Death Becomes Her is one of the greatest black comedies of all time, yet surprisingly managing to remain family-friendly. It is shot 29 years ago by Robert Zemeckis & collected an amazing ensemble of stars: Bruce Willis, Goldie Hawn, Isabella Rossellini & Meryl Streep. It touches some secret society that owns the recipe of an elixir of immortality, which makes it possible to live forever (even after you die).
There are numerous interesting facts in the film’s plot. We’ve cherry-picked 5 to tell you about.
Spoiler alert! So if you haven’t watched this hilarious movie yet, do it before reading.
- When Goldie Hawn’s heroine rises from dead from the pool, they start a quarrel with Meryl Streep & during that, they mention the date October 26, 1985. That’s a reference to ‘Back to the Future’, another Zemeckis’ film, the date of ‘original’ & ‘revised’ timelines inside the film, which appears many times there, obviously having some spiritual meaning for its creator.
- On the 40th of the film, the heroine of Mrs. Rossellini promotes the potion to the heroine of Mrs. Streep & warns her. During that, she mentions one of her clients, citing her phrase with deliberate accent ‘I want to be alone’. In the film, it is not said directly, what client is that, but Meryl Streep immediately recognizes her. You, probably, wonder whom they are speaking of. It is Greta Garbo (1905-1990) & the phrase is derived from her famous 1932 film ‘Grand Hotel’. Meryl Streep’s heroine, as an actress, was surely familiar with that phrase.
- When Ernest falls through the roof into the pool, it feels feasible that he took a potion with him. In the previous scene, he deliberately dropped the potion & viewers hear it cracks with the sound of breaking glass. But Ernest in the next scene falls through the glass (!!!) roof of the pool, so it is possible that the potion simply fell through the roof unharmed & the sound was coming from the breaking piece of a roof, not the tiny bottle. As a result, the potion may have landed into the water of the pool safely & Ernest had a chance to pick it up after he fell there too. The film did not focus on what he did in the pool before getting out. So the scene at the end of the film depicting Ernest’s burial service may actually be a trick of the guy, whilst he is actually alive! That’s backed by the fact that the picture of the deceased shows another person, having too little visual similarities with real Ernest. That is also supported by one of the plot lines, which included actress Tracey Ullman, prompting Ernest to run away with her to deceive everyone. But the scene & the line were later cut out of the film, as the test audience did not want it there, desiring a darker ending.
- Not all scenes of the nude body of Mrs. Rossellini depict her real body – she had a double, Catherine Bell, who became an actress herself after debuting in this film.
- The film was originally thought to be a sequel to the ‘Tales From the Crypt’ of 1972 & even the film’s original trailer featured some cast from the mentioned.