal David?
Mrs. Hendy: He writes the lyrics, Burt just writes the tunes, only now he's married to Carole Bayer Sager.
Mr. Hendy: Waiter! This conversation isn't very good!

Part V: Live Organ Transplants

Mr. Brown: Yeah, I know what it is, but...I'm using it"!

The Man from the Fridge: [singing]
The universe itself keeps expanding and expanding,
In all of the directions it can whizz,
As fast as it can go,
At the speed of light, you know,
Twelve million miles a minute,
And that's the fastest speed there is,
So, remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure,
How amazingly unlikely is your birth,
And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space
'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth.

Chairman: Item six on the agenda, the Meaning of Life. Now Harry, you've had some thoughts on this.
Harry: That's right, yeah. I've had a team working on this over the past few weeks, and what we've come up with can be reduced to two fundamental concepts. One, people are not wearing enough hats. Two, matter is energy. In the Universe there are many energy fields which we cannot normally perceive. Some energies have a spiritual source which act upon a person’s soul. However, this soul does not exist ab initio as orthodox Christianity teaches; it has to be brought into existence by a process of guided self-observation. However, this is rarely achieved owing to man's unique ability to be distracted from spiritual matters by everyday trivia.
Max: What was that about hats again?

Part VI: The Autumn Years

Maître-D': Good afternoon, sir. And how are we today?
Mr Creosote: Better.
Maître-D': Better?
Mr Creosote: Better get a bucket. I'm gonna throw up.

Gaston: You see that? That's where I was born. You know, one day, my - my mother, she put me on her knee and she said to me, "Gaston, my son, the world is a beautiful place. You must go into it and love everyone, try to make everyone happy, and bring peace and contentment everywhere you go." And so, I became a waiter. Well, it's - it's not much of a philosophy, I know but well, fuck you! I can live my own life in my own way if I want to. Fuck off! Don't come following me!

Part VII: Death

Geoffrey: [is confronted by a hooded figure with a scythe] Yes? [pause] Is it about the hedge?
Grim Reaper: I am the Grim Reaper.
Geoffrey: The what?
Grim Reaper: The Grim Reaper. I am Death.
Geoffrey: Yes, I see. Well, the thing is, we've got some people from America over for dinner tonight, and-
English wife: Who is it, darling?
Geoffrey: It's a Mr. Death or something. He's come about the Reaping? I don't think we need any at the moment.

American husband: I don't see it that way, Jeff. Let me tell you what I think we're dealing with here. A potentially positive, learning experience-
Grim Reaper: Shut up! Shut up, you American. You always talk, you Americans, you talk and you talk and say "Let me tell you something" and "I just wanna say this." Well, you're dead now, so shut up.

Geoffrey: Now look here. You barge in here quite uninvited, break glasses and announce quite casually that we're all dead. Well, I would remind you that you are a guest in this house, and-
Grim Reaper: [pokes Geoffrey in the eye] Be quiet! You Englishmen! You're all so fucking pompous. None of you have got any balls!
American wife: Can I just ask you a question?
Grim Reaper: What?
American wife: How can we all have died at the same time?
Grim Reaper: [turns and points] The salmon mousse.
[Everyone except the Grim Reaper is shocked by this revelation]
Geoffrey: Darling, you didn't use canned salmon, did you?
English wife: I'm most dreadfully embarrassed.
Grim Reaper: Now, the time has come. Follow. Follow me.
[Geoffrey stands up, picks up a pistol and fires 5 shots, which all pass through the Grim Reaper, who turns round]
Geoffrey: [sheepishly] Just testing...sorry
Grim Reaper: Follow

American wife: But I didn't eat the mousse.

The End of the Film

Lady Presenter: [last lines] Well, that's the end of the film. Now, here's the meaning of life. [is handed a gold-wrapped booklet] Thank you, Brigitte. [clears her throat, then unwraps and examines the gilt booklet] Well, it's nothing very special. Try to be nice to people, avoid eating fat, read a good book every now and then, get some walking in, and try and live together in peace and harmony with people of all creeds and nations. And, finally, here are some completely gratuitous pictures of penises to annoy the censors and to hopefully spark some sort of controversy, which it seems is the only way these days to get the jaded, video-sated public off their fucking arses and back in the sodding cinema. Family entertainment? Bollocks. What they want is filth: people doing things to each other with chainsaws during tupperware parties, babysitters being stabbed with knitting needles by gay presidential candidates, vigilante groups strangling chickens, armed bands of theatre critics exterminating mutant goats. Where's the fun in pictures? Oh, well, there we are. Here's the theme music. Goodnight.

Major cast

  • Graham Chapman:
    • Obstetrician
    • Mr Blackitt
    • General
    • Dr. Livingstone
    • Labcoat #2 (Eric)
    • Chairman
    • Geoffrey
  • John Cleese:
    • Humphrey Williams
    • Ainsworth
    • Labcoat #1
    • Mâitre-D
    • Grim Reaper
  • Terry Gilliam:
    • Mr Brown
    • Howard Katzenberg
Monty Python
  Members     Graham Chapman · John Cleese · Terry Gilliam · Eric Idle · Terry Jones · Michael Palin  
  Supporting cast     Carol Cleveland · Neil Innes  
  Television series     Flying Circus  (1969–1974) · Fliegender Zirkus  (1972) · Personal Best  (2006)  
  Filmography     And Now for Something Completely Different  (1971) · Holy Grail  (1975) · Life of Brian  (1979) · Live at the Hollywood Bowl  (1982) · The Meaning of Life  (1983)  
  Music     Monty Python albums  
  Specials     Parrot Sketch Not Included  (1989) · Live at Aspen  (1998) · Python Night  (1999)  
  Documentaries     The Seventh Python  (2008) · Almost the Truth (Lawyers Cut)  (2009)  
  Stage productions     Spamalot  (opened 2005) · Not the Messiah (He's a Very Naughty Boy)  (premiered 2007) · An Evening Without Monty Python  (debuted 2009) · Live (mostly)  (premiered 2014)  
  Literature     Big Red Book  (1971) · Brand New Bok  (1973)  
  Video games     Flying Circus  (1990) · Complete Waste of Time  (1994) · Quest for the Holy Grail  (1996) · The Meaning of Life  (1997) · Cow Tossing  (2011)  
  Related articles     Do Not Adjust Your Set  (1967–1969) · At Last the 1948 Show  (1967) · How to Irritate People  (1968) · We Have Ways of Making You Laugh  (1968) · The Complete and Utter History  
  of Britain
 (1969) · Rutland Weekend Television  (1975–1976) · Ripping Yarns  (1979) · Holy Flying Circus  (2011) · A Liar's Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python's  
  Graham Chapman