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Punchline (1988)

 -  Comedy | Drama | Romance  -  7 October 1988 (USA)
5.8
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 5,611 users  
Reviews: 30 user | 15 critic

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 »

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Title: Punchline (1988)

Punchline (1988) on IMDb 5.8/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Romeo
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Madeline Urie
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Arnold
Pam Matteson ...
Utica Blake
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Singing Nun (as George Michael McGrath)
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Albert Emperato
Barry Neikrug ...
Krug
Ángel Salazar ...
Rico (as Angel Salazar)
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Percy
Joycee Katz ...
Joycee
Mac Robbins ...
Billy Lane
Max Alexander ...
Mister Ball
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Storyline

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 <seaman@sbbs.se>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It only hurts when you LAUGH! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 October 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Punchline  »

Box Office

Gross:

$21,032,267 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

John: $500! What the hell did you buy for 500 dollars?
Lilah: Jokes.
See more »

Connections

References Ghostbusters (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Saber Dance
(uncredited)
(from ballet "Gayaneh")
Music by Aram Khachaturyan
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A humorless movie about comedy...
8 December 2006 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Punchline is about a housewife (the hopelessly miscast Sally Field) who sets out to become a comedian and ends up friends with Tom Hanks' more experienced comic. Punchline is technically well-crafted and has a good cast but almost no laughs. One-liners abound but the movie is trying much too hard to be deep and meaningful. It's obviously going for the stress behind the scenes, what with Field trying to keep her family happy while wowing the crowds at the clubs and also trying not to get too chummy with Hanks. The problem is that the characters are quite one-dimensional so the endless scenes of them talking about their issues are just dull, like eavesdropping on a stranger talking on the bus. (BTW, talking about their issues is pretty much all you see because the characters have most of their revelations and epiphanies off-camera.) The director plays it straight and it doesn't work because the realistic approach flattens everything out. Too shallow to succeed as drama and too lame for comedy, Punchline is a boring misfire.


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