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Death Becomes Her (1992)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Fantasy  |  31 July 1992 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 74,424 users  
Reviews: 166 user | 40 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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Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Psychologist (as Alaina Reed Hall)
Vivian Adams
William Frankfather ...
Mr. Franklin
Opening Man
Opening Woman
Second Man


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


Your basic black comedy. See more »


Comedy | Fantasy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

31 July 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La muerte le sienta bien  »

Box Office


$55,000,000 (estimated)


$58,422,650 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Robert Zemeckis:  [citation]  The shots in the psychiatric clinic where Helen is brought look exactly like those in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975). See more »


Lisle climbs out of the pool after a swim and a manservant wraps her in a towel. She speaks one line, drops the towel, and is completely dry, even her hair. See more »


Anna: Mr.Chagall! I'm sorry, Mr.Chagall. I'm really, really sorry.
Chagall: Anna, don't talk, just go away. Leave us alone, I don't want to look at you anymore.
Anna: Oh, okay.
Chagall: Thank you so much.
See more »


References One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) See more »


Bridal Chorus
Written by Richard Wagner
See more »

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User Reviews

It just gets funnier every time I watch it
20 October 2003 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

I love this movie and have watched it more than any other film I own. What makes it for me is the subtle face acting of the two leads whose comic timing is perfect. Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn have never been so good (plus this is the only film in which Bruce Willis doesn't do his trademark smirk even once).

Every role is played to perfection and the script is a comedy work of art.

I won't bother defending it to those people who need their jokes hammered home to them by comedy actors whose only way of getting a laugh is to gurn and fart. Each to their own.

160 of 183 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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