IMDb > Heartburn (1986)
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Heartburn (1986) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 22% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Nora Ephron (novel)
Nora Ephron (screenplay)
View company contact information for Heartburn on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 July 1986 (USA) See more »
Two Oscar Winning Stars Combine With An Oscar Winning Director [UK Theatrical] See more »
An autobiographical look at the breakup of Ephron's marriage to Carl "All the President's Men" Bernstein that was also a best-selling novel... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 win See more »
(109 articles)
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User Reviews:
Uneven, but less manufactured than Ephron's subsequent films See more (40 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Meryl Streep ... Rachel Samstat

Jack Nicholson ... Mark Forman

Jeff Daniels ... Richard

Maureen Stapleton ... Vera

Stockard Channing ... Julie Siegel

Richard Masur ... Arthur Siegel

Catherine O'Hara ... Betty

Steven Hill ... Harry Samstat

Milos Forman ... Dmitri

Mamie Gummer ... Annie Forman (as Natalie Stern)
Karen Akers ... Thelma Rice
Aida Linares ... Juanita

Anna Maria Horsford ... Della, Harry's Maid

Ron McLarty ... Det. Andrew O'Brien

Kenneth Welsh ... Dr. Appel

Kevin Spacey ... Subway Thief

Mercedes Ruehl ... Eve

Joanna Gleason ... Diana
R.S. Thomas ... Therapy Group Member
Jack Gilpin ... Ellis

Christian Clemenson ... Sidney

John Wood ... British Moderator
Sidney Armus ... Leo

Yakov Smirnoff ... Contractor Laszlo

Caroline Aaron ... Judith
Lela Ivey ... Mary Beth, Hairdresser
Tracey Jackson ... Hairdresser's Friend
Libby Titus ... Rachel's Sister
Angela Pietropinto ... Hospital Receptionist
Cynthia O'Neal ... Magazine Colleague
Susan Forristal ... Magazine Colleague

Dana Ivey ... Wedding Speaker

John Rothman ... Jonathan Rice
Elijah Lindsay ... Anesthetist
Jack Neam ... Butcher
Kim Parks ... Arthur & Julie's Daughter (as Kimi Parks)
Salem Ludwig ... Judge
Patricia Falkenhain ... Dinner Party Hostess
Margaret Thomson ... Irritated Wedding Guest
Charles Denny ... Dinner Party Guest (as Charles Denney)
Gregg Almquist ... Dinner Party Guest
Garrison Lane ... Dinner Party Guest
Ryan Hilliard ... Dinner Party Guest
Dana Streep ... Dinner Party Guest
Mary Streep ... Dinner Party Guest
Cyrilla Dorn ... Dinner Party Guest
May Pang ... Dinner Party Guest
Michael Regan ... Father of the Bride
Ari M. Roussimoff ... Workman
Luther Rucker ... Workman
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Gary Jones ... Waiter in Opening Sequence (uncredited)

Natasha Lyonne ... Rachel's Niece (uncredited)

Jorge Pupo ... Subway rider (uncredited)
Grant Harper Reid ... Man in Maternity Scene (uncredited)
Carlotta Schock ... Dinner Guest (uncredited)

Tony Shalhoub ... Airplane passenger (uncredited)

Directed by
Mike Nichols 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Nora Ephron  novel
Nora Ephron  screenplay

Produced by
Robert Greenhut .... producer
Mike Nichols .... producer
Joel Tuber .... associate producer
Original Music by
Carly Simon 
Cinematography by
Néstor Almendros 
Film Editing by
Sam O'Steen 
Casting by
Juliet Taylor 
Production Design by
Tony Walton 
Art Direction by
John Kasarda 
Set Decoration by
Susan Bode 
Trisha McCormick (uncredited)
Costume Design by
Ann Roth 
Makeup Department
Romaine Greene .... hair stylist
Lee Halls .... makeup artist
J. Roy Helland .... hair stylist: Miss Streep
J. Roy Helland .... makeup artist: Miss Streep
Doug Drexler .... makeup lab (uncredited)
Production Management
Ezra Swerdlow .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Sally Andrews .... dga trainee
Timothy M. Bourne .... second second assistant director
David Dreyfuss .... second assistant director
Joel Tuber .... first assistant director
Art Department
James Mazzola .... property master
Arne Olsen .... chief construction grip
Ron Petagna .... construction coordinator
Richard A. Ventre .... master scenic artist (as Richard Ventre)
Dave Weinman .... chief set dresser
Frank Didio .... head carpenter (uncredited)
Sound Department
Stan Bochner .... supervising sound editor
Michael J. Cerone .... sound re-recording mixer
Frank Graziadei .... sound recordist
Mark Livolsi .... assistant sound editor
Tony Martinez .... assistant sound editor (as Tony Martínez)
Geraldine Peroni .... assistant sound editor
James Sabat .... production sound mixer
Louis Sabat .... boom operator
Paul Trejo .... sound editor
Dick Vorisek .... sound re-recording mixer (as Richard Vorisek)
Marko A. Costanzo .... foley artist (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Jerry DeBlau .... best boy
John W. DeBlau .... gaffer (as John DeBlau)
Brian Hamill .... still photographer
Chaim Kantor .... second assistant camera
Dan Lerner .... camera operator
Bruce MacCallum .... assistant camera
Dan Neroda .... video technician (as Danny Neroda)
Tom Prate .... key grip
Lance Shepherd .... electrician (uncredited)
Casting Department
Ellen Lewis .... casting associate
Todd Thaler .... additional casting (as Todd Michael Thaler)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Alba Censoplano .... wardrobe supervisor: women
Michael Dennison .... wardrobe supervisor: men
Gary Jones .... assistant costume designer
Editorial Department
Richard Nord .... assistant editor
Music Department
Kris Cole .... assistant music editor
Russ Kunkel .... music producer
Russ Kunkel .... music recordist
George Massenburg .... music producer
George Massenburg .... music recordist
Patrick Mullins .... music editor
Bill Payne .... music producer
Bill Payne .... music recordist
Transportation Department
Harold 'Whitey' McEvoy .... transportation captain
Other crew
Richard Baratta .... production assistant
Jerry Caron .... assistant: Mr. Nichols
Kay Chapin .... script supervisor
Richard Guay .... assistant production auditor
Joseph Hartwick .... production auditor
Barbara Heller .... production assistant
Amy Herman .... production secretary
Susan MacNair .... assistant: Mr. Nichols
Helen Robin .... production office coordinator
Reid Rosefelt .... unit publicist
Gilbert S. Williams .... production assistant
Shari Cartun .... assistant production auditor (uncredited)
Grant Harper Reid .... production assistant (uncredited)
Scott Schaffer .... craft service (uncredited)
Anthony Zorn .... production assistant (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
108 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

The movie is based on Nora Ephron's real-life marriage to, and divorce from, Carl Bernstein and the birth of their two sons. The woman Bernstein had an affair with was Margaret Jay who was the wife of the British Ambassador to the United States and daughter of British Prime Minister James Callaghan. Jay became a Baroness in 1992, and rose to become the first female Leader of the House of Lords between 1998 and 2001.See more »
Continuity: When Rachel begins a tape recording of her life with the baby, she identifies herself as "Rachel Samstat". There is no reason for her to use her maiden name, and in the rest of the movie she uses her married name.See more »
Mark Forman:My wife's name was Kimberley. One of the first Kimberleys.
Rachel Samstat:My husband had hamsters.
Mark Forman:Me too.
Rachel Samstat:Not as a grownup you didn't. He had hamsters named Arnold and Shirley. And he was always whipping up little salads for them in the Slice-O-Matic and buying them extremely small sweaters at a pet boutique in Rego Park. Also, there was a certain amount of talking in squeaky voices.
Mark Forman:Both of you?
Rachel Samstat:Well, he was Arnold... and I was Shirley.
See more »
Movie Connections:
References Carousel (1956)See more »
Coming Around AgainSee more »


Chapter Headings, an official version:
See more »
13 out of 16 people found the following review useful.
Uneven, but less manufactured than Ephron's subsequent films, 12 November 1998
Author: darnell-2

Although somewhat artificial, the humor and "heartburn" of this Nora Ephron film seem more affecting and less manufactured than those in her more slick subsequent films, When Harry Met Sally... and Sleepless in Seattle. Perhaps the autobiographical slant helped.

Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson play a couple based on Ephron and Carl Bernstein. They meet, marry, settle in Washington, and have children. Streep's wedding-day jitters, it turns out, were amply justified; she discovers an affair between her husband and a social-climbing hostess.

Streep is so luminous and so natural that one may not realize until the end of the film how completely insipid and devoid of any distinguishing qualities her character is. "Rachel" changes from a wan, nervous divorcee (before meeting Nicholson's character) to an obsessively devoted wife and mother who keeps babbling about how happy she is.

Nicholson is well-cast as the rakish but (initially) endearing husband. The supporting cast reflects the expert hand of Juliet Taylor, Woody Allen's longtime casting director, who peppered it with many familiar faces, including Allen favorites Joanna Gleason, Caroline Aaron, and Karen Akers. Maureen Stapleton is particularly droll as Streep's shrink. Nineties audiences will enjoy seeing Kevin Spacey as a neurasthenic mugger.

The comedy in the film is somewhat uneven, but often extremely engaging, as in a running parody of "Masterpiece Theatre." And compare the spontaneous bravado of Nicholson's lopsided rendition of "Soliloquy" from Carousel (the comic highlight) to the forced quirkiness of Meg Ryan's tone-deaf "Surrey with the Fringe on Top" in When Harry Met Sally...

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (40 total) »

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