Dinner at Eight (1989)

TV Movie  |  TV-14  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  11 December 1989 (USA)
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Society matron Millicent Jordan arranges a dinner party to honor some visiting aristocrat oblivious to the health and financial problems of her husband.



(play), (play) (as E. Ferber) , 5 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kelly Connell ...
Dan's Assistant
Jane Alden ...
Richard Seff ...
Ralph Bruneau ...


A wry, insightful comedy of manners in which somewhat dizzy society matron Millicent Jordan arranges a dinner party to honor some visiting aristocrat while remaining oblivious to her husband's health and financial problems as well as her daughter's feelings and emotions. Party guests include the vain, the greedy, and the self-absorbed. Written by duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama


TV-14 | See all certifications »




Release Date:

11 December 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cena a la ocho  »

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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Remake of the 1933 film, directed by George Cukor, starring Jean Harlow, Lionel and John Barrymore, Billie Burke, Wallace Beery, and Marie Dressler. See more »


When Dan Packard comes home after a meeting Oliver Jordan he takes of his suspenders twice. See more »


Millicent Jordan: Paula comes in looking like a rat, you come in looking like a rat! What are we, the rat family?
See more »


Version of Front Row Center: Dinner at Eight (1955) See more »

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User Reviews

Earnest remake attempt misses the mark.

Not once in the history of film has a remake of a classic been anything but mediocre - a doomed guaranteed failure record. So why do producers even remotely consider remaking a classic, let alone spend their money doing it? DINNER AT EIGHT was not a great play, but it was a great film because of a formula - the all star production, pitting opposite star types against each other - the one chance to ever see them working in the same film. Would otherwise Garbo have made a film with Joan Crawford? Would Lionel and John Barrymore otherwise be caught dead in a Jean Harlow film? Here's the first point at which DINNER AT EIGHT, the remake, fails. There is hardly any star power. The only real stars are Lauren Bacall and Marsha Mason. The rest of the cast are actors who make their living playing supporting character and, in one case, star roles. Mind you, they all do competent jobs, but there's no style, no dazzle. No intrique. No formula!!!

On to the performers - Ms. Bacall plays herself, John Mahoney is effective as Oliver Jordan, Charles Durning acceptable as Dan Packard. Ellen Greene has fun with the Harlow character of Kitty Packard, playing a "type" that is wonderfully performed, but anachronistically extinct for the time in which the update is set. Marsha Mason as hostess, Millicent Jordan, is wonderfully imperialistic as she organizes the event, fraught with comic madness as everything goes wrong, then heartfelt and genuine as her world nearly comes crashing down when faced with the reality of her husband's serious heart condition. A real star acting! The revelation here is Harry Hamlin's character portrait of the egotistical has-been actor, Larry Renault. Boozing and drugging his way towards self-destruction, alienating everyone who tries to help him, he creates a tragic figure, doomed from the start. Rather than be repulsed by him, we somehow sympathize with and understand him - a hard thing for an actor to pull off when playing such a thoroughly disagreeable figure (without the Barrymore charm to ease the way). Hamlin emerges as the best actor in the ensemble.

All in all, an interesting attempt but no match for the 1933 original.

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