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Defending Your Life Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

Albert Brooks wrote, directed, and stars in this philosophical comedy about a man having a hard time making a case for himself in the afterlife. When advertising executive Daniel Miller (Albert Brooks) finds himself in a fatal car crash minutes after taking delivery on a new BMW, he's whisked away to Judgment City, where the recently dead are put on a sort of trial to decide their fate. If in your time on Earth you were able to face your fears and learn from your mistakes, you get to move on to a life in a better world. However, if you didn't, you have to go back to Earth and try again. As he spends the next several days watching various episodes from his life, Daniel gets the impression he doesn't stand much of a chance of moving on -- and his representative, Bob Diamond (Rip Torn), seems to have little confidence in his case. In the meantime, he frequents Judgment City's many restaurants (where the food is delicious and you can eat all you want without gaining an ounce), pays a visit to the Past Life Pavilion, and meets Julia (Meryl Streep), who seems so kind, sweet, and noble that her advancement is practically assured. Daniel and Julia fall in love, but what's going to happen if they don't end up in the same place? Albert Brooks and Meryl Streep make a witty and engaging romantic team in Defending Your Life, and Shirley MacLaine appears in a highly appropriate cameo. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

  • Release date:March 22, 1991

Cast

Albert Brooks
as Daniel Miller
Meryl Streep
as Julia
Rip Torn
as Bob Diamond
Lee Grant
as Lena Foster
Buck Henry
as Dick Stanley
Shirley MacLaine
as Herself
Scott S. Bullock
as Daniel's Father
Barbara Claman
Raffi Di Blasio
as Daniel as a Boy
Mark Dunlap
as Tram Port Attendant
Mark Saks
Alex Sheafe
as Martin
Michael Durrell
as Agency Head
James Eckhouse
as Jeep Owner
Gary Beach
as Car Salesman
Julie Cobb
as Tram Guide
Peter Schuck
as Stan
Tim Winters
as Porter
Sharlie Stuart
as Susan
Beth Black
as Soap Opera Woman
Clayton Norcross
as Soap Opera Man
James MacKrell
as Game Show Moderator
Wil Albert
as Game Show Contestant
Sage Allen
as Game Show Contestant
Mary Pat Gleason
as Waitress
Maxine Hicks
as Woman on bus
Marilyn Rockafellow
as Helen
Roger Behr
as Comedian
Art Frankel
as Arthur
Ernie Brown
as Ernie
George D. Wallace
as Daniel's Judge
Lillian Lehman
as Daniel's Judge
Kristopher Kent Hill
as Bully
Eric Ehasz
as Child in Schoolyard
Matthew Scharch
as Daniel as an Infant
Carol Bivins
as Daniel's Mother
Gary Ballard
as Mr. Wadworth
Mary Mukogawa
as Sushi Hostess
Toshio Shikami
as Head Sushi Chef
Kagko Shikami
as Sushi Chef
Samee Park
as Sushi Chef
Tommy Inouye
as Sushi Chef
Ken Thorley
as Frank
Bob Braun
as Talk Show Host
Jennifer Barlow
as Talk Show Guest
Joey Miyashima
as Casio Tipster
Nurit Koppel
as Daniel's Date
Susan Walters
as Daniel's Wife
Sidney Chankin
as Used Car Salesman
Greg Finley
as Used Car Salesman
Leonard Turner
as Sam
Cliff Einstein
as Julia's Prosecutor
Rachel Bard
as Julia's Judge
Newell Alexander
as Julia's Judge
Hal Landon, Jr.
as Man in Past Lives Pavilion
Ida Lee
as Woman in Past Lives Pavilion
Noley Thornton
as Victorian Girl
Glen Chin
as Sumo Wrestler
James Ekim
as Native
Clarke Coleman
as Knight
Ron Colby
as Majestic Doorman
David Purdham
as Peter
James Paradise
as Stage Manager
Arell Blanton
as Fire Marshall
Shana Ballard
as Julia's Daughter
Chris Macris
as Julia's Son
Joseph Darrell
as Maitre d'
James Manis
as Eduardo
Cathleen Chin
as Ticket Counter Agent
Lisa Sears
as Tram Port Attendant
Vernon Roguen
as Tram Port Attendant
Dennis Germain
as Tram Driver
Ethan Randall
as Steve
Tim Winters
as Porter
Ethan Randall
as Steve
Bob Braun
as Talk Show Host
Shana Ballard
as Julia's Daughter
Mary Pat Gleason
as Waitress
Ken Thorley
as Frank
Clayton Norcross
as Soap Opera Man
Arell Blanton
as Fire Marshall
Newell Alexander
as Julia's Judge
Susan Walters
as Daniel's Wife
James Eckhouse
as Jeep Owner
Wil Albert
as Game Show Contestant
Rachel Bard
as Julia's Judge
Joseph Darrell
as Maitre d'
David Purdham
as Peter
Gary Ballard
as Mr. Wadworth
Cathleen Chin
as Ticket Counter Agent
James Manis
as Eduardo
Jennifer Barlow
as Talk Show Guest
Dennis Germain
as Tram Driver
Clarke Coleman
as Knight
Joey Miyashima
as Casio Tipster
Sage Allen
as Game Show Contestant
Chris Macris
as Julia's Son
Cliff Einstein
as Julia's Prosecutor
Lillian Lehman
as Daniel's Judge
Kagko Shikami
as Sushi Chef
Greg Finley
as Used Car Salesman
Samee Park
as Sushi Chef
Raffi Di Blasio
as Daniel as a Boy
James Paradise
as Stage Manager
Gary Beach
as Car Salesman
Marilyn Rockafellow
as Helen
Mark Dunlap
as Tram Port Attendant
Hal Landon, Jr.
as Man in Past Lives Pavilion
Nurit Koppel
as Daniel's Date
Vernon Roguen
as Tram Port Attendant
Ida Lee
as Woman in Past Lives Pavilion
Art Frankel
as Arthur
Julie Cobb
as Tram Guide
Noley Thornton
as Victorian Girl
Kristopher Kent Hill
as Bully
Sidney Chankin
as Used Car Salesman
Carol Bivins
as Daniel's Mother
Eric Ehasz
as Child in Schoolyard
Ron Colby
as Majestic Doorman
Leonard Turner
as Sam
Matthew Scharch
as Daniel as an Infant
Ernie Brown
as Ernie
Glen Chin
as Sumo Wrestler
James MacKrell
as Game Show Moderator
James Ekim
as Native
Lisa Sears
as Tram Port Attendant
Michael Durrell
as Agency Head
Scott S. Bullock
as Daniel's Father
Mary Mukogawa
as Sushi Hostess
George D. Wallace
as Daniel's Judge
Alex Sheafe
as Martin
Peter Schuck
as Stan
Sharlie Stuart
as Susan
Tommy Inouye
as Sushi Chef
Beth Black
as Soap Opera Woman
Toshio Shikami
as Head Sushi Chef
Roger Behr
as Comedian
Maxine Hicks
as Woman on bus

Crew

Albert Brooks
Director
Michael Grillo
Producer
Albert Brooks
Screenwriter
Allen Daviau
Cinematographer
Michael Gore
Composer (Music Score)
David Finfer
Editor
Ida Random
Production Designer
Richard Reynolds
Art Director
Robert Grand
Co-producer
Herb Nanas
Executive Producer
Linda de Scenna
Set Designer
Deborah L. Scott
Costume Designer
Thomas D. Causey
Sound/Sound Designer
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