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The Dead Girl (2006)

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The clues to a young woman's death come together as the lives of seemingly unrelated people begin to intersect.



2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Arden's Mother
Cop 1
Michael Raysses ...
Cop 2
Earl Carroll ...
Dorothy Beatty ...
Grocery Checker
Eva Loseth ...
Grocery Store Customer
Kate Mulligan ...
Party Girl


In Los Angeles, a story about a dead girl, told in five chapters. A woman, miserable in her circumscribed life caring for her domineering mother, finds a body. Somehow, this discovery allows her to change. At the morgue, the sister of a girl missing for 15 years believes the body is that of her sister; this liberates her. An older woman, married to a man who pays her little attention, finds evidence in a storage unit; how will she handle it? The mother of the dead girl, who left home some years before, visits the last place her daughter lived and makes her own discoveries. Last, we flash back to the victim's final day. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


One life ends. Seven others begin. See more »


Crime | Drama | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, grisly images and sexuality/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

26 April 2007 (Hungary)  »

Also Known As:

A Garota Morta  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,789, 5 January 2007

Gross USA:

$17,311, 7 January 2007
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


In the final segment, "The Dead Girl", Krista tells Rosetta over the phone that they will run away together the next day, to some place with "trees and grass". In the first segment, "The Stranger", Arden tells her date the last thing the dead girl saw was "trees... and sky". See more »


When Melora meets Rosetta, her face is beaten up. When she takes Rosetta out to eat, her face looks normal. When she drops Rosetta back at the motel, her face is a mess again. See more »


Melora: Did she tell you why she ran away?
Rosetta: She probably wasn't happy
Melora: Did she tell you why?
Rosetta: Other than her stepfather sticking his dick in her? I don't think so, she probably thought "hey man fuck it, if I'm going to do it I might as well get paid" and her mother was too much of a dish rag to do anything about it, you know typical the husband or the kids they always trust the husband...
Melora: Did she tell you that?
Rosetta: What?
Melora: That her mother knew and chose him?
Rosetta: She probably likes it right? Probably took some of ...
See more »


Written by James Grundler
Performed by Golden State
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User Reviews

Insanely overlooked.
9 January 2008 | by See all my reviews

A truly phenomenal work. The film is separated into five different stories, and each one is intricately detailed and each one is led by a poignant female performance. I can't rave about this enough. Every story is so beautiful in their own way. I must say that I greatly preferred the style of showing each story in it's entirety and then moving onto the next one, instead of continuing the tradition of the swarm of these ensemble films with very different characters linked by a small event that we've been seeing this decade. It showed some great originality to cut the stories into five different, linked short films instead of mashing them all together and just showing pits and pieces of each story.

The entire concept of the film is remarkable. How one, very unfortunate, death can be the new beginning of seven others. The end of one life leads to the reawakening, or liberation, of seven others. Such a phenomenal concept that was executed flawlessly. That alone makes it something brilliant, in my eyes, but then each story is filled with such strong symbolism and metaphors. One example of symbolism could be the color contrast in Leah's story. At the beginning there is just steely blues and greys to represent her dull, isolated life. But then, once she goes to Derek's party, there is life and vibrant color seen all around (the shining lights in the background and even the lights of the swingset). It's a truly beautiful scene.

Every character is so rich and deep and bring out every kind of sympathy I could ever feel. The ending of most stories is formed with a strong scene of liberation and change, that put a big smile to my face. Ruth's story isn't this way though in which we see a stunning scene of her realizing the horrible man that her husband is, but in almost an act of defiance, she shuts her eyes to his evil deeds. And of course Krista's ending has no liberation or freedom. Instead it's one of the most heartbreaking experiences of my life. We see this sweet adorable character light with joy, thinking that she is going to see her daughter on her birthday. But we know her eventual fate, and that she will never meet her daughter. It brought such tears to my eyes.

The performances really blew me away. I was expecting them to be good, but not some of the best of the year. Even Marcia Gay Harden, my least favorite actress, turns in a strong, subtle and emotional work compared to her usual whiny-annoying fare. James Franco really needs more chances to shine, because he is one of the most underrated actors around. He completely transforms his strong, hulky build into an adorable geeky character that makes it easy to see why he brings Leah out of her deep depression. I have to highlight the phenomenal work from Giovanni Ribisi and Rose Byrne in two of my absolute favorite performances of last year. Exceptional doesn't even begin to describe the brilliance of their work. They both get resounding nominations from me, and the film is one of the five best of last year.

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