Bernie | Chicago Reader


Richard Linklater messes with Texas again, seeking comic inspiration from his home state for the first time since Dazed and Confused (1993). His source material here is a Texas Monthly article about the 1996 murder of a wealthy 81-year-old widow, Marjorie Nugent, by her 39-year-old gay companion, Bernhardt Tiede, in small-town Carthage. The story provides great roles for Jack Black as the sunny title character, Shirley MacLaine as his dyspeptic victim, and Matthew McConaughey as the good-old-boy D.A. who prosecutes the crime. But some of the best performances come from real-life residents of Carthage as they share their recollections on camera. Their testimony contributes to a rich sense of small-town society at its most congenial and corrupt—Bernie, who spends months throwing the dead woman's money around, is so popular with the townspeople that the DA is forced to seek a change of venue.



  • Richard Linklater


  • Jack Black
  • Shirley MacLaine
  • Matthew McConaughey
  • Brady Coleman
  • Richard Robichaux
  • Rick Dial
  • Brandon Smith
  • Larry Dotson
  • Merilee McCommas
  • Matthew Greer
  • Sonny Carl Davis
  • Juli Erickson
  • Gabriel Luna


  • Celine Rattray
  • Martin Shafer
  • Liz Glotzer
  • Matt Williams
  • David McFadzean
  • Judd Payne
  • Dete Meserve
  • Ginger Sledge
  • Richard Linklater
  • Don Fox
  • Darby Parker
  • Jack Gilardi Jr.
  • Johnny Lin
  • Ken Hirsh
  • William T. Conway
  • Michael Bassick
  • Duncan Montgomery
  • Jack Selby
  • Alex Gudim

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    With Bernie, Richard Linklater turns to his home state for comic inspiration for the first time since Dazed and Confused
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