IMDb > A Perfect Couple (1979)
A Perfect Couple
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A Perfect Couple (1979) More at IMDbPro »

A Perfect Couple -- Trailer for this romantic comedy


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6.0/10   651 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Down 9% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Robert Altman (written by) &
Allan F. Nicholls (written by)
View company contact information for A Perfect Couple on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
5 January 1981 (USA) See more »
What do you do when everything between the two of you seems wrong? ...fall in love.
A repressed, middle-aged divorced U.S. Greek meets a young singer through a dating service and becomes smitten. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
A Glorious Oddity, An Altman Gem See more (14 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Paul Dooley ... Alex Theodopoulos
Marta Heflin ... Sheila Shea
Titos Vandis ... Panos Theodopoulos

Belita Moreno ... Eleousa

Henry Gibson ... Fred Bott
Dimitra Arliss ... Athena
Allan F. Nicholls ... Dana 115

Ann Ryerson ... Skye 147 Veterinarian
Poppy Lagos ... Melpomeni Bott

Dennis Franz ... Costa
Margery Bond ... Wilma
Mona Golabek ... Mona
Terry Wills ... Ben
Susan Blakeman ... Penelope Bott
Melanie Bishop ... Star

Fred Beir ... The Perfect Couple Man
Jette Seear ... The Perfect Couple Lady

Ted Neeley ... Teddy

Heather MacRae ... Mary
Tommie Lee Bradley ... Sydney Ray (as Tomi-Lee Bradley)
Steven Sharp ... Bobbi
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tony Berg ... Lead Guitarist (uncredited)
Craig Doerge ... Keyboards (uncredited)
Jeff Eyrich ... Bass Guitarist (uncredited)
Michael Charles Hill ... Concert Attendee (uncredited)
David Luell ... Saxophonist (uncredited)
Tom Pierson ... Orchestra Conductor (uncredited)
Butch Sanford ... Guitarist (uncredited)
Art Wood ... Drummer (uncredited)

Renn Woods ... Herself (uncredited)

Directed by
Robert Altman 
Writing credits
Robert Altman (written by) &
Allan F. Nicholls (written by)

Produced by
Robert Altman .... producer
Scott Bushnell .... associate producer
Robert Eggenweiler .... associate producer
Tommy Thompson .... executive producer
Cinematography by
Edmond L. Koons 
Film Editing by
Tony Lombardo 
Costume Design by
Beth Alexander 
Makeup Department
Jerry Turnage .... hair stylist
Thomas Tuttle .... makeup artist
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
William Cosentino .... second assistant director
Tommy Thompson .... first assistant director
Art Department
Stephen Altman .... property master (as Steven Altman)
Leon Ericksen .... stage set designer
Sound Department
Sam Gemette .... sound editor
Robert Gravenor .... sound
David M. Horton .... sound editor (as David Horton)
Don Merritt .... sound
Richard Portman .... re-recording mixer
Special Effects by
Tom Fisher .... special effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Robert Reed Altman .... camera loader
Charlie Anderson .... stage lighting
Randy Glass .... gaffer
Jan Kiesser .... camera operator
Richard A. Mention III .... assistant camera (as Rick Mention)
Tom Prophet Jr. .... key grip
Calmar Roberts .... assistant camera
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Beth Alexander .... wardrober
Anna Vilms .... stage costumes
Editorial Department
Raja Gosnell .... assistant film editor
Bob Hagans .... color timer
Jack Hooper .... negative cutter
Eric Whitfield .... assistant film editor
Music Department
Mona Golabek .... musician: piano solo
Allan F. Nicholls .... music producer
Dave Palmer .... music recordist
Tom Pierson .... conductor
Ted Whitfield .... music editor
Alekos Galas .... soloist: bouzouki (uncredited)
Richard Whitfield .... music editor (uncredited)
Other crew
Victoria Barney .... project coordinator
Elaine Di Bello Bradish .... assistant to producer
Dick Dubuque .... project auditor
Luca Kouimelis .... script supervisor
Patrice Ryan .... title designer
Ed Horwitz .... personal assistant: Robert Altman (uncredited)
Carole Keagy .... publicist (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
110 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

One of the lesser known Robert Altman films until it got released on DVD.See more »
ER doctor:[to Alex] You've got to stay in bed for a while. Do you want somme pain killers?
Sheila Shea:Yes.
Alex Theodopoulos:No!
ER doctor:Some doctors don't like to give out painkillers, but when you've seen as much pain as I have, it makes you want to kill it.
ER doctor:[to both] I don't think you two should be kissing while I'm suturing,
See more »
Movie Connections:
Let The Music PlaySee more »


Why did Robert Altman decide to make a romantic comedy ?
See more »
6 out of 8 people found the following review useful.
A Glorious Oddity, An Altman Gem, 29 December 2006
Author: mark_r_harris from United States

I finally got around to seeing this for-many-years-as-good-as-lost Altman film, and I must say, I was extremely impressed. It is a highly unusual piece. Altman biographer Patrick McGilligan says "There is not another movie like it in the Altman canon," and he's not kidding; there is scarcely another movie like it in anyone's canon. The closest I can think of is George Romero's also criminally underrated There's Always Vanilla, which also deals with the arc of a romance between "ordinary" people with no touch of Hollywood iconography about them.

The film is conceived in terms of a number of binaries: two families, a rigidly patriarchal Greek family and a rock music collective with its own sort-of-patriarch; classical music and pop music, which join hands in the climax; a "perfect couple" of two decidedly imperfect, non-glamorous people, and a near-silent "imperfect couple" of two glamor-pusses, whose path repeatedly crosses that of the perfect couple, but in ways that only the audience perceives. (The perfect couple meets through a video dating service that is a direct precursor to the Internet dating services of our own day; that lends the film an oddly timely-contemporary touch.)

The rock music collective, Keeping 'Em Off the Streets, co-formed by Altman collaborator Allan Nicholls, actually existed and concertized a couple of times, but failed to win a recording contract. (The soundtrack was preserved on Altman's own Lion's Gate label; I recently scored a copy of this rare LP.) As many of the reviewers here at the IMDb enthuse, the music is quite delightful, and rather difficult to pigeonhole, with rock, pop, jazz, and theater music elements. There are a lot of musicians, a lot of singers, a lot of people (and even a dog) just hanging around, in somewhat elaborate and rather magical spaces (courtesy of master designer Leon Ericksen), and the musical numbers seem to emerge from the ambiance. The film is very driven by the songs.

Adding to the flavor of A Perfect Couple is a remarkably casual-positive attitude toward several gay and lesbian characters, so much so that Vito Russo singled the film out in his book The Celluloid Closet as being "special" for its era in its recognition of a "happy, well-adjusted" lesbian couple as a "family."

In the lead roles, Paul Dooley is remarkably winning, and Marta Heflin has a mysterious, somewhat withdrawn quality that suddenly announces itself forcefully in her one solo number, "Won't Somebody Care", which is also one of the great musical sequences in all of movies, if you ask me -- right up there with Keith Carradine's "I'm Easy" in Nashville.

The next forgotten Altman film that needs to be rehabilitated is H.E.A.L.T.H., which Helene Keyssar praises most interestingly in her book Robert Altman's America. I saw it only once many years ago and am eager to see it again.

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