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
Real residents of Carthage, Texas who knew the real Bernie Tiede and Marjorie Nugent appear in the film providing commentary on the events. See more »
The choir is singing out of the United Methodist Hymnal with Bernie singing, "Blessed Assurance". The hymn number is #369, which is not correctly numbered on the list of hymns in the background. See more »
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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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 »
This was a surprisingly good movie. Director Richard Linklater blends semi-documentary style with dark comedy and tragic real-life events in an exceptional way. Based on the murder of a wealthy widow in Carthage Texas in 1996. This movie gives you an interesting glimpse into small town life and how the people there dealt with this unique situation. Jack Black proves he can act, Matthew McConaughy looked to be enjoying himself, and Shirley MacLaine, while not having much to do, is still a welcome addition to the cast. Linklater even uses real townsfolk to help narrate the story through their own recollections of the events. This is one of those independent films that is a must see.
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