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What Dreams May Come (1998)

PG-13 | | Drama, Fantasy, Romance | 2 October 1998 (USA)
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0:31 | Trailer
Chris Nielsen dies in an accident, and enters Heaven. But when he discovers that his beloved wife Annie has killed herself out of grief over the loss, he embarks on an afterlife adventure to reunite with her.

Director:

Vincent Ward

Writers:

Richard Matheson (novel), Ronald Bass (screenplay) (as Ron Bass)
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Popularity
2,525 ( 5)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robin Williams ... Chris Nielsen
Cuba Gooding Jr. ... Albert Lewis
Annabella Sciorra ... Annie Collins-Nielsen
Max von Sydow ... The Tracker
Jessica Brooks Grant ... Marie Nielsen
Josh Paddock ... Ian Nielsen
Rosalind Chao ... Leona
Lucinda Jenney ... Mrs. Jacobs
Maggie McCarthy ... Stacey Jacobs
Wilma Bonet Wilma Bonet ... Angie
Matt Salinger ... Reverend Hanley
Carin Sprague ... Best Friend Cindy
June Carryl ... Woman in Car Accident (as June Lomena)
Paul P. Card IV Paul P. Card IV ... Paramedic
Werner Herzog ... Face
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Storyline

During a holidays in Switzerland, a young Chris Nielsen meets by chance Annie Collins in a lake when their boats slightly collide. Sharing a snack when they meet a few hours later, Chris and Annie fall in love each other. Marrying quickly, Chris works as pediatrician and Annie as artist painter and art dealer, and they turn in parents of two children, older Ian and elder Marie. But their happy family life torn apart when being Ian and Marie teenagers, a car accident kills both and the nanny who was driving the van where they were. Four years later, Chris and Annie try to restore their life despite the tragedy and celebrate their anniversary when while he returns to home in his car after to end his daily work, Chris witnesses a car accident in a tunnel during a rainy night. Exiting of the car in an attempt to help people, another car crashes against him, hurting severally. Dying in the hospital, Chris turns in a ghost around his house and his recently widowed Annie, trying tell her ... Written by Chockys

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

After life there is more. The end is just the beginning.

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements involving death, some disturbing images and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | New Zealand

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 October 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

What Dreams May Come See more »

Filming Locations:

Ross, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$85,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$15,833,592, 4 October 1998

Gross USA:

$55,382,927

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$55,382,927
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Chris Nielsen is with his dog Katie and comes across Albert Lewis, who is standing in the water, Chris recognizes him in his youth. Albert exclaims, "You last saw me when I was 63 stretched out in a cardiac ward....who wants to be 63 throughout eternity?!" Robin Williams passed away at age 63 on august 11, 2014. See more »

Goofs

At the end of the movie, Chris is talking to Annie about reincarnation. He can be heard saying "A whole human lifetime is just a heartbeat here in heaven. Then we'll all be together, forever." The camera angle changes to the side of his face after the word "heartbeat" and his lips don't match the rest of his words. See more »

Quotes

Annie Nielsen: Sometimes, when you win, you lose.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Disclaimer after the end credits: "The persons and events in this production are fictitious. No similarity to actual persons, living, dead or reincarnated is intended or should be inferred." See more »

Alternate Versions

The DVD gives an alternative ending in which the kids (Ian & Marie) come to see Annie and Chris. They ask her if she wants to see them as Chris saw them. She says yes and they become Albert and Leona. They ask if she wants them to stay as they are or go back to being the kids. She says she knows who they are and should stay the same. Then Annie says she has to leave. This is the crucial point that wasn't in the original because Leona says those who commit suicide have to go back and be reincarnated. Chris says he wants to go back and Albert responds we figured that, a couple of star crossed lovers. He then says that Chris will meet Annie in Sri Lanka where Annie will die in his arms and he will die 40 years after that. Then there is a montage of Annie and Chris being born ending with side by side pictures of two new born babies. See more »

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: That's Not All, Folks! (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Hymn II, from Three Sacred Hymns
Composed by Alfred Schnittke
Performed by The Slavyanka Chorus and The San Francisco Girls Chorus
Conducted by Dr. Sharon J. Paul
See more »

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User Reviews

 
What dreams are made of...
14 April 2000 | by The_CoreSee all my reviews

To hell with the critics and the cynics. I absolutely love this movie - it's in my top ten (or maybe even top five) list of favorite movies (I saw it at least 3 times in the theater and own it on DVD). I have to admit, I'm one of those non- (almost anti-) elitist, "I don't know art, but I know what I like" type people. I also truly love positive, upbeat movies with happy endings. Not to say that "realistic" movies aren't also great, but there is room for everything in the moviemaking genre. Isn't there enough depressing "realism" on the evening news to satisfy even the most jaded cynic?

I can't say exactly what it is that strikes me about this movie. The incredible color-saturated visuals and special effects certainly help. The acting talents of Robin Williams and Max Von Sydow help. And I loved the story. Emotionally manipulative it may be, but this is one of those films where I WANTED to be manipulated, where I willingly participated. Apparently some people resented it, but I was sobbing through much the movie, and glad to be doing so. Laugh if you please, say whatever you want... this movie touches my heart.

"Deep" it isn't, not terribly. On a metaphysical level, it goes only slightly beyond new-age kitsch. Very few of the afterlife scenes and concepts agree with the spiritual outlook of any known religion. But I don't care. Again, if a movie touches my heart in just the right place, I can forgive it almost anything. This one did. 9/10.


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