When a woman learns of an immortality treatment, she sees it as a way to outdo her long-time rival.

Director:

Robert Zemeckis
Reviews
Popularity
282 ( 721)
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 Menville
Bruce Willis ... Dr. 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, on 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 fiancee 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

For the majority of the movie, Madeline wears white or black and Helen wears red. The one exception was in Helen's fantasy sequence, in which Madeline wore a red dress and she wore a white dress. This is shown in one of the film's main promotional posters. See more »

Goofs

Helen has had a hole blown through her stomach by the time the "shovel fight" has begun. As Ernest leaves the scene, you see the shadows of the women fighting, only now the hole is in Madeleine's shadow, not Helen's. 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]
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Connections

Referenced in Hviezdna párty: Episode #1.7 (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Me
(Reprise)
Written by Geoff Aymar
Lyrics by Martin Donovan & David Koepp
Arranged by William Ross
Performed by Meryl Streep
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User Reviews

 
A Cult Classic
10 November 2007 | by juliereed50See all my reviews

I never saw "Death Becomes Her" when it first come out because of a review I had read somewhere. The review was dismissive and made a lot of sense, so I decided to give it a miss. What a terrible mistake! This is a movie I would love to see on a big screen. The script is so brilliantly clever. Disguised as a silly comedy there is a world of serious themes executed by a knowing cast. Meryl Streep in particular, playing convincingly an actress without talent. I remember the bad review criticized the writers for setting the story in a rainy, stormy Los Angeles when California was going through a drought. Imagine if a comedy about magic potions should worry about the accuracy of the weather. In fact the Los Angeles of "Death Becomes Her" feels more like Los Angelers than most realistic movies and it does it with nerve and wit. "In 12 years in Los Angeles have you ever seen a neighbor?" screams Meryl to his mousy Bruce. An absolute delight. Other hidden treasures are a cameo from Sidney Pollack and a very funny and very sexy "76 years old" Isabella Rossellini. A new cult classic and a total must.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 July 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Death Becomes Her See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$55,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,110,355, 2 August 1992

Gross USA:

$58,422,650

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$149,022,650
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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