Corpse Bride (2005) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • When a shy groom practices his wedding vows in the inadvertent presence of a deceased young woman, she rises from the grave assuming he has married her.

  • Set back in the late 1800s in a Victorian village, a man and woman by the names of Victor Van Dort and Victoria Everglot are betrothed because the Everglots need the money or else they'll be living on the streets and the Van Dorts want to be high in society. But when things go wrong at the wedding rehearsal, Victor goes into the woods to practice his vows. Just as soon as he gets them right, he finds himself married to Emily, the corpse bride. While Victoria waits on the other side, there's a rich newcomer that may take Victor's place. So two brides, one groom, who will Victor pick?

  • When an arranged marriage between Victor Van Dort and Victoria Everglot reaches the rehearsals, Victor starts to worry. Spending time alone in the forest, Victor decides to practice on his own. Everything seems to go well, until he accidentally puts the ring upon the hand of a corpse. Before he knows it, Victor is in the land of dead and now has a corpse bride. Whilst everyones worries about who Victoria will marry in the land of the living, Victor desperately finds a way to get back.

  • Victor Van Dort, son of fish merchants, finds himself in an arranged marriage with Victoria Everglot, a high-society woman whom he's never even spoken to. After Victor horribly messes up the wedding rehearsals, he ventures deep into the woods while practicing his vows. However, once he finally gets them right, he discovers he accidentally recited them to a corpse. His new, dead bride takes him with her to the Land of the Dead, while his living fiancé waits desperately for his return in the Land of the Living. With two brides both pining for him, Victor must decide between his love-at-first-sight fiancé Victoria, or his tragic corpse bride Emily.

  • Victor messed up his vows during a wedding rehearsal, and is traveling through the woods, reciting his vows. He stops to rest in the woods,and while practicing, he gets them right and puts his wedding ring on a finger-shaped stick in the ground and says his wedding vows. The stick turns out to be a rotted finger belonging to a murdered girl, who returns as a zombie and insists that she is now Victor's lawfully wedded wife.

  • Blue-tinted, eye-ball-popping, maggot-infested beauty Emily has become known as the Corpse Bride after waiting for her fiancé where the couple planned to rendezvous before getting hitched. When her groom arrives, he kills her, and she rests in the ground to wait for her soul mate, whether he knows he is the Corpse Bride's groom or not. It's a cold dark night, the moon is full, the stars are bright and the forest is a little bit creepy. Wandering through the black mangled trees, Victor just can't memorize his wedding vows. Victor's hesitance towards marriage causes him to jumble the words. Two prominent families have arranged their children to be married in order to overcome financial difficulties. As the objects of betrothal, Victor and Victoria met for the first time the night before their wedding. It only makes sense that Victor, a groom with cold feet, would have trouble remembering tedious wedding vows. Thus Victor ends up in the dark forest ringing his hands and muttering his vows, the vows that the Corpse Bride hears, bringing her out of the grave. Victor suddenly finds himself married to another woman, a voluptuous bombshell bride who also happens to be dead. Whisked away to the Land of the Dead, Victor finds out that living amongst corpses is not as easy as it seems. Heads easily loose their owners and eyes never seem to stay in their sockets, an adjustment that Victor seems reluctant to accept. Once taken into the Land of the Dead, it is nearly impossible to return, causing Victor to choose between risking Victoria's life or giving up his own.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • The film is set in an unspecified Victorian British village. Victor Van Dort (Johnny Depp), son of a nouveau riche merchant, and Victoria Everglot (Emily Watson), daughter of bankrupt aristocrats, are engaged by their families to marry. When they meet each other for the first time, they like what they see. After the shy, clumsy Victor bungles a wedding rehearsal, he practices his wedding vows in a forest, placing the wedding ring on what looks like a tree branch.

    The branch is actually the finger of a deceased bride who is so thrilled by the prospect of marriage that she rises from the grave and spirits Victor to the Land of the Dead. In the surprisingly festive afterlife, Victor learns that his new fiancee's name is Emily (Helena Bonham Carter) and that she was murdered in the woods on the night of her elopement.

    Victor, wanting to get back to Victoria, convinces the magical Elder Gutknecht (Michael Gough) to send him and Emily temporarily to the Land of the Living under the pretext of introducing Emily to Victor's parents. Once back home, Victor rushes to see Victoria and confesses his love. Emily feels betrayed and drags Victor back to the Land of the Dead.

    Victoria tells her parents that Victor is in trouble, but they believe she has lost her mind and lock her up in her bedroom. She attempts to escape, but to no avail. With Victor gone, Victoria's parents plan to marry her off to a presumably wealthy stranger named Lord Barkis Bittern (Richard E. Grant).

    Emily is devastated at first by Victor's deceit, but eventually realizes that Victor and Victoria probably belong together. Victor apologizes to Emily for lying to her.

    Victor's recently deceased coachman appears in the afterlife and tells him about Victoria's impending wedding to Lord Barkis. Victor, feeling betrayed, decides to end his own life so he can properly marry Emily. The dead go "upstairs" to the Land of the Living to hold Victor and Emily's wedding in the town church. At first, the living are terrified, but their fear dissipates once they recognize their departed relatives and loved ones.

    Victoria hurries to the church and finds Victor about to drink poison. Emily spots Victoria and stops him. Victor and Victoria joyfully reunite, but Lord Barkis interrupts the festivities to remind them that Victoria is now his wife. Lord Barkis attempts to kill Victor with his sword, but Emily takes the blow herself. She then recognizes Lord Barkis as her former fiancé, who murdered her for her dowry and intended the same fate for Victoria. Emily demands he leave. Before he goes, he proposes an insulting mock-toast to Emily. He drinks the poison meant for Victor and dies. The dead gleefully drag him underground while he screams in horror.

    Emily sets Victor free of his vow to marry her. Then, she transforms into a swarm of butterflies which fly away.

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