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Dead Again


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Product Details

  • Actors: Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson, Andy Garcia, Derek Jacobi, Wayne Knight
  • Directors: Kenneth Branagh
  • Writers: Scott Frank
  • Producers: Charles H. Maguire, Dennis Feldman, Lindsay Doran, Sydney Pollack
  • Format: Anamorphic, Black & White, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Paramount Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: June 27, 2000
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (174 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004T9BY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #389,762 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Dead Again" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

The story is great, with lots of suspense, and the acting.....well!
Valerie Juncal
Most excellant acting by Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson, Dereck Jacobi, and Andy Garcia, and a surprise guest, Robin Williams!
Pamela Fitzgerald
Extremely well done and it's very reminiscent of old mysteries, film noir, and Hitchcock movies.
K. Cooper

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Susan Halm (cshalm@flash.net) on August 28, 1998
Format: VHS Tape
A brilliant and brilliantly-realized film using modern film techniques to evoke the best old films. A young woman suffering from amnesia and violent nightmares turns to a cynical private detective to help her uncover not only her present, but also explore her past, as they begin to suspect she's been reincarnated after a violent murder in the '40's. Kenneth Branagh directs a superb screenplay by Scott Frank and plays two roles (as does Emma Thompson and a few bit players). The film is shot in black and white AND color, with both stars using different accents and realizing two complete performances each. Cleverly, the script has characters both believing in -- and not believing in -- the idea of reincarnation, which gives depth and balance to both cynics and romantics in the audience. Beautiful film score by Patrick Doyle, which only heightens the melodrama. Everything about this film is tops (including an uncredited performance by Robin Williams -- and it's a gem). I'll never understand why it never received a single Oscar nomination -- Hollywood, you've done it again! If you truly love thrillers, this is one you can't afford to miss! END
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44 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Gary F. Taylor HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 8, 2003
Format: DVD
Although he received tremendous praise for his memorable film production of Shakespeare's HENRY V, DEAD AGAIN was the film that really introduced actor/director Kenneth Branagh to mainstream American film, and for a time he and then-wife Emma Thompson were the most celebrated acting couple since Olivier and Leigh. The marriage did not last, but fortunately this film did--and I say fortunately, for although it is somewhat forgotten today, DEAD AGAIN is an overlooked jewel of a film: classy, noir-ish, stylish, and very memorable indeed.
The story is fanciful. In the late 1940s noted composer Roman Strauss was convicted of mudering his noted pianist wife Margaret, and was sentenced to death. Some forty years later, a young woman suffering from amnesia falls into the hands of a no-nonsense Los Angeles private eye--and under hypnosis she recalls not her immediate past, but the lives of Roman and Margaret. Is this reincarnation? Is she Margaret Strauss? Is the private eye to whom she is attracted but of whom she is also strangely fearful the reincarnation of Roman Strauss, Margaret's killer? Is history repeating itself?
Scott Frank's clever script makes for a fast-paced, twisting, and fascinating plot-driven film--and it is flawlessly played by Branagh and Thompson, who assume dual roles as the 1940s Roman and Margaret Strauss and the 1980s Mike Church and Grace. The supporting cast is also excellent, with memorable performances by Andy Garcia and Derek Jacobi--and a truly exceptional cameo by Robin Williams, who here for the first time demonstrated that his talents went far beyond comedy.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By M. Rodriguez on February 21, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
In the Hollywood world of the same plots and stories, this film always stands to the side as an original. At the time of this film's release, the idea of past lives, Karma, and reincarnation had not yet been beaten to death...so I found it to be very entertaining, and a film I still watch from time to time on a rainy afternoon.
An interesting story that captures you from the beginning and leaves you guessing "Who Done It?" all the way to the end. The reviewers who deem this worthy of Hitchcock are absolutely correct!
Both Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson are fabulous in this film...the chemistry between them is undeniable. Such a shame that it didn't work out for them in real life. This was a departure from the traditional Shakespearean roles that Branagh plays, however, his character in this film(as is Thompson's)is one you can warm up to immediately. The imagery and flashbacks to the 1940's are wonderful...you can tell that they were well orchestrated and are delivered with class. The film has a completely engrossing storyline as well...so many angles to absorb, so many possible endings pop into your head that the true ending is a surprise.
Wonderful performances by Derek Jacobi...he is tastily diabolical in this, as well as Andy Garcia (as the jaded reporter) and Robin Williams.
Even the most die hard hecklers of past lives theories and Karma can't help but enjoy this film...a very believable, entertaining film that you'll want to see more than once!
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By C. O. DeRiemer TOP 1000 REVIEWER on February 3, 2005
Format: DVD
This is one of the best murder mysteries to come out of the Nineties, and probably for some time before or since. It's Hitchcockian without being an homage. Mike Church, a private detective in Los Angeles, is called on to try to identify a young woman (Emma Thompson), given the name Grace by the Catholic order which took her in, who at first is mute. Gradually, and with the help of an antiques dealer who is a talented hypnotist (Derek Jacobi), she begins to speak and identify herself with a woman, Margaret Straus, who was murdered shortly after WWII in Los Angeles by her husband, Roman. Roman Straus was a famous composer/conducter, an imigre from Germany whose life was saved by his now housekeeper (Hanna Schygulla), who has a young son.

Roman and Margaret Straus are played in black and white flashback by Branagh and Thompson. And while Roman was executed for stabbing his wife to death with a pair of scissors, he maintained his innocence. The motive was said to be jealousy, driven by the obvious love a reporter, Gray Baker (Andy Garcia), had for Margaret.

In trying to find the sources of Grace's distress, Mike finds some issues of his own. And he finally identifies the real murderer who is still alive and dangerous.

Yes, the story is complicated, but Branagh tells it in a clear, straight-forward manner which also requires the viewer to stay alert. He uses big film-making gestures, including great camera angles and lighting. And just as effectively, he uses some wit and humor as the story unfolds.

The cast is uniformly first-rate, including a best-friend part by Wayne Knight and a small but effective cameo by Robin Williams. One scene cleverly acted between Church and an aged, sick Gray Baker should put you off cigarette smoking.

I think this is one fine movie, and I hope it doesn't become forgotten.
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