Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Arguably, the purest Python production.

It may have been 13 years since they began their first TV series, but in 1983 these six fortysomethings resolutely refused to let the creativity of their thirties fade-away, and the result was their most exacting silliness yet. The sketches about the Crimson Assurance Pirates, the fish hidden in another film, and Death as an unwanted dinner-guest have no place in either real-life or the movies, and as a result are utterly absorbing.

This is 107 minutes of very strange surrealism, sustained by the Pythons' total conviction that all their material is well worth doing. (which much of it is) There are no compromises here to fit-in famous guest-stars or younger, more attractive performers. It's the six of them doing whatever the heck they want to, and for that reason alone the entire 18-certificate film carries a tone of wild abandon like no other.

As is so often the case with Python though, their misguided determination to offend both dates some of the material, and makes you cringe at how proud they seem of it. When the Every Sperm Is Sacred song comes on, you know it's going to be three long minutes of the same joke. Okay, you think I'm offended, I've got it.

(not to mention the inherently ill-fated strategy of hoping to make some of the audience laugh by eliciting the opposite feelings in many of them)

But then, I really wouldn't have it any other way. The last thing I want is anyone, me included, telling the Pythons what to do. Then it just wouldn't be their unique material.

And on that score, Monty Python's The Meaning Of Life is their holy grail.

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