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Dead Again (1991)

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A woman who has lost her memory is taken in by a Los Angeles orphanage, and a private eye is enlisted to track down her identity, but he soon finds that he might have a past life connection to her that endangers their lives.

Director:

Kenneth Branagh

Writer:

Scott Frank
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kenneth Branagh ... Roman Strauss / Mike Church
Andy Garcia ... Gray Baker
Emma Thompson ... Grace / Margaret Strauss
Lois Hall ... Sister Constance
Richard Easton ... Father Timothy
Jo Anderson ... Sister Madeleine / Starlet
Patrick Montes ... Pickup Driver
Raymond Cruz ... Supermarket Clerk
Robin Williams ... Dr. Cozy Carlisle
Wayne Knight ... 'Piccolo' Pete Dugan
Patrick Doyle ... Cop #1 - Hospital Elevator / Party Guest #2
Erik Kilpatrick Erik Kilpatrick ... Cop #2 - Hospital Elevator
Gordana Rashovich Gordana Rashovich ... Handcuffed Woman - Hospital Elevator
Derek Jacobi ... Franklyn Madson
Obba Babatundé ... Syd - Restaurant Owner (as Obba Babatunde)
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Storyline

Mike Church is a Los Angeles private detective who specializes in finding missing persons. He takes on the case of a mute woman who is suffering from a total amnesia and doesn't even know her name. She keeps having nightmares involving the murder of a pianist, Margaret, by her husband Roman Strauss in the late 1940s. In an attempt to solve the mystery about her identity and her nightmares, Church accepts the help of an antiquary who arrives to offer his services as a hypnotist. The hypnosis sessions soon begin to reveal some surprises. Written by Sami Al-Taher <staher2000@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A Mystery About True Love...And Certain Death. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 August 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Volver a morir See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,479,395, 23 August 1991, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$38,016,380
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Black and White | Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sir Kenneth Branagh, Dame Emma Thompson, Robin Williams, and screenwriter Scott Frank have each worked with Director Barry Sonnenfeld on a movie. Branagh on Wild Wild West (1999), Thompson on Men in Black 3 (2012), Robin Williams on RV (2006), and Scott Frank writing the movie version of Elmore Leonard's Get Shorty (1995). Branagh and Thompson have worked with Will Smith on Wild Wild West (1999) and Men in Black 3 (2012), respectively. See more »

Goofs

The address on the driver's license Pete gives "Grace" has one street number on Hightower, then later, when Mike Church kicks in her door, the *real* address of the actual Hightower residence is on the exterior wall beside the door. See more »

Quotes

Mike Church: Take the fucking scissors, Grace!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh are each credited twice for their dual roles in this movie. See more »

Connections

References The Philadelphia Story (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

Isn't It Romantic
by Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Classy Modern Noir Fantasy
18 April 2005 | by gftbiloxiSee all my reviews

Although he received tremendous praise for his memorable film production of Shakespeare's HENRY V, DEAD AGAIN was the film that really introduced actor/director Kenneth Branagh to mainstream American film, and for a time he and then-wife Emma Thompson were the most celebrated acting couple since Olivier and Leigh. The marriage did not last, but fortunately this film did--and I say fortunately, for although it is somewhat forgotten today, DEAD AGAIN is an overlooked jewel of a film: classy, noir-ish, stylish, and very memorable indeed.

The story is fanciful. In the late 1940s noted composer Roman Strauss was convicted of murdering his noted pianist wife Margaret, and was sentenced to death. Some forty years later, a young woman suffering from amnesia falls into the hands of a no-nonsense Los Angeles private eye--and under hypnosis she recalls not her immediate past, but the lives of Roman and Margaret. Is this reincarnation? Is she Margaret Strauss? Is the private eye to whom she is attracted but of whom she is also strangely fearful the reincarnation of Roman Strauss, Margaret's killer? Is history repeating itself? Scott Frank's clever script makes for a fast-paced, twisting, and fascinating plot-driven film--and it is flawlessly played by Branagh and Thompson, who assume dual roles as the 1940s Roman and Margaret Strauss and the 1980s Mike Church and Grace. The supporting cast is also excellent, with memorable performances by Andy Garcia and Derek Jacobi--and a truly exceptional cameo by Robin Williams, who here for the first time demonstrated that his talents went far beyond comedy. The shifts between past and present, nightmare and reality are exceedingly well done, and although the plot becomes more and more fantastic the entire film is so perfectly executed that one buys into it every step of the way.

If DEAD AGAIN has a flaw, it is that some of the twists and turns are predictable--but in the film's favor I must admit that it sweeps you along so quickly that you seldom have time to analyze that failing while you actually watch the film. It is also to a certain extent a "one trick pony" film; the film is at its most powerful upon a first viewing, when one is oblivious to what is coming. But even so, it is tremendously effective and it holds up as well today as when it first appeared on the big screen. The current DVD includes little in the way of extras beyond commentary tracks by producer Lindsay Doran, writer Scott Frank, and director-star Kenneth Branagh--and these are as hit-and-miss as commentary tracks usually are, but they hit more often than miss. The picture and sound quality is overall very good. Recommended!

Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer


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