IMDb > Waiting to Exhale (1995)
Waiting to Exhale
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Waiting to Exhale (1995) More at IMDbPro »

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Waiting to Exhale -- Based on Terry McMillan's novel, this film follows four very different African-American women and their relationships with the male gender.


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Writers (WGA):
Terry McMillan (novel)
Terry McMillan (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for Waiting to Exhale on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
22 December 1995 (USA) See more »
Friends are the people who let you be yourself... and never let you forget it.
Based on Terry McMillan's novel, this film follows four very different African-American women and their relationships with the male gender. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
8 wins & 8 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Don't Exhale Just Yet See more (47 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Whitney Houston ... Savannah Jackson

Angela Bassett ... Bernadine Harris

Loretta Devine ... Gloria Matthews

Lela Rochon ... Robin Stokes

Gregory Hines ... Marvin King

Dennis Haysbert ... Kenneth Dawkins

Mykelti Williamson ... Troy

Michael Beach ... John Harris, Sr.

Leon ... Russell

Wendell Pierce ... Michael Davenport

Donald Faison ... Tarik Matthews

Jeffrey D. Sams ... Lionel

Jazz Raycole ... Onika Harris
Brandon Hammond ... John Harris, Jr.

Kenya Moore ... Denise
Lamont Johnson ... Joseph
Wren T. Brown ... Minister
Theo ... On Air D.J.
Ken Love ... D.J. at the Hermosa

Graham Galloway ... Fireman

Starletta DuPois ... Savannah's Mother
Shari L. Carpenter ... Savannah's Assistant
Thomas R. Leander ... Interviewer
Cordell Conway ... Group at Hermosa Table
Lee Wells Jr. ... Group at Hermosa Table
Hope Brown ... Group at Hermosa Table

Delaina Mitchell ... Tarik's Girl Friend
Luis Sharpe ... Herbert Webster
Joseph S. Myers ... Security Guard at John's Office
Ezra Swerdlow ... Wild Bill
Ellin La Var ... Hairdresser (as Ellin LaVar)
Patricia Anne Fox ... Customer at Hair Salon
Wally Bujack ... Judge
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Brenda Baldwin-Davis ... Shopping Mall Extra (uncredited)

L. Scott Caldwell ... Bernadine's Lawyer (uncredited)
Kacee DeMasi ... Musician (uncredited)

Giancarlo Esposito ... David Matthews (uncredited)
Wanda-Lee Evans ... Jane Millhouse (uncredited)

Tom Hedrick ... Neighbor (uncredited)

Donyell Hinton ... Church Patron (uncredited)
Bob Huff ... Open Air Market Shopper (uncredited)

Kelly Preston ... Kathleen (uncredited)

Jose Rosete ... New Year's Eve Partier (uncredited)

Wesley Snipes ... James Wheeler (uncredited)

Directed by
Forest Whitaker 
Writing credits
Terry McMillan (novel)

Terry McMillan (screenplay) &
Ronald Bass (screenplay)

Produced by
Ronald Bass .... executive producer
Caron K .... associate producer
Terry McMillan .... executive producer
Deborah Schindler .... producer
Ezra Swerdlow .... producer
Original Music by
Kenneth 'Babyface' Edmonds 
Cinematography by
Toyomichi Kurita (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Richard Chew 
Casting by
Jaki Brown  (as Jaki Brown-Karman)
Production Design by
David Gropman 
Art Direction by
Marc Fisichella 
Set Decoration by
Michael W. Foxworthy 
Costume Design by
Judy L. Ruskin 
Makeup Department
Sandra A. Coley-Greene .... additional makeup artist
Roxanna Floyd .... makeup artist: Ms. Bassett
Latonya Hill .... hair stylist: Ms. Houston, Monument Valley
Joseph P. Hurt .... assistant makeup artist
Ellin La Var .... hair stylist: Whitney Houston
Ted Long .... key hair stylist
Robert L. Stevenson .... hair stylist: Ms. Bassett
Ellie Winslow .... key makeup artist
Production Management
James Bigwood .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Walter W. Parry Jr. .... second second assistant director
Joseph Ray .... first assistant director
Roni Wheeler .... second assistant director (as Roni Wheeler Poole)
Art Department
Karen Agresti .... buyer (as Karen Agresti Clark)
Cheyenne Ali .... painter
Arthur Allyn .... construction foreman
Mark Balda .... carpenter
Michael Blair .... carpenter
Adam J. Braff .... leadman
William Butler .... set dresser
Howard J. Clark .... set dresser
George A. Fleming .... painter
Tony Gibson .... set dresser
Joel S. Griffith .... paint foreman
Bill Holmquist .... construction coordinator
Kalina Ivanov .... storyboard artist
John Paul 'J.P.' Jones .... property master
Bill Land .... set dresser
David K. McDougall .... painter
Donovan H. Miller .... assistant props
Craig Anthony Muzio .... lead scenic
Vikki Warren Muzio .... painter
Chris R. Nave .... carpenter
Denise Ogawa-Jacinto .... on-set dresser (as Denise Ogawa)
Jack Orlando .... carpenter
David Peck .... carpenter
Shelly Pedretti .... buyer
Jim Peres .... painter
Susan Rubin .... art coordinator
Anthony Taylor .... on-set scenic
John 'Skip' Weaver .... assistant props
Laura Cartwright .... carpenter (uncredited)
Sound Department
Lou Angelo .... adr editor
Albert Aquino .... boom operator
Carmen Baker .... first assistant sound editor
Bill W. Benton .... sound re-recording mixer
Barbara J. Boguski .... adr supervisor (as Barbara Boguski)
Jim Brookshire .... dialogue editor
Ted Caplan .... digital sound assistant
Chris Carpenter .... sound re-recording mixer
Tim Chau .... sound supervisor
Scott Curtis .... foley editor
Susan Dawes .... adr assistant (as Susan Shackelford)
Linda Di Franco .... adr group editor (as Linda DiFranco)
Albert Gasser .... sound effects editor
Craig Heath .... sound recordist
Doug Hemphill .... sound re-recording mixer (as D.M. Hemphill)
Hilda Hodges .... foley artist
R.J. Kizer .... dialogue editor
Mary Jo Lang .... foley mixer
Diane Linn .... adr recordist
Robert Renga .... sound recordist
Charleen Richards .... adr mixer
John Roesch .... foley artist
Denis St. Amand .... stage engineer
Donald Sylvester .... foley editor (as Don Sylvester)
Carolyn Tapp .... foley recordist
Paul Urmson .... sound effects editor
Gayle Wesley .... technical supervisor
Russell Williams II .... sound mixer
Ronald L. Wright .... cableman
Larry Hopkins .... layback sound mixer (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Thomas C. Ford .... special effects coordinator
Visual Effects by
Karen deJong .... matte painter
Daniel Leung .... digital compositor
Gregory L. McMurry .... visual effects supervisor
Ethan Phillips .... visual effects CLT
Rawn Hutchinson .... stunt coordinator
Brandon Sebek .... stunt coordinator
Camera and Electrical Department
Lennon Bass Jr. .... electrician
Sarah Elspeth Black .... electrician
Davie Carothers .... additional first assistant camera
Nicole Corre .... electrician
Jeffrey Douglas .... best boy grip
Michael S. Epley .... dolly grip
Alisa Faloona .... camera assistant: Monument Valley
Randy Feemster .... additional camera operator
Michael P. Fredrickson .... grip
Kirk R. Gardner .... camera operator
Janene Garey .... camera loader
Nicola Goode .... still photographer
Dylan Goss .... camera assistant: SpaceCam, Monument Valley (as Dylan M. Gross)
Mark D. Greene .... grip
Paul Gyorgy .... electrician
Nathan Hathaway .... electrician
Michael Kelem .... camera operator: SpaceCam, Monument Valley
David Lee .... gaffer
Mike 'Tiny' Lehan .... grip: Monument Valley
Dennis Lynch .... second assistant camera
Michael Milella .... key grip: Monument Valley
Reggie Newkirk .... first assistant camera
George Peters .... best boy grip: Monument Valley
John Poliak .... video assist operator: Monument Valley
David L. Starkey .... grip
Jeffery J. Tufano .... additional camera operator (as Jeffrey Tufano)
Andrew T. Watts .... best boy electric
Tony Whitman .... key grip
Claudell Young .... grip
Robert Amses .... first assistant camera: "b" camera (uncredited)
Dan Bennett .... key rigging grip (uncredited)
Casting Department
Barbara Harris .... adr voice casting
Robyn M. Mitchell .... casting assistant
Traci Runcie .... extras casting assistant
Winsome Sinclair .... extras casting (as Winsome G.M. Sinclair)
Todd Thaler .... casting: New York (as Todd M. Thaler)
Christian Kaplan .... executive in charge of casting (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Gina G. Aller .... set costumer
Amy Andrews .... set costumer
Suzanne Bantit .... costumer
Hugo Peña .... costume supervisor (as Hugo Pena)
June Barney .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Raquel Stewart .... tailor (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Gary Burritt .... negative cutter
Dan Fouts .... assistant editor: avid
Margaret Guinee .... assistant editor
John Hoeren .... assistant editor
Dennis McNeill .... color timer
Christy Richmond .... first assistant editor
Liv Torgerson .... assistant editor
Music Department
Wenda Bragg .... choir
Bob Brockman .... music mixer
Deborah Coleman .... choir
Sharon Coleman .... choir
Tameca Coleman .... choir
Sandy DeCrescent .... music contractor
Kenneth 'Babyface' Edmonds .... executive producer: soundtrack album (as Babyface)
Alicia M. Estes .... choir
Brenda L. Felix .... choir
Brian K. Felix .... choir
Jon Gass .... music mixer
Brad Gilderman .... music mixer
Frank Heard .... choir
April D. Hollen .... choir
Doris W. Hudson .... choir
Esther M. Hughes .... choir
Ruth 'Action' Jackson .... choir
Joann Y. Johnson .... choir
Michelle Antonett Johnson .... choir
Vickie Johnson .... choir
Carlton Kaller .... music editor
Brenda E. Lewis .... choir
Stephanie Lowry .... assistant music editor
Jeremy Lubbock .... additional music arranger: strings
Frank Macchia .... music preparation
Minnie McGruder .... choir
Juanita Miller-Johnson .... choir
Zelean Barbara Peniston .... choir
Ken Pettigrew .... choir
William Ross .... conductor
William Ross .... orchestrator
Angie Rubin .... assistant music editor
Bert Russell .... choir
Ivy Skoff .... soundtrack production coordinator
Shamoan Lamar Sledge .... choir
Janie Joy Tate .... choir
Nancy Taylor .... choir
Dan Wallin .... scoring mixer
Betty A. Ware .... choir
Mary E. Warner .... choir
Tausha R. Washington .... choir
Forest Whitaker .... soundtrack executive producer
Tom Boyd .... musician: oboe soloist (uncredited)
George Doering .... musician (uncredited)
James Thatcher .... musician: french horn (uncredited)
Transportation Department
J. Wesley Adams .... transportation captain
Jim Petti .... transportation co-captain
Brian Steagall .... transportation coordinator
Tommy Wattley .... transportation coordinator: Ms. Houston
Jason LaFountain .... driver (uncredited)
Todd Painter .... driver (uncredited)
Other crew
R. Elizabeth Aaron .... production assistant
Laurie Badami .... personal secretary: Ms. Houston
Ryan Stefan Bantu .... set production assistant (as Ryan-Shyheim)
Bill Bennett .... desert shot supervisor: Monument Valley
Gray Beverley .... assistant: Mr. Whitaker
Jocelyn L. Brewer .... production secretary
Lashan Browning .... assistant: Ms. Schindler and Mr. Swerdlow (as LaShan A. Browning)
Darcy J. Bruno .... teacher
William K. Buckley .... office assistant
Shari L. Carpenter .... script supervisor
Cheryl A. Carroll .... set production assistant
P.J. Connelly .... location manager: Monument Valley
Robyn Crawford .... executive assistant: Ms. Houston
Robert DiPanni .... projectionist
Stasia Droze .... assistant: Ms. Schindler and Mr. Swerdlow
Michael S. Dunitz .... location assistant
Judi Fates .... assistant: Ms. McMillan
Heidi Fugeman .... set production assistant
Jeff Seymann Gilbert .... office assistant (as Jeffrey B. Seymann)
Bree Giron .... set production assistant
Patricia Ann Holmes .... assistant production accountant
Craig Lynch .... craft service
Dianne Mapp-Cheek .... production accountant (as Dianne Cheek Blasco)
Karen Mattingly .... script supervisor: Monument Valley
Sandra McNeil .... teacher
Costas Michalopoulos .... assistant: Ms. Schindler and Mr. Swerdlow
Brenda Morris .... assistant production accountant
Kitty Olisky .... production coordinator
Lillian Pyles .... assistant production coordinator
Marie Randall .... craft service
David M. Roberts .... security: Ms. Houston
Rick Rothen .... location manager
Andrew T. Rothmund .... assistant: Ms. Bassett
Stephen Rupsch .... set production assistant
Orville Sisco .... assistant location manager: Monument Valley
Charles H. Smith .... craft service
Betsy Sokolow .... unit publicist
Craig Starkey .... set production assistant
Scott Stravitz .... medic
Solombra Tucker .... assistant: Mr. Edmonds
Sylvia Vejar .... personal assistant: Ms. Houston
Randy Walker .... technical assistant: Mr. Edmonds
Robert Wheaton .... film researcher
Michael Hendrickson .... production executive (uncredited)
Devon Kellgren .... production assistant (uncredited)
Paul Moncrief .... video/computer playback operator (uncredited)
Golan Ramras .... production assistant (uncredited)
Crystal Weaver .... production coordinator: additional shooting (uncredited)
Crystal Weaver .... staff production coordinator (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for language and some strong sexuality
124 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Although Whitaker had earlier directed an HBO drama called Strapped (1993) (TV) - for which he received Best New Director honors at the Toronto Film Festival - this film was his first job directing a full-length feature film.See more »
Continuity: Vannah's necklace is outside then inside then outside of her top at Glo's birthday party.See more »
Gloria Matthews:Your father's coming home on Tuesday.
Tarik Matthews:And? First of all, he ain't my father, he's my daddy; there's a big damn difference.
See more »
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12 out of 18 people found the following review useful.
Don't Exhale Just Yet, 27 July 2005
Author: gwitherspoon from United States

I have the video of this movie and it grew on me as time passed. It's not a great movie but it is enjoyable and as has been pointed out by others, it feels good to see a movie about women of color for a change. However, the movie would not have been watchable without the formidable talents of Angela Bassett and Loretta Devine. I felt that they really were Bernadine and Gloria -- even their smallest gestures were in tune with their characters. I don't have the words to describe what fine actors these ladies are and their skills are right up there with Debra Winger, Holly Hunter, Alfre Woodard and others.

Gloria seemed to be the only moral woman in the lot. She was adorable as an overweight, insecure no-nonsense business woman and mother. She didn't think she was worthy of love because of her weight, but she was the only one who found it (and deserved it). She was the only one who didn't sleep around, wasn't a man basher, set a good example for her son, and gave good advice to her girlfriends. The other three could learn a lot from her. Loretta Devine has a really beautiful face -- look past the weight and for those of you who judge people by such things, her skin color. She has wonderfully expressive eyes and attractive features. I think it was noteworthy that Gregory Hines' character saw her real beauty and responded to it. His character was a decent, good man and I'm glad this was addressed in the movie.

Angela Bassett has always been one of my favorite actors. She is the total package --- beauty and talent. Her character wasn't perfect but Bernadine did take responsibility for the mistakes she made in her life. She was so much better off without that reprehensible excuse for a husband in her life - she could now start her catering business, she had a possible new love in her future and she had good friends that would always be there for her. I was as happy for her as if I were really one of her girlfriends when things turned out well for her in the end.

Lela Rochon didn't display any acting talent here and wasn't quite up to the job of conveying Robin's vulnerability and immaturity. She was little more than a tearaway that slept around and made dumb choices. In the book, you realized that Robin had a lot of love to give a man and didn't seem to know how to choose a good one to bestow it on. She was obviously beautiful and decently educated but she lacked common sense and had never really gotten over her betrayal by a man she had really loved. Her mother was a cancer survivor and her father suffered from advance Alzheimer's disease. I don't feel they rounded out this character at all and she didn't seem like an actual person. Just a cute slut who wondered why she got used by men.

Poor Whitney has no acting skills whatsoever! Every character she attempts to portray is exactly the same -- Whitney Houston being well groomed, pretending to be well spoken and classy, and looking cow eyed at whatever male actor she is paired with. Its a shame because Savannah should have been played by someone like Angela Bassett or Kimberly Elise (although she might have been too young). The character had to tell us she was smart -- in a phone conversation with her mother she said "I'm smart, I'm a good person and I work hard." Thank goodness she told us because we sure wouldn't have known otherwise. She has sex with a man she doesn't like at all and doesn't even know well and then has an affair with a married man and calls him scum! She has poor conversational skills, doesn't really seem interested in her friends'problems and preferred to roll her big eyes and act as if she were so above whatever little difficulties they were going through. Savannah would be such a waste of time for any man unless she took a long hard look at herself. She deserved to be by herself at the end.

This movie might have been better with a female director, as Forest Whitaker didn't "tell this story" properly at all. We ended up not liking or caring about the characters because we really didn't get a strong sense of who they were.

Also, was it me, or was everything in this movie either orange or blue?

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