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California Suite (1978)

6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 4,354 users  
Reviews: 43 user | 27 critic

Misadventures of four groups of guests at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

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Title: California Suite (1978)

California Suite (1978) on IMDb 6.2/10

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Harry Michaels (as Herbert Edelman)
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David Sheehan ...
Michael Boyle ...
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Storyline

4 totally different and seperated stories of guests in a hotel. Maggie Smith and Michael Caine came from England to attend the Oscars; Jane Fonda came from New York, Alan Alda is her ex who lives in California; in the slapsticky part Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor and their wives come to the hotel to relax and play tennis and find there is only one room vacant; in the fourth segment Walter Matthau has come a day before his wife for his nephew's Bar Mitzvah, his brother: sends a prostitute to his room. Written by Jonathan (jrd@netvision.net.il)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The best two-hour vacation in town!

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

15 December 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Neil Simon's California Suite  »

Company Credits

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 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the film's stars, actress-writer-director Elaine May, previously directed another Neil Simon written film, The Heartbreak Kid (1972), but did not appear in it. Also a writer, May though never worked as a screenwriter on one of Simon's works. See more »

Goofs

When Richard Pryor is on the phone with Bill Cosby during the water leak, his shirt gets wetter with each scene. However, when he gets off the phone, his shirt is completely dry. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[a two-seater plane is flying over snow-capped mountains]
Harold: For heaven's sake, Wendy - look for an airport. Will you look for the airport?
Diana Barrie: Oh don't make such a fuss. Just put it down on a mountain.
Harold: What do you mean 'just put it down'? I'm lucky I can keep it up. I told you I never flew before.
Diana Barrie: Don't shout at me - I'm a first-class passenger.
Harold: You're a first class lunatic. It's all over Wendy - our relationship has a quarter of a tank to go.
Diana Barrie: Yes, but - you do love me, don't you Harold? ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening credits, famous 70s artworks of British artist David Hockney are featured. The painting before Elaine May's name is entitled "Portrait of an Artist (Pool with two figures), 1972" and features a swimming pool with the Hollywood hills in the backdrop. The "two figures", both male, one swimming and the other standing over watching have been mysteriously edited out of the picture for some unknown reason. See more »

Connections

Features Gilda (1946) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Worth it for one of the all-time great scenes
7 December 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Neil Simon's 1978 film, California Suite, is four vignettes of couples descending upon Los Angeles at Oscar time: one couple (Maggie Smith and Michael Caine) for the Oscar ceremonies, two couples for vacation (Richard Pryor, Gloria Gifford, Bill Cosby, Sheila Frazer) one couple for a bar mitzvah (Walter Matthau and Elaine May), and one divorced couple (Alan Alda and Jane Fonda) to discuss their daughter.

The film is a mix of comedy, slapstick, and drama, with the Fonda-Alda segment witty but serious, the Matthau-May segment hilarious, the Cosby-Pryor segment slapstick, and the Smith-Caine segment a classic. Their conversation in the hotel suite before the Oscar ceremony is one of the best acted, best written scenes ever written. "I'm a dark horse," Smith says of her Oscar nomination, entering the room in a gown. "They must have seen the dress," Caine concludes. This is probably the most fully fleshed-out story, with the truth behind their marriage emerging as Smith descends into drunkenness later on. That and the Matthau-May vignettes are the best, with the Alda-Fonda scene coming off as somewhat dated today. The weakest is the Pryor-Crosby.

Entertaining - if you don't feel like watching the whole thing, just watch the Caine-Smith and Matthau-May.

Bill Cosby and Richard Pryor try their best as doctor friends who are having an awful time on their vacation with their wives. It's just not that funny, despite them both being extremely likable.

Alan Alda and Jane Fonda do well in their dramatic story of separated couple meeting after nine years to discuss their child. Their segment is too short to really have an impact, might have worked well as a feature film. It's not all that involving.

Michael Caine and Maggie Smith are both excellent in their little segment, with Smith portraying an actress who's up for the academy award. Caine plays her show off gay husband. The two stars really shine in an otherwise average story, not all that interesting.


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