Albert Brooks

Defending Your Life

Defending Your Life

Is there love after death? Acerbic everyman Albert Brooks finds a perfect balance between satirical bite and romantic-comedy charm as the writer, director, and star of this wonderfully warm and imaginative existential fantasy. After he dies suddenly, the hapless advertising executive Daniel Miller (Brooks) finds himself in Judgment City, a gleaming way station where the newly deceased must prove they lived a life of sufficient courage to advance in their journey through the universe. As the self-doubting Daniel struggles to make his case, a budding relationship with the uninhibited Julia (Meryl Streep) offers him a chance to finally feel alive. Buoyed by a pitch-perfect supporting cast that includes Rip Torn, Lee Grant, and Buck Henry, Defending Your Life is a rare feat of personal, philosophical filmmaking that happens to also be divinely entertaining.

Film Info

  • Albert Brooks
  • United States
  • 1991
  • 111 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.85:1
  • English
  • Spine #1071

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

  • New 4K digital restoration, approved by director Albert Brooks, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New conversation between Brooks and filmmaker Robert Weide
  • New interview with theologian and critic Donna Bowman about Brooks's vision of the afterlife
  • New program featuring excerpts from interviews conducted in 1991 with Brooks and actors Lee Grant and Rip Torn
  • Trailer
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: An essay by filmmaker Ari Aster

    New cover based on an original theatrical poster

Purchase Options

Released Mar 30, 2021

Special Features

  • New 4K digital restoration, approved by director Albert Brooks, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New conversation between Brooks and filmmaker Robert Weide
  • New interview with theologian and critic Donna Bowman about Brooks's vision of the afterlife
  • New program featuring excerpts from interviews conducted in 1991 with Brooks and actors Lee Grant and Rip Torn
  • Trailer
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: An essay by filmmaker Ari Aster

    New cover based on an original theatrical poster
Defending Your Life
Cast
Albert Brooks
Daniel Miller
Meryl Streep
Julia
Rip Torn
Bob Diamond
Lee Grant
Lena Foster
Buck Henry
Dick Stanley
Lillian Lehman
Daniel’s judges
George Wallace
Gary Beach
Car salesman
Time Winters
Porter
Mary Pat Gleason
Breakfast waitress
Roger Behr
Comedian
Toshio Shikami
Head sushi chef
Leonard O. Turner
Sam
Ken Thorley
Frank
Clifford Einstein
Julia’s prosecutor
Rachel Bard
Julia’s judges
Newell Alexander
James Manis
Italian restaurant waiter
Shirley MacLaine
Herself
Credits
Director
Albert Brooks
Written by
Albert Brooks
Executive producer
Herb Nanas
Producer
Michael Grillo
Coproducer
Robert Grand
Director of photography
Allen Daviau
Editor
David Finfer
Production designer
Ida Random
Music
Michael Gore
Costume design
Deborah Lynn Scott
Casting
Barbara Claman
Mark Saks
Production sound mixer
Thomas Causey
Art direction
Richard Reynolds
Set decoration
Linda DeScenna
Makeup
Hallie D’Amore
Hair
J. Roy Helland
Marlene D. Williams
Still photographer
Carol McCullough

From The Current

Defending Your Life: Real Afterlife
Defending Your Life: Real Afterlife

In this comic vision of the great beyond, Albert Brooks finds the sweet spot between the acerbic satire of his early films and the humanism of his later work.

By Ari Aster