Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life

Date: 1983
Director: Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam
Production Company: Celandine Films, The Monty Python Partnership, Universal

Stars: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Carol Cleveland
Location(s): Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Lancashire, London, Strathclyde, North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire,

Region(s): , , ,

Storyline:

The Monty Python team takes a look at life in their own unique way.

Additional Information:

Screen captures uploaded by Phil Wilkinson.

 

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The Crimson Permanent Assurance is a supporting feature shown before the main film. The story revolves around the 'mutiny' of office clerks against their corporate owners. Lloyd's Register of Shipping on Lloyd's Avenue at the junction with Fenchurch Street in London EC3.

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A great comparison image from Peter.

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Part I – The Miracle of Birth. After losing his job, a Man (Michael Palin) makes his weary way home to his multitude of children and a wife who has just given birth to yet another baby.

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The first big musical number of the film has the cast singing out against birth control. Looking down towards Greenfield Road from back of Bankfield Street and Hargreaves Street in Colne, Lancashire.

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The dancing continues in the style of 'Oliver' and 'My Fair Lady'.

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A seemingly endless number of the couple's children descend from the back of their terraced house.

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The song is taken up by a chorus line of nursemaids pushing priests in prams. Adrian Myers advises that this is outside Cartwright Hall, Lister Park, Bradford in West Yorkshire.

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Undertakers join in. Greenfield Road, Colne.

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The wife (Terry Jones) dances with six of her many sons.

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Nuns weave their way through the grounds of the Abbey. East Riddlesden Hall on Bradford Road, Riddlesden, Keighley in West Yorkshire identified by Paul.

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The couple's children sing and dance their way along an alleyway. The back of Bankfield Street and Hargreaves Street, Colne.

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The musical extravaganza reaches it's finale. Greenfield Road in Colne, Lancashire.

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Part II – Growth and Learning. Schoolmaster Humphrey Williams (John Cleese) addresses his class. Looking out onto the grounds of the Royal Masonic School, Bushey, Hertfordshire.

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A dreaded rugby match between the masters and pupils takes place.

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Mr Williams trips one of the pupils as he runs with the ball. Identified on IMDB as The Royal Masonic School, Bushey.

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The masters inevitably win the game, leaving injured pupils over the pitch.

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Part III – Fighting Each Other. A platoon stand on parade as the RSM bellows that today, they will be "marching up and down the square". Dave Wilson advises that the Wikipedia entry for Colchester Garrison mentions that the old Cavalry Barracks were the location shooting of this film. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colchester_Garrison#Former_barracks_.28not_in_use.29 It has subsequently been re-developed, now there's a surprise! (RL)

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The RSM (Michael palin) shouts across at Atkinson.

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Atkinson (Eric Idle) admits that he has something better to do than "marching up and down".

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After Atkinson is dismissed to carry on his leisure pursuit, the others are asked if they would rather be doing something else.

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After the platoon are dismissed to go to the cinema, the RSM marches up and down on his own. Unidentified location.

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Find the Fish! Chicheley Hall, Chicheley Road, Chicheley near Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire.

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A surreal moment in the middle of the film. Inside the Main Control Hall of Battersea Power Station. Off Kirtling Street in Battersea, London SW8.

Part VI B – The Meaning of Life. Gaston (Eric Idle) leads the camera from the restaurant where he works. Outside Porchester Hall on Porchester Road, Bayswater in London W2.

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The waiter talks to the audience as he beckons them to follow him.

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The crossing on Porchester Road remains, albeit remarked. SJ

The corner of Porchester Road and Porchester Square in W2.

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Confusingly these houses across the street are on Gloucester Terrace but they face Porchester Square so yes the corner of the two Porchesters. SJ

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Gaston passes a parade of shops. After many months, Dave Wilson fulfils a personal goal and locates this as Shenley Road, Borehamwood, Herts. Eric Idle himself wasn't able to help Dave!

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As the walk continues, the surroundings change from city to suburb. Unidentified location.

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"You see that house? That is where I was born." Dave Wilson places this as Lee Common, Buckinghamshire. He advises that it is not connected by a road you just have to walk there across the common.....if you were thinking of a now shot! (RL)

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Part VII – Death. Arthur Jarrett (Graham Chapman) flees after chosing the method of his execution.

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The condemned man runs across a yard.

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Arthur looks back, to see a crowd of semi-naked women chasing him.

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Death (John Cleese) appears in a field near to a remote house. IMDB suggests Malham in North Yorkshire.

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The ghosts of poisoned dinner party guests are lead away by Death.

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