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The Settlement (1999)

R | | Comedy | April 1999 (USA)
1:39 | Trailer

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Swaggering, womanizing Jerry and his hen-pecked buddy Pat are in a bind....thier clients aren't dying fast enough! They buy insurance policies from the terminally ill.......and bet on them ... See full summary »


Mark Steilen


Lawrence H. Toffler (play), Mark Steilen (screenplay) | 1 more credit »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
John C. Reilly ... Pat
William Fichtner ... Jerry
Kelly McGillis ... Fake Barbara / Ellie
David Rasche ... Denny
Dan Castellaneta ... Neal
Bill Bolender ... Shamansky
Steve Tyler ... Costar
Stuart Pankin ... Insurance Agent
Monica Staggs ... Real Barbara
Sharon Brathwaite ... Receptionist
Jonathan McMurtry Jonathan McMurtry ... Dr. Van Buren
Joseph K. Steilen Joseph K. Steilen ... Supportive Friend #1
Nathaniel Steilen Nathaniel Steilen ... Supportive Friend #2
Carol Mansell ... Bookstore Cashier
Richard L. Schnakenberg Richard L. Schnakenberg ... Limo Driver


Swaggering, womanizing Jerry and his hen-pecked buddy Pat are in a bind....thier clients aren't dying fast enough! They buy insurance policies from the terminally ill.......and bet on them to kick the bucket on schedule. But their luck is about to change when they meet Barbara, who has a $2million policy and 3 months to live. Written by Matthew Martin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Dying is a lousy way to make a living



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some violence | See all certifications »






Release Date:

April 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Asfaleia zois i... thanatou See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



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Did You Know?


Written by Brian Tyler
Guitar and Drums: Brian Tyler
Bass: Michael Nielsen
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User Reviews

An entertaining, unpretentious little film
14 June 2000 | by mdcapjr32See all my reviews

I love finding lesser-known films that I haven't necessarily heard of before. The beauty of owning a DSS with a full premium movie package is that these kinds of films pop up regularly, although for every one worth watching you'll wade through five that stink. I ran across "The Settlement" last night and was actually quite impressed.

The gist of it: John Reilly and William Fichter play two guys who run a shady business wherein they buy out life insurance policies from dying customers. The clients get some cash before they die, and when they eventually kick off Reilly and Fichter collect the full benefit payout on the policy. Their business has hit the skids, however, and on the brink of bankruptcy in walks Barbara (Kelly McGillis). She's a terminal cancer patient with three months to live. For a $500,000 buyout she'll sign over her $2 million dollar policy.

As this is a much bigger deal than they are accustomed to and since they are nearly broke, Reilly and Fichter have to resort to some questionable means to obtain the $500,000. Reilly's character wants out of the business altogether but has a family to worry about. Fichter is the single, shoot-from-the-hip sort who acts now and worries about the consequences later. He has to convince Reilly that this is the deal they've been waiting for and that it will solve their financial problems once and for all. Conversations between the aggravated Reilly and the ever-scheming Fichter are well-written and very funny.

Barbara turns out to be something other than she first appears to be, and the movie takes off from there. It's well filmed and acted, and does a nice job of building suspense and the appropriate moments. The storyline is unique and made me wonder how Reilly and Fichter, who seem like decent enough guys, could have gotten involved in such a sleazy line of work.

I gave it 7 out of 10. My only real complaint is that the ending seemed hurried and a little too serious to fit the overall tone of the film. All in all, a good flick and worth your time if you get a chance.

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