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Death Becomes Her [DVD] [1992]


Price: £3.83 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Meryl Streep, Bruce Willis, Goldie Hawn, Isabella Rossellini, Ian Ogilvy
  • Directors: Robert Zemeckis
  • Writers: David Koepp, Martin Donovan
  • Producers: Robert Zemeckis, Joan Bradshaw, Steve Starkey
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Czech
  • Subtitles: English, German, French, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Portuguese
  • Dubbed: Polish, Czech
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Universal Pictures UK
  • DVD Release Date: 1 Jun. 2009
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004RCO9
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,394 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Ageing actress Madeline Ashton (Meryl Streep) is persuaded to take an elixir which brings her eternal life. Her rival for her husband Ernest's (Bruce Willis) affections, Helen Sharp (Goldie Hawn), has taken the same potion, and when the two of them try to kill each other, their bodies prove to be irritatingly indestructible.

From Amazon.co.uk

If Robert Zemeckis's mega-hit Forrest Gump was too sweet for your taste, you may enjoy the undiluted bitterness of his previous movie, a cynical black comedy that was ahead of its time. Death Becomes Her, an outlandish parable about America's obsession with youth and vanity, exposes the corrosive side of Zemeckis's comic sensibility, the sort of scathing satirical edge he gleefully flourished in his overlooked 1980 Used Cars, which has developed a cult following.

Meryl Streep has a ball as the deliciously vicious Madeline Ashton, a flamboyantly mannered actress who makes Bette Davis's formidable Margo Channing in All About Eve look like a wallflower. Goldie Hawn is also in razor-sharp comedic form as Madeline's long-time "best friend," Helen. Sensing a bargain she just can't resist, Madeline steals Helen's meek, plastic-surgeon husband Ernest (Bruce Willis) for her own convenience, and the two women become sworn enemies. But the real complications arise when the two are introduced to a secret anti-aging formula by a mysterious and exotic woman (Isabella Rossellini, delightfully ridiculous) that not only smoothes away wrinkles but actually guarantees immortality. As their undying bodies are twisted and mutilated by violent attacks on each other, both women grow increasingly dependent on Ernest for cosmetic repair. The pioneering digital effects inflicted on Streep and Hawn are as grotesque as they are imaginative and hilarious. Like James Cameron (The Abyss, Titanic), Zemeckis loves a technical challenge, and the new visual tools developed for this movie made his later work (in Forrest Gump and Contact) possible. The digital video disc includes a short feature on the movie's production. --Jim Emerson, Amazon.com

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stampy on 10 May 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Falling actress Madeline Ashton (Streep) learns of a secret potion that will regenerate her beauty whilst her long term enemy Helen (Hawn) looks set to steal her husband

Black comedies are some weird and wonderful creations. The Coen brothers are creative masters at such a genre, whether depicting the nature of the government in Burn after Reading or revealing the solidity of harsh actions in Intolerable Cruelty the pair have become a landmark and favourites.

To take the concept of death and vanity and putting a comedy twist on it sounds almost as controversial as Dogma and as zany for Zemeckis as you like, given his previous hit was the final part in the Back to the Future trilogy. But despite the initially oddity of this picture, it is perfect comedy gold with a strange darkness and bizarreness to rival Tim Burton.

The film begins with a song and dance routine with Meryl Streep in as good as singing voice as in her later role Mamma Mia! After a couple of confusing scenes we see Helen has gone into depression after her husband got hitched with Madeline and it seems we have a soapy style love triangle but after Madeline gets her hand on a love potion and we see Helen return to the mix, everything becomes much more light hearted and very funny, with sharp physical comedy and maintaining that level of bizarre activity throughout.

Goldie Hawn is the stand out with a wacky crazed character that is simply likeable despite her vindictiveness. Streep is, as ever, on fine form and pleasantly Willis has dived away from his stereotyped action hero into a soft hearted struggler who wants his life back. The pairing of the three works wonders and is hard to imagine any other in such roles as the playful comic acting is in perfect harmony with the wacky script.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ms. Grace S. Brown on 8 May 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Buy it...........watch it...........laugh 'till it hurts.....and then watch it again.

For some reason this fantastic film seemed to pass by unnoticed and I cannot understand why. Meryl Streep is the heart of the film and is on fine form, her comedic talent is second to none and in my opinion not showcased enough. Goldie Hawn is also terrific, and it is great to see Bruce Willis playing the shy, pathetic man for a change. No sign of John Mclane here!

If you are a fan of Ms. Streep then you have to own this film as in my opinion it is one of her best ever performances. Even if you are not a fan of the mighty Streep, buy it anyway and fall in love with her.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Gary F. Taylor on 3 July 2004
Format: DVD
The passage of time weighs upon us all: the loss of youth's energy, agility, beauty. But let us say there is a potion, an elixir, "a touch of magic in a world obsessed with science." Drink it and you will be forever young. Do not drink it and watch yourself rot away with old age. Just such a potion falls into the hands of two women who are not only fierce rivals, determined to best each other no matter the cost, but consumed with vanity as well. Siempre Viva: Live Forever! Whether you like it or not!
With excellent performances, an invective-laced script, and remarkable special effects, DEATH BECOMES HER takes on several great philosophical and literary concepts--and subverts them into one of the most wickedly funny black comedies in recent memory, dishy, bitchy, mean spirited, and a tremendous amount of fun. Film buffs will particularly relish this film, which references everything from THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW to THE WIZARD OF OZ and a host of classic horror films such as FRANKENSTEIN, THE MUMMY, and CAT PEOPLE--and also tacks in everything from Tennessee Williams plays to rock legend Jim Morrison for good measure.
Unfortunately, the DVD release is commonplace, offering the film in pan-and-scan only. To give the release its due, the shift from widescreen to pan-and-scan is expertly done and not in the least distracting--but still, a widescreen option for such a special effects heavy film would be preferred. And while this would seem to be an ideal film for a making-of documentary, the DVD offers only a handful of production notes as bonus. Even so, the film is so extremely well done that I wouldn't miss it on that account! Recommended.
GFT, Amazon Reviewer
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By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 1 May 2011
Format: DVD
Everybody knows that Hollywood is full of people who would sell their soul for youth and beauty, but ... literally? They come pretty close in "Death Becomes Her," a delightfully wicked, twisted black comedy directed by Robert Zemeckis -- the dialogue is wonderfully barbed, the comedy is warped, and the quartet of lead actors give the performances of a lifetime.

Years ago, starlet Madeline Ashton (Meryl Streep) stole plastic surgeon Ernest Menville (Bruce Willis) from her longtime rival, dowdy writer Helen Sharp (Goldie Hawn). Consumed by hatred for Madeleine, Helen becomes an obese recluse and is eventually locked up in a mental institution.

Present day (and by that, I mean the 1980s): Madeline and Ernest (now a harpyish has-been and an alcoholic undertaker) appear at the signing for Helen's bestselling book -- and are shocked to see that she's now a stunning youthful bombshell. This drives Madeline to seek out the services of Lisle von Rhoman (Isabella Rossellini), a sensual sorceress who sells her a potion that restores her youth. A small warning: "Take care of your body." Easier said than done.

Meanwhile, Helen and Ernest have been plotting to kill her, and a fight leads to Madeleine falling down the stairs and twisting her head 180 degrees. She's not dead... but not really alive either. And the problem is, Helen has had the same treatment -- meaning that when Madeleine gets her revenge, her rival doesn't die either. Is there a way out of this mess, or are the ladies doomed to eternal unlife?

If you like moral messages with your warped comedy, here's "Death Becomes Her's": a short life lived to the fullest is way better than an empty endless one, and shallow people who try to stay eternally young are pathetic.
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