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Don't Tell Mom The Babysitter's Dead (1991)

Christina Applegate , Joanna Cassidy , Stephen Herek  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (254 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Christina Applegate, Joanna Cassidy, John Getz, Josh Charles, Keith Coogan
  • Directors: Stephen Herek
  • Writers: Neil Landau, Tara Ison
  • Producers: Brian Reilly, Caroline Baron, Davis Guggenheim, Jeffrey Silver, Julia Phillips
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English, French
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Hbo Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: December 12, 2000
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (254 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004XMVA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #169,696 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Don't Tell Mom The Babysitter's Dead" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The day after Mom leaves for a summer vacation in Australia, the kid's strict babysitter drops dead. The kids decide not to tell Mom, so that they can party.
Item Type: DVD Movie
Item Rating: PG13
Street Date: 08/30/05
Wide Screen: no
Director Cut: no
Special Edition: no
Language: ENGLISH
Foreign Film: noSubtitles: no
Dubbed: no
Full Frame: yes
Re-Release: no
Packaging: Sleeve

Don't Tell Mom The Babysitter's Dead aspires to be a cross between Home Alone and Risky Business, with Christina Applegate as an inadvertent scam artist who gets in over her head and somehow pulls it off. When her mother goes to Australia for two months, Sue Ellen (Applegate) thinks she's going to be in charge--until an elderly tyrant of a babysitter arrives. But on the very first night the old lady has a heart attack and keels over. Sue Ellen and her siblings leave the body at a mortuary, only to discover afterward that all the money their mother had left for the summer was in the babysitter's clothes. So Sue Ellen has to get a job. Thanks to a trumped-up resume, she ends up as an executive assistant at a clothing manufacturer. For a while she keeps her head above water by skillfully exploiting a friendly coworker, but her brothers and sisters are running amok at home and a venomous receptionist has it in for her at work. The role-reversal humor of Sue Ellen having to mother her siblings is unsurprising, but Applegate is unexpectedly appealing; her scenes with Josh Charles (Dead Poet's Society, Threesome) have a sweet chemistry. Joanna Cassidy (Blade Runner, The Laughing Policeman) plays Sue Ellen's boss and a young David Duchovny (The X-Files, The Rapture) is a weaselly clerk. --Bret Fetzer

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Crazy Summer December 23, 2000
What did Christina Applegate do during her 1990 summer hiatus from television's popular series, "Married...with Children"? Well, she made this charming, highly entertaining comedy of a Los Angeles teen that finds herself in a tough predicament one summer. After her mother leaves on a two-month trip to Australia, Sue Ellen (Applegate) finds herself taking care of her four siblings after the mean, elderly babysitter that was hired by their mother for the summer drops dead from natural causes. Unwilling to put a dent to their summer fun, the kids decide to rid the body and take care of themselves for two months without having to tell their mom. Only problem is that when they dropped the body off at the local mortuary, they forgot to check the babysitter's pockets for the money their mother left for groceries for the entire summer.
Determined to keep the fun and food flowing, Sue Ellen decides to look for a job. After not having too much luck at a fast food restaurant, she applies for a receptionist position at a clothing company. When a resume mix-up gets in the way, Sue Ellen becomes a career woman in order to pay the bills and keep their summer alive. Meanwhile, she develops a blossoming relationship with a fast-food worker she once worked with (Josh Charles of "Threesome") and is being hounded by two office workers who want to wreck her reputation (Concetta Tomei & a very, very young-looking David Duchovny of "X-Files fame).
Featuring a great cast of actors such as Joanna Cassidy and Keith Coogan ("Adventures in Babysitting"), "Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter is Dead" is a grown-up version of "Home Alone" for teens. Amusing, funny, and entertaining, it was Applegate's only feature-film hit.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Charming and Funny December 30, 2007
Thinks are looking up for the Crandell children. Mom (Concetta Tomei, "Deep Impact" and "Picket Fences") is going to Australia for two months. Things seem like they are going to be great until a babysitter shows up. The babysitter seems like a sweet little old lady until mom leaves. The babysitter then turns into a militant, giving the children orders and rules and telling everyone that she will tolerate no infractions.

The children can hardly believe their bad luck. Now they will be stuck with the babysitter from hell. After meeting to discuss their situation, the children elect Sue Ellen (also called Swell, played by Christina Applegate, "Married with Children") to go speak to the old lady. Swell knocks on the old lady's bedroom door and enters when she fails to answer. Swell discovers that one problem was solved, but another created, when she learns that the babysitter is dead.

After another meeting of the children, they decide to take the old lady to a mortuary and drop her off with a note. Unfortunately, the children neglect to remove the money their mother left from the old lady's clothes, as they learn after they return home. Swell and brother Kenny (Keith Coogan, who starred in another classic comedy, "Adventures in Babysitting") decide that one of them has to get a job. A flip of the pizza box and Swell starts looking for a job while brother Kenny hangs around the house and smokes pot.

Swell's first job is at a hotdog place, where she gets the joy of cleaning out the grease pots. Swell decides there has to be a better job she can get, so after a little creative resume writing, she lands a high-paying job as an executive administrative assistant for Rose Lindsay (Joanna Cassidy, "Blade Runner" and "Who Framed Roger Rabbit").
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead March 30, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Christina Applegate is surprisingly good in this cult classic playing Sue Ellen. After the babysitter dies from old age, she finds herself responsible for her four younger brothers and sisters for the entire summer. As much as she hates it, Sue Ellen has to get a job to support them all. When she applies for a receptionist job with a clothing manufacturer, her fabricated resume lands her a job with the chief executive. This is a lighthearted movie with many funny scenes.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Huh... hmm... hmmmmm.... December 12, 2004
This was a movie that my sister always watched back in its hey-day. I watched along as well since I thought Christina Applegate was purty. Hey, I was a kid back then! Who didn't find her attractive? But looking at it nowadays, I never realized the outrageous clothes the women wore. Did it really reflect that era? Not that I find the clothes to be horrendous, just absolutely... stunning and flashy, I guess. A mixture of grunge and '80s fashion. Ahh, the early nineties was such a fantastic era. Nowadays, it's dull. These are the thoughts that come to mind whenever I view this movie.

The plot snypnosis are as follows and plainly simple. Five kids are being baby-sat by a sinister old lady while their mom goes away on a trip in Australia. But early into the film, the old bag croaks on them. The kids, not knowing what to do exactly, put the woman in a foot locker (it looks like one) and dump it off at the nearest morgue or mortuary. The mother left money for them, but they find that there isn't any... they soon realized that the old lady had it with her the whole time. To gain money, the two older kids, Sue Ellen (Applegate) and Kenny (Keith Coogan), flip to decide who gets a job. Sue Ellen ends up finding a job. Kenny on the other hand has to do housework and take care of the kids... but he's a lazy bum that only "tokes it" with his other stoner buddies.

Sue Ellen gets a job at a clothing design company. She turns in a resume that's not necessarily true (who doesn't do this?) and gets immediately hired by the head honcho Rose Lindsey (played by the wonderful and beautiful Joanna Cassidy). Unfortunately, Sue Ellen runs into a competition with a co-worker named Carolyn (played by Jayne Brook).
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