IMDb > Starting Over (1979)
Starting Over
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Starting Over (1979) More at IMDbPro »

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Starting Over -- Burt Reynolds plays Phil Potter, a low-key, contented magazine writer who tries to put his life back together after his wife (Candice Bergen) opts for independence as a singer-songwriter.


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6.5/10   1,594 votes »
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Up 7% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Dan Wakefield (based on the novel by)
James L. Brooks (screenplay)
View company contact information for Starting Over on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
5 October 1979 (USA) See more »
Phil Potter would like to straighten out his life...One way, or the other.
A divorced man falls in love, but somehow he can't get over his ex-wife. This affects his love life in comic ways. Based on Dan Wakefield's novel. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 5 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Burt's best! See more (31 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Burt Reynolds ... Phil Potter

Jill Clayburgh ... Marilyn Holmberg

Candice Bergen ... Jessica Potter

Charles Durning ... Michael (Mickey) Potter

Frances Sternhagen ... Marva Potter

Austin Pendleton ... Paul

Mary Kay Place ... Marie
MacIntyre Dixon ... Dan Ryan

Jay O. Sanders ... Larry (as Jay Sanders)

Charles Kimbrough ... Salesman
Richard Whiting ... Everett
Alfie Wise ... Workshop Member

Wallace Shawn ... Workshop Member
Sturgis Warner ... John Morganson
Mary Catherine Wright ... Student 1 (as Mary C. Wright)

Daniel Stern ... Student 2
George Hirsch ... Student 3
Ian Martin ... Doorman
Aerin Asher ... Lord & Taylor Lady
Ben Pesner ... Victor
Mort Marshall ... Room Service Waiter
Gilmer McCormick ... Stephanie
Helen Stenborg ... Older Woman
Michael Kaufman ... Clerk
Marvin Lichterman ... Husband

Anne De Salvo ... Wife
Connie Fleming ... Babysitter
Alison Stevens ... Marie's Daughter
Michael McDermott ... Marie's Son
Russell Horton ... Man #2
Harold Lamson ... Mark
Michael Belleran ... Small Boy
Deborah Reagan ... Young Woman - Young Couple

Kevin Bacon ... Husband - Young Couple
Tara King ... Checkout Girl
A.C. Weary ... Athletic Father
Lisa Sloan ... Mother of Kid
Gaby Glatzer ... Kid
Thomas James Riselli ... Key Maker
Harriet Rawlings ... Bloomingdale's Crowd
Simon McQueen ... Bloomingdale's Crowd
Stacy Holiday ... Bloomingdale's Crowd
Nadine Darling ... Bloomingdale's Crowd
Kitty Muldoon ... Bloomingdale's Couple
John Murray ... Bloomingdale's Couple
Eric Geier ... Bloomingdale's Couple
Sol Schwade ... Man in Market
Tony Romano ... Boston Man (as Anthony Romano)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Matteo Cafiso ... Pupil at School (uncredited)
Laurie Gould ... Piano Instructor (uncredited)

Directed by
Alan J. Pakula 
Writing credits
Dan Wakefield (based on the novel by)

James L. Brooks (screenplay)

Produced by
James L. Brooks .... producer
Isabel Halliburton .... associate producer (as Isabel M. Halliburton)
Alan J. Pakula .... producer
Douglas Wick .... associate producer (as Douglas Z. Wick)
Original Music by
Marvin Hamlisch 
Cinematography by
Sven Nykvist (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Marion Rothman (edited by)
Casting by
Juliet Taylor 
Production Design by
George Jenkins 
Set Decoration by
Philip Smith  (as Phil Smith)
Harold McConnell Jr. (uncredited)
Costume Design by
John Boxer 
Makeup Department
Frank Bianco .... hair stylist
Tom Ellingwood .... makeup artist
Robert Jiras .... makeup artist (as Bob Jiras)
Mike Maggi .... makeup artist (as Michael Maggi)
Craig Lyman .... assistant makeup artist (uncredited)
Production Management
Lindsley Parsons Jr. .... executive production manager: Paramount (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Herb Gains .... second assistant director
Alex Hapsas .... assistant director
Lewis Gould .... dga trainee (uncredited)
Art Department
Michael Bird .... set dresser
James Halligan .... construction grip (as Jim Halligan)
Harry Lynott .... shop craftsman
Michael Molly .... assistant art director
David Moon .... chargeman scenic artist (as Dave Moon)
Walter Stocklin .... property master (as Walter A. Stocklin)
Sound Department
Louis Cerborino .... sound editor (as Lou Cerborino)
Norman Gay .... loop editor
Vito L. Ilardi .... boom operator (as Vito Ilardi)
Marc Laub .... supervising sound editor (as Marc M. Laub)
Richard Portman .... re-recording mixer
Denine Rowan .... assistant sound editor
James Sabat .... sound mixer
Louis Sabat .... recordist
Greg Sheldon .... assistant sound editor
Arthur Bloom .... boom operator: New York City & Boston (uncredited)
Jack C. Jacobsen .... sound mixer: New York & Boston (uncredited)
James Perdue .... sound recordist: New York & Boston (uncredited)
Special Effects by
William Canfield .... special effects
Bobby Bass .... stuntman
Trudy Clemens .... stunt woman
Camera and Electrical Department
Anthony Brook .... first assistant cameraman (as Anthony S. Brooke)
Ricki-Ellen Brooke .... second assistant cameraman (as Ricki Brooke)
Russell Engels .... gaffer (as Rusty Engels)
James Finnerty .... key grip (as Jim Finnerty)
Michael Ginsburg .... stillman
Fred Schuler .... camera operator
Michael F. Burke .... electrician (uncredited)
Gábor Kövér .... first assistant camera: "b" camera (uncredited)
Micky Wilson .... gaffer (uncredited)
Casting Department
Sylvia Fay .... extras casting
Costume and Wardrobe Department
William Loger .... costumer
Norman Salling .... wardrobe: Mr. Reynolds'
Rose Trimarco .... costumer
Editorial Department
Marlayna Franklin .... assistant editor
Scott Vickrey .... assistant editor
Kathleen Korth .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Music Department
William C. Carruth .... music editor (as William Carruth)
Dan Wallin .... music scoring mixer (uncredited)
Transportation Department
William Curry .... teamster captain
Other crew
Harry Clein .... executive in charge of publicity
Christopher Cronyn .... assistant to: Mr. Garrity
William C. Gerrity .... production executive
Maggie James .... script supervisor
Adeline Leonard Seakwood .... production office coordinator (as Adeline Leonard)
Margery Leonard .... assistant to: Mr. Pakula
Frank Simpson .... location manager
Donald Warnock .... photo double (Austin Pendleton )
Donald Warnock .... photo double: Austin Pendleton
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
105 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:M | Finland:K-12 | France:U | Iceland:L | Netherlands:AL (1980) | Norway:16 | UK:AA (original rating) | UK:15 (re-rating) (1987) | USA:R (PCA #25516) | West Germany:12

Did You Know?

Almost 20 years later, co-star Jill Clayburgh would appear in another movie, which like this one, was also based on a Dan Wakefield novel, Going All the Way (1997). Wakefield also appeared very briefly in that film.See more »
Continuity: In the second Divorced Men's Club meeting, the characters are all wearing exactly the same clothes they wore in the first.See more »
Student 2:Mr. Potter, class doesn't let out until 10.See more »
The Star Spangled BannerSee more »


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9 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
Burt's best!, 12 January 2003
Author: barbarella70

Exceptionally funny and moving romantic comedy from Alan J. Pakula (Klute, All the President's Men) is a lost late '70's classic! Burt plays Phil Potter, a married every-man who's dumped by his self-consumed wife (Candice Bergen) only to stumble into love with an insecure school teacher (Jill Clayburgh).

Basically it sounds like An Unmarried Woman for men but Starting Over is its own film made with a gentle touch courtesy of Pakula and writer James L. Brooks and features some outstanding performances: Burt Reynolds -displaying vast amounts of charm and sex appeal- can be so beautifully restrained and sensitive (Deliverance, Boogie Nights) but then quickly turn and flash that devil's grin and deliver a line with a comic timing that's pure genius. He's amazing here and Phil is his best creation. Candice Bergen was sensational in Carnal Knowledge but her shallow Jessica is invested with a played-to-the-hilt quality and she shows a hilarious narcissiscm that wouldn't be seen again until Murphy Brown. (See if you can get her delightfully out-of-tune vocal rendition of Better than Evah out of your head after you've watched this!) Jill Clayburgh never found another part like Erica in An Unmarried Woman but then again she really didn't need to and her Marilyn is a slightly high-strung but charmingly shy wallflower and she plays off Reynolds perfectly; the two of them carry Starting Over to its finish with great style.

Starting Over is one of those movies that people vaguely remember and you almost never come across while channel surfing. (It's not even available on DVD and most video stores don't even have a copy of the VHS tape!) It's a shame it's not more available because it has an honest, acutely observational intelligence going for it and feels like a romantic comedy made for people who don't like romantic comedies. It's a great movie!

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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Burt Reynolds is so cool! kc2173-1
How could he dump Marilyn for his ex? tomhenehan
My friend's uncle was in this film! kaymation
If you like this....... apiperchic
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