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Moonstruck (1987)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  15 January 1988 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 33,552 users   Metascore: 83/100
Reviews: 140 user | 61 critic | 17 from Metacritic.com

Loretta Castorini, a book keeper from Brooklyn, New York, finds herself in a difficult situation when she falls for the brother of the man she agreed to marry (the best friend of her late husband who died seven years previously).


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Won 3 Oscars. Another 15 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »



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Director: Herbert Ross
Stars: Shirley MacLaine, Olympia Dukakis, Sally Field


Cast overview, first billed only:
Julie Bovasso ...
Louis Guss ...
Feodor Chaliapin Jr. ...
Old Man (as Feodor Chaliapin)
Paula Trueman ...
Nada Despotovich ...
Shy Waiter
Gina DeAngeles ...
Old Crone


Loretta Castorini, a Brooklyn bookkeeper in her late 30s whose husband died several years earlier in a bus accident, decides it's time to get married again. So she accepts the proposal of a nice, middle-aged fellow named Johnny Cammareri. Loretta is convinced her first marriage was cursed because she and her husband had gotten married at City Hall; this time, she's determined to do things right, even as she admits to her mother, Rose, that she's not really in love with Johnny. (To which Rose replies: "Good. When you love them, they drive you crazy, 'cause they know they can." Rose speaks from rueful experience; she suspects, with good reason, that her husband, Cosmo, is cheating on her.) Loretta is convinced that marrying Johnny is the safe and sure thing to do - until she meets his estranged younger brother Ronny, who tends the ovens in a neighborhood bakery. Loretta discovers that in startling contrast to the pleasant, mild-mannered Johnny, Ronny is moody and passionate; what follow... Written by Eugene Kim <genekim@concentric.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Life. Family. Love.


Comedy | Drama | Romance


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

15 January 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Bride and the Wolf  »

Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)


$80,640,528 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Watch the shot where Johnny kneels down in the Grand Ticino, as he kneels down and his face nearly leaves the camera with the nervous expression, you see him burst out laughing for about one second. If you listen closely, you can hear people laughing at him, obviously the camera crew. See more »


In the beginning of the movie, as the La Boheme poster is being put into the glass display, the Premeire opening date reads November 15th. But the tone of the movie has already been set as "near Christmas". We have seen a man carrying a Christmas tree, and later we see Christmas cards strung in the dinning room on Cranberry St. See more »


[Cosmo is trying to wake up his wife Rose]
Cosmo Castorini: Rose. Rose. Rose! Rose!
[She wakes up]
Rose: Who's dead?
See more »


Referenced in Wogan: The Best Of: Oscar Winners (2015) See more »


La Bohème
Performed by Renata Tebaldi and Carlo Bergonzi
Courtesy of Polygram Special Projects, a division of Polygram Records, Inc.
Music by Giacomo Puccini (uncredited)
Libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica (uncredited)
with Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (uncredited)
Conducted by Tullio Serafin (uncredited)
(Act I: "Questo 'Mar Rosso' mi ammollisce e assidera" / Act I: "O soave fanciulla" / Act II: "Quando men' vo" / Act III: "Addio... Donde lieta usci al tuo grido d'amore")
See more »

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User Reviews

Superb Craftsmanship in Our Finest Romantic Comedy!
14 January 2005 | by (Denver CO, United States) – See all my reviews

This film stands head and shoulders above the vast majority of cinematic romantic comedies. It is virtually flawless! The writing, acting, production design, humor and pathos are all wonderful! Even the music -- from Dean Martin to La Boheme -- is captivating and delightful!

Every character is peculiarly delightful and memorable, from the leads played by Cher and Nicolas Cage, to the many supporting roles -- Olympia Dukakis , Vincent Gardenia, John Mahoney, Danny Aiello -- even grandpa with his dog pack! Each of these performers, plus Norman Jewison as Director, performs above their normal quality in this ensemble work. For several of the actors, this was an early major exposure in film, so the casting is also exceptional -- and we have many current acting powerhouses whose careers were altered by their effectiveness in this film.

I've seen this film several times all the way through -- which can sometimes deflate the impact of a film substantially. More tellingly, I realized some years ago that whenever I channel-surfed my way into a scene from this film -- any scene -- the scene was compelling and beautifully crafted. There are so many stunning and memorable scenes the original meeting between the Cher and Nicolas Cage characters, where Cage tells his tale of woe; Vincent Gardenia discovered with his paramour at the opera, amidst the splendor generated by his gold-mine plumbing business; Olympia Dukakis scolding John Mahoney for philandering with his student in the classic line about liaisons with co-workers: "Don't sh-t where you eat!"; Danny Aiello at his dying mother's bedside; Nicolas Cage "taking" Cher as the rapture of an aria soars in the background!

There are of course many great romantic comedies, among them Sabrina (both versions, but especially the Audrey Hepburn/Humphrey Bogart/William Holden original); When Harry Met Sally; The Apartment.

None quite equals Moonstruck!

21 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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