Steven Gold is a stand-up comedian who is flat broke and has recently dropped out of medical school. He and several others work regularly at the Gas Station, a New York comedy club. The ... See full summary »
Lawrence is a rich kid with a bad accent and a large debt. After his father refuses to help him out, Lawrence escapes his angry debtors by jumping on a Peace Corp flight to Southeast Asia, ... See full summary »
Steven Gold is a stand-up comedian who is flat broke and has recently dropped out of medical school. He and several others work regularly at the Gas Station, a New York comedy club. The wages are lousy and everybody hopes for the big break. Lilah Krytsick is housewife with an ambition to be a stand-up comedian, however she doesnt seem to have the talent. Steven takes her under his wings and teaches her the art of comedy and humour. But when a TV station arranges a comedy evening at the club, Steve sees his opportunity for fame and stardom. Their friendship seems quickly forgotten and now it's every man and woman for him- or herself! Written by
Mattias Pettersson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
David Seltzer first wrote the script in 1979 based on his experiences frequenting comedy clubs. Howard Zieff was attached to direct. When Zieff dropped out, the project was forgotten. In 1986, Daniel Melnick found the screenplay in a Columbia Pictures vault and wanted to revive the project. It was originally intended to be a small budget film with no stars but the studio sent the script to Sally Field. When she agreed to star in and produce the film, the budget was raised and Tom Hanks was cast. See more »
This is a wonderful movie. Every time I see it on cable I'm reminded how well-crafted it is. The writing is solid, the characters are real, and the desperate world of the stand up comic, whose life is nothing without the laughter, is captured very well.
Anyone who's worked professionally in comedy knows that comics are, as a rule, not happy people. Look at Jim Carrey or Woody Allen when they aren't in front of a camera and you'll see real pain in their eyes, just below the surface. Tom Hanks, as Steven Gold, captures that kind of character perfectly.
This was the performance that marked the turning point for Tom Hanks. There would be no oscars for him if it weren't for Punchline, because this was the movie that proved he could flip between comedy and heartfelt drama on a dime.
Sally Field does very well, and John Goodman gives one of his best performances ever.
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