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
The owners of the Hawthorn Funeral Home in Carthage, Texas, where Bernie Tiede met Marjorie Nugent, refused to allow the film to use the name of the funeral home. See more »
When Bernie is driving up to Mrs. Nugent's home, there is a close-up of the Texas State Registration sticker on the front windshield of the car which clearly says "12, 11" indicating that the registration will expire in December of 2011. 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 »
The Film Sneaks Up On You and Pulls The Rug...In A Nice Way!
I never thought Id be writing an appreciation of Jack Black as an actor, as he generally appears in limited roles as a boorish loudmouth, but in this dark, often sweet oddball satire, his performance as the titular character is never over the top, always gentle and subtly directing the viewer to a sympathetic portrait of a killer. Really outstanding in this sharp observational film is the sharp ensemble work by everyone in the cast, a huge supporting cast, some actual folks from Carthage, Texas, each giving a positive spin on character, with Matthew McConaughey continuing his string of outstanding portrayals--this film, Magic Mike, and the new Oliver Stone film shows he is much more than the usual goofy sex symbol And although her role is the kind Shirley MacLaine could do in her sleep, she makes wealth and privilege seem absolutely frightening in her chilly portrayal of a spoiled heiress we want to watch. I was also impressed by the end titles, which allow us a glimpse of each actor and the role played. This is 98 minutes of delight, a worthwhile satire combined with the creepy qualities of a true oddball character portrait!
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