Death Becomes Her

1992

Death Becomes Her

Critics Consensus

Hawn and Streep are as fabulous as Death Becomes Her's innovative special effects; Zemeckis' satire, on the other hand, is as hollow as the world it mocks.

52%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 48

61%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 174,035
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Death Becomes Her Photos

Movie Info

Two female rivals drink a magic potion from a beautiful enchantress that promises eternal youth. However, after they kill each other in their battle for the man they love, the potion revives them as the undead; and they are forced to maintain their deteriorating bodies forever.

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Cast

Meryl Streep
as Madeline Ashton
Goldie Hawn
as Helen Sharp
Bruce Willis
as Dr. Ernest Menville
Isabella Rossellini
as Lisle von Rhuman
Ian Ogilvy
as Chagall
Alaina Reed Hall
as Psychologist
Mary Ellen Trainor
as Vivian Adams
William Frankfather
as Mr. Franklin
John Ingle
as Eulogist
Petrea Burchard
as Opening Woman
Jim Jansen
as Second Man
Mimi Kennedy
as Second Woman
Paula Tocha
as Landlord
Mark Davenport
as Eviction Cop
Bob Swaim
as Andy Warhol
Thomas Murphy
as Eviction Cop
Michael Mills
as Police Officer
Sonia Jackson
as Psychiatric Patient
Jill C. Klein
as Psychiatric Patient
Jean Pflieger
as Psychiatric Patient
Paolo Tocha
as Landlord
Debra Jo Rupp
as Psychiatric Patient
Carol Ann Susi
as Psychiatric Patient
Kay Yamamoto
as Psychiatric Patient
Jacquelyn K. Koch
as Messenger Girl
Anya Longwell
as Chagall Receptionist
Stuart Mabray
as Chagall Security
Louise Rapport
as Older Woman at Party
Meg Wittner
as Woman at Book Party
Carrie Yazel
as Girl at Dakota's
Michael A. Nickles
as Lisle's Body Guard
John Enos III
as Lisle's Body Guard
Dan Lee Clark
as Lisle's Body Guard
Fabio
as Lisle's Body Guard
Joel Beeson
as Lisle's Body Guard
Ron Stein
as Elvis
Bonnie Cahoon
as Greta Garbo
Stephanie Anderson
as Marilyn Monroe
Bob Swain
as Andy Warhol
Eric Clark
as James Dean
Dave Brock
as Jim Morrison
Lydia Peterkoch
as Blonde with Jim Morrison
Susan Kellermann
as Second Doctor
Kevin Caldwell
as Medical Technician
Alex P. Hernandez
as Medical Technician
Donna Ekholdt
as Sobbing Nun
Tammy Gantz
as Sobbing Nun
Melissa Martin
as Sobbing Nun
Ed Forsyth
as Dancer
Bob Gaynor
as Dancer
Don Hesser
as Dancer
Jon Joyce
as Singer
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News & Interviews for Death Becomes Her

Critic Reviews for Death Becomes Her

All Critics (48) | Top Critics (16)

  • This new horror-comedy has to be one of the most heartless mainstream pictures ever made.

    Jan 3, 2019 | Full Review…
  • If there were something resembling genuine satire of human behavior beyond the simple pretexts for fancy special effects and relentless sadism, I might have found some of this funny.

    Jan 3, 2019 | Full Review…
  • 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 diabolically inventive and very, very funny.

    Jan 3, 2019 | Full Review…
  • An elaborate piece of work with more than a little on its nasty mind, "Death" finally falls flatter than many a less ambitious film, proof once again that just because an idea is audacious doesn't necessarily mean it's good.

    Jan 3, 2019 | Full Review…
  • Meryl Streep shines in a glitzy black comedy, but it's still She-Devil with a make-over.

    Jan 3, 2019 | Full Review…
  • The effects are awesome, if occasionally too gruesome to enjoy. All in all, however, Death Becomes Her is clever, different and dementedly entertaining, while commenting on our unhealthy obsession with youth and beauty.

    Aug 7, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Death Becomes Her

  • Mar 12, 2012
    I knew you couldn't kill Meryl Streep! Man, she's in her 60s... in this film; and I don't mean during the filming of the movie, I mean the '70s, during which this film opens up taking place in, and now that she's in her 90s, she still in better shape than me. No, Meryl Streep isn't old, or at least not by acting standards, because nothing can kill an actor or actress, except maybe cancer, heart attacks and drug overdoses. I don't know about y'all, but when Michael Gough went, I think he may have been on a little somethin', somethin' and that's what did him in. Hey, it's to be expected, because you shouldn't be doing drugs at all (kids), let alone when you're 94; so Meryl Streep, if you're on something, put down the bong if you want to make it another year, to 136. No, she's not that old, but Bruce Willis might be, he just shaves his head so much now-a-days it's hard to figure out what age he is. Well, his real name is Walter, so he's got to be about 71 or something, or he might be now, because this film takes so long to get anywhere, I probably spent the last decade-and-a-half watching it. Actually, now that I think about it, everyone's complaining about this film taking a long time to get somewhere, but really, I fell that, in all honesty, it actually never goes anywhere. No, the film gets to its point, yet, the fact of the matter is that it limps there, slowly dragging along with very limited intrigue, substance and depth. It's not a terribly boring film, but it is slow, both in pacing and in atmosphere, and as it drifts along, looking for its point - such as it is -, I dare you to not check your watch, if not fall out of the film completely from time to time. Of course, if the lack of depth isn't enough to knock you out of the film, "every" last, single lead is very unlikable in a very over-the-top way, and sure, they try to redeem them in some regards, particularly through humor, but more often than not, it's hard to find yourself truly invested in our leads. Now, the film isn't bad, yet it's so very much one of "those" '90s fillers on the filmographies on directorial and acting talents, and should, for all extents and purposes, be a throw-away, mediocre piece on the filmographies of Streep, Willis, Hawn and, of course, Bob Zemeckis. However, this is above your average throw-away '90s piece on a director's resume, because through all of its missteps and conventions, it wins you over more often than not. It's not a knockout, yet neither is it a mediocre piece, and at the end of the day, there's plenty in this to remember, particularly, of course, the visual effects. Bob Zemeckis has always had a taste for sharp visual effects and that all but especially includes the subtler kinds that don't blast in your face and serve the film is a dazzling and effective manner. Well, ladies and gentlemen, here is absolutely no different, and while this film isn't knocking out organic effect after organic effect like in "Roger Rabbit" or even popping out as many as Zemeckis' later-to-arrive masterpiece "Forrest Gump", yet when the effects to come into play, they're borderline, if not completely seamless, which isn't to say that they don't leave you impressed from an entertainment standpoint, as well as an aesthetic standpoint. Another Zemeckis trademark - and one more commonly seen in this film - that really livens things up is, of course, the sweeping, diving and deeply immersive camerawork that pulls you into this world in a lively fashion, yet doesn't overbear you. His and Martin Donovan's screenplay is certainly improvable, yet Zemeckis still holds your interest through all of the low spots - of which, there are plenty -, for he manages to make up for the mediocrity with his classic taste in pure, engaging style. Still, he's not the only one who keeps you going, because no matter how unlikable the characters are "on paper", it's hard to be totally uninterested in them, because the performers behind them are inexplicably excellent. Well, actually, I don't how inexplicable that really is, because if Meryl Streep's in the cast, you're bound to get some really good acting somewhere, and that's something that's not said a whole lot about Walte-I mean Bruce Willis, but only because he's not one to frequently show off that he is a genuinely excellent performer, as well. Goldie Hawn is heavily advertised, as well she should, because she is a pretty big role in the film and she plays it well enough whenever she graces the screen, yet at the end of the day, this is Streep's and Willis' show, and whether they're charming you or organically incorporating some heavy dark work that you don't see coming - let alone executed as well as this -, our leads pull you in and win you over, regardless of the unlikability of their characters on paper. Overall, on paper, the film should be, not necessarily a failure, but a mediocre number on Robert Zemeckis' filmography, what with the conventional, slow and wandering storyline that focuses on across-the-board unlikable leads, yet what more than saves the film is, if nothing else, Zemeckis' typically fabulous visual style, as well a triad of sharp lead performances - particularly those by Meryl Streep and Bruce Willis -, leaving "Death Becomes Her" to be an ultimately watchable farce that's reasonably enjoyable. 2.5/5 - Fair
    Cameron J Super Reviewer
  • Dec 02, 2011
    Death Becomes Her is a good black comedy film that has some great performances but dull characters. The plot itself I actually found interesting, Robert Zemeckis takes and interesting idea and make it a fun film, however the charcters are just horrible people and are not likable in any way. The performances from Meryl Streep, Bruce Willis, and Goldie Hawn were extremly well done and made these horribly written characters just a little bit of fun. The special effects were incredible for its day and I thought it was the true highlight of watching this film. This movie is funny in its own way and I can say this is what a dark comedy should be, but with these characters were important for the movie and they fail miserably, but other than that I recommend this to true fans of Zemeckis's films.
    Bradley W Super Reviewer
  • Nov 19, 2011
    The back stories of the the characters are too vague for a lot of the monstrous aggression to make sense and I don't think Zemeckis is cynical enough to make this work as well as it could. I still enjoy it on some level. Probably because watching Meryl Streep fire a shotgun point blank into Goldie Hawn is one of life's little joys.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Oct 04, 2011
    A satire take on the cosmetic surgery industry. The performance from all three stars were great. This is a black comedy that's definitely worth watching
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer

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