Corpse Bride (2005) Poster

(2005)

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  • Fish merchants William (Paul Whitehouse) and Nell (Tracey Ullman) Van Dort have arranged for their shy son Victor (Johnny Depp) to marry Victoria Everglot (Emily Watson), the daughter of Lord Finis (Albert Finney) and Lady Maudeline (Joanna Lumley) Everglot. When Victor screws up his vows at the wedding rehearsal, he goes into the woods to practice on his own and mistakenly places the wedding ring on the finger of a corpse, thinking it to be a twig. Suddenly, he finds himself married to a corpse bride named Emily (Helena Bonham Carter), who carries him off with her to the land of the dead. While Victor tries to get back to the land of the living, Victoria finds herself pressured to marry arrogant, wealthy newcomer, Lord Barkis Bittern (Richard E. Grant).

  • Corpse Bride is based on a 19th century Russian-Jewish adaptation of a 16th century folktale "The Finger," in which a woman on her wedding day is murdered and a man on his way to his own wedding sees her finger poking out of the ground. For fun, he places his bride's wedding ring on the corpse's finger (which he thinks is just a stick) and practices his marriage vows. The woman's corpse emerges from the ground and declares herself married to the man. The tale was adapted for the movie by American screenwriters John August and Caroline Thompson and by producer/director Tim Burton.

  • Technically, yes, although there are only four songs, i.e., music with lyrics. The first is According to Plan, which immediately starts after the opening credits. This takes place when the prospective bride (Victoria), groom (Victor), and their parents are beginning to meet for the first time. The second is Remains of the Day, when the skeletons tell Victor how Emily came to be dead. Number three is Tears to Shed, featuring the spider, the maggot, and Emily. Finally, The Wedding Song is a chorus of voices as Victor and Emily plan their wedding.

  • The best guess is that she got bashed over the the head by her fiancé. This is based on the line from the song Remains of the Day "and then, baby, everything went black", plus the telltale mark on her forehead. He then stole her family jewels and left her for dead.

  • The song Victor played on the piano (though many mistakenly think it is Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata) is actually an original composition by Danny Elfman for the film. It is called Victor's Piano Solo, and it's available on the motion picture soundtrack.

  • Watching at the church door, Victoria gasps as she sees Victor about to marry Emily. As he lifts the poisoned wine to his mouth, Emily stops him. "This is wrong," she says and gives Victor's hand to Victoria. Suddenly, Lord Barkis butts in, claiming Victoria as his wife. Emily recognizes Lord Barkis as the cad who murdered her. Barkis and Victor duel, Barkis with a sword and Victor with a fork, until Emily breaks them up. Thinking himself the victor, Barkis drinks the poisoned wine and promptly dies. Victor and Victoria hug, but Victor turns to Emily. She thanks him for setting her free and sets him free to marry Victoria. In the final scene, Emily walks out into the moonlight and dissolves into blue butterflies. Victor and Victoria watch the butterflies flitting away.

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