Dead Again (1991)

R | 107 mins | Drama, Mystery, Romance | 23 August 1991

Director:

Kenneth Branagh

Writer:

Scott Frank

Cinematographer:

Matthew F. Leonetti

Editor:

Peter E. Berger

Production Designer:

Tim Harvey

Production Company:

Mirage Enterprises
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HISTORY

The 13 Sep 1990 DV included actor Donald Sutherland among the cast, but he does not appear in the final film. Principal photography was scheduled to begin 1 Oct 1990.
       According to production notes in AMPAS library files, actor-director Kenneth Branagh wanted to create “a lush and vivid depiction” of Los Angeles, CA. He selected houses for the film that appeared pleasant during the day and sinister at night, particularly the Tudor-style residence that served as both the “Strauss” mansion and “St. Audrey’s School for Boys.” Other locations included a Mediterranean-style estate built in the 1930s, used as the home of financier “Otto Kline”; the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Los Angeles; Perino’s restaurant; the Hightower House in the Hollywood Hills; a house in the Silverlake district; and the “Shakespeare Bridge” in the Los Feliz district.
       Dead Again opened in late Aug 1991 to lukewarm reviews. Although critics praised the cast, sets, and cinematography, several were disappointed in the plot, exemplified by the 19 Aug 1991 HR, which described the picture as “style swamping content.” The 19 Aug 1991 DV noted that the film was incorrectly marketed to youth audiences as a horror story.
       The 4 Sep 1991 LAT reported that Ira Zimmerman, chairman of the National Stuttering Project, addressed a letter to Branagh and executive producer Sydney Pollack, criticizing the film for “exploiting the public’s ignorance about the speech disorder of stuttering.” Zimmerman was referring to a character named “Frankie,” who had a noticeable stutter.
       End credits include the following statements: “Special thaks to The Renaissance Theatre Company,” and, ... More Less

The 13 Sep 1990 DV included actor Donald Sutherland among the cast, but he does not appear in the final film. Principal photography was scheduled to begin 1 Oct 1990.
       According to production notes in AMPAS library files, actor-director Kenneth Branagh wanted to create “a lush and vivid depiction” of Los Angeles, CA. He selected houses for the film that appeared pleasant during the day and sinister at night, particularly the Tudor-style residence that served as both the “Strauss” mansion and “St. Audrey’s School for Boys.” Other locations included a Mediterranean-style estate built in the 1930s, used as the home of financier “Otto Kline”; the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Los Angeles; Perino’s restaurant; the Hightower House in the Hollywood Hills; a house in the Silverlake district; and the “Shakespeare Bridge” in the Los Feliz district.
       Dead Again opened in late Aug 1991 to lukewarm reviews. Although critics praised the cast, sets, and cinematography, several were disappointed in the plot, exemplified by the 19 Aug 1991 HR, which described the picture as “style swamping content.” The 19 Aug 1991 DV noted that the film was incorrectly marketed to youth audiences as a horror story.
       The 4 Sep 1991 LAT reported that Ira Zimmerman, chairman of the National Stuttering Project, addressed a letter to Branagh and executive producer Sydney Pollack, criticizing the film for “exploiting the public’s ignorance about the speech disorder of stuttering.” Zimmerman was referring to a character named “Frankie,” who had a noticeable stutter.
       End credits include the following statements: “Special thaks to The Renaissance Theatre Company,” and, "Life Magazine logo and trademark used with permission of The Time Inc. Magazine Company.” More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
13 Sep 1990.
---
Hollywood Reporter
19 Aug 1991
p. 7, 16.
Los Angeles Times
23 Aug 1991
p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
4 Sep 1991.
---
New York Times
23 Aug 1991
p. 1.
Variety
26 Aug 1991
p. 87.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Paramount Pictures Presents
A Mirage Production
A Kenneth Branagh FIlm
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
DGA trainee
PRODUCERS
Co-prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst photog
1st asst photog
2d asst photog
2d asst photog
Still photog
Video assist op
Chief lighting tech
Asst chief lighting tech
Asst chief lighting tech
1st company grip
2nd company grip
2d company grip
Dolly grip
Ultracam 35 cam, lenses and equip provided by
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
FILM EDITORS
Apprentice ed
Negative cutting
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set des
Set des
Set des
Prop master
Asst prop master
Asst prop master
Lead person
Prop person
Prop person
Const coord
Gen supv
Const supv
Paint supv
Prod painter
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost supv
Costumer
Costumer
Costumer
MUSIC
Mus scoring mixer
Orch cond by
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom op
Cable person
Supv sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
ADR ed
ADR ed
Foley ed
Foley ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Apprentice sd ed
Foley artist
Foley artist
Foley artist
Foley mixer
Foley mixer
ADR mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Dolby Stereo consultant
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec eff
Title des
Titles and opticals by
Titles and opticals by
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
2d makeup artist
Makeup eff
Makeup eff
Hairstylist
2d hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Scr supv
Voice casting
Loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Prod office coord
Prod accountant
Asst accountant
Accounting asst
Prod secy
Prod office asst
Asst to Ms. Doran
Asst to Mr. Maguire
Asst to Mr. Maguire
Asst to Mr. Branagh
Prod consultant
Post prod assoc
Dialect coach
Dialect coach
Casting asst
Extra casting
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Craft service
Catering
First aid
Unit pub
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunt coord
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
"Lush Life," by Billy Strayhorn
"Rhapsody On A Theme Of Paganini," by Sergei Rachmaninoff
"Tangerine," by Johnny Mercer and Victor Scherzinger
+
SONGS
"Lush Life," by Billy Strayhorn
"Rhapsody On A Theme Of Paganini," by Sergei Rachmaninoff
"Tangerine," by Johnny Mercer and Victor Scherzinger
"Board Review," by Otis Connor.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
23 August 1991
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 23 August 1991
Production Date:
began 1 October 1990
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Pictures Corporation
Copyright Date:
17 October 1991
Copyright Number:
PA542009
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
107
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
30756
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In 1949 Los Angles, California, newspapers report the stabbing death of concert pianist Margaret Strauss. Her husband, composer Roman Strauss, is convicted of the murder and sentenced to death. On the day of his execution, Roman tells journalist Gray Baker that he will love his wife forever, and he is not afraid to die, as their story is “far from over.” In 1990, at St. Audrey’s School for Boys, a woman who closely resembles Margaret Strauss wakes up screaming from a nightmare in which Roman Strauss stabs her with a pair of scissors. In the morning, Sister Madeleine explains to her superior, Father Timothy, that the woman was discovered on the school grounds two days earlier, suffering from amnesia, and haunted by violent nightmares. The priest orders the woman transferred to county hospital, and asks private detective, and St. Audrey’s alumnus Mike Church to determine the woman’s identity. Meanwhile, Mike enters a supermarket in search of former psychiatriast Dr. Cozy Carlisle, to notify him of a small inheritance from a deceased patient. Dr. Carlisle reminisces fondly about his psychiatric career, which ended when authorities learned of his daliances with several patients. Mike obliges Father Timothy and brings the amnesia-stricken woman to the office of reporter “Piccolo” Pete Dugan, who publishes her photograph, hoping to alert her friends and family. After a brief visit to the county hospital, Mike realizes the chaotic environment would further traumatize the woman, so he takes her to his home. In the morning, Franklyn Madson appears at the door, offering his hypnotherapy skills to discover the woman’s identity, and instructs Mike to bring her to ... +


In 1949 Los Angles, California, newspapers report the stabbing death of concert pianist Margaret Strauss. Her husband, composer Roman Strauss, is convicted of the murder and sentenced to death. On the day of his execution, Roman tells journalist Gray Baker that he will love his wife forever, and he is not afraid to die, as their story is “far from over.” In 1990, at St. Audrey’s School for Boys, a woman who closely resembles Margaret Strauss wakes up screaming from a nightmare in which Roman Strauss stabs her with a pair of scissors. In the morning, Sister Madeleine explains to her superior, Father Timothy, that the woman was discovered on the school grounds two days earlier, suffering from amnesia, and haunted by violent nightmares. The priest orders the woman transferred to county hospital, and asks private detective, and St. Audrey’s alumnus Mike Church to determine the woman’s identity. Meanwhile, Mike enters a supermarket in search of former psychiatriast Dr. Cozy Carlisle, to notify him of a small inheritance from a deceased patient. Dr. Carlisle reminisces fondly about his psychiatric career, which ended when authorities learned of his daliances with several patients. Mike obliges Father Timothy and brings the amnesia-stricken woman to the office of reporter “Piccolo” Pete Dugan, who publishes her photograph, hoping to alert her friends and family. After a brief visit to the county hospital, Mike realizes the chaotic environment would further traumatize the woman, so he takes her to his home. In the morning, Franklyn Madson appears at the door, offering his hypnotherapy skills to discover the woman’s identity, and instructs Mike to bring her to his antique shop, The Laughing Duke. The following day, Franklyn Madson places the woman in a trance, allowing her to recount the courtship and wedding of Roman and Margaret Strauss. Roman was a widower, whose first wife died while crossing the Alps to escape Germany. She also recalls the anklet Margaret received from Roman, which he claimed would keep them together forever, even after death. As the woman wakes from her trance, Franklyn shows her a magazine article about the couple, which includes an image of the murder weapon, a pair of antique Die Schere barber scissors. Afterward, Mike consults Dr. Carlisle, who endorses Franklyn’s approach, explaining that people often know each other over several incarnations, and “karma” allows them to settle issues from previous lives. That evening, “Piccolo” Pete offers to locate Gray Baker, believing he may be able to offer insights on the case. Mike takes the woman to a bar, and gives her the name “Grace,” after his kindergarten teacher, Sister Grace. He describes his tumultuous days at St. Audrey’s as an orphan with a violent temper before Father Timothy gave him proper guidance. Grace is intrigued by the fact that the school brought them together. After a romantic dance in the rain, they return to Mike’s apartment and make love. In the morning, however, they are visited by Doug O’Malley, who claims to be Grace’s fiancé. Mike is nearly convinced until an error in Doug’s story reveals him to be a fraud. At her next session with Franklyn Madson, Grace remembers Margaret and Roman attending a costume party at Otto Kline’s mansion. Roman is despondent over financial difficulties, and offended by a young starlet, who calls him a “nobody” after realizing he cannot advance her career. Roman comes upon Gray Baker admiring Margaret’s anklet and flies into a jealous rage. Later, Roman is summoned to the telephone by Frankie, son of his housekeeper, Inga, and overhears Gray Baker informing Margaret of her husband’s money troubles. Margaret confronts Roman with rumors concerning his finances, and the death of his first wife. He accuses Margaret of having an affair with Gray Baker, and she storms out of the house. As Grace regains consciousness, she has a vision of Mike threatening her with scissors. Despite Mike’s efforts to placate Grace, she keeps him at a distance throughout the night. The following day, Franklyn hypnotizes Mike, who discovers that he may be the reincarnation of Margaret Strauss. Pete interrupts the sesssion to announce that Grace has been identified as artist Amanda Sharp. Mike discusses his revelation with Dr. Carlisle, who advises him to avoid Grace, as she may be a reincarnation of Roman Strauss. Pete and Franklyn escort Grace to her home, which is filled with images and sculptures of scissors. Franklyn insists she end her relationship with Mike, predicting that it will come to a violent end, and loans her a gun for protection. Mike arranges a meeting with Gray Baker, who is in a nursing home, dying of lung cancer. Baker is convinced that Roman is innocent, but never learned the identity of Margaret’s killer. He suspects Inga of knowing the truth, and refers Mike to The Laughing Duke antique shop, which she co-owns with her son. That evening, Mike confronts Inga and accuses her of the murder. She explains that she was in love with Roman Strauss, but he rejected her. Franklyn saw Roman’s marriage as an affront to his mother and murdered Margaret. Afterward, Franklyn’s severe stutter became progressively worse, so Inga took the boy to a therapist in England, who cured him using hypnosis. Through the therapist, Franklyn developed a belief in reincarnation, and learned about hypnotherapy and past-life regression. He also became obsessed with the idea that Margaret would seek retribution in her next life. When Grace’s photograph appeared in the newspaper, Franklyn attempted to abduct her by hiring an actor named Marcus, who posed as Doug O’Malley. After Mike leaves to share the news with Grace, Franklyn enters, assuring Inga that he forgives her for divulging his secret. He helps her into bed and smothers her with a pillow. Mike arrives at Grace’s apartment, but when she refuses him entrance, he kicks in the back door and she shoots him. Franklyn enters, armed with the Die Schere scissors, and knocks Grace unconscious. As he places the muzzle of his gun in her mouth, Mike grabs the scissors, and stabs Franklyn in the knee. The two men fight for the gun, until Franklyn is impaled on a sculpture of upturned scissor blades. Roman and Margaret resume their romance as Mike and Grace. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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