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Meet Joe Black (1998)

Death, who takes the form of a young man, asks a media mogul 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.


Martin Brest


Ron Osborn (screenplay), Jeff Reno (screenplay) | 6 more credits »
2,302 ( 688)
3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »





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 Suzanne Hevner ... Florist


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


He's Expecting You. See more »


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 »

Did You Know?


The cast includes three Oscar winners: Sir Anthony Hopkins, Brad Pitt, and Marcia Gay Harden; and one Oscar nominee: June Squibb. However, Pitt won two Oscars: one as a producer of a Best Picture winner and one as Best Supporting Actor. See more »


The amount of ice in Bill's scotch glass varies from shot to shot when the family is having drinks. See more »


[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 »


Version of Death Takes a Holiday (1934) See more »


Anything Goes
Written by Cole Porter
See more »

User Reviews

22 years later. And it still knocks you out.
19 January 2020 | by fredschepersSee all my reviews

Film reviews are irrelevant. Perception is key. Meet Joe Black is a meet on its own. If you are not into romantic tear jerkers, watch this film and find out that your human and have the ability to change your mind. I speak from experience. The story: Simple and easy to understand. The director made a simple life event into a magical experience. Love and death go hand in hand in a mixture of sublime acting, awesome sceneries, superb dialogues, nerve touching details and result in a romantic drama where the sadness and emotions do not cover the happy ending and leaves you choked till the last over the rainbow tune ends. After 40 years of watching thousands of films, this film still is my number 1 film in my top 100 films where all one hundred share the first place. Brad Pitt, Sir Anthony Hopkins (brilliant classical composer btw) and the gorgeous Claire Forlany showed of their qualities. Same for all the other participants in thisepic story about how life will go on. Perception. ... but from my pov their best acting ever. I have seen it at least once every 2 years. If it will be your first time, settle for it. If you are still young, and think you become a film addict, be aware! You will get drawn in this film for decades to come. Enjoy this experience. And let it knock you out as well ☺

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Official Sites:

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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 »


Box Office


$90,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$15,017,995, 15 November 1998

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (edited TV)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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