Insignificance (1985)

R  |   |  Drama, Comedy  |  2 August 1985 (USA)
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Reviews: 21 user | 22 critic

Four 1950s icons meet in the same hotel room and two of them discover more in common between them than they ever anticipated.



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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Emil ...
The Ballplayer
Elevator Attendant
Ian O'Connell ...
Assistant Director
George Holmes ...
Richard M. Davidson ...
Director of Photography (as Richard Davidson)
Mitchell Greenberg ...
Autograph Hunter
Lou Hirsch ...
Ray Charleson ...
Joel Cutrara ...
Bar Drunk


Four 1950's cultural icons (Albert Einstein, Marilyn Monroe, Joe DiMaggio and Senator Joseph MacCarthy) who conceivably could have met and probably didn't, fictionally do in this modern fable of post-WWII America. Visually intriguing, the film has a fluid progression of flash-backs and flash-forwards centering on the fictional Einstein's current observations, childhood memories and apprehensions for the future. Written by Jeanne Baker <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The object of every man's fantasy and the greatest mind of the century are about to meet. See more »


Drama | Comedy


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

2 August 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Insignificancia  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Wikipedia states, that according the book "The Films of Nicolas Roeg" (1991) by Neil Sinyard, "[Director] Roeg asked [playwright Terry] Johnson to work on the screenplay, which at first meant simply reducing the play to approximately ninety minutes as opposed to two hours, but then Roeg began making suggestions which would expand the screenplay and include flashbacks to the characters histories, and flash-forwards of imagination. His suggestions inspired Johnson to focus on a deeper development of the characters, while Roeg himself began to imagine how the film could open then play spatially as well as laterally. 'He opened it backwards,' Johnson said"." See more »


The movie takes place in 1954. In one scene, a man is in a bar watching the World Series. The TV announcer for the game starts talking about "Campanella, Hodges, and Berra" being involved in a play. In 1954 those 3 players played for Brooklyn Dodgers and NY Yankees, however the 1954 World Series was between the Cleveland Indians and NY Giants, therefore none of those 3 even played. See more »


[to The Professor]
The Ballplayer: Between you and me, let me tell you somethin'. Don't ever put a woman up on a pedestal. Cuz it'll just give her a chance to kick your teeth right down your throat.
See more »


References The Seven Year Itch (1955) See more »


When Your Heart Runs Out of Time
Words & Music & Sung by Will Jennings
See more »

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User Reviews

Great Cinematic Experience
13 June 2000 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The collaboration between Nicolas Roeg and his wife Theresa Russell is one of the greatest between a director and an actress in film history, ranking right up there with Sternberg/Dietrich and Griffith/Gish. This is one of the fruits. Russell is "The Actress" (Marilyn Monroe) in a phantasmagoric nightpiece that brings together her, Albert Einstein, Senator Joe McCarthy, and Joe Dimaggio in a 1950s New York hotel during the filming of The Seven-Year Itch. The encounters between the four are mind-bending and richly entertaining, especially Monroe's delirious explanation of the special theory of relativity, using toy trains and balloons, for a delighted Einstein. (Monroe was a closet want-to-be intellectual, surprisingly well-read and capable of thoughtful comments in interviews.) Roeg's directing style is rich, propulsive, wonderfully matched to the material (which began as a stage play, although there's nothing the least stagy here, or gratuitously "opened out", either). The apocalyptic finale is fully the equal of the most comparable scene I can think of, the house-destruction at the end of Antonioni's Zabriskie Point. A not-to-be-missed experience. (By the way: what has become of Russell? Like Debra Winger, another of the great talents of her generation and her acting partner in Black Widow, she has hit her forties and Hollywood responds by giving these amazing performers nothing whatsoever to do. It's a darn shame. I'd look for Russell in more Roeg films, of course, but he seems to be in hiding too.)

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