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
Bruce Willis suggested two ideas for the title of the film. These choices were "It's Death, Baby" and "My Man Death". Ultimately, "Death Becomes Her" was chosen. See more »
In the scene before Helen is shot, Bruce Willis' grayish makeup can be seen to end at his jawline, allowing a big patch of rosy skin to show through. See more »
[leaving the theatre in the rain]
Can you believe that? A musical version of "Sweet Bird of Youth."Who are they kidding?
Thank God you wanted to leave...
Can you believe Madeline Ashton? Talk about waking the dead.
I gotta get a drink...
[zoom in on discarded playbill featuring Madeline Ashton]
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"Death Becomes Her" is over 20 years old but I bet it took a potion to remain splendorous for ever. Everything ages, even special effects but the elegance and wit of most of the dialog remains fresh and brisk. "I wasn't the sort of girl who could say the word sexual without blushing" tells Goldie to poor, emasculated Bruce - What happens to Bruce's face is just brilliant. He can't believe it. He is excited and terrified at the same time. A new DVD blue ray edition is overdue, with lots of extra features, please. Why haven't we seen more work like this? I'm a great fan of Martin Donovan and David Koepp, the writers, and this was their second and last collaboration. Koepp went on to write Jurassic Park and Mission Impossible and directed the delightful Ghost Town and Premiun Rush. Martin Donovan does extraordinary work with actors at Playhouse West and the Director's Playhouse of Los Angeles. I sat at three of his sessions and I left inspired and breathless. I asked him about "Death Becomes Her" and our exchange will be posted in his Message Boards here on IMDb. It made me want to see the film again, immediately.
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