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The Dead Girl (2006)

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The clues to a young woman's death come together as the lives of seemingly unrelated people begin to intersect.


Karen Moncrieff


Karen Moncrieff
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Toni Collette ... Arden
Piper Laurie ... Arden's Mother
Donnie Smith ... Cop 1
Michael Raysses Michael Raysses ... Cop 2
Earl Carroll Earl Carroll ... Reporter
Dorothy Beatty Dorothy Beatty ... Grocery Checker
Eva Loseth Eva Loseth ... Grocery Store Customer
Giovanni Ribisi ... Rudy
Rose Byrne ... Leah
Joanie Tomsky ... Therapist
James Franco ... Derek
Christopher Allen Nelson ... Murray
Mary Steenburgen ... Leah's Mother
Bruce Davison ... Leah's Father
Kate Mulligan Kate Mulligan ... Party Girl


In Los Angeles, a story about a dead girl, told in five chapters. A woman, miserable in her circumscribed life caring for her domineering mother, finds a body. Somehow, this discovery allows her to change. At the morgue, the sister of a girl missing for 15 years believes the body is that of her sister; this liberates her. An older woman, married to a man who pays her little attention, finds evidence in a storage unit; how will she handle it? The mother of the dead girl, who left home some years before, visits the last place her daughter lived and makes her own discoveries. Last, we flash back to the victim's final day. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


One life ends. Six others begin. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, grisly images and sexuality/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

26 April 2007 (Hungary) See more »

Also Known As:

A Garota Morta See more »

Filming Locations:

Acton, California, USA See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,789, 5 January 2007

Gross USA:

$17,311, 7 January 2007
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The dead girl that the film centers on is played by Brittany Murphy, who died 3 years later, at age 32. See more »


When Melora meets Rosetta, her face is beaten up. When she takes Rosetta out to eat, her face looks normal. When she drops Rosetta back at the motel, her face is a mess again. See more »


Beverley, Leah's Mother: If she were dead, I would know it in my heart.
Leah: She's dead and she's never coming back!
See more »

Alternate Versions

In the theatrical release, there are two references to Arden's dead brother: when her mother mentions him, causing Arden's frenzy, and when she packs his picture before she leaves. There is an extended sequence that shed light on this relationship, and the shared tragedy that bound Arden to her mother for many years. See more »


Written by James Grundler
Performed by Golden State
See more »

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User Reviews

Electric acting performances in a good story
1 August 2010 | by OJTSee all my reviews

The Dead Girl was some of a giant shock to me, when I watched it last night. From the first scenes of the film, heartbreakingly beautiful shot in the country terrain where a dead girl is found, making changes in a lot of peoples lives.

Turn your feelings on, and buy it or rent it!

The film is not a thriller, though it's got a threatening edge all way through. It's a story about life, and to a certain amount death, and reminded me of great films like Crash and Grand Canyon. Though it's something completely different.

I'm amazed that this went straight to DVD in my country, because it's such a gem of acting, feelings and torment. I love the nerve of the film, and the only thing lacking here is that I want more in the end! Therefore I'd like to watch the film over again, just to study the acting.

The film is beautiful, gritty, heartbreaking, hopeful and has a tone of uncertainty which makes you want it never to end. But it does end, or it gives you a lot of hope. I'd like the film to go on to tell more about every individual in this story. So well written, played and filmed is this, that I really felt I was watching something special.

This is a hidden gem, that deserves more praise than it has got. I was completely blown away by the greatness. A quiet intensely and beautifully told film draws out the audiences emotions without making anything too obvious.

The acting is really superb, and the direction is first class. The cinematography is a perfect complement to the screenplay. The opening scenes featuring the desert are gripping and breathtaking. This film will linger with you for days to come.

It's so well written and played by a star cast where absolutely everyone does their job flawlessly. I must say I was completely mesmerized by the play of Toni Collette, Mary Beth Hurt, Mary Steenburgen, Brittany Murphy, Pier Laurie, Giovani Ribisi, James Franco, Rose Byrne, Kerry Washington as well as the others.

Can't wait for more from Karen Moncrieff. With stories like these, she'll be the next woman up for Oscar for best film. Well done!

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