Death Becomes Her

Released 1992


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Movie Summary

Robert Zemeckis

Death Becomes Her is a fantasy comedy film from 1992 that was written by Martin Donovan and David Koepp and directed by Robert Zemeckis. When Madeline (Meryl Streep) steals Helen's (Goldie Hawn) fiancé, Ernest (Bruce WIllis), Helen becomes depressed and obese and ends up in a mental hospital. 14 years later, Madeline eventually loses her good looks and Ernest becomes an alcoholic mortician who no longer loves his wife. The two meet Helen again and Madeline is horrified to see that Helen appears young and thin. Wishing for the same eternal youth, Madeline seeks out Lisle von Rhoman (Isabella Rossellini) who gives her a magical potion that makes Madeline young and beautiful again. Helen seduces Ernest and she convinces him to kill Madeline. Ernest carries out his part of the bargain, but Madeline wakes up after her death, stuck with a perpetual broken neck. The undead Madeline kills Helen by shooting her. Helen also wakes up, with a giant hole in her stomach from the gun shots. Helen and Madeline quickly realize that that their dead bodies are slowly deteriorating and they beg Ernest to continually touch them up using his mortician skills. Have Helen and Madeline learned that eternal life isn't all it's cracked up to be, or will they continue to fight over Ernest for the rest of their undead lives?



Metacritic Score

  • 75

    Chicago Tribune Dave Kehr

    Insistently grotesque, relentlessly misanthropic and spectacularly tasteless, Death Becomes Her isn't a film designed to win the hearts of the mass moviegoing public. But it is dia...

  • 75

    San Francisco Chronicle Edward Guthmann

    Death Becomes Her may be crude and tasteless, but it's also irresistibly funny and very well played by Streep, Hawn and Willis -- each of whom suffered career disappointments of la...

  • 75

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Jay Scott

    This wildly black comedy says that in Hollywood, death becomes everyone. [03 Aug 1992]

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More Info About This Movie


Comedy, Fantasy


back from the dead, catfights, campy, love triangle, supernatural forces