A pushy, narcissistic filmmaker persuades a Phoenix family to let him and his crew film their everyday lives, in the manner of the ground-breaking PBS series "An American Family". However, ... See full summary »

Director:

Reviews

WAYS TO
WATCH:

See all

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Albert Brooks directs himself as a successful film editor with far too many issues that affects the relationship between him and his remarkably patient girlfriend.

Director: Albert Brooks
Stars: Albert Brooks, Kathryn Harrold, Tyann Means
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A husband and wife in their 30s decide to quit their jobs, live as free spirits and cruise America in a Winnebago.

Director: Albert Brooks
Stars: Albert Brooks, Julie Hagerty, Sylvia Farrel
Mother II (1996)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A neurotic, twice divorced sci-fi writer moves back in with his mom to solve his personal problems.

Director: Albert Brooks
Stars: Albert Brooks, Debbie Reynolds, Paul Collins
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

To improve its relations with Muslim countries, the United States government sends comedian Albert Brooks to south Asia to write a report on what makes followers of Islam laugh.

Director: Albert Brooks
Stars: Albert Brooks, Sheetal Sheth, John Carroll Lynch
The Muse (1999)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

With his career on the skids, a Hollywood screenwriter enlists the aid of a modern day muse, which proves to test his patience.

Director: Albert Brooks
Stars: Albert Brooks, Sharon Stone, Andie MacDowell
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In an afterlife resembling the present-day US, people must prove their worth by showing in court how they have demonstrated courage.

Director: Albert Brooks
Stars: Albert Brooks, Meryl Streep, Rip Torn
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Three days into his Miami honeymoon, New York Jewish Lenny meets tall, blonde Kelly. This confirms him in his opinion that he has made a serious mistake and he decides he wants Kelly ... See full summary »

Director: Elaine May
Stars: Charles Grodin, Cybill Shepherd, Jeannie Berlin
Drama | Horror | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

China's first horror film, this is loosely based on The Phantom of the Opera. A disfigured musical genius roams a traditional Chinese opera house, punishing those who offend him.

Director: Weibang Ma-Xu
Stars: Menghe Gu, Ping Hu, Shan Jin
Wanda (1970)
Certificate: GP Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In the coal mining region of Pennsylvania, Wanda Goronski is constantly drinking to shut out the problems in her life. Having deserted her husband and infant children, Wanda sleeps on her ... See full summary »

Director: Barbara Loden
Stars: Barbara Loden, Michael Higgins, Dorothy Shupenes
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A 17-year-old girl has a troubled relationship with a 49-year-old man.

Director: Christine Lahti
Stars: Albert Brooks, Leelee Sobieski, Rutanya Alda
Comedy | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The movie is set in chaotic 1920's China, when warlords fought each other for power while Sun Yat-Sen's underground movement tried to establish a democratic republic. The movie tells the ... See full summary »

Director: Hark Tsui
Stars: Brigitte Lin, Sally Yeh, Cherie Chung
The Famous Comedians School (TV Movie 1976)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Director: Albert Brooks
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dick Haynes ...
Councilman Harris
...
Matthew Tobin ...
Dr. Howard Hill
...
Dr. Ted Cleary
Joseph Schaffler ...
Paul Lowell
Phyllis Quinn ...
Donna Stanley
James Ritz ...
Jack from Cincinnati
Clifford Einstein ...
Role Reversal Family Member
Harry Einstein ...
Role Reversal Family Member
Mandy Einstein ...
Role Reversal Family Member
Karen Einstein ...
Role Reversal Family Member
...
Driving Evaluator
Zeke Manners ...
Driver
...
Warren Yeager
...
Jeannette Yeager
Edit

Storyline

A pushy, narcissistic filmmaker persuades a Phoenix family to let him and his crew film their everyday lives, in the manner of the ground-breaking PBS series "An American Family". However, instead of remaining unobtrusive and letting the family be themselves, he can't keep himself from trying to control every facet of their lives "for the good of the show". Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 March 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Aus dem Leben gegriffen  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Albert Brooks was under a great deal of pressure to finish the film on-budget, because he would have been personally responsible for any extra costs. During one particularly difficult filming day, he sat feeling totally dejected. Charles Grodin walked up to him and said, "I have to leave at 4." This totally ridiculous request was sufficient to cheer Brooks up. See more »

Quotes

Albert Brooks: I think we're very much alike. See that's why we can get into these kind of debates. I think you'd be surprised at much alike we really are.
Dr. Ted Cleary: I'd be more than surprised. I'd be suicidal.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits finishes with a barcode for Alka-Seltzer See more »

Connections

References Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

Jump Into The Fire
Written by Harry Nilsson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Albert the Great
7 February 2000 | by See all my reviews

There's no question that Albert Brooks is not for everybody - his particular blend of neuroticism and egomania can be way too much for most people. But if you can get on his wavelength, and when he's at his best - oh man! There's absolutely no one better. Real Life is Brooks' best movie, and deserves to be more widely known than it is. His portrayal of a controlling producer, who is willing to violate not only broadcast ethics but the standards of decency and good sense as well in order to inject life into his failing "documentary" is frightening, off-putting and truly hilarious all at once.

When I first saw this movie, I didn't realize it was based on an actual television experiment. I bring this up only because when I first saw the film, I felt its only flaw was that it didn't spend enough time showing the family and their disintegration in front of the cameras, choosing instead to focus almost exclusively on Brooks and his manic responses to the dilemma this posed. However, knowing that the real life experiment would have already been familiar to people, Brooks clearly wanted to use this movie to examine not the family but the bankrupt commercial mindset which would put such a project into play in the first place. As such, his satire is dead on and nobody could more perfectly embody the entertainment industry than Brooks himself. Just to see him smarmily singing and glad-handing at the beginning is worth the cost.


8 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
way ahead of it's time teejay6682
'Real Life' trailer in 3D! willardfillmore
Where is Lisa Urette? uncapie
Discuss Real Life (1979) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?