Dear Mr. Wonderful (1982)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Comedy  |  24 August 1982 (West Germany)
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Joe Pesci is a small man looking for a big break. Owner of a bowling alley and nightclub in Jersey, Ruby Dennis (Pesci) sets his sites on making it big in Vegas. But Ruby finds more than he... See full summary »



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Cast overview:
Ruby Dennis
Ivy Ray Browning ...
Larry Rapp ...
Joseph Rigano ...
Gene Ruffini ...
Ben Dova ...
Dominick Grieco ...
Ronald Maccone ...


Joe Pesci is a small man looking for a big break. Owner of a bowling alley and nightclub in Jersey, Ruby Dennis (Pesci) sets his sites on making it big in Vegas. But Ruby finds more than he gambled for and in the end is a much bigger man for it. Written by Justin Keith

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


One mans dream... is another mans nightmare!


Crime | Drama | Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language and brief nudity | See all certifications »




Release Date:

24 August 1982 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

City Dream  »

Filming Locations:


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Did You Know?


Many of the crew members from this film went on from this production to work on John Sayles' Baby It's You (1983) the following year, including cinematographer 'Michael Ballhaus'. Sayles' film was released first in the U.S. while "Dear Mr. Wonderful" premiered in Germany in 1982. See more »


Ruby Dennis: When I was a little kid and the water was cold, my mother always used to say, "Swim near the fat lady. It's warmer there."
See more »


Features Men in War (1957) See more »


Come Fly With Me
Written by Jimmy Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn
Performed by Joe Pesci
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User Reviews

Swing and Bowl with Joe
16 February 2015 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

New Jersey lounge singer Joe Pesci (as Ruby Dennis) dreams of making it big in Las Vegas. Arguably acting as a surrogate "man of the house" (or, apartment), Mr. Pesci lives with his sister Karen Ludwig (as Paula) and her son Evan Handler (as Raymond). Pesci owns a business that is both a bowling alley and nightclub showcase for his Vegas-style singing. He wears a toupee and carries a song, a drink and a smoke. However, Pesci is only a shadow of entertainers like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Tony Martin (who appears in a cameo). While Pesci struggles to maintain his business, nephew Handler is tempted by underworld activities...

Director Peter Lilienthal had a limited budget to work with, clearly, and it gives this story a gritty look. Unfortunately, the character Pesci plays is not very appealing. It would help if we felt sorry for him and his obviously hopeless dream. The character profile is sympathetic, but this is not the impression he introduces; later, the situation helps make up some of the difference. An unbelievable romance between Pesci and attractive young Ivy Ray Browning (as Sharon) falls short. Pesci is the big star, but Handler and Ms. Ludwig are the more interesting characters. She leaves the set too often, but both Ludwig and Handler help maintain interest.

***** Dear Mr. Wonderful (8/24/82) Peter Lilienthal ~ Joe Pesci, Evan Handler, Karen Ludwig, Ivy Ray Browning

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