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To Die For (1995)

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Suzanne Stone is an aspiring TV personality who will do anything to be in the spotlight, including enlisting three teenagers to kill her husband.

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(book), (screenplay)
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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 6 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Earl Stone
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Carol Stone
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Faye Stone
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Angela Maretto
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Mike Warden
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Ben DeLuca
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Mr. H. Finlaysson
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Storyline

Suzanne Stone (Maretto) knows exactly what she wants. She wants to be a television newscaster and she is willing to do anything to get what she wants. What she lacks in intelligence, she makes up for in cold determination and diabolical wiles. As she pursues her goal with relentless focus, she is forced to destroy anything and anyone that may stand in her way, regardless of the ultimate cost or means necessary. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She was prepared to go all the way... for what she wanted. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

6 October 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Todo por un sueño  »

Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$21,200,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Once she'd read the script, Nicole Kidman was determined to land the lead role. This involved tracking down 'Gus van Sant''s personal phone number and ringing him at home. She spent 40 minutes talking to him on the phone about her thoughts on Suzanne and how to play her. Van Sant called back 2 hours later to tell her she'd got the part. See more »

Goofs

This story takes place in Little Hope, NH. Early in the movie, a newspaper article entitled "Sex, Violence and the Weather" shows a map of southern New Hampshire, with an arrow pointing to Little Hope. But the arrow actually points to a location in Massachusetts. See more »

Quotes

Jimmy: I'll be here every day for life, plus 30 years, if I live that long.
See more »

Crazy Credits

A scene plays out over the end credits where Janice skates over the ice rink where Suzanne has been buried. A darkly comic moment where Janice is literally dancing on Suzanne's grave. Its an ironic fate too because Suzanne spent a lot of time looking down on Janice through the movie. Now the situation is reversed. See more »

Connections

References Donahue (1967) See more »

Soundtracks

DIRTY LAUNDRY
Performed by Don Henley and Danny Kortchmar
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
90's Masterwork
9 March 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Gus Van Zant's wildly original take on the pursuit of fame at any price is a gruesome black comedy that works flawlessly on every level. Van Zant comes at his story from the viewpoint of a series of narrators who see through media lusting Susan Stone Marretto as she stops at nothing to bask in it's spotlight. The media in turn is more than willing to accommodate.

Nicole Kidman as Susan is intimidating beyond the screen as she narrates much of her story into the camera. In addition to her remarkable seductive charm being put to use she also intimidates with a convincing icy coldness. She is the bold and the beautiful and Kidman is perfect to the role.

Having bullied her way into a job as a weather forecaster at a small audience cable station Susan never stops shooting higher. She enlists three aimless high schoolers in a plot to kill her husband so as to unburden her to pursue her career. With sex as a tool it is easy to convince the moronically dim Jimmy who masturbates to her late night forecasts to come on board. The three teens Joaquin Phoenix, Casey Affleck and Allison Foland are uniformly brilliant particularly Phoenix as the clueless doomed Jimmy. Her husband Larry (Matt Dillon)it might be said is in the same boat. Dillon along with Ileana Douglas and Wayne Knight fill out the solid supporting cast as narrators and victims of Susan.

Buck Henry's biting script shows he has not lost his edge since his Graduate days. Director Van Zant's vision of a fin de siecle cross section of America is brutal and original. From those laboring for the American Dream to the bleak Lidsville existence of the teens Die burns with both nervous energy and tragic-comic farce. Accompanied by an all inclusive period music score Vant Zant's wide angle is both brazen and revealing from gaudy colored suburban drab sterility with hints of incest to tragic siding housing and an auto graveyard landscape that serves as a playground to the teens. Told in flash forward and back Van Zant's pace never lingers for a moment as it rapidly presents an in your face comic and tragic pastiche of dark Americana. Van Zant admirably expresses it with a bold visual flair keeping scenes lean and sharp that over a dozen years later still retain there power and energy. It is a vibrant piece of film making and a 90s classic.


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