Follows tour guide, historian and flâneur Timothy 'Speed' Levitch as he visits the monumentally ignored monuments of America's cities, from the shoe gardens of San Francisco to the luckiest subway grate in New York City.
Timothy 'Speed' Levitch,
John C. McDonnell,
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
In the beginning of the movie where he is driving into Carthage, there are reflections of his vehicle which show a camera assembly on the passenger side of the vehicle with crew sitting in the seats. 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 »
Jack Black could not be surpassed in his spot-on perfect role as a smooth, calm, perfectly groomed and organized, sycophantic, servile, gay/asexual "assistant funeral director" in this small East TX community composed mostly of country oddballs and other distinctive rural folk that were hilarious in their own right. The story was based on real events, and real townspeople who knew the real Bernie were used for extras/characters, and some were so good that it was clear that they could have been real actors if they had chosen that direction instead of staying in Carthage, TX and knowing the real Bernie. They gave hilarious insights into Bernie and his story that otherwise would not have been so uniquely entertaining and effective if actors were used instead.
Jack as Bernie exposed some serious singing/dancing chops too, as he not only was a meticulous funeral home star, he also starred in church and social activities that only someone who had his great talent to please and entertain in his heart could ever do. But, Bernie perhaps showed his greatest talent as the only person in town who could tolerate and even befriend Mrs. Nugent(a really old Shirley MacLaine), the town's presiding meanest old bitch. After he slowly became irreplaceable to her by always agreeably doing her ridiculous bidding, she hired Bernie to travel the world with her on her dime and to be her personal manservant/slave, which sadly decomposed to a low point where the shocking and unbelievable event that caused Bernie's downfall was sure to happen.
This hilarious mockumentary is making a serious surge to the head of the line for "Best Movie of 2012 So Far". Don't miss it.
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