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Bernie (2011)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Drama  |  22 June 2012 (Iceland)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 42,001 users   Metascore: 75/100
Reviews: 134 user | 223 critic | 35 from Metacritic.com

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.



(based on the article in Texas Monthly by), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 9 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »



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


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


A story so unbelievable it must be true.


Comedy | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

22 June 2012 (Iceland)  »

Also Known As:

Bernie - Leichen pflastern seinen Weg  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Jack Black met with the real Bernie Tiede in Telford Unit State Prison. Shirley MacLaine also spoke with Tiede over the phone. See more »


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 »


[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...
See more »

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 »


References Weekend at Bernie's (1989) See more »


Let Me Go To Hell (The Way I Want To)
Written by Gary Claxton and Earl Poole Ball
Performed by Heybaiel
Courtesy of Shuffle 5 Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Texas True!
17 October 2011 | by (Cedar Creek, TX) – See all my reviews

I had the privilege of seeing this film in Austin last month. Mr. Linklater was among the thousands devastated by the fires in Bastrop county and with his hard work and help from Jack Black and crew they turned the screening into a fundraiser to help the fire victims. They raised over $155,000. It was a great event. The movie was the best part. If you live or have lived in a small town anywhere in America you'll 'get' this movie and you won't be able to stop laughing. If you're in Texas or you hate Texas, it'll be just that much better. The characters are real, the acting is superb. Jack is at the top of his game and Mathew did an outstanding job. He played his role right on the edge, always close to going over the top but never getting there. Shirley is a gem and acted like I've never seen her before. Thank you Richard for your film and your efforts in Bastrop. My farm survived, but too many friends lost everything. Oh, and thanks for letting me be in this film. Woohoo that's me at the end Ma!!

77 of 107 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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