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Checking Out (1989)

R | | Comedy | 21 April 1989 (USA)
A successful family man, who works for an airline, becomes consumed by fear of death after his colleague and best friend dies in front of him from heart attack while telling the setup for the joke: "Why don't Italians like barbecues?"




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ray Macklin
Jenny Macklin
Harry Lardner
Connie Hagen
Pat Hagen
Mr. D'Amato
Billy Beck ...
Father Carmody
Trudy Dochterman ...
Val (as Trudi Dochtermann)
John Durbin ...
Spencer Gillinger
Adelle Lutz ...
Dr. Helmsley
Dr. Duffin
Dr. Haskell
Dr. Wolfe


Ray is a man obsessed with his own mortality. When Ray's best friend dies of a heart attack, Ray is convinced that all of his aches and pains are an indication of his own imminent death. His life turns into a slapstick farce of health-crazed anxiety and hypochondria, until he finally learns that all he has to fear is fear itself. Written by Witrack

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Ray Mackilin's convinced he's about to die... And he's going to prove it, even if it kills him! See more »




R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

21 April 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Morte Debaixo do Braço  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Prior to the film being shot, director David Leland assured Joe Eszterhas that he would not change Eszterhas' script in any way. When Eszterhas saw a rough cut of the film, he was angry to discover that new subplots and characters not in the original script had been introduced. Eszterhas initially demanded that his name be taken off the film but when Leland removed most of what Eszterhas was objecting to, the screenwriter allowed his name to be put back on. See more »


References The Flintstones (1960) See more »


Composed and Performed by The Traveling Wilburys
Published by Ganga Publishing B.V.
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

Paddy O'Furniture
3 December 2007 | by (Houston) – See all my reviews

This movie caught me completely off guard. Last night I hit the jackpot for a movie buff I discovered 2 movies that I never heard of before and they both did their job, they were entertaining. The first movie was suppose to be a cheesy horror movie, Defender of the Realm, which was much better then a lot of horror movies I have seen with big budgets and big names. The other movie was this one.

Comedy is not one of my favorite genre's, unless it a Mel Brooks or Albert Brooks and I liked Rodney Dangerfield's movies in the 80's. I never understood the fuss over Jim Carey and I am not a Porkeys or Caddyshack or a big Woody Allen fan. I was set to turn the channel but they were at a barbecue and one of the friends are telling these really bad but funny jokes and he suddenly drops to the ground. The guests thinks he is still joking but one has the sense to say "call a ambulance". The laughs come non stop from there. It is a black comedy. The Jeff Daniels character who is a co worker and friend of the dead guy becomes the biggest hypochondriac on film since Rock Husdson in Send me No Flowers. His wife was talking about the dangers of eating salt the day before and he scoffs it off. Now he because of the sudden death of his friend and the ER doctor saying it is not uncommon for that to happen with people his age he believes his days are numbered. The whole film circles around that premise.

What makes it hilarious is the various characters he runs into. He goes to a doctor believing he is a medial doctor only to find out hie a psycho therapist. His behavior is so crazy that the cardiologist referred him. He feels there is some conspiracy to lie about his prognosis and he just knows he is going to die, but no one else thinks that way, the therapist has a little cut on his finger and Daniels alarmed about it. What happens is priceless. Before that he meets some man in the waiting room who seems to be his type of guy. Reading medical books, whining about his health and looking for something to be wrong with him. He is suppose to be a health nut because of all of his imagined medical malady's and distrust of doctors, and Daniels wants to read this book he read. Well I am not going to say what happens but it has to be one of the funniest scenes I have ever seen in a movie.

This is a movie you have to see. Because it is a black comedy you really can't convey how funny it really is. What is so funny about a man friends dropping dead and he believing he is next?

I liked this movie so much I am going right over Amazon or Overstock and buying it if I can.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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