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California Suite (1978)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  15 December 1978 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 4,761 users  
Reviews: 48 user | 28 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 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:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Teamed together for their scenes, actors Bill Cosby and Richard Pryor had previously starred together around four years earlier in Uptown Saturday Night (1974). See more »


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 »


[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 The '80s: The Decade That Made Us: Lift Off (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

A mixed bag
12 December 2004 | by (London) – See all my reviews

Having always felt that Neil Simon's work, though generally wonderful, can be hit and miss, California Suite seems to represent this more than any of his other pieces. Clearly he is a writer for performers and how well some of them respond here. Jane Fonda gives a remarkably assured and confident performance mixing vulnerability with stubbornness so effortlessly. Yes her segment is perhaps, stripped down, just the age old East/West Coast argument but it becomes a very human story about 2 people who were once in love. So great to see such a female character like hers on the screen and Jane Fonda is so skilled at introducing pathos whilst still being able to somewhat distance the viewer. It really is ultimately a very touching episode. The Caine/Smith segment is also tremendous fun with Dame Maggie doing her Margo Channing bit. The Oscar she won for this tributes her comic skills here which have perhaps been underused in her career. The wonderful Elaine May also stands out in a true farce with Mr Matthau but The Pryor/Cosby section is plainly, embarrassingly bad. It feels as if it was written by a poor sitcom writer and there are enoguh embarrassing sitcoms from America polluting the world's television. All in all, a very watchable film but wouldn't you just love to have the facility to edit films for your own viewing.

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