The Hotel New Hampshire (1984)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  9 March 1984 (USA)
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Reviews: 59 user | 15 critic

The film talks about a family that weathers all sorts of disasters and keeps going in spite of it all. It is noted for its wonderful assortment of oddball characters.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lilly (as Jennie Dundas)
Wally Aspell ...
Jobst Oriwol ...
German Man (as Jobst Oriwal)
Linda Clark ...
Nicholas Podbrey ...
Norris Domingue ...


The film talks about a family that weathers all sorts of disasters and keeps going in spite of it all. It is noted for its wonderful assortment of oddball characters. Written by L.H. Wong <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The successes and failures of an American family. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |


Release Date:

9 March 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hotel New Hampshire  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$7,500,000 (estimated)


$5,100,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The title of Lilly's first novel was "Trying to Grow". See more »


In the award ceremony scene, numerous Austrian flags are show, but all are the civil/merchant version. As an official government function, the flags would have been the state flag (the government flag.) Unlike the United States, Austria and many other nations have multiple national flags for different purposes (government, civilian/merchant, military, on shore versus afloat, etc.) Austria's state flag bears the national coat of arms in the centre, overlapping into both of the red bars. The vertical version of the state flag has the coat of arms turned 90 degrees and placed within a shield. None of the flags in the scene bore the coat of arms. See more »


[last lines]
John: [narrating] So we dream on, inventing our lives; a little lost sister, a saintly mother, a hero father. But our dreams escape us however vividly we imagine them. There's only one thing you can do, keep passing the open windows.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits misspell the word "association" as "associatiation". See more »


Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #26.148 (2010) See more »


Good Golly Miss Molly
By Robert 'Bumps' Blackwell & John Marascalco
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User Reviews

Read the Book
20 October 2002 | by (Seattle, WA) – See all my reviews

This is a perfect example of why good, literary novels shouldn't be made into films. I read this book (along with his other best-sellers "World According to Garp" and "Cider House Rules") back in the 80's when they were published, and I thought they were great, serious works of fiction full of colorful, off-the wall characters fleshed out in engaging prose. Unfortunately, all of this is lost in this film adaptation.

I don't know who Tony Richardson is, and if he directed any other movies, but if they are as poorly-lit, badly-recorded, ineptly edited, and haphazardly narrated as this one is, I'll pass.

Although the movie sticks pretty closely to the original, it just doesn't work on the screen. The first third of the book, dealing with the first Hotel New Hampshire, is truncated into a five minute, voiced-over series of vignettes under the opening credits. This is all of the movie you need to see, because the director uses his entire bag of tricks here.

We seem to enter in the middle of a story, one everyone (except you) seems to already be familiar with. Random characters and situations are thrown at you, with no apparent continuity, sense, or narrative flow. When the story gets dark or uncomfortable, the director resorts to cheap gimmicks like fast-action photography. It may have been funny when the Keystone Kops did it, but it is most definitely UNfunny here.

Wallace Shawn, sporting a bad wig, motorcycle jacket and towing a performing bear, shows up and just as suddenly, disappears. (We do encounter him later in the film, but now he's bald and blind, and although he's back in his native Vienna, his German accent seems to come and go mysteriously. It's also 10 or 15 years later, apparently but somehow he's the only one who is any older.) Rob Lowe looks pretty and vapid. Jodie Foster looks sexy, talks dirty, and acts tough. Beau Bridges just looks befuddled most of the time. And the actress (whoever she is ) who plays the mother has such a tiny part that she barely registers.

Incest, rape, murder, accidental death, suicide, radical German nihilists with bombs, pornography, and a lesbian in a bear suit are all in this movie, and it's all BORING.

All I can recommend is that you read the book. Everything that is confusing, depressing, and just plain weird in this movie makes great, if quirky, sense in the book.

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