California Suite (1978)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  15 December 1978 (USA)
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Reviews: 48 user | 28 critic

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



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Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »



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


Four totally different and separate stories of guests staying at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Maggie Smith and Michael Caine come from England to attend the Oscars; Jane Fonda comes from New York, Alan Alda is her ex who lives in California; in the slapstick part Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor and their wives come to the hotel to relax and play tennis, only to find there is only one room vacant; in the fourth segment Walter Matthau arrives a day before his wife for his nephew's Bar Mitzvah while his brother (Herb Edelman) sends a prostitute to his room. Written by Jonathan (

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The best two-hour vacation in town!


Comedy | Drama | Romance


PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

15 December 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Neil Simon's California Suite  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Fourth of sixth appearances by Walter Matthau in a Neil Simon written film. The others were The Odd Couple (1968); Plaza Suite (1971); The Sunshine Boys (1975) and I Ought to Be in Pictures (1982) with The Odd Couple II (1998) being his last. See more »


Bill Warren made a 1:30 lunch reservation for he and his ex-wife Hannah. After lunch, some time at the beach, and post-beach freshening up, Hannah says "It's 2:30; do you wanna call Jenny, or shall I?" It wouldn't be possible for all that activity to have taken place in just one hour. See more »


[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 »


Referenced in Perfect Strangers: Chicago Suite (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

Sunny, likable movie, with flaws
21 June 2004 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

I've always liked this movie, ever since I saw it in the theater as a 12-year-old. (With my church youth group, no less -- what were they thinking??) It's flawed, but generally fun, and I like the sun-soaked, palm-fringed atmosphere.

Maggie Smith is the undisputed standout. Her portrayal is brilliant and she and Michael Caine fling one-liners at each other with biting abandon. I've always liked both Jane Fonda and Alan Alda, so I enjoy their storyline too, though their exchanges seem forced and a little too clever. I'm a Cosby fan, but his scenes with Richard Pryor are uncomfortable -- it's troubling that the film's only black characters are relegated to brute physical comedy. Walter Matthau and Elaine May do a great job, but I never liked the hooker skit -- not sure why.

I buy very few films, but I do own this one, and over the years I've watched it so many times I know all the lines...

20 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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