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

Director:

Albert Brooks

Writer:

Albert Brooks
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

Just after being killed in a car crash, Daniel Miller finds himself in Judgment City, a waiting area for the newly deceased. While there, one must prove in a courtroom-style process that he successfully overcame his fears. Daniel meets Julia in an afterlife comedy club, and falls in love with her. Julia seems to have what it takes to move to the 'next stage' of existence, but Daniel's worried he'll be sent back - and lose the one person he loves so much. 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shirley MacClaine's cameo is somewhat ironic: While her voice is provided with only a hologram of her image i.e. without her there physically, in Terms of Endearment, Albert Brooks provided the voice for her husband, who is heard from another room in the opening backstory sequence. See more »

Goofs

Daniel's prosecutor and defender are off by one when referring to dates as Daniel's Nth year. A date given when he was 24 years old, x months, y days should be his 25th year, and a later one at 34 years old and change should be his 35th, but they say 24th and 34th. 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 ...
[...]
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Soundtracks

Misty
Written by Erroll Garner
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User Reviews

Albert Brooks is great
9 April 2004 | by MichaelOatesSee 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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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Japanese

Release Date:

5 April 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Defending Your Life See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$92,622, 24 March 1991

Gross USA:

$16,371,128

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$16,371,128
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Geffen Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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