IMDb > The Morning After (1986)
The Morning After
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The Morning After (1986) More at IMDbPro »

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The Morning After -- Jane Fonda, Jeff Bridges and Raul Julia star in this edge-of-your seat thriller about an alcoholic actress who wakes up in bed with a dead man and doesn't have a clue as to how it happened.


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James Cresson (written by)
View company contact information for The Morning After on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 December 1986 (USA) See more »
Last night she drank to forget. Today she woke up to a murder. Is he her last hope or the last man she should trust? See more »
A woman wakes up next to a murdered man. Did she do it herself, and if not, is she in danger herself? Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Nominated for Oscar. See more »
Emmys: The Morning After (The Morning After)
 (From Televisionary. 22 September 2009, 10:23 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Two Great Performances Buried in Gaping Plot Discrepancies See more (32 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Jane Fonda ... Alex Sternbergen

Jeff Bridges ... Turner Kendall

Raul Julia ... Joaquin Manero

Diane Salinger ... Isabel Harding
Richard Foronjy ... Sergeant Greenbaum
Geoffrey Scott ... Bobby Korshack
James 'Gypsy' Haake ... Frankie

Kathleen Wilhoite ... Red
Don Hood ... Hurley
Fran Bennett ... Airline Clerk
Michael Flanagan ... Airline Supervisor

Bruce Vilanch ... Bartender
Michael Prince ... Mr. Harding
Frances Bergen ... Mrs. Harding
José Angel Santana ... Driver (as José Santana)

Bob Minor ... Man

George Fisher ... Cabbie

Rick Rossovich ... Detective
Laurel Lyle ... Secretary

Kathy Bates ... Woman on Mateo Street

Anne Betancourt ... Nurse
Patti Song ... Hairstylist #1
Betty Lougaris ... Salon Customer
Drew Berman ... Detective

Sam Scarber ... Detective
Michael Zand ... Detective

Gladys Portugues ... Body Builder
Corinna Everson ... Miss Olympia
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Selga Sanders ... (uncredited)

Directed by
Sidney Lumet 
Writing credits
James Cresson (written by) (as James Hicks)

David Rayfiel  uncredited

Produced by
Lois Bonfiglio .... associate producer
Bruce Gilbert .... producer
Wolfgang Glattes .... associate producer
Faye Schwab .... executive producer
Original Music by
Paul Chihara 
Cinematography by
Andrzej Bartkowiak 
Film Editing by
Joel Goodman 
Casting by
Nancy Klopper 
Production Design by
Albert Brenner 
Art Direction by
Kandy Stern 
Set Decoration by
Lee Poll 
Costume Design by
Ann Roth 
Makeup Department
Pete Altobelli .... makeup artist
Kathryn Blondell .... hair stylist
Gary Liddiard .... makeup artist
Production Management
C. Tad Devlin .... unit production manager
Lilith Jacobs .... post-production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Wolfgang Glattes .... first assistant director
Brenda Kalosh .... second second assistant director
Aldric La'auli Porter .... second assistant director
Art Department
David B. Brenner .... general foreman
Michael C. Claypool .... set dresser (as Michael Claypool)
Mark Hite .... lead man
Bob Lawless .... stand-by painter (as Robert Lawless)
C.J. Maguire .... property master
Hope M. Parrish .... assistant property master
Richard Dean Rankin .... construction coordinator (as Richard D. Rankin)
Michael Schmidt .... set dresser
Darrell L. White .... set designer
Sound Department
Edward Beyer .... sound editor
Louis Cerborino .... sound editor (as Lou Cerborino)
Randall Coleman .... assistant sound editor
Marko A. Costanzo .... foley artist
Robert Crosby .... boom operator
Jay Dranch .... sound editor
Bruce Kitzmeyer .... sound editor
David M. Ronne .... production sound mixer
Maurice Schell .... supervising sound editor
Dick Vorisek .... sound re-recording mixer
Special Effects by
Thomas R. Ward .... special effects coordinator (as Tom Ward)
George Fisher .... stunt coordinator
Mickey Gilbert .... stunts
Clifford Happy .... stunts
Gene LeBell .... stunts
Karen Price .... stunts (as Karen Elayna Price)
George Marshall Ruge .... stunts
Loyd Catlett .... stunt player (uncredited)
Mark Lonsdale .... stunt coordinator (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Dustin Blauvelt .... first assistant camera
Joseph Cosko Jr. .... second assistant camera
R. Michael De Chellis .... best boy
Craig Denault .... camera operator
Mikael Glattes .... camera loader
Steve Greaves .... dolly grip
Cary Griffith .... key grip
Gregg Guellow .... best boy
Harry Langdon .... photographer: loft photographs
Jim Marquette .... assistant camera
Hank Sheppherd .... rigging grip
Peter Sorel .... still photographer
Chris Strong .... gaffer
Scott C. Williman .... electrician
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Michael Dennison .... wardrobe supervisor
Linda Serijan .... wardrobe supervisor
Neil Spisak .... assistant costume designer
Editorial Department
Dawn Chiang .... apprentice editor
Richard J. Rossi .... assistant editor
Music Department
Jolene Cherry .... music supervisor
George Howard .... musician: saxophone solo
Chris Tergesen .... music engineer
Pat Woods .... music supervisor
John Moses .... musician: clarinetist (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Gregory Dultz .... driver
Helen Mercier .... transportation captain
Rick Mercier .... transportation coordinator
Dennis Ward .... transportation captain
Shawn Coulter .... driver (uncredited)
Other crew
Faye Brenner .... script supervisor
John Ross Bush .... location manager
Bruce Carter .... production assistant
Gwendolyn Files .... production auditor
Debi Karolewski .... assistant: Jane Fonda
Ingrid C. Michaels .... production office coordinator
Karl Lewis Miller .... animal action
Douglas E. Stoll .... location manager
Nancy Willen .... unit publicist
Michelle Zeisel .... assistant: Bruce Gilbert
Diane Lord .... thanks: Tyler Lord Beauty Establishment
Keith Lord .... thanks: Tyler Lord Beauty Establishment

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
103 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

This 1986 picture was the second consecutive suspense-thriller movie in back-to-back years for actor Jeff Bridges who had the previous year in 1985 starred in the suspenser-movie Jagged Edge (1985) with Glenn Close. Both motion pictures feature a knife or dagger as the murder weapon and in both films there was doubt whether the central female character should trust Bridges' character.See more »
Continuity: After Turner and Viveca/Alex sleep together at his home, the newspaper she's reading jumps from her hands to the tabletop several times between shots.See more »
Turner Kendall:How can I be a bigot? I mean they're all full of ill will and malice. I just make observations.
Alex Sternbergen:Like "spade," "beaner," and "spic"?
Turner Kendall:That sounds like a law firm.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Los Angeles Plays Itself (2003)See more »


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9 out of 11 people found the following review useful.
Two Great Performances Buried in Gaping Plot Discrepancies, 17 November 2010
Author: jzappa from Cincinnati, OH, United States

The Morning After opens with an extraordinarily effective scene prototypical of director Sidney Lumet's pared-down building of tension. As Jane Fonda crawls out of bed, we sense her hangover, one of those inordinately miserable mornings when nothing about you is sufficiently functional, and we also sense how accustomed she's become to these mornings as she is not only passably functional but also recognizes herself in the mirror and indeed spills some gin into a glass, speculating about the guy in her bed. Who is he? She doesn't comprehend the true gravity of her predicament until she turns him onto his back.

She sees no cop is going to buy her story, so she attempts to remove all the evidence of her stopover. And then she rambles back out, into the intense Los Angeles light. And in a shot from high overhead, she seems like a lab rat, ensnared in some sort of a experiment. It's so well directed that we almost forget how preposterous it is to think this frame-up would ever work.

This beginning promises an exceptional thriller. Alas, The Morning After never matches its initial potential, not as a thriller, at least. The narrative has some gaping disparities in it, and thrillers need to be impermeable. This one chalks various elements up to pure coincidence, the ultimate motives are flimsy at best and the fact that the body keeps reappearing like a cartoon or a take-off on The Trouble with Harry brings the movie too close to qualifying as '80s schlock for one to become seriously absorbed in the plot. But The Morning After merits a look anyhow, owing to the characters that it cultivates, and the performances of Fonda and Jeff Bridges in the two leads.

She plays an alcoholic actress long past her heyday. He plays an ex-cop who happens to be fixing his car right where she topples into his back seat and implores him to get her away from there, quick. Bridges stays in a petty, manufactured shed, where he repairs appliances. This is all Fonda needs. She's a veteran of the live-fast-die-young subscription, her friends all bartenders and drag queens, her separated husband Raul Julia the most upmarket hairdresser in Beverly Hills. Nevertheless Bridges is reliable and sound, and she could do with a friend. Naturally it's axiomatic that they fall in love.

The plot of The Morning After is not nearly as well captured or interesting as the day-by-day grinds of these characters. Actually, I can picture a movie that would omit the murder and just trail the genuine human development between Fonda and Bridges. The thriller filler isn't needed, although given that they used it, couldn't they have made it credible? The entire murder plot gets such slapdash treatment that perhaps I oughtn't have been startled by the big scene in which the killer's exposed. I've seen innumerable revelations in innumerable thrillers, but seldom one as transparent as this one, where the surprises are just announced in an improbable monologue. Indeed, the fact that nearly every opinion I've heard or read of this film seems unanimous in terms of James Hicks' script, including mine, even down to the 'It starts off well but then it gets really forced and jerry-built' gist, it seems pretty clear-cut what makes the film not quite work, though it'd be a misstep to write this movie off simply because the story is so rickety. It's worth making an allowance for due to the performances.

Fonda and Bridges are superb in the film, and their rapport, founded on skeletons in the cupboard, bitterness and ulterior motives, gets especially remarkable. They create tangible unspoken feelings together, and they have some dialogue that feels more alive than most starry-eyed chatter in the movies. Before the schmaltzy final scene, not even close to prototypical of Lumet, there's a single shot in which all Bridges and Fonda do is face each other, and we know, and fee, that they want to have sex with each other. It's just energy, and it works wonders.

I also admire how Lumet reinforces every color. Living in Los Angeles is part of the debilitating influence on the character played by Jane Fonda. All color is exaggerated: red redder, blue filters, orange hazes. He creates an L.A. comprised of vast flat surfaces of pastels and aggressively sunlit exposed areas. He traps the inebriated Fonda on this landscape like a helplessly insignificant insect sought for squashing by unknown feet, and the imagery makes the whole first hour of the movie much more ominous than it merits. Too bad they couldn't have take steps with the script.

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