Checking Out (1989)

R  |   |  Comedy  |  21 April 1989 (USA)
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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. ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ray Macklin
Jenny Macklin
Michael Tucker ...
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


A funny look at "take two aspirin and call me in the morning." 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
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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 by Roy Orbison & Joe Melson
Used by permission of Acuff-Rose/Opryland Music Ltd.
Performed by Roy Orbison
Under license from CBS Special Products, a service of CBS Records, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

The Art of Dying
13 December 2012 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

Airline executive Jeff Daniels (as Ray Macklin) is startled when his childhood pal and adult co-worker drops dead at an annual fête. Worst of all, Allan Havey (as Pat Hagen) expires right before the punch-line of the joke question, "Why don't Italians like barbecues?" The tragedy turns Mr. Daniels into a raging hypochondriac. Preoccupied with sickness, Daniels loses his sexual urge for unsatisfied wife Melanie Mayron (as Jenny). Daniels thinks he's going to die while we're laughing at all the funny scenarios involving his expiration. It turns out the there is a surprise ailment for Daniels along with some vividly dreamy sequences...

The punch-line to the repeatedly-uttered joke, "Why don't Italians like barbecues?" is finally given, if you're waiting and wondering. It's not much of a joke, if you ask me; but, it apparently wasn't meant to be. Since this flat, slap-sticky comedy was produced by "Nelson Wilbury" aka Beatle George Harrison's HandMade Films, you do get a cool credits listen to The Traveling Wilburys' "End of the Line" and will also hear "Lefty Wilbury" aka Roy Orbison sing for "Only the Lonely". Among the interesting cameos is Mr. Harrison sweeping the floor in Heaven. Just thinking about that for a moment ought to put a smile on your face.

**** Checking Out (4/21/89) David Leland ~ Jeff Daniels, Melanie Mayron, Allan Havey, Michael Tucker

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