Meet Joe Black

When the grim reaper comes to collect the soul of megamogul Bill Parrish, he arrives with a proposition: Host him for a “vacation” among the living in trade for a few more days of existence. Parrish agrees, and using the pseudonym Joe Black, Death begins taking part in Parrish’s daily agenda and falls in love with the man’s daughter. Yet when Black’s holiday is over, so is Parrish’s life.

Credits: TheMovieDb.

Film Cast:

  • Joe Black / Young Man in Coffee Shop: Brad Pitt
  • William Parrish: Anthony Hopkins
  • Susan Parrish: Claire Forlani
  • Drew: Jake Weber
  • Allison Parrish: Marcia Gay Harden
  • Quince: Jeffrey Tambor
  • Helen: June Squibb
  • Construction Foreman: Gene Canfield
  • Florist: Suzanne Hevner
  • Hospital Receptionist: Stephen Adly Guirgis
  • Eddie Sloane: David S. Howard
  • Jamaican Woman: Lois Kelly-Miller
  • Jamaican Woman’s Daughter: Jahnni St. John
  • Butler: Richard Clarke
  • Madeline: Madeline Balmaceda
  • Lillian: Marylouise Burke
  • Jennifer: Diane Kagan

Film Crew:

  • Original Music Composer: Thomas Newman
  • Producer: Martin Brest
  • Editor: Michael Tronick
  • Casting: Juliet Taylor
  • Casting: Ellen Lewis
  • Production Design: Dante Ferretti
  • Screenplay: Ron Osborn
  • Screenplay: Jeff Reno
  • Screenplay: Kevin Wade
  • Screenplay: Bo Goldman
  • Producer: David J. Wally
  • Unit Production Manager: Celia D. Costas
  • Executive Producer: Ronald L. Schwary
  • Director of Photography: Emmanuel Lubezki
  • Editor: Joe Hutshing
  • Art Direction: Robert Guerra
  • Set Decoration: Leslie Bloom
  • Costume Design: Aude Bronson-Howard
  • Costume Design: David C. Robinson
  • Special Effects: Robert DeVine
  • Casting Associate: Patricia Kerrigan DiCerto
  • Music Editor: Bill Bernstein
  • Foley Editor: Dan Yale
  • ADR Editor: David Melhase
  • Foley Mixer: Marilyn Graf
  • First Assistant Director: Amy Sayres
  • Foley Recordist: Don Givens
  • Supervising Sound Editor: Scott A. Hecker
  • Sound Re-Recording Mixer: Ron Bartlett
  • Camera Operator: Craig DiBona
  • Dolly Grip: Dave Lowry
  • Still Photographer: Phillip V. Caruso
  • Foley Editor: John Benson
  • First Assistant Editor: Gabriel Wrye
  • Foley Editor: John Murray
  • First Assistant Editor: Greg Parsons
  • Boom Operator: Andrew Schmetterling
  • Sound Effects Editor: Eric A. Norris
  • Sound Effects Editor: James P. Lay
  • Key Makeup Artist: Richard Dean
  • ADR Voice Casting: Barbara Harris
  • Makeup Artist: Tricia Heine
  • Foley Artist: Robin Harlan
  • Wardrobe Supervisor: Susan J. Wright
  • Property Master: Tommy Allen
  • Dialogue Editor: Ralph Osborn
  • Foley Artist: Sarah Monat
  • Sound Re-Recording Mixer: Chris Jenkins
  • Visual Effects Supervisor: Michael Owens
  • Leadman: Ray Fisher
  • Dialogue Editor: Benjamin Beardwood
  • Aerial Director of Photography: Phil Pastuhov
  • Unit Publicist: Larry Kaplan
  • Hairstylist: Jerry DeCarlo
  • ADR Editor: Allen Hartz
  • Gaffer: Jay Fortune
  • Key Makeup Artist: Randy Houston Mercer
  • ADR Editor: Jeff Rosen
  • Key Hair Stylist: Lyndell Quiyou
  • Supervising ADR Editor: Joe Dorn
  • Hair Department Head: Beth Miller
  • Script Supervisor: Lisa Katcher
  • Makeup Artist: Joe Rossi
  • Makeup Artist: Lynn Campbell
  • Wardrobe Supervisor: Barbara Hause
  • Wardrobe Supervisor: Timothy Alberts
  • Sound Re-Recording Mixer: Mark Smith
  • Music Editor: Angie Rubin
  • Dialogue Editor: Gary Lewis
  • Transportation Co-Captain: Timothy Shannon
  • Color Timer: Phil Hetos
  • ADR Editor: Barbara Issak
  • Transportation Coordinator: James P. Whalen
  • Hairstylist: Stephen G. Bishop
  • Sound Effects Editor: Joe Earle
  • Dialect Coach: Brendan Gunn
  • ADR Mixer: Dean Drabin
  • Video Assist Operator: Peter A. Mian
  • Visual Effects Editor: David Tanaka
  • Transportation Co-Captain: Francis Connolly Jr.
  • Negative Cutter: Gary Burritt
  • Key Grip: Richard Guinness Jr.
  • Second Assistant Director: Christopher Surgent
  • Projection: Edmund Nardone
  • Construction Coordinator: Chris Fousek
  • Seamstress: Joni M. Huth
  • Seamstress: Dain I. Kalas
  • Rigging Gaffer: James Malone
  • ADR Editor: Lauren Palmer
  • ADR Editor: Matthew Sawelson
  • Sound Effects Editor: Kenneth L. Johnson
  • Sound Effects Editor: Linda Keim
  • Sound Recordist: Mark Narramore
  • Sound Recordist: Samuel F. Kaufman
  • Theatre Play: Alberto Casella
  • Construction Coordinator: Joseph S. Alfieri
  • Assistant Editor: Amanda Pollack

Movie Reviews:

  • Wuchak: ***Captivating commentary on love, life and death***

    The Grim Reaper (i.e. the Angel of Death) comes to take billionaire industrialist Bill Parrish (Anthony Hopkins) but instead decides to take a holiday in the corporeal universe by possessing the body of a young man (Brad Pitt). Death’s deal with Parrish is that, as long as he’s entertained, he’ll delay Bill’s death. Mr. Death materializes as a mysterious stranger with child-like qualities known as ‘Joe Black.’ His “holiday” is complicated when he falls for Parrish’s daughter (Claire Forlani).

    “Meet Joe Black” (1998) is a re-imagining of the 1934 film “Death Takes a Holiday” (which I’ve never seen). It has the confidence to take its time at almost 3 hours, but is so captivating that it feels shorter than most 90-minute mindless flicks. The plot is reminiscent of other good “fish out of water” stories like Spock in Star Trek, “Starman” (1984), etc.

    Yes, it’s outlandish but the film expertly presents the bizarre situation in a totally believable manner. In other words, this is indeed a serious drama, which nicely balances out the heavy moments with lighter touches. I would compare it to “The Green Mile” (1999), another long drama with supernatural touches and wholly captivating.

    Despite its fantastical premise, “Meet Joe Black” consistently offers profound insights to the most vital topics of the human experience — love, life, death and numerous others, e.g. betrayal, rivalry, hostility, comeuppance and the mysterious beyond. One good example is when Parrish’s son-in-law (Jeffrey Tambor) offers a definition of love to Joe Black: To know the worst thing about someone and it’s okay, presuming they’re penitent. This is just one example; the film is filled with such insights.

    “Meet Joe Black” cost $90 million to make and only made half of it back at the USA box office. Fortunately it has gone on to garner an enthusiastic following and rightly so ’cause this is a near-masterpiece of filmmaking and genuinely moving. I consider myself a masculine man, but tears flowed through approximately 1/3 of the runtime. This is a sign of a potent and affecting picture.

    It’s a travesty that dreck like “Pirates of the Caribbean” makes gazillions of dollars and garbage like “American Beauty” are hailed as masterpieces while true gems like “Joe Black” are often overlooked. The good thing is that time was on Joe Black’s side. The word got out.

    The film runs 2 hours, 58 minutes, and was shot in Warwick, Rhode Island (Aldrich Mansion); Manhattan; and Teaneck, New Jersey.

    GRADE: A/A-

  • tensharpe: Joe Black ( Brad Pitt ) as the Grim Reaper arrives on the doorstep of wealthy businessman Bill Parrish ( Anthony Hopkins ) after borrowing a body of a man killed that morning. After experiencing chest pains and hearing voices Bill Parish is due to die and Joe has come to escort him to the other side. Bill, playing for more time, engages with Joe and manages to persuade him to spend a little more time on earth. Joe’s interest in humanity and experiencing life is particularly heightened when he and Bill’s daughter Susan start to form a relationship.

     “Meet Joe Black” centres more on the relationship of Joe and Susan rather than Deaths design for Bill. As a Romeo and Juliet style story of forbidden love, “Meet Joe Black” tries hard to play on audience emotions. Brad Pitt and Anthony Hopkins give solid performances but the lengthy run time makes it hard to sustain interest in both the story and any of the characters. The premise is quite good and the Stella cast try to make the most of the concept of the spiritual firepower of love. However it’s over complication and unnecessary sub plot ( bid to take over Bill’s company) just makes “ Meet Joe Black” unnecessarily long.

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