6.6/10
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199 user 69 critic

Death Becomes Her (1992)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Fantasy, Horror | 31 July 1992 (USA)
Trailer
2:10 | Trailer
When a woman learns of an immortality treatment, she sees it as a way to outdo her long-time rival.

Director:

Robert Zemeckis
Reviews
Popularity
1,356 ( 531)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Meryl Streep ... Madeline Ashton
Bruce Willis ... Ernest Menville
Goldie Hawn ... Helen Sharp
Isabella Rossellini ... Lisle Von Rhuman
Ian Ogilvy ... Chagall
Adam Storke ... Dakota
Nancy Fish ... Rose
Alaina Reed-Hall ... Psychologist (as Alaina Reed Hall)
Michelle Johnson ... Anna
Mary Ellen Trainor ... Vivian Adams
William Frankfather ... Mr. Franklin
John Ingle ... Eulogist
Clement von Franckenstein ... Opening Man
Petrea Burchard ... Opening Woman
Jim Jansen ... Second Man
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Storyline

In 1978, in Broadway, the decadent and narcissist actress Madeline Ashton is performing Songbird, based on Tennessee Williams' Sweet Bird of Youth. Then she receives her rival Helen Sharp, who is an aspiring writer, and her fiancé Ernest Menville, who is a plastic surgeon, in her dressing-room. Soon Menville calls off his commitment with Helen and marries Madeline. Seven years later, Helen is obese in a psychiatric hospital and obsessed in seeking revenge on Madeline. In 1992, the marriage of Madeline and Menville is finished and he is no longer a surgeon but an alcoholic caretaker. Out of the blue, they are invited to a party where Helen will release her novel Forever Young and Madeline goes to a beauty shop. The owner gives a business card of the specialist in rejuvenation Lisle Von Rhuman to her. When the envious Madeline sees Helen thin in a perfect shape, she decides to seek out Lisle and buys a potion to become young again. Further, she advises that Madeline must take care of ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In one small bottle... The fountain of youth. The secret of eternal life. The power of an ancient potion. Sometimes it works... sometimes it doesn't. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Fantasy | Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some nudity and off-color humor | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 July 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La muerte le sienta bien See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$55,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,110,355, 2 August 1992

Gross USA:

$58,422,650

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$149,022,650
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The moment before the shovel fight, Helen knocks Madeline's head and neck backward to where the head is hanging from the collarbone. This effect was achieved by Meryl Streep wearing a blue screen hood over her head to where, later in post-production, it's digitally removed while an animatronic head in Streep's likeness is attached to her back saying her recorded line. See more »

Goofs

Helen has had a hole blown through her stomach by the time the "shovel fight" has begun. As Ernest leaves the scene, you see the shadows of the women fighting, only now the hole is in Madeleine's shadow, not Helen's. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Opening Man: [leaving the theatre in the rain] Can you believe that? A musical version of "Sweet Bird of Youth."Who are they kidding?
Opening Woman: Thank God you wanted to leave...
Second Woman: Can you believe Madeline Ashton? Talk about waking the dead.
Second Man: I gotta get a drink...
[zoom in on discarded playbill featuring Madeline Ashton]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Nostalgia Critic: Top 11 Dumbest Spiderman Moments (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Bridal Chorus
(uncredited)
Written by Richard Wagner
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Robert Zemeckis at his best!
28 August 2005 | by HorrorFan112490See all my reviews

I mean, I doubted this movie at first from the beginning in Broadway. But as it progressed, I was laughing so hard on certain scenes like when Dr. Menville is reporting the murder of Madelyn and she suddenly gets up and starts walking toward him. It was too funny and the effects were so phenomenal. I mean literally. But then again, it won an Oscar for its effects. I mean, the fight scene where the 2 start fighting with shovels and Helen breaks off the metal end of Mad's and she throws it right through her. "Yes! I mean No! Oh Damn!" That scene was just side-splitting. Overall it was a good black comedy and I'd recommend it to anybody. And Robert Zemeckis, I never knew he did such a great movie because he's a head producer for Dark Castle Entertainment and he's done some pretty bad movies from there like Ghost Ship and Thir13en Ghosts. But wow, he has really made an excellent movie.


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