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What Dreams May Come (1998)

PG-13 | | Drama, Fantasy, Romance | 2 October 1998 (USA)
0:31 | Trailer

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After he dies in a car crash, a man searches heaven and hell for his beloved wife.



(novel), (screenplay) (as Ron Bass)
2,399 ( 68)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jessica Brooks Grant ...
Marie Nielsen
Josh Paddock ...
Ian Nielsen
Mrs. Jacobs
Maggie McCarthy ...
Stacey Jacobs
Wilma Bonet ...
Matt Salinger ...
Reverend Hanley
Best Friend Cindy
Woman in Car Accident (as June Lomena)
Paul P. Card IV ...


After Chris Nielsen dies in a car accident, he is guided through the afterlife by his spirit guide, Albert. His new world is beautiful and can be whatever Chris imagines. Even his children are there. But, when his wife, Annie, commits suicide and is sent to hell, Chris ignores Albert's warnings and journeys there to save her. Upon arrival, Chris finds that rescuing Annie will be more difficult than he'd imagined. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

heaven | soul mate | soul | hell | suicide | See All (58) »


After life there is more. The end is just the beginning.


Drama | Fantasy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements involving death, some disturbing images and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

2 October 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Más allá de los sueños  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$85,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$15,833,592 (USA) (2 October 1998)


$55,350,897 (USA) (25 December 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In the book by Richard Matheson, Chris Nielsen has four children. In the movie, he has two children who died four years previously before he died. In the book, Albert Lewis is his cousin who was sickly when they were young, and died at an early age. In the movie, Albert Lewis is Chris Nielsen's doctor who passed away before him. See more »


When Christy and Ann are in the park watching the clouds, the leaves in her hair disappear and reappear between shots. See more »


Chris Nielsen: What's true in our minds is true, whether some people know it or not.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Disclaimer after the end credits: "The persons and events in this production are fictitious. No similarity to actual persons, living, dead or reincarnated is intended or should be inferred." See more »


Edited into Doggiewoggiez! Poochiewoochiez! (2012) See more »


Hymn II, from Three Sacred Hymns
Composed by Alfred Shnitke
Performed by The Slavyanka Chorus and The San Francisco Girls Chorus
Conducted by Dr. Sharon J. Paul
See more »

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User Reviews

What dreams are made of...
14 April 2000 | by (Seattle, WA. USA) – See all my reviews

To hell with the critics and the cynics. I absolutely love this movie - it's in my top ten (or maybe even top five) list of favorite movies (I saw it at least 3 times in the theater and own it on DVD). I have to admit, I'm one of those non- (almost anti-) elitist, "I don't know art, but I know what I like" type people. I also truly love positive, upbeat movies with happy endings. Not to say that "realistic" movies aren't also great, but there is room for everything in the moviemaking genre. Isn't there enough depressing "realism" on the evening news to satisfy even the most jaded cynic?

I can't say exactly what it is that strikes me about this movie. The incredible color-saturated visuals and special effects certainly help. The acting talents of Robin Williams and Max Von Sydow help. And I loved the story. Emotionally manipulative it may be, but this is one of those films where I WANTED to be manipulated, where I willingly participated. Apparently some people resented it, but I was sobbing through much the movie, and glad to be doing so. Laugh if you please, say whatever you want... this movie touches my heart.

"Deep" it isn't, not terribly. On a metaphysical level, it goes only slightly beyond new-age kitsch. Very few of the afterlife scenes and concepts agree with the spiritual outlook of any known religion. But I don't care. Again, if a movie touches my heart in just the right place, I can forgive it almost anything. This one did. 9/10.

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Message Boards

Recent Posts
This movie gives me such a depressed feeling and I dont even know why saint_sophie
Prophetic Dialogue atreyudaze-877-72867
Why would you get reincarnated stliebl
Film does not depict Heaven nor Hell, but rather it is Purgatory cryptoknightsux
Pen used by the wife stliebl
The use of color kismet927
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