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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

The convent is the same building that was used for exteriors of Bruce Wayne's house in Batman (1966). See more »

Goofs

In the opening credits, the newspaper stories (other than the obvious headlines) consist of the same five paragraphs printed 37 times in succession. See more »

Quotes

Cozy Carlisle: You take what you've learned from this life and use it in the next. That's karma.
Mike Church: I thought karma was I do something bad in this life and I'm a termite in the next.
Cozy Carlisle: Hey, if you ask me, pal, you're already a termite in this life in a shitty suit, OK?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Jo Anderson and Patrick Doyle are each credited twice for their dual roles in this movie. See more »


Soundtracks

Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
by Sergei Rachmaninoff
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
An unusual mix that really works
28 September 2004 | by Tom MurraySee all my reviews

Dead Again is categorized as Mystery / Romance / Thriller and it does very well in all three categories. It begins as a mystery, develops into a romance and ends up very thrilling. It is also Gothic, film noir, sometimes melodramatic and often humorous: an unusual mix that really works. The opening credits show 1948 news stories about symphony conductor, Roman Strauss (Kenneth Branagh), who was executed for murdering his wife, Margaret (Emma Thompson). The film was in Black and White. Then the film switches to the present and to colour and we find Emma Thompson in a Catholics boys' home, mute and suffering from nightmares and amnesia. The priest in charge elicits free help from Mike Church (Kenneth Branagh), a private detective who specializes in missing persons and was brought up in that home. "Grace" (a name that she and Mike use because she does not know her real name) ends up staying with Mike while he tries to sort things out. An advertisement brings Franklyn Madson (Derek Jacobi), who offers to discover her past through hypnotic regression. He ends up regressing her into a past life. At this point, if one does not believe in reincarnation, as Mike Church did not, then one can add Fantasy to the list of the film's categories; it does very well in that category also.

As fate would have it, Mike and Grace grow closer and fall in love, an event that is undoubtedly made more convincing by the fact that Branagh and Watson were happily married at the time that the film was made. The style of the modern romance contrasts with the melodrama of the 1940's marriage, in which Roman gives Margaret an anklet and says, "The man I bought it from explained to me that when a husband gives this to his wife, they become two halves of the same person. Nothing can separate them, not even death." That idea helped to clarify the most surprising plot twist of all, one that is disclosed visually. The plot is one of the cleverest mystery plots that I have witnessed. One is never sure of what to think. Did Roman kill Margaret? If not then who did? Many look suspicious. What is the relationship between the past lovers, Roman and Margaret, and the present lovers, Mike and Grace? The plot has many twists and turns, all of which appear to be realistic. Clues drop like rain. There are many strong roles and the acting is excellent throughout. Many actors have roles in both stories.


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