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Death Becomes Her (1992)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Fantasy, Horror | 31 July 1992 (USA)
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When a woman learns of an immortality treatment, she sees it as a way to outdo her long-time rival.

Director:

Robert Zemeckis
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Popularity
1,775 ( 609)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Meryl Streep ... Madeline Ashton
Bruce Willis ... Ernest Menville
Goldie Hawn ... Helen Sharp
Isabella Rossellini ... Lisle Von Rhuman
Ian Ogilvy ... Chagall
Adam Storke ... Dakota
Nancy Fish ... Rose
Alaina Reed-Hall ... Psychologist (as Alaina Reed Hall)
Michelle Johnson ... Anna
Mary Ellen Trainor ... Vivian Adams
William Frankfather ... Mr. Franklin
John Ingle ... Eulogist
Clement von Franckenstein ... Opening Man
Petrea Burchard ... Opening Woman
Jim Jansen ... Second Man
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Storyline

In 1978, in Broadway, the decadent and narcissist actress Madeline Ashton is performing Songbird, based on Tennessee Williams' Sweet Bird of Youth. Then she receives her rival Helen Sharp, who is an aspiring writer, and her fiancé Ernest Menville, who is a plastic surgeon, in her dressing-room. Soon Menville calls off his commitment with Helen and marries Madeline. Seven years later, Helen is obese in a psychiatric hospital and obsessed in seeking revenge on Madeline. In 1992, the marriage of Madeline and Menville is finished and he is no longer a surgeon but an alcoholic caretaker. Out of the blue, they are invited to a party where Helen will release her novel Forever Young and Madeline goes to a beauty shop. The owner gives a business card of the specialist in rejuvenation Lisle Von Rhuman to her. When the envious Madeline sees Helen thin in a perfect shape, she decides to seek out Lisle and buys a potion to become young again. Further, she advises that Madeline must take care of ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Your basic black comedy. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Fantasy | Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some nudity and off-color humor | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 July 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La muerte le sienta bien See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$55,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,110,355, 2 August 1992

Gross USA:

$58,422,650

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$149,022,650
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Meryl Streep wasn't thrilled that the film relied heavily on visual effects. Streep claimed that shooting the film was like "going to the dentist" and states that the film is her first, last, and only VFX-driven film. See more »

Goofs

When Ernest runs through ER looking for a doctor a short scene shows a CPR in action. On the ECG monitor a flat line can be observed, nonetheless the doctors try to revive the patient with an electric defibrillator. ECG flat line cannot be treated by defibrillation. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Opening Man: [leaving the theatre in the rain] Can you believe that? A musical version of "Sweet Bird of Youth."Who are they kidding?
Opening Woman: Thank God you wanted to leave...
Second Woman: Can you believe Madeline Ashton? Talk about waking the dead.
Second Man: I gotta get a drink...
[zoom in on discarded playbill featuring Madeline Ashton]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Tru Calling: Death Becomes Her (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Rosen aus dem Süden
(uncredited)
Written by Johann Strauss (as Johann Strauss II)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Siempre Viva!
30 April 2016 | by pzivojinovicSee all my reviews

Directed by the amazing Robert Zemeckis, "Death Becomes Her" features a clever script, an awesome cast, and mind-blowing special effects that most Hollywood films lack nowadays. Meryl Streep plays Madeline Ashton, an actress who is obsessed with keeping herself looking young and beautiful. Helen Sharp (Goldie Hawn), is a plain looking author with a brilliant surgeon, Dr. Ernest Menville (Bruce Willis), for a fiancé. Madeline and Helen have hated each other for years, but things become even worse when Madeline steals Ernest from Helen and they get married. Years later, Madeline is even more obsessed with keeping her youth, willing to do anything to keep from aging physically. On the other hand, Helen is obsessed to get revenge on Madeline for stealing her fiancé. But it seems that there is one thing in common between the two rivals, in that both seem to know the same woman, Lisle Von Rhoman (Isabella Rossellini).

The film revolves around the concept of vanity with the female protagonists looking to get their lives back with simply changing their appearances. Is it a comedy? Yes, "Death Becomes Her" could be called a comedy. But it has a very twisted sort of humor, you'll have to be someone who enjoys all forms of comedy to really enjoy and understand the humor. There is both laugh-out-loud slapstick humor, then there's the dry type of humor which takes a few seconds to really getting you chuckling. But more than anything, the satire and irony of the story is so well embedded into the plot that there's really no specific part you can pinpoint as the funniest part of the movie. Overall, I would recommend this to any one that likes off-beat comedies.

Overall rating: 8 out of 10.


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