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Twice in a Lifetime (1985)

 -  Drama | Romance  -  23 October 1985 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 686 users  
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A middle-aged steelworker is content with his job and his family, but feels that something is missing in his life. On his 50th birthday, he stops in at a local bar for a drink to celebrate.... See full summary »



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Audrey Minelli
Kate MacKenzie
Darrell Larson ...
Chris Parker ...
Rachel Street ...
Kevin Bleyer ...
Doris Hugo Drewien ...
Ralph Steadman ...


A middle-aged steelworker is content with his job and his family, but feels that something is missing in his life. On his 50th birthday, he stops in at a local bar for a drink to celebrate. He finds himself attracted to the young, very sexy barmaid--and, to his surprise, he finds that she is also very attracted to him. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

23 October 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kisses at 50  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$5,674,938 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Bud Yorkin originally wanted a studio to finance and release the film but none were interested. He raised money independently by using his share of Tandem Productions, the TV production company he founded with Norman Lear, as collateral, made the film and released it himself. See more »


When Gene Hackman and Brian Denehey's characters are giving Ann Ann Margret a bouquet, the bouquet goes from yellow flowers to white to yellow to white with changing film angles, also the bouquet goes in the wrapper then out, then in then out again. See more »


Sunny: Hey Dad. This is Kate. Your wife.
Harry: I sure as hell know who my wife is.
Sunny: I sure as hell would like to know who this is.
Harry: That's Miss Minelli, if you must know and in case it's any of your business which it is not.
Sunny: Which I'm here to tell you it is.
See more »


Something On Your Mind
Written by Mighty Joe Young (uncredited)
Performed by Mighty Joe Young
Courtesy of Ovation Records
See more »

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User Reviews

A divorce movie that starts great but ?
29 September 2003 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

This movie had some great moments and good laughs too. Gene Hackman and Brian Dennehy hit it off as middle aged pals(Harry and Nick) dealing with life and marriage.Suddenly the always gorgeous Ann Margret(Audrey) shows up as a saucy barmaid in their local watering hole and Harry gets enamored. I found his reactions very realistic.Now the reason I feel why this movie didnt win any awards for acting (although Amy Madigan got nominated for best supp actress by the Academy no one else did) The character of Harry's boring old maid wife. Kate, played by Ellen Burstyn is the main reason this movie sagged and brought down the performances of Hackman,Dennehy and the rest.Her part is badly underwritten and Ellen Burstyn simply cannot do anything with this role but whine and act like an old fart,she has done better in other movies. Now back to the story -Seems Kate feels that she doesnt deserve the dumping she gets , how can we have any sympathy for her when she never shows any affection to him and is more excited about housework or gameshows.Again the part is badly underwritten. Gene Hackman is terrific as the bored and lonely husband who finds new love in sexy Ann Margret. Amy Madigan(Sunny) is the p***ed off daughter who attacks her father every chance she gets , like she doesnt realize her mother was a dull boring unpassionate woman. The other daughter Helen played wonderfully by Ally Sheedy understands her fathers feelings and sympathizes as does his son Keith(Stephen Lang) who tries to tell Sunny that her mothers letters never mentioned his father unless the roof blew off.

There are some very painful and uncomfortable scenes which I think in reality may have been done differently , like the confrontation in the bar between Harry,Audrey,Kate ,Sunny and her daughter. Sunny tells her mother to go into the bar and confront her father who is in the bar chatting with Audrey and Nick is telling Harry he is really screwing up ,Harry tells him to go j/o somewhere.So here comes Kate and Sunny with the granddaughter in tow into the bar , sunny ends up yelling and screaming and the granddaughter ends up in the middle ,couldnt they have spared her this and also the embarrassment.Sunny then tells Audrey to leave her father the hell alone. Meanwhile Harry drags Kate outside to yell some more.Audreys's boss tells her shes fired. I'm sure this scene may be realistic to some but i think most people would have avoided the reality tv approach to it,they currently have a tv show called caught on tape and then they have confrontations with the cheater and his jilted spouse,,awful.This scene just didnt wash with me.

It all comes down to this,Lets face it , Kate has become an old maid who finds nothing exciting about her husband anymore, he even tries to spice up their sex by grabbing her in the bathrom and what does she do ,oh dont do that silly. And yet she feels she didnt deserve to get dumped , why ? throughout the beginning and middle of the movie she never once tells her husband she loves him ,tries to work with him or even care about him.Its all about how bad Harry is and how scandalous his affair is,True he could have gone about it more discreetly but the wifes whining that she didnt deserve to get dumped on is unbelievable ,the writers never give her character a chance to prove this , all she comes across as is a boring ,dull,uncaring wife who gets dumped and then cries because her husband doeant love her anymore. At least we know why he doesnt love her anymore but how can we sympathize with her character being dumped when she does nothing but act like a bored tired old maid who has no interest in her husband or life.And the way they handled the fathers leaving ,he has a talk with Kate upstairs before going .She says ,its about sex isnt it and that Audrey is newer younger than her , Harry says of course its sex but also I feel alive again ,i cant stay here with you anymore.And when he goes to leave the house, the kids are all downstairs watching in silence, geez couldnt they have left the room or something ,it was like a firing squad Only after he leaves her do we see her get a new job and a makeover ,she also goes to a male stripper bar ,i guess we are supposed to believe thats her sexual rebirth . The only time we have any feelings for her is when she is working in the beauty shop and one of her customer friends mentions how her divorce was a blessing and that her husband was a sh** and asked how Kate's husband was ,she finally admits that he wasnt a sh** ,that something in their marriage had died a long time ago,he knew it but she was too blind to see it. The movie suffers from one is very against the father and he ends up being portrayed as a two timing cheat in this small town.To me the wife is the problem ,, the writers do not give her character enough depth ,she never gets the chance to show us why she should be given another chance, I could not see why anyone would care about her,yet most people in the town side with her not knowing how trapped and unloved she made her husband feel.

Too many stupid scenes with the wife hurt this movie ,One scene in the middle of the movie has Helen getting fitted for her wedding dress and Sunny says oh mom youd take him back if he came back here.And Kate says he is your father and my husband ,it would be my choice whether or not Id take him back.Excuse me hello, he left you sweetie ,my my arent you selfish ,like hes going to beg her to take him back. All throughout this move,the husband is made to look like a lech while the wife is this poor hurt betrayed thing, if the writers had fleshed out her character and given us a reason to sympathize with her ,the movie would have worked better. Even at the end of the movie, the ex wife doesnt want Harry to be at the wedding or the reception ,sunny very coldly tells him outside the church that she does not want to talk to him.At least the other daughter and son react more believably and still love him .I think she was blind as well,and did not want her mommy and daddy to split also afraid of her own marriage failing ,i didnt like the way they had her mean and cold when the other siblings were so understanding ,i mean her brother tells here ,where have you been a hole in the ground ,mom doesnt love dad anymore, get over it . Ellen Burstyn's whiny overracting and the fact that the wifes role was terribly underwritten is why this movie did not do better at the Oscars.Still worth a watch definitely for Gene Hackman and Ally Sheedy, they have a scene on the porch which is one of the best in the movie.2 1/2 stars out of four

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