When much-feared hermit Felix Bush (Robert Duvall) comes to town with a wad of cash and announces his intention to preside over his own funeral, fast-talking mortician Frank Quinn (Bill Murray) smells a big payday in the air. Frank sends his young apprentice, Buddy, to charm Felix and win Felix’s business. As the day of the unusual event approaches, Buddy uncovers a long-held secret involving the hermit, a local widow (Sissy Spacek) and an Illinois preacher.