55 user 18 critic

The Pallbearer (1996)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Romance | 3 May 1996 (USA)
2:17 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

A young man's life is thrown into a loop when he is asked to be a pallbearer for the funeral of a classmate he doesn't remember, and his old high school crush temporarily returns to town.





Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Since You've Been Gone (TV Movie 1998)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

The story of a 10th anniversary High School reunion, told through the eyes of a doctor who was humiliated on graduation day by being badly beaten up by a fellow graduate.

Director: David Schwimmer
Stars: Philip Rayburn Smith, Joey Slotnick, Joy Gregory
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Max is a popular local sports broadcaster and his marriage with attractive Sam is already set up. Max is not sure he wants Sam to be his wife and offers his best friend Jay a test: Jay will... See full summary »

Director: Doug Ellin
Stars: David Schwimmer, Jason Lee, Mili Avital
Future Shock (1994)
Sci-Fi | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.1/10 X  

A psychiatrist uses virtual reality to probe the minds of three unsuspecting patients, unleashing horrific psychic forces in the process.

Directors: Eric Parkinson, Matt Reeves, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Vivian Schilling, Martin Kove, Brion James
Hush (1998)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Helen is the young girlfriend of good-looking Jackson Baring. When Helen gets pregnant and marries Jackson, they decide to move to his family farm, Kilronan, and have a baby there. But his ... See full summary »

Director: Jonathan Darby
Stars: Jessica Lange, Gwyneth Paltrow, Johnathon Schaech
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

A small-town woman tries to achieve her goal of becoming a flight attendant.

Director: Bruno Barreto
Stars: Gwyneth Paltrow, Christina Applegate, Kelly Preston
Palmetto (1998)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A recently released ex-con gets involved in a fake kidnapping scheme that turns very real.

Director: Volker Schlöndorff
Stars: Woody Harrelson, Elisabeth Shue, Gina Gershon
Mumford (1999)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In the small town of Mumford, a psychologist of the same name moves in and quickly becomes very popular, despite a questionable past.

Director: Lawrence Kasdan
Stars: Loren Dean, Hope Davis, Jason Lee
Holy Man (1998)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

Eddie Murphy stars as an over-the-top television evangelist who finds a way to turn television home shopping into a religious experience, and takes America by storm.

Director: Stephen Herek
Stars: Eddie Murphy, Jeff Goldblum, Kelly Preston
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

While escaping from a foiled robbery attempt, three thieves find themselves surrounded by police at a New Orleans bar--only they're not the people the police are searching for.

Director: Kevin Spacey
Stars: Matt Dillon, Faye Dunaway, Gary Sinise
The Clearing (2004)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

As an executive is held captive by an employee, it's up to his wife to deliver the ransom.

Director: Pieter Jan Brugge
Stars: Robert Redford, Willem Dafoe, Helen Mirren
Sliding Doors (1998)
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A London woman's love life and career both hinge, unknown to her, on whether or not she catches a train. We see it both ways, in parallel.

Director: Peter Howitt
Stars: Gwyneth Paltrow, John Hannah, John Lynch
Lucky Numbers (2000)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

A television weatherman scams a local lottery.

Director: Nora Ephron
Stars: John Travolta, Lisa Kudrow, Tim Roth


Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom's Mother
Jean De Baer ...
Aunt Lucille
Philip DeMarco
The Job Interviewer
Robin Morse ...
Tony Machine ...
The Undertaker


Chaos unfolds as Tom is roped into being a pallbearer (and delivering the eulogy!) by the mother of a recently deceased "friend" from high school that he just can't remember. In the meantime, an unrequited love from high school (NOT the dead guy's girlfriend) reappears in his life. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A comedy about life-long crushes, mistaken identity and one really bad eulogy. See more »


Comedy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sexuality and language | See all certifications »


Official Sites:



Release Date:

3 May 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amigo Desconhecido  »

Box Office


$8,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Both Michael Rapaport (Brad Schorr) and Michael Vartan (Scott) did guest spots ended on Friends which starred David Schwimmer (Tom Thompson). See more »


When the mother is making instant coffee, the jar label is turned between shots. See more »


Julie: I love this song.
Tom: Is that a signal?
See more »


You Got It In Your Soulness
Written by Les McCann
Performed by Les McCann & Eddie Harris
CourtesY of Atlantic Recording Corp.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Often overlooked, but delightful film
23 May 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Maybe it was the great, eclectic soundtrack with the likes of Django Reinhardt, Herbie Hancock, Perry Como, Curtis Mayfield, Neil Young and Richie Havens, or maybe it was the dark and subtle bits of humor that pleasantly surprised me throughout the movie, but I really enjoyed this one.

We meet Tom, a forlorn twenty-something man-child still living at home and struggling to take control of his life, played by David Schwimmer of "Friends" fame. Tom gets a call from a woman who mistakenly believes he knew her recently deceased son. He goes along with it, presumably to save her the added grief of knowing her son had no close friends. Of course, Tom's accommodating nature backfires and he's asked to give the eulogy for a man he never knew. This sets up a scene with the kind of dark humor seen throughout the movie that audiences are either delighted with or immediately turned off by.

At the funeral, Tom meets Julie, his unrequited high school crush, played with genuine emotion and winsome grace by Gwyneth Paltrow. Thus begins two relationships that play out over the duration of the film --one with Grace, the bereft mother of the friend Tom never had, played by Barbara Hershey, and the other with Julie.

Yes, this movie owes much, in terms of plot and characters, to "The Graduate," with Hershey playing the counterpart to Anne Bancroft's Mrs. Robinson. But it turns out to be much more than just an update of the '60s classic. The audience really gets to know the inner turmoil both Tom and Julie are going through -- Tom, both for the guilt of becoming unwittingly involved with Grace, and for also being involved with Julie at the same time, and Julie, for being torn between striking out on her own to escape her overbearing parents and getting into a deep relationship with Tom.

There are a couple of sideplots going on with Tom's friends -- Michael Rapaport's character getting married to a woman his friends don't like, and Michael Vardan's married character, making a move on Julie, which obviously infuriates Tom. And Carol Kane as Tom's mom, is precious. In one scene, he is livid after she bursts into his room unannounced. After she receives a brief scolding for not knocking, she replies "I only wanted to see if you wanted some ice cream," to which he replies "A little."

Schwimmer nails the role, with his underplayed, tacit sadness about his so-far-failed attempt at making a responsible life for himself. And Paltrow, well, can she ever miss? Whether for the dark humor, spot-on acting, or superb soundtrack, this one is definitely worth a viewing.

19 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Song help radioactiveand
Song at the end Kitkatcandybar3
The End flautert
Two questions colujomes
Song in resturant lillegaard-1
Who is Bill? rags086
Discuss The Pallbearer (1996) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: