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Death Becomes Her (1992)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Fantasy, Horror | 31 July 1992 (USA)
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2:10 | Trailer
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
1,207 ( 1,001)
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 Menville
Bruce Willis ... Dr. 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:

Some people will go to any lengths to stay young forever. But Madeline Ashton and her old friend Helen Sharp are about to go TOO far. 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:

Death Becomes Her 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

After Madeleine drinks the potion, Lisle pins a 'brooch' to the right side of her dress. When Madeleine goes to the hall to leave it's on the left side of her dress. 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 The Cinema Snob: Beyond the Darkness: Buio Omega (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Still one of the most Original comedies ever
9 March 2011 | by phd_travelSee all my reviews

The cast is perfect. The acting deserved golden globes all round. Every line is delivered perfectly and every expression is just right. Goldie, Meryl and yes Bruce are all perfect. Meryl's best comedy ever. Goldie is so funny - one of the first fat suit uses. In fact it is Bruce's best comedic role - he is unrecognizable. The dark comedy is so unique and right on the plastic surgery and commentary on the obsession with youthful looks is so spot on. And it is really funny too. Special effects are still astounding even by today's standards. Isabella Rosellini is also very effective in her small role. Every time I have seen this movie over all these years it's still funny and still delightful. A must see and a classic.


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