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Max Dugan Returns
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Max Dugan Returns More at IMDbPro »

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13 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

A Minor Neil Simon Classic

Author: ijonesiii from United States
17 January 2006

MAX DUGAN RETURNS is a lightweight comedy from Neil Simon about a widowed schoolteacher (Marsha Mason) with a young son (Matthew Broderick, in his film debut), struggling to make ends meet, who one night is reunited with her estranged father (Jason Robards), who shows up on her doorstep wanting to make up for lost time with $687,000.00 in tow. Mason is reluctant to get involved with Dad because the money is not really his but when she learns that he is dying, she softens and decides to grant his dying spend some of his final time on earth with his grandson. Throw into the mix a police detective (Donald Sutherland) who, upon finding out who Max is, is definitely torn between getting his man and or getting the girl. This comedy charms from start to finish with a lot of classic Neil Simon one-liners and Robards turns in one of his most charming performances as Max Dugan. Yes, there are plot points that are left dangling and you just have to accept that, but if you can, MAX DUGAN RETURNS is a delightful and diverting comedy that will grown on you with multiple viewings.

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9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:


Author: gary renfield ( from NEW JERSEY, USA
30 June 1999

A real feel good movie. Single mother, nerdy son, no relief, just the daily grind to reach another day. Jason Robards returns to the family unit (temporarily). It has to be temporary because of his larcenous past. Before he leaves again, he rights a lot of wrongs. He makes up for being an absent dad and grandfather in a very short period of time. Max is a fixer and a miracle maker and his eccentricities are contagious. You'll cheer him and his exit from the family AGAIN....

JASON ROBARDS is under-rated as far as I'm concerned. I've seen him in too many roles that HE has made memorable....

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10 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Touching, Heart-warming, and Wonderful!

Author: Moviemachine-1 from Los Angeles, CA
24 August 2002

"Max Dugan Returns" follows the story of an old con man named Max Dugan (Jason Robards) who gets out of prison and shows up on the doorstep of his daughter Nora McPhee (Marsha Mason) and her son Michael (Matthew Broderick). She doesn't provide a warm reception, seeing how she hasn't seen him since she was a little girl. This was Matthew Broderick's first movie. "WarGames" (a very good film) was his second. If you have not seen "Max Dugan Returns", see it right now! It's worth your time!

10/10 stars!

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Warm, funny and spirited--but leaves a curious question-mark behind...

Author: moonspinner55 from las vegas, nv
17 April 2001

As an actress, Marsha Mason always makes the best of an occasionally bad situation ("Audrey Rose", "Chapter Two"), yet in "Max Dugan Returns" she really gets to shine with excellent material. She has often played mothers, but Mason's relationship here with screen-son Matthew Broderick is extremely warm and real--it lives beyond the wisecracks--and as a daughter to Jason Robards she's funny and occasionally maternal. Plot about an L.A.-area teacher struggling to keep ahead of the bill collector has a jaunty, lively rhythm and a vitality that puts it above most family comedies. When the teacher gets a visit from her long-lost father, carrying a satchel of stolen money, the story thickens but doesn't bubble over. Director Herbert Ross does a good job at keeping the situation grounded. Donald Sutherland is perhaps an odd casting choice as the detective/love-interest investigating Pop (Sutherland has played so many heavies, he still has an evil glint in his eyes and an edge in his voice), however he makes the character right for him. Credit Neil Simon with one of his best scripts; he has no agenda here except to make us laugh, though that presents a problem when reality sinks in and daughter and dad have to deal with the moral (and legal) ramifications of the money. There are some quick lines at the finale designed to make the ending a happy one, but I'm not so sure Mason would be in the clear after the police become involved--nor would her romance with Sutherland be quite so rosy once he has to choose the law over his feelings for her. And why does Mason say "he's going to drive" at the finale when the car turns into an animated plane? Would Pop ditch the car at the airport? And what about that lunch date at Pizza Hut? When Mason and Broderick show up in a taxi, wouldn't detective Sutherland be a little bit suspicious? *** from ****

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Simon's best original film script with stellar cast in top form.

Author: Arne Andersen ( from Putney, VT
23 May 2000

For me this is Neil Simon's best original film script. It is warm, engaging, fun and both humorous and believable. It is also for me Marsha Mason's best comedy performance - as opposed to her fate in most of her films she has generous actors around her with whom the give and take is regenerative. Her Nora is a harried teacher and single mother, trying to make ends meet and not having a good week, when her long lost father (who walked out on the family when she was nine) arrives out of nowhere with a suitcase full of money. Watching Miss Mason interact with veteran Jason Robards, professional Donald Sutherland, and newcomer Matthew Broderick (in his first film role) is wonderful. Her Nora is completely believable and completely adorable. It is one of her triumphs and the film matches her in quality all the way. A gem for the entire family.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

another 80's classic

Author: WeirdALjr from USA
12 April 2002

I love this movie,It's a small low budget film that is simply a joy to watch,the characters are great.I can't wait until Fox releases Max Dugan Returns on DVD!!!The story is not lost in a bunch of silly special effects,come to think of there no special effects at all.I you want to enjoy a bit of nostalgia see this movie.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Who wants to be a millionnaire?

Author: Paula Diedericks ( from Atlanta, GA
11 February 2000

The "best"movie of the century, it was good and funny. Grandfather (Max Dugan) played by Jason Robards; mother (Nora McPhee) played by Marsha Mason; the teenager (Michael McPhee) played by Matthew Broderick; and the policeman (Brian Costello) played by Donald Sutherland, starring in the movie, "Max Dugan Returns." There are always a few positives and negatives in each movie, and in this one the few positives are: Max Dugan brings Nora and Michael a lot of money, buys them very expensive gifts to lets them think... Just because he came out of jail, doesn't mean he's an evil guy. He wants to make them happy. Although the policeman wants to be a friend, is he only doing his job too. The few negatives is that there's a lot of dishonesty going around. Nora's cars get stolen in one week, and she doesn't accept the gifts that were given to her by her father. I think the theme is about "honesty and dishonesty." There's not a lot of honesty in this movie. Nora and Max tell lies about him, because she doesn't want to lose her father again. They are tryig to hide his real image. "don't lie, 'cause the truth has to come out some time." Nora McPhee, was a wonderful mother and Gr.10 teacher. Before her father came back into her life, she was a single mother, because her husband had died of cancer. Then she accepts her father to come and live with them, just for a few weeks. Before that, she had a really old car, that was about to fall into pieces. Then the policeman, Brian, gave her a motorcycle to get around with, but shortly after that the bike got stolen too. Her father then suprized her with a new car. She didn't want to accept any of the gifts, because she said, she doesn't wants gifts than was bought with stolen money. The policeman, Brian Costello started to like Nora McPhee. He bought her a bike as soon as he found out that her car was stolen. Then they went out for dinner, when she dropped her handbag, he knew something was wrong. Then he saw an old man in her house, when he wanted to put the flowers he gave her in the house, because she left them in his car. Matthew Broderick was the teenager, Michael McPhee. He always had a problem with baseball. The next morning when he woke up, he saw an old man in the kitchen. He then asked his mother who the old man was and she said Mr. Parker his grandfather. Now Michael is confused over who the old man living with them really was. He accepted all the gifts that "the man" gave them, but he has to convince his mother to accept them too. Bacause he had a problem with baseball "Mr. Parker" got someone to help him.

If I were a film judge, I would grade this film an eight. It's a funny movie with a theme to it. I enjoyed this movie and I also encourage everyone to watch it.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

excellent comedy

Author: Samir Jivani ( from Suwanee GA
11 February 2000

I am about to tell you all about the movie that we saw in my ESOL class,"Max Dugan Returns". Since I haven't seen the whole movie I will tell you about half what happened in the movie. The negative thing in the movie, was they used some bad words. The positive thing that I learn from this movie was always do the right things, do not hurt anyone in any kind of ways. Neil Simon is trying to say be with your family; dont ever stop caring about your family. Always take care of them no matter how much it will cost because it is mom and dad who gave birth to you. If you leave them or stop caring about them they will regret why they gave birth to you. Jason Robards did a real good job as Max Dugan. He did not mess up, he had confidence in himself. He would not take no for an answer and he really cared about his family. Marsha Mason did real good job in acting also, because she had confidence in herself. She did a nice job as a mother and she did a fine job as a daughter. The policeman thought there was something wrong or there was something going on with his girlfriend Nora MCPhee. How did she get a brand new car, and $5000 in cash in her purse? So he started getting worried. Then he wondered if Nora's dad gave her the money. Mathew Broderick palyed a role in this movie as Nora McPhee's son Michael McPhee. He was just like the other kids played sports and do what others did. He did not know about his grandfather. His mom did not tell him but he was worried about his mom too that where is she getting all the mony and all the new stuff from. I give this film a 10 because i really liked this film especially because they had baseball stuff in the film. Baseball is my favriote sport. I really enjoyed this movie for it was very fun and it was funny too. I liked everything about the movie for it was a really nice movie I hope to watch it again.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Max Dugan Returns= funny movie with an interesting story that will make you have a good time.

Author: Yamil Rojas ( from United States
11 February 2000

Have you seen "Max Dugan Returns"? I did and I liked it. Even though it is an old movie to me it seems pretty funny. I love funny movies. So I think that if you should see it because I'm sure that you'll like it. I mean, who would not like to see a movie written by Neil Simon?

The movie was interesting most of the time. It was hilarious how Nora McPhee got her cars stolen. Every time that Marsha Mason, who played Nora McPhee, opens her mouth you could say that there is something funny coming. But like all the movies there were some good and bad things. One of them was that I didn't like the way Donald Sutherland, the policeman, was so demanding and always putting so much pressure on Nora McPhee.

There was an honesty problem in the movie. Since Max Dugan, who was played by Jason Robards, came back to his daughter's house he said that he was her father's friend, which it is not true. Another thing is that he said that he was going to stop giving them stuff but he didn't stop and kept buying presents for them.

Jason Robards, a 1999 Kennedy Center Honoree, played Max Dugan in this movie. He did a good job. He performed like if he was doing all that in real life. It was a good performance. He knew how to work the cigar in his mouth. There is nothing I have to complain about except the fact that he did some illegal things to make her daughter and his grandson happy.

Marsha Mason was great. Marsha as Nora ws very funny and the fact that she had bad luck during throughout the movie it makes her to be a better character. She acts like a good, caring and loving mother. Always working hard to survive.

Donald Sutherland came into Nora's life to change everything that could happen in her future. He changes her life in good and bad things. More bad things than good ones. The only good one was that he gave her his love, his very sincere love.

In a score of 1- 10 I give this movie an 8 because it made me laugh and I really would like to see it again. It was pretty good to be an old movie. I usually don't like old movies.

If you haven't seen it I hope that you'll rent it. That's about it, "Max Dugan Returns".

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

I love this movie

Author: gunslngrmjo from United States
14 September 2008

I first saw this as a kid, in the early 80s, so it brings back fond memories to see it again. Clever dialog written by Neil Simon -- it has his signature all over it! A few surprising appearances as well, including Kiefer Sutherland as a baseball player (and he's not even credited on IMDb for this film), Shelley Morrison, who played Rosario the maid on Will & Grace, and David Morse as a cop. Robards plays Max Dugan, a ne'er-do-well absentee father who returns to the scene with a suitcase full of dubiously obtained money. His dying wish is to get to know his teenage grandson and to reacquaint himself with his daughter after 28 years. It's entertaining, well written, well acted. What's not to like?

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