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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
2,330 ( 36)
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:

In one small bottle... The fountain of youth. The secret of eternal life. The power of an ancient potion. Sometimes it works... sometimes it doesn't. 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)

Gross USA:

$58,422,650

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$149,000,000
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

In several scenes, references to deceased musicians and actors are visible. When Bruce Willis's character falls through the glass roof and lands in the pool, Jim Morrison can clearly be seen with a girl. Later on, an extra playing James Dean turns around (with his signature hairdo) as Willis steals his Grey Spider. During the big welcome address at the ball, Elvis Presley is scolded for making random public appearances, an urban myth long-held by his fans that think he's still alive but hiding from the public eye. See more »

Goofs

After Mad is thrown down the stairs, Ernest calls Hel to her hotel. When they are talking, Mad gets up and says to Ernest: "You pushed me down the stairs". As Ernest falls back in disbelief, he carries the telephone with him, but the telephone chord is not attached to the phone nor hanging off the wall. It's just missing. 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

References Back to the Future (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Bridal Chorus
(uncredited)
Written by Richard Wagner
See more »

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User Reviews

A genius combination of three great actors makes this worth while!
24 February 2003 | by anzy_chickSee all my reviews

Ok, call me crazy but wasn't this the first film that anyone had ever seen Bruce Willis play a character that didn't involve him blasting bad guys into the air with a machine gun? Don't get me wrong, I loved "Die Hard" and am a big fan of Bruce but it was just so refreshing to see him play a character that was so different to his previous (and, indeed, later) roles. His performance of the downtrodden, weedy "Ernest" is masterful as he strikes a perfect balance between the comedy and darkness of the film. If you like black comedies (like me), you'll love this! Whoever thought of casting such a genius combination of these three great actors in this film should be applauded. Hawn and Streep are excellently cast as the two feisty women competing over Ernest, desperately hanging on to their long-gone youth and stopping at NOTHING to get what they want - the bitch fight between the two gals is a scene NOT to be missed!

All in all, "Death Becomes Her" is a deliciously dark comedy with a brilliant cast, great direction and some pretty convincing special effects - considering it was made way back in 1992!


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