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In small-town Texas, an affable mortician strikes up a friendship with a wealthy widow, though when she starts to become controlling, he goes to great lengths to separate himself from her grasp.

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(based on the article in Texas Monthly by), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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2,023 ( 176)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 9 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Merrilee McCommas ...
Mathew Greer ...
Marjorie Dome ...
Townsperson
Tim Cariker ...
Townsperson
Fern Luker ...
Townsperson
Jack Payne ...
Townsperson
...
Townsperson (as Sonny Davis)
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Storyline

We meet Bernie Tiede (1958- ), a chubby undertaker, who takes pride in his work. He's a Gospel-singing tenor. In a series of interviews with townspeople, mixed with flashbacks, we follow Bernie: he arrives in Carthage, Texas (pop. 7,000), where old ladies adore him; he befriends a wealthy, mean-spirited widow named Marjorie Nugent; they become companions in both daily routines and expensive vacations. Among those interviewed, only her stockbroker and Danny Buck, the local district attorney, are unsympathetic toward the sunny, sometimes saccharine Bernie. Marjorie changes from sour and alone to happy with Bernie; then she gets possessive. What will sweet Bernie do? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A story so unbelievable it must be true.

Genres:

Comedy | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violent images and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 June 2012 (Iceland)  »

Also Known As:

Bernie - Leichen pflastern seinen Weg  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$85,805 (USA) (27 April 2012)

Gross:

$9,203,192 (USA) (14 September 2012)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Richard Linklater:  Appears as one of the 5 deadbeat dads in the 'hand on a hardbody' competition. He's the one wearing a red shirt who attempts to run when the police arrive. In the newspaper article, his picture is the last one on the top row, farthest to the right. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1 min) When Bernie is on the phone with Lloyd, there's an Apple Macbook Pro (Second Generation) in front of him. The Second Generation Macbook Pro didn't come out until late 2008 and the murder took place in 1998. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Professor Fleming: I'm very honored to introduce our guest lecturer today. He graduated from here about 15 years ago. He's gone on to a fabulous career. I can't think of a single person who's more qualified or more adept at the final procedures you've been studying lately. Now you've learned the science. Now's your chance to learn the art. Students, Mr. Bernie Tiede...
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Crazy Credits

Before the main credits roll, photos of the real-life Bernie and Marjorie together are shown, along with a brief video of Bernie Teide talking with Jack Black. See more »

Connections

References Hands on a Hard Body: The Documentary (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

We Need To Talk
Written by Redd Volkaert and Laura Durham
Performed by Redd Volkaert
Courtesy of Redd Volkaert
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Brilliant Film!
5 May 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Last Friday a theater full of cinemaphiles (in what one old codger in the film calls "the People's Republic of Austin") LOVED it! It was Jack Black's best performance in the most demanding role he's ever attempted. Shirley MacLain was brilliant in developing a complex character in what was almost a non-speaking role. Supporting players, the funeral director, the broker, the sheriff, were first rate - but the major character in the film is the Greek Chorus, dubbed "The Gossips" by director Linklater, comprised of a score of actors and local townspeople who narrate the reenactment of real events in a docudrama, combining interviews that have the look and feel of modern Reality TV with techniques that were used in the earliest silent films, like the use of title cards to indicate the passage of time and the shifting focus of the story. A brilliant job by Linklater in creating a noir comedy like "What's the Trouble With Harry?" while sustaining a clear trace of the human tragedy and sadness that underlies the story. WARNING: Don't miss the opening! It's a grabber!


44 of 63 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Head on collision popzeus78
6.8, really? picuco9
Funniest Line slgr7
Bernie Tiede may be released from prison elzpeth
Thought Jack Black was excellent forallpracticalpurposes1
The 5 states of Texas was spot on. Trismike21
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