7.3/10
14,903
96 user 22 critic

Defending Your Life (1991)

Trailer
1:48 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

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

Director:

Writer:

Reviews
5 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A husband and wife in their 30s decide to quit their jobs, live as free spirits and cruise America in a Winnebago.

Director: Albert Brooks
Stars: Albert Brooks, Julie Hagerty, Sylvia Farrel
Mother II (1996)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A neurotic, twice-divorced sci-fi writer moves back in with his mother to solve his personal problems.

Director: Albert Brooks
Stars: Albert Brooks, Debbie Reynolds, Paul Collins
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Albert Brooks directs himself as a successful film editor with far too many issues that affects the relationship between him and his remarkably patient girlfriend.

Director: Albert Brooks
Stars: Albert Brooks, Kathryn Harrold, Tyann Means
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

To improve its relations with Muslim countries, the United States government sends comedian Albert Brooks to south Asia to write a report on what makes followers of Islam laugh.

Director: Albert Brooks
Stars: Albert Brooks, Sheetal Sheth, John Carroll Lynch
Real Life (1979)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A film crew sets out to record a year in the life of an average family, but things quickly start going wrong.

Director: Albert Brooks
Stars: Dick Haynes, Albert Brooks, Matthew Tobin
The Muse (1999)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

With his career on the skids, a Hollywood screenwriter enlists the aid of a modern-day muse, who proves to test his patience.

Director: Albert Brooks
Stars: Albert Brooks, Sharon Stone, Andie MacDowell
Plenty (1985)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A young Englishwoman spends twenty years to make whatever kind of life for herself, at the expense of others around her, in post-World War II England.

Director: Fred Schepisi
Stars: Meryl Streep, Sam Neill, André Maranne
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A substance-addicted actress tries to look on the bright side even as she is forced to move back in with her mother to avoid unemployment.

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: Meryl Streep, Shirley MacLaine, Dennis Quaid
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A mother whose child was killed in a Dingo attack in the Australian outback fights to prove her innocence when she is accused of murder.

Director: Fred Schepisi
Stars: Meryl Streep, Sam Neill, Dale Reeves
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A career woman reassesses her parents' lives after she is forced to care for her cancer-stricken mother.

Director: Carl Franklin
Stars: Meryl Streep, Renée Zellweger, William Hurt
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Two parents deal with the effects when their son is accused of murdering his girlfriend.

Director: Barbet Schroeder
Stars: Meryl Streep, Liam Neeson, Edward Furlong
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Respected liberal Senator Joe Tynan is asked to lead the opposition to a Supreme Court appointment. It means losing an old friend and fudging principles to make the necessary deals, as well... See full summary »

Director: Jerry Schatzberg
Stars: Alan Alda, Barbara Harris, Meryl Streep
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Daniel Miller
... Agency Head
... Jeep Owner
... Car Salesman
... Tram Guide
Peter Schuck ... Stan
... Porter
... Bob Diamond
Sharlie Stuart ... Susan
Beth Black ... Soap Opera Woman
... Soap Opera Man
... Game Show Moderator
Wil Albert ... Game Show Contestant
Sage Allen ... Game Show Contestant
... Waitress
Edit

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:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

5 April 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Visa al paraíso  »

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$16,371,128
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Star Billing: Albert Brooks (1st), Meryl Streep (2nd), Rip Torn (3rd), Lee Grant (4th) and Buck Henry (5th). See more »

Goofs

In the Italian restaurant, the waiter pours cheese on Daniel's broccoli. However, in the next scene there is no cheese on the broccoli. 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 Murphy Brown: Defending Your Life (1996) 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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Awesome and heart-warming
17 September 2004 | by See 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.


40 of 46 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 96 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial