The Butcher's Wife

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The Butcher's Wife
Theatrical poster
Directed byTerry Hughes
Produced byLauren Lloyd
Wallis Nicita
Written byEzra Litwak
Marjorie Schwartz
Music byMichael Gore
Steven Jae Johnson
CinematographyFrank Tidy
Edited byDonn Cambern
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • October 25, 1991 (1991-10-25)
Running time
107 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$9,689,816

The Butcher's Wife is a 1991 romantic comedy film, in which a clairvoyant woman (Demi Moore) thinks that she's met her future husband (George Dzundza), who she has seen in her dreams and is a butcher in New York City. They marry and move to the city, where her powers tend to influence everyone she meets while working in the shop. Through her advice, she helps others and eventually finds the true man of her dreams in a psychiatrist (Jeff Daniels); the film was a critical and commercial failure, grossing only $9 million at the box office.


As a clairvoyant, Marina awaits signs from beyond that her true love, whoever he may be, is waiting for her, somewhere; when New York butcher Leo Lemke shows up on the tiny North Carolina island of Ocracoke, where Marina lives, she is convinced that he is the man predestined to be her husband. After the wedding, Marina moves into Leo's blue-collar neighborhood, where she successfully commiserates with such eccentrics as withdrawn teenager Eugene, frustrated singer Stella Keefover, unlucky-in-love actress Robyn Graves, over analytical psychiatrist Dr. Alex Tremor, and closeted lesbian dress shop clerk Grace, but what Marina fails to grasp about her powers is that she can see the future of strangers far more clearly than her own, and love is unpredictable no matter how many ways you have to look for it.

The film makes use of several phenomena that can be described as occult portents that meeting a love match is imminent or occult tools to help strengthen, seal or bring about love, luck and happiness; these include the sudden "finding" of a ring that would serve as a wedding band, falling stars with twin tails, zig-zagged rainbows and found objects symbolizing a change in the finder's path that will cause it to cross with their beloved. It also popularizes, as the character of Alex Tremor calls it, "a corruption" of a section of Plato's Symposium regarding soul mates, referred to in the movie as "split aparts". In one scene, Dr. Tremor notes an aspect of Marina's visions, and Marina says: "Women have been burned for less." This is a reference to the witch persecutions in Europe and America between the 15th and 19th centuries, the most famous of which were the Salem Witch Trials, although no "witches" were burned in the Salem hysteria. Lastly, it also references common-use bastardizations of voodoo practices, such as "mojo" bags (or gris gris) and the use of chickens or toads.


Home media[edit]

The film has been released on VHS and later on DVD.


On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 25%, based on 16 reviews, and an average rating of 3.9/10.[1]

Awards and nominations[edit]

1991 Golden Raspberry Awards[edit]

One nomination:

  • Worst Actress (Demi Moore)[2]


  1. ^ "The Butcher's Wife (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved April 9, 2018.
  2. ^ "1991 RAZZIE® Nominees & "Winners"". Razzie Awards. Golden Raspberry Award Foundation. Archived from the original on 31 August 2012. Retrieved 24 May 2014.

External links[edit]