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Meet Joe Black (1998)

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Death, who takes the form of a young man (Brad Pitt), asks a media mogul (Sir Anthony Hopkins) to act as a guide to teach him about life on Earth, and in the process, he falls in love with his guide's daughter (Claire Forlani).

Director:

Martin Brest

Writers:

Ron Osborn (screenplay), Jeff Reno (screenplay) | 6 more credits »
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Popularity
1,670 ( 57)
3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Brad Pitt ... Joe Black / Young Man in Coffee Shop
Anthony Hopkins ... William Parrish
Claire Forlani ... Susan Parrish
Jake Weber ... Drew
Marcia Gay Harden ... Allison
Jeffrey Tambor ... Quince
David S. Howard David S. Howard ... Eddie Sloane
Lois Kelly-Miller Lois Kelly-Miller ... Jamaican Woman
Jahnni St. John Jahnni St. John ... Jamaican Woman's Daughter
Richard Clarke Richard Clarke ... Butler
Marylouise Burke ... Lillian
Diane Kagan Diane Kagan ... Jennifer
June Squibb ... Helen
Gene Canfield ... Construction Foreman
Suzanne Hevner ... Florist
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Storyline

William Parrish (Sir Anthony Hopkins), media tycoon, loving father, and still a human being, is about to celebrate his 65th birthday. One morning, he is contacted by the inevitable, by hallucination, as he thinks. Later, Death enters his home and his life, personified in a man's body: Joe Black (Brad Pitt) has arrived. His intention was to take William with him, but accidentally, Joe's former host and William's beautiful daughter Susan (Claire Forlani) have already met. Joe begins to develop certain interest in life on Earth, as well as in Susan, who has no clue with whom she's flirting. Written by Julian Reischl <julianreischl@mac.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Meet Joe Black: Sooner or Later Everyone Does See more »

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for an accident scene, some sexuality and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Universal

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Dutch

Release Date:

13 November 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Meet Joe Black See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$90,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$15,017,995, 15 November 1998, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$44,619,100

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$142,940,100
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (edited TV)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

When Joe Black (Brad Pitt) and Susan (Claire Forlani) discuss how "nothing lasts" in the coffee shop, it's the same sentiment Benjamin (Brad Pitt) expressed to Daisy (Cate Blanchett) in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008). See more »

Goofs

When Susan is kissing Joe goodbye after having made love, her medical bag is on the floor. Even though she doesn't bend down to pick it up before she walks away, she has it in her hand as she exits. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Construction Foreman: Please. Please. Don't worry. Don't worry.
Allison: It's utter chaos around here. And I'm terrified we're running out of time. Am I trying to be too perfect?
See more »

Alternate Versions

TV version shortens the scene when Joe is hit by the cars. See more »

Connections

Featured in Everybody Hates Chris: Everybody Hates Rejection (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

What A Wonderful World
Written by George David Weiss (as George David Weis) and Bob Thiele
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Long, boring at parts, but when it picked up it was great
15 February 2000 | by XophianicSee all my reviews

I was a little hesitant to watch this movie, seeing as how it was 3 hours long, but I decided to give it a try. As I sort of expected, much of the first part was fairly slow moving and a bit boring. But if you stick with MEET JOE BLACK, it gets a little more exciting and you'll find the story a bit more interesting.

William Parrish (Anthony Hopkins) is a very successful businessman who has raised a good family, had a good career and has lead a good life. Then one day, Death (Brad Pitt) comes to William and offers him more time to be alive in exchange for Parrish showing him around life. Death, using the name Joe Black, really starts to enjoy life and fall in love with Parrish's daughter Susan (Claire Forlani). When this happens, he considers changing the rules of life & death.

The plot is very original and fairly interesting. I think it would have been a little less boring if there wasn't a dramatic pause between every sentence. The beginning of this movie is actually pretty good, but the rest of the first half tends to drag a bit. The second half still has similar flaws, but because the characters have been set and the plot really starts to threaten, it is a lot more interesting. I had mixed feelings for the ending. I thought it was OK, but it could have been a little better. The ending was kind of predictable, but not especially since it was hard to tell where they were going with it. Half of the movie is predictable and half of it wasn't.

The acting was superb in this movie, as expected with a veteran like Anthony Hopkins and a newer, but talented, face like Brad Pitt. Hopkins, in my humble opinion, stole the show right out from under Pitt, who I think was meant to be the showcase. Claire Forlani did pretty well as the adorable girlfriend of Pitt, and I thought the Jamaican Lady, played by Lois Kelly-Miller, and was both funny and noble. I loved the scenes between her and Pitt, and I thought Pitt was very funny speaking a Jamaican accent.

The character development in this movie was pretty good. It was pretty cool to see the Grim Reaper himself (Joe Black/Death) have feelings and curiosity about life, let alone fall in love with someone. You can relate to Parrish, even though he plays an old fart, because he knows that his death is coming and he is, naturally, trying to tie up loose knots. You would do this too if Death came to you and said "Hey, you're gonna die in a week. So, how 'bout them Yankees?" Both of Parrish's daughters represent two stereotype daughters. One was the older, favorite daughter who is struggling with her feelings about love. The other is the younger daughter who is jealous of her older sister, but is married. Again, I loved the Jamaican Lady, but I don't think I would have if it weren't for Pitt's excellent dialogue with her.

If you don't like long movies, you'd better stay away from this one. If you're a Pitt fan, you'll love it because he is everywhere on this film. I'd still say this is one great film and that you should check it out, but not if you have a bad attention span.


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