6.5/10
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192 user 68 critic

Death Becomes Her (1992)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Fantasy, Horror | 31 July 1992 (USA)
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When a woman learns of an immortality treatment, she sees it as a way to outdo her long-time rival.

Director:

Robert Zemeckis
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Popularity
2,164 ( 486)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Meryl Streep ... Madeline Ashton
Bruce Willis ... Ernest Menville
Goldie Hawn ... Helen Sharp
Isabella Rossellini ... Lisle Von Rhuman
Ian Ogilvy ... Chagall
Adam Storke ... Dakota
Nancy Fish ... Rose
Alaina Reed-Hall ... Psychologist (as Alaina Reed Hall)
Michelle Johnson ... Anna
Mary Ellen Trainor ... Vivian Adams
William Frankfather ... Mr. Franklin
John Ingle ... Eulogist
Clement von Franckenstein ... Opening Man
Petrea Burchard ... Opening Woman
Jim Jansen ... Second Man
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Storyline

In 1978, in Broadway, the decadent and narcissist actress Madeline Ashton is performing Songbird, based on Tennessee Williams' Sweet Bird of Youth. Then she receives her rival Helen Sharp, who is an aspiring writer, and her fiancé Ernest Menville, who is a plastic surgeon, in her dressing-room. Soon Menville calls off his commitment with Helen and marries Madeline. Seven years later, Helen is obese in a psychiatric hospital and obsessed in seeking revenge on Madeline. In 1992, the marriage of Madeline and Menville is finished and he is no longer a surgeon but an alcoholic caretaker. Out of the blue, they are invited to a party where Helen will release her novel Forever Young and Madeline goes to a beauty shop. The owner gives a business card of the specialist in rejuvenation Lisle Von Rhuman to her. When the envious Madeline sees Helen thin in a perfect shape, she decides to seek out Lisle and buys a potion to become young again. Further, she advises that Madeline must take care of ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Some people will go to any lengths to stay young forever. But Madeline Ashton and her old friend Helen Sharp are about to go TOO far. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Fantasy | Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some nudity and off-color humor | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 July 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La muerte le sienta bien See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$55,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$58,422,650

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$149,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

In a 2017 Vanity Fair article after the 25th anniversary of the film's release, the film was stated to be a "gay cult classic" and a "a touchstone of the queer community". See more »

Goofs

Just after a drugged Madeline falls face-down in her dinner (according to Helen's plan), all the candle flames are wafted by the rapid passage of the camera up the table. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Opening Man: [leaving the theatre in the rain] Can you believe that? A musical version of "Sweet Bird of Youth."Who are they kidding?
Opening Woman: Thank God you wanted to leave...
Second Woman: Can you believe Madeline Ashton? Talk about waking the dead.
Second Man: I gotta get a drink...
[zoom in on discarded playbill featuring Madeline Ashton]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Take Two: Death Becomes Him (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Bridal Chorus
(uncredited)
Written by Richard Wagner
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Robert Zemeckis at his best!
28 August 2005 | by HorrorFan112490See all my reviews

I mean, I doubted this movie at first from the beginning in Broadway. But as it progressed, I was laughing so hard on certain scenes like when Dr. Menville is reporting the murder of Madelyn and she suddenly gets up and starts walking toward him. It was too funny and the effects were so phenomenal. I mean literally. But then again, it won an Oscar for its effects. I mean, the fight scene where the 2 start fighting with shovels and Helen breaks off the metal end of Mad's and she throws it right through her. "Yes! I mean No! Oh Damn!" That scene was just side-splitting. Overall it was a good black comedy and I'd recommend it to anybody. And Robert Zemeckis, I never knew he did such a great movie because he's a head producer for Dark Castle Entertainment and he's done some pretty bad movies from there like Ghost Ship and Thir13en Ghosts. But wow, he has really made an excellent movie.


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