D is for Dead Again

DeadAgainDead Again, the movie

Ok, so the name of the post originates with a 1991 movie that starred Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson. Dead Again mixes karma, reincarnation, and hypnosis into a surprising thriller. Balancing the movie between two timelines of current day and the 1940’s.  Mike, a Los Angeles private investigator, is called in to help an amnesiac-afflicted woman who is filled only with nightmares of a murdered pianist. Twists and turns abound in this movie, and when you think you have figured it out, another twist comes along.

The Players

The movie is an interesting intersection of career paths. Branagh and Thompson, married at the time, really jump onto the American movie radar. The following year, Thompson stars in Howard’s End and wins the Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role. She goes onto to build an amazing award-filled and impressive career with a total of two Oscars, 41 awards, and 47 nominations.


Kenneth Branagh already directed Henry V two years earlier, and continues to build on his stable of Shakespeare movies. He not only has a brilliant mind for Shakespeare productions but has 57 credits as an actor, 16 as a director, 7 as a producer, and 8 as a writer covering genres from Horror (Frankenstein) to Action (Thor). And, although he and Thompson are not married any longer, that does not stop him from casting her in his productions.


Little known writer, Scott Frank, goes on to brilliance in his writing career. That same year A Little Man Tate comes out. In the following years, Frank either wrote or did the screenplays for Malice, Get Shorty, Heaven’s Prisoners, Out of Sight, Minority Report, Flight of the Phoenix, The Interpreter, The Lookout, Marley & Me, and the soon to be released Wolverine.


It is interesting to me to see how paths cross, connections are made, and relationships develop. Dead Again was a small movie (made for $15,000,000 and grossed $38,000,000 domestically) which that happened to bring together three artists on their way to fame.