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31 March 1983 (United States)
23 June 1983 (United Kingdom)

The Crimson Permanent Assurance is a 1983 British swashbuckling comedy short film that plays as the beginning of the feature-length motion picture Monty Python's The Meaning of Life.

Having originally conceived the story as a six-minute animated sequence in Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, intended for placement at the end of Part V, Terry Gilliam convinced the other members of Monty Python to allow him to produce and direct it as a live action piece instead. According to Gilliam, the film's rhythm, length, and style of cinematography made it a poor fit as a scene in the larger movie, so it was presented as a supplementary short ahead of the film.

It was a common practice in British cinemas to show an unrelated short feature before the main movie, a holdover from the older practice of showing a full-length "B" movie ahead of the main feature. By the mid-1970s the short features were of poorer quality (often Public Information Films), or simply banal travelogues. As a kind of protest, the Pythons had already produced one spoof travelogue narrated by John Cleese, Away from It All, which was shown before Life of Brian in Britain.

The film includes actor Matt Frewer's debut performance.

Storyline

A group of down-and-out accountants mutiny against their bosses and sail their office building onto the high seas in search of a pirate's life.

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