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Dead Again

4 Ratings: 3.5
Actor / director Kenneth Branagh's stylish 1991 mystery film.

Wikipedia page for Dead Again

Director: Kenneth Branagh
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Drama
Release Date: August 23, 1991
MPAA Rating: R
1 review about Dead Again

Life After Love, Love After Death

  • Dec 23, 2008
  • by
Kenneth Branagh's film Dead Again is a superbly crafted thriller that cleverly combines film noir, supernatural suspense, melodrama, and romance. Branagh (Henry V) pulls double duty, both directing and starring in this stylish update of the mystery genre. The film stars Branagh and his wife Emma Thompson in dual-roles, as well as featuring an impressive supporting cast including Andy Garcia, Derek Jacobi, Hanna Schygulla, Wayne Knight, and Robin Williams.
The film utilizes all of the trappings of a Hitchcock picture, while remaining completely original and contemporary. Though at times pretentious and over the top, Dead Again is a welcome return to a genre that in recent years has been dormant and waiting to be resurrected.

Roman and Margaret
When L.A. private investigator Mike Church is asked to help an emotionally troubled amnesiac woman discover her identity, he is plunged into a mystery that will forever alter both of their lives. After an antiques dealer hypnotizes the woman, they trace her troubles to a murder in the past. In 1948 famous opera composer Roman Strauss was blamed for the murder of his wife, Margaret. Could the answer to this woman's troubles lie in a past life experience? As Mike and the woman learn more about Roman and Margaret, they find themselves falling in love. But then it seems possible that Margaret's killer may still be alive and looking to kill again. Soon Mike discovers the truth, but is it too late to stop history from repeating itself?
Mike and Amanda

The film features an appropriately operatic finale, which is heightened by the dramatic musical score, composed by Patrick Doyle.
The true killer revealed...

Contrived, convoluted, and manipulative, Dead Again received mixed reviews mainly because some critics failed to understand the more humorous elements of the plot. The film's screenplay was written by Scott Frank, who imbues the story with both ironic humor and melodramatic romance. Yet this is part of the film's overall charm. Both Branagh and Scott Frank are clearly having fun with the genre, referencing filmmakers like Orson Welles and Alfred Hitchcock.
In the end, Dead Again is an effective thriller that will have audiences screaming and laughing one minute, gasping the next, and finally catching their breath after the climax.
Dead Again poster
VHS cover DVD Cover #1 DVD cover #2

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August 20, 2010
Good review. I have sadly never heard of this film and I am an extreme avid lover of film noir I have loved noirs since I was very young when I first saw The Big Sleep at age 11 and by the way you describe this film it sounds like it is both a homage to noirs past and a modern dark humored crime thriller that works better than it should and plays better than it should but lacks a certain flare that is needed for it to be called truly great. I say excellent work.
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4 Ratings: +3.5
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