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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

In a scene set in a comedy club, a terrible comedian performs a roast-style comedy act. This comedian asks Daniel (writer/director lead Albert Brooks) how Daniel died. Daniel says "on stage, like you." Daniel later jokes that he can't leave before the end of the act because the guy on stage is his father. "No, I'm kidding. That would be so sad for me." This entire interaction is a dark and elaborate in-joke. Albert Brooks' father, Harry Parke, actually was a comedian who died on stage at the Friar's Club, just after he finished his roast style comedy routine. See more »

Goofs

In the Past Lives Pavilion, as the subjects walk to their viewing booths, the overhead asks them to proceed to the "first available booth on the left." The subjects actually proceed to the last available booth. 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 »


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

 
This film changed my life...
2 December 2001 | by markrut7See all my reviews

This film changed my life and helped me to become a better person.

This movie made me realize how MY life will look when showed upon "the big screen". "Defending Your Life" made me think about how I have handled fear and adversity in my life. It also made me consider the effect my actions can have on the lives of others.

Because of this movie, I can tell you that my bus driver's name is Joe, and my mailman is Bob.

I never liked Meryl Streep in other movies, but playing Julia, she is absolutely charming. This is one of the few movies I plan to buy and keep.


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