In small-town Texas, an affable mortician strikes up a friendship with a wealthy widow, though when she starts to become controlling, he goes to great lengths to separate himself from her grasp.

Café Waitress: It's not as bad as people say it is. He only shot her four times, not five.
Danny Buck: You know what? You people are as crazy as coot.
Townsperson: [talking about Marjorie Nugent] She would chew your ass out at the drop of a hat. I mean, she'd rip you a brand new, there-bedroom two-bath, double-wide asshole. No problem.
Scrappy Holmes: Your honor, counsel, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, all Danny Buck Davidson wants to do in this trial is get you to believe that Bernie is some kind of monster. That he is something other than a fellow human being. Look at him, ladies and gentlemen. There is not one hint of premeditation in this case. If there was, he'd have done it a lot differently. He mighta gotten away with it. Did he try to poison her slowly? No. Did he burn down the house? Say it was an accidental fire? No. He still knew he'd done wrong. He knew he was gonna get found out. He just did not have the courage to tell on himself. But like a good funeral director, he preserved the body so that she could have a proper burial. And in the meantime he did a lot of good for a lot of people. Till he finally got caught. He just doesn't sound like any kind of monster I've ever heard of.
Townsperson: Well, Bernie was so nice, so accommodating, so willing to keep from hurting other people's feelings, he just couldn't tell anybody to piss off.
Townsperson: Well, I know the Bible says Jesus turned water into wine, but it didn't say liquor store wine. It had to have been non-alcoholic wine, because it didn't have time to ferment.
Bernie Tiede: [cosmetizing corpse during guest lecture] And we must always be on guard for the mischievous lip drift. Even the slightest hint of teeth can be disastrous. You cannot have grief tragically become a comedy.
Scrappy Holmes: So why did you leave the body there? It would seem to me that if you didn't want to get caught, you'd find some way to dispose of it.
Bernie Tiede: Oh, no, no. No, I could never do that. That was never my intention. Everyone deserves a proper burial. And I was... I was just waiting for my chance to give her one.
Danny Buck: Ladies and gentlemen, after listening to all the evidence, I'm sure that you will agree that the defendant is a liar, a coward, and a backshooter. Now, come on. That's got to be about the lowest thing a man could ever do, ain't it? Shoot a little old lady in the back? Four times. There is no doubt in my mind that Bernie Tiede is a calculating, evil actor. He fooled a whole town for nine months. Now if he can do that, there ain't no telling what he'll do if you let him back on the streets. That poor woman stayed frozen stiff for nine whole months. In a freezer. It took two days to thaw her out. Just so they could perform a proper autopsy.
[first lines]
Professor Fleming: I'm very honored to introduce our guest lecturer today. He graduated from here about 15 years ago. He's gone on to a fabulous career. I can't think of a single person who's more qualified or more adept at the final procedures you've been studying lately. Now you've learned the science. Now's your chance to learn the art. Students, Mr. Bernie Tiede...
Bernie Tiede: [reaching for a slot in coffin] If you pardon my reach, Mrs. Thompson, this is a memory drawer.
Marjorie Nugent: Now you! You've got two minutes to explain these accounts to me. Or three minutes from now, I just might get myself another stockbroker.
Lloyd Hornbuckle: I can explain everything, Ms. Marjorie. It's a very simple case of them changing their accounting statements. They changed their formatting. It's reformatted, in a different... format.
Townsperson: I wrote the warden a letter. Yeah, I did. I told him that he had to give you a work release or something like that, so that you could sing at my funeral. Now, I'm not sick or anything, but now Bernie, you promised me that you would do that. And I totally mean wear those lil' chains or whatever if it made them feel better, so...
Bernie Tiede: That is awful sweet, Lenora. And it would be an honor, but don't count on it. I don't think they're letting me out of here for nothing.
Townsperson: Oh pfft... sure they will. I told him that you went temporarily insane. And we're all going insane sooner or later.
Bernie Tiede: [referring to chain-sawn sculpture] How do you do that?
Chainsaw Artist: I wake up in the morning with an idea, and cut away everything that ain't that idea.
Townsperson: [talking about Marjorie Nugent] 'Cause that old heifer, she turned down loans just for a hobby.
Bernie Tiede: [cosmetizing corpse during guest lecture] The eyes are often a minor problem because they usually want to stay open. It's almost like they want one last look at this miraculous world. But with some superglue... a little dab will do, and it's no more peeking.
Townsperson: [talking about Bernie Tiede] I mean, he just made everybody look so beautiful. Except too bad, you were dead.
Townsperson (KGA Radio DJ): A kid would wrap his car around a tree, and with Bernie, it was...
[scene cuts away]
Bernie Tiede: [speaking wistfully into KGA Radio's microphone] And yet, death slipped up on young Mr. Shotwell, as gentle as a fallen mist.
Bernie Tiede: [cosmetizing corpse during guest lecture] Just a note to always remember: Too much color does not make one look more alive.
Townsperson: In a small town, people will always suspect the worst of someone. But they'll also suspect the best.
Bernie Tiede: Can I tell you, I am not fond of cremations. I just don't like the idea of someone spending eternity in something the size of a motel ice bucket.
Scrappy Holmes: Well, trials are generally moved when the judge determines that the defendant can't get a fair trial locally. And that's usually because the crime is so egregious and so well-known that everybody in the community has already convicted the poor soon of a bitch accused of it. But in all the years I've been doing this for a living, I have never heard of the State seeking a change of venue because the defendant was so well-liked that they couldn't get a conviction.
Bernie Tiede: These economy boxes are not very large. We may have to make a leg adjustment to get a proper fit.
Mrs. Eckles: Leg adjustment?
Bernie Tiede: Well, not necessarily break the legs, but definitely bend the feet...
Mrs. Eckles: [appalled, patting Mr. Eckles' chest in concern] No! No, I... I won't have it.
Bernie Tiede: Then may I suggest the Corinthian?
Danny Buck: Now one of the main things and why I have this job, and why I feel like I'm good at it is, you see, I'm naturally suspicious.
Townsperson: [talking about Marjorie Nugent] There are people in town, honey, that would've shot her for five dollars, you know? I mean, when you live in a small town, you've got to be friendly and nice to folks.
Danny Buck: [describing signs that confirm Bernie Tiede as gay] And the kicker is he always wore sandals.
[scene cuts away]
Townsperson: Our Lord and Savior always wore sandals, and he never married. And he had twelve disciples, and I don't think any of them ever married. And the apostle Paul, he was a lifelong bachelor. And you never heard anybody in the New Testament say that they were a bunch of queers.

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