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Death Becomes Her (1992)

 -  Comedy | Fantasy  -  31 July 1992 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 62,868 users  
Reviews: 159 user | 38 critic

When a woman learns of an immortality treatment, she sees it as a way to outdo her long-time rival.

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Title: Death Becomes Her (1992)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Chagall
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Dakota
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Rose
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Psychologist (as Alaina Reed Hall)
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Anna
Mary Ellen Trainor ...
Vivian Adams
William Frankfather ...
Mr. Franklin
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Eulogist
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Opening Man
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Opening Woman
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Second Man
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Storyline

Helen, a writer, and Madeline, an actress, have hated each other for years. Madeline is married to Ernest, who was once Helen's fiance. After she recovers from a mental breakdown, Helen vows revenge by stealing back Ernest and plotting to kill Madeline. Both rivals have secretly drunk a miracle cure for aging; they accidentally discover, when each tries to eliminate the other, that they have become immortal and that "life" will never be the same again. Written by froufrou

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Your basic black comedy. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Fantasy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some nudity and off-color humor | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 July 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Death Becomes Her  »

Box Office

Budget:

$55,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$58,422,650 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film underwent some major re-editing after negative feedback was received at test screenings. The entire ending was changed, and the role played by Tracey Ullman disappeared from the film completely, despite the fact that she was featured briefly in the trailer for the film. See more »

Goofs

When Madeline and Helen meet in Madeline's dressing room, they kiss one another on the cheek. Madeline leaves a large bright red lip print on Helen's upper cheek. In the next shot, the print has moved down toward her chin area. See more »

Quotes

Madeleine: Tell me, doctor. Do you think I'm starting to need you?
See more »

Connections

References Singin' in the Rain (1952) See more »

Soundtracks

Bridal Chorus
(uncredited)
Written by Richard Wagner
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User Reviews

 
Witty satire cleverly done
11 February 2004 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

I must have seen this film about 15 or so times now. I love the vain, shallow characters of Madeline and Helen who are the ultimate example of what might happen if you took the advice of our "obsessed-with-perfection" media to its illogical conclusion. Meryl and Goldie play their parts with unrestrained enthusiasm, pushing them to the limit to emphasise that these two who believe they are truly beautiful are, after all, just caricatures of perfection.

Like Icarus, Mad and Hell take no advice and pursue the unattainable regardless of the cost. That they see every mountainous obstacle as a mere minor inconvenience helps reinforce the humour of the film. Bruce Willis is marvellous as Ernest, the unhappy mouse caught in the middle of their game; the voice of reason amid lunacy.

The writing is witty and sometimes painfully sharp, emphasising in almost every scene that beauty does not equal happiness, and the closer you come to attaining an obsessively pursued physical perfection, the further you get from real happiness and fulfillment. Stylistically our attention is focused on this concept over and over again, with mirrors and reflections used very creatively throughout the film.

We don't see a lot of clever satire these days, which is a pity. This is a fabulous film.


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