Marge Nugent is the main antagonist of the 2011 film Bernie. Nugent, and the film, are based on a true person and event respectively, although the true circumstances remain a mystery.
Role in film
Marjorie Nugent had earned a reputation of being a cold, vile and unsocial woman whom not one person enjoyed being around. Nugent was incredibly wealthy and also a widower. It is unknown what came first, her horrible attitude or her husband dying. Nugent was very untrusting and paranoid that everyone hated her (which they did) to the point of feeling disdain to everybody in the town. She was also racist against African-American's as she fired her gardener for "stealing" her lawnmower even though he was only taking it somewhere to get it fixed and said "why are you defending his kind" when someone tried to speak on his behalf.
When Bernhardt "Bernie" Tiede, assistant funerel directer and the cities (Carthage, Texas) most beloved citizen met her at a funeral, he chose to visit her and attempted to be friendly with her. Bewildered by his unwavering kindheartedness, Nugent took Berine on board as a friend, but soon Bernie realized why every soul in the town despised her. Nugent began to take full advantage of Berine's inability to be even remotley self-serving, forcing him to run erands and do chores for her. They reguarly went out to meals, where Nugent chewed every bite 25 times, sometimes more, simply because she knew how much Bernie disliked it and enjoyed basking in his discomfort. Nugent eventually became so overwhelmingly possesive and abusive of Bernie's company that she refused to let him socalize with anybody else, attend play rehearsals and even made him quit his job. She never showed Bernie a shred of respect or gratatude for anything he did for her and never gave him anything in return for his generosity except continuous cruel, spiteful putdowns and insults. Nugent even furiously remarked, to his face, that Bernie only visits her when it was convenient for him.
Nugent finally crossed the line when she trapped Bernie on her property, refusing to let him leave unless it was to somewhere she wanted to go. Bernie had become nothing more than soulless property to her. Bernie finally snapped and, not even realizing what he was doing, shot her 4 times in the back with a hunting rifle. 9 months later Nugent was found dead in her freezer, Bernie was arrested, tried, and sentenced to life in prision.
It took 9 months for her to be found because nobody was actively searching as no one cared enough for her to realize she was missing. The town continued to hate her after her death since her excessive depravity broke the spirit of the towns kindest resident and put Bernie behind bars.