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Defending Your Life (1991)

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In an afterlife way station resembling a block of hotels, the lives of the recently-deceased are examined in a court-like setting.

Director:

Albert Brooks

Writer:

Albert Brooks
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5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Albert Brooks ... Daniel Miller
Michael Durrell ... Agency Head
James Eckhouse ... Jeep Owner
Gary Beach ... Car Salesman
Julie Cobb ... Tram Guide
Peter Schuck Peter Schuck ... Stan
Time Winters ... Porter
Rip Torn ... Bob Diamond
Sharlie Stuart Sharlie Stuart ... Susan
Beth Black Beth Black ... Soap Opera Woman
Clayton Norcross ... Soap Opera Man
James MacKrell James MacKrell ... Game Show Moderator
Wil Albert Wil Albert ... Game Show Contestant
Sage Allen Sage Allen ... Game Show Contestant
Mary Pat Gleason ... Waitress
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Storyline

Yuppie Daniel Miller is killed in a car accident and goes to Judgment City, a waiting room for the afterlife. During the day, he must prove in a courtroom-style process that he successfully overcame his fears (a hard task, given the pitiful life we are shown); at night, he falls in love with Julia, the only other young person in town. Nights are a time of hedonistic pleasure, since you can (for instance) eat all you want without getting fat. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The first true story of what happens after you die.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Fantasy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Japanese

Release Date:

5 April 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Visa al paraíso See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$16,371,128
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Geffen Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Albert Brooks held three different jobs/roles for this film; top-billed lead star, sole writer, and director. See more »

Goofs

After Daniel's 'trial' is completed and he and Bob Diamond go back to Bob's office where Bob is handed an envelope with the judgment, the envelope is clearly unsealed when it is handed to Bob, yet in his office Bob tears open a sealed envelope. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Daniel Miller: I was driving to work this morning thinking I will be here, in 2 months, it'll be 10 years. And you're like my real family. Isn't that tragic.
[laughter]
Daniel Miller: I got a call from my mother this morning, she wished me a happy birthday, and hinted around the fact that I wasn't making enough money. If you can call "are ya still making the same salary, honey" a hint. And my ex-wife used to say the same thing, although she never used the name "honey".
[laughter]
Daniel Miller: So, maybe in three years I can ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Overdose: Death of a Punk Rocker (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Something's Coming
Music by Leonard Bernstein
Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Performed by Barbra Streisand
Courtesy of CBS Records Music Licensing Department
See more »

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User Reviews

Awesome and heart-warming
17 September 2004 | by michaelsibley416See all my reviews

Albert Brooks definitely gives us his take on the afterlife. After watching movies such as "Chances Are" "Ghost" and "Heart and Souls" afterlife hasn't looked better. Brooks is a comedic genius but not only as an actor but a writer and director as well.

In addition, Brooks was joined in this film by Rip Torn and Meryl Streep, who are phenomenal talents of their own. Their additions to the movie makes it that much funnier and dramatically better.

Aside from "What Dreams May Come," "Defending Your Life" is the best afterlife film I've seen because it is different than all the others. Brooks is a relief since his comedy is genuinely funny.

This movie was a joy to watch because of the fun cast, unique plot and fun loving environment. Brooks, the writer, created the script with laughter in mind and enjoyment in his heart.

The setting of "Defending Your Life" was very creative because it seemed so unique yet so real and true to life on earth. I was very impressed by the set designers at what they came up with to use as sets.

Brooks created each scene with humor and wanted the film to be as original as possible. He succeeded because I enjoyed and laughed throughout the film and only original films do that for me.

"Defending Your Life" will go down movie history as one of the more original and funnier films dealing with the afterlife. This is a must see for everyone.


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