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Mother (1996/II) More at IMDbPro »

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Mother -- A neurotic, twice divorced sci-fi writer moves back in with his mom to solve his personal problems.


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Up 8% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Albert Brooks (written by) &
Monica Mcgowan Johnson (written by)
View company contact information for Mother on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 December 1996 (USA) See more »
No Actual Mothers Were Harmed During The Making Of This Motion Picture. See more »
A neurotic, twice divorced sci-fi writer moves back in with his mom to solve his personal problems. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Nominated for Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A boy's best friend is his mother? See more (51 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Paul Collins ... Lawyer
Laura Weekes ... Karen Henderson

Albert Brooks ... John Henderson

John C. McGinley ... Carl

Debbie Reynolds ... Beatrice Henderson
Richard Assad ... TV Installer

Joey Naber ... TV Installer

Vanessa Williams ... Donna

Lisa Kudrow ... Linda

Rob Morrow ... Jeff Henderson

Isabel Glasser ... Cheryl Henderson
Danielle Quinn ... Jill Henderson
Spencer Klein ... Josh Henderson

Anne Haney ... Helen
Billye Ree Wallace ... Alice

James Gleason ... Waiter

Matt Nolan ... 'Gap' Salesman
Harry Hutchinson ... Pet Store Salesman

Kimiko Gelman ... Saleswoman at Victoria's Secret

Peter White ... Charles

Rosalind Allen ... Woman at Gas Station
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Michael Moertl ... Bartender (uncredited)

Directed by
Albert Brooks 
Writing credits
Albert Brooks (written by) &
Monica Mcgowan Johnson (written by) (as Monica Johnson)

Produced by
Barry M. Berg .... co-producer (as Barry Berg)
Herb Nanas .... producer
Scott Rudin .... producer
Adam Schroeder .... co-producer
Original Music by
Marc Shaiman 
Cinematography by
Lajos Koltai 
Film Editing by
Harvey Rosenstock 
Casting by
Deborah Aquila 
Jane Shannon-Smith  (as Jane Shannon Smith)
Production Design by
Charles Rosen 
Art Direction by
Chas. Butcher 
Set Decoration by
Anne D. McCulley 
Costume Design by
Judy L. Ruskin 
Makeup Department
William Lyon MacKenzie .... assistant makeup artist
Diane Pepper .... assistant hair stylist (as Dianne Pepper)
Gail Rowell-Ryan .... hair stylist
Robert Ryan .... makeup artist
Kelly Muldoon .... personal hair artist (uncredited)
Production Management
Barry M. Berg .... unit production manager (as Barry Berg)
Yoli Poropat .... production supervisor (as Yolanda Poropat)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Richard Graves .... first assistant director
Daniel Silverberg .... second assistant director
Ellie Smith .... second second assistant director (as Ellie J. Smith)
Art Department
Marina Chavez .... art department coordinator
Oscar Delgadillo .... property person (as Oscar X. Delgadillo)
Glen R. Feldman .... assistant property master
Pamela Klamer .... set designer
David Lanning .... property person
Charles 'Chuck' Lungren .... paint foreperson (as Charles Lungren)
David P. Newell .... property person
Errol C. Nofziger .... production painter (as Errol Nofziger)
Susan Paley .... property person
Jeff Passanante .... construction coordinator (as Jeffrey J. Passanante)
Brooke Sartorius .... property person (as Robert Brooke Sartorius)
Gary Seybert .... assistant property master (as Gary L. Seybert)
Virginia Siman .... construction first aid (as Virginia 'Thumper' Siman)
Dave Slattery .... construction labor foreperson
Mark Sparks .... construction general coordinator (as Mark A. Sparks)
Kenneth L. Westcott .... lead person
Dean Wilson .... property master
Jeff O'Bannon .... laborer (uncredited)
Sound Department
Bob Baron .... adr mixer
Pamela Bentkowski .... supervising foley editor
David E. Campbell .... sound re-recording mixer (as David Campbell)
Scott Curtis .... foley editor
Gloria D'Alessandro .... dialogue editor
Dane A. Davis .... supervising sound editor
Donavan Dear .... cable person
Ken Dufva .... foley artist
Tammy Fearing .... assistant sound editor
David Lee Fein .... foley artist
Hilda Hodges .... foley artist
Scott A. Jennings .... foley editor
Kini Kay .... sound effects editor
Mary Jo Lang .... foley mixer
David McRell .... assistant sound editor
Kim H. Ornitz .... sound mixer (as Kim Ornitz)
Jonathan Phillips .... assistant sound editor
John T. Reitz .... sound re-recording mixer (as John Reitz)
John Roesch .... foley artist
Carin Rogers .... dialogue editor
Rod Rogers .... assistant sound editor
Gregg Rudloff .... sound re-recording mixer
Larry Singer .... supervising adr editor
Randy Singer .... foley mixer (as Randy K. Singer)
Beth Sterner .... supervising sound editor
Gary A. Theard .... boom operator (as Gary Theard)
Todd Toon .... sound effects editor
Christopher T. Welch .... dialogue editor (as Chris Welch)
Bill Baldwin .... assistant sound editor (uncredited)
Ted Caplan .... foley editor (uncredited)
Anthony Milch .... dialogue editor (uncredited)
Rick Winquest .... sound engineer (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Mike Amorelli .... rigging lighting technician (as Michael J. Amorelli)
Brian W. Armstrong .... first assistant camera (as Brian Armstrong)
John Buckley .... chief lighting technician
Bill Butler .... director of photography: San Francisco
Doug Chartier .... dolly grip
Malcolm Doran II .... grip
Rod Farley .... grip (as Roderick G. Farley)
David Garden .... camera loader (as David M. Garden)
Daniel C. Gold .... camera operator (as Daniel Gold)
Michael Kelem .... helicopter camera operator
Eugene B. Kerry .... second company grip (as Eugene Kerry)
Tommy Klines .... Steadicam assistant (as Thomas R. Klines)
Elliott Marks .... still photographer
Jack E. McLean Jr. .... first company grip
Richard A. Mention III .... first assistant camera: "b" camera
Lloyd Moriarity .... first company grip (as Lloyd Moriarty)
Randy Nolen .... Steadicam operator
Dan Owen .... grip (as Daniel R. Owen)
Ron Santoyo .... grip
David Thompson .... lamp operator
Pernell Youngblood Tyus .... camera operator: "b" camera (as Pernell Tyus)
Scott Van Buskirk .... rigging grip
Glenn Wade .... grip (as Glenn N. Wade)
John W. Weeks .... assistant chief lighting technician (as John Weeks)
Donald M. Wolak .... lamp operator
Larry Wood .... video playback operator
R. Michael Yope .... lamp operator
Harry Zimmerman .... second assistant camera
Joe Hill .... rigging grip (uncredited)
Mark A. Lewis .... electrician (uncredited)
Casting Department
Mercedes Kelso .... casting assistant (as Mercedes Danforth)
Charlie Messenger .... extras casting
Joan Ryan .... adr voice casting
Toby Stone .... adr voice casting
Alex Wald .... casting associate (as Alex Rosenberg)
Nancy Hayes .... extras casting: San Francisco (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Lucinda Campbell .... wardrobe supervisor
Eden Clark Coblenz .... set costumer (as Eden Clark-Coblenz)
David Page .... set costumer
Editorial Department
Christopher S. Capp .... first assistant film editor
Elisa Cohen .... assistant editor (as Elisa R. Cohen)
Peter Fandetti .... assistant editor
Jim Passon .... color timer
Wendi Jill Raderman .... lightworks assistant
Theresa Repola Mohammed .... negative cutter
Music Department
Jeff Atmajian .... orchestrator
Sandy DeCrescent .... orchestra contractor
Mark Herman .... assistant music editor
Artie Kane .... conductor
Dennis S. Sands .... music mixer (as Dennis Sands)
Dennis S. Sands .... music recordist (as Dennis Sands)
Scott Stambler .... supervising music editor
Nick Vidar .... music programmer
Tom Boyd .... musician: oboe soloist (uncredited)
George Doering .... musician (uncredited)
James Thatcher .... musician: french horn (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Mike Fenster .... transportation captain
Randy White .... transportation coordinator
Other crew
Noah Ackerman .... assistant: Mr. Rudin
Joseph Aspromonti .... production assistant
Olivier D. Benamou .... computer playback operator
Marcy Bolotin .... unit publicist
Angelique Bones .... production assistant
David Daunt .... helicopter technician (as Dave Daunt)
Allison Gross .... assistant location manager
David Guilbeau .... craft service (as David 'Cajun' Guilbeau)
Maureen Jennings .... assistant: Mr. Brooks
Derrick Landry .... production assistant
Kevin Landry .... production auditor (as Kevin E. Landry)
James R. Maceo .... location manager (as James R. Maceo III)
Fran Messer .... assistant: Mr. Nanas
Montez A. Monroe .... assistant production coordinator
Eileen A. O'Donnell .... legal clearances (as Eileen O'Donnell)
Jean Quay .... first aid
Ana Maria Quintana .... script supervisor
Anne Russell .... assistant: Ms. Reynolds
Cheryl Shawver .... animal trainer
Gene Strange .... first assistant auditor
Gian Temperilli .... production assistant
Mark Walbaum .... production assistant
James P. Warren .... animal trainer
Steven Werbkay .... production secretary
Tricia Yano .... assistant: Mr. Schroeder
Robert 'Bobby Z' Zajonc .... helicopter pilot
Earl McDaniel III .... production assistant (uncredited)
Lynnanne Zager .... computer voice (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated PG-13 for some sexual references
104 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Kathryn Grayson was offered the title role but turned it down saying she couldn't possibly do the part because the woman is "brain dead".See more »
Continuity: Rob Morrow's (Jeff) hairstyle changes slightly between shots when he visits his mother; when he appears outside of the house (after storming out following an argument with his brother) his bangs are longer and 'up' whereas in the previous shots they were shorter and down on his forehead.See more »
John Henderson:You're running a food museum here.See more »
Movie Connections:
I Left My Heart In San FranciscoSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
6 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
A boy's best friend is his mother?, 27 July 2004
Author: Pepper Anne from Orlando, Florida

I normally don't like Albert Brooks comedies because his humor is subtle, and sometimes, so sarcastic that it seems to me, that he tries too hard. He often comes off like a gigantic dufus who's every character, is always the over-looked, but honest and quite nice guy (see Broadcast News). Here, he is once again, the same character.

However, in watching this movie with my folks, I found it to be quite a funny little comedy about a grown man who tries to connect with his mother. Brooks plays John, a writer who is recently divorced. Suffering from writer's block, probably due to his recent 'problems,' he decides that he needs some sort of emotionally reinvigorating experience. One in which he is in search of "something," but he doesn't really know what it is. Sort of like, he'll know it when it happens.

He goes to spend some time with his widowed mother, Beatrice, played by the lovely Debbie Reynolds. They seem like exact opposites, she is timid, and somewhat flaky. He is rather pushy, and often, sarcastic. She appears more provincial; he comes off as more modern. It doesn't seem like they're related at first, because they're so different.

What might've started as a desire to find some inspriation to write by cooling off from a divorce, becomes a 360 drive to reconnect with his mother, and work out their innocuous differences in personality, outlook, humor, and so forth, until mother and son finally understand one another. This may not be clear to either intially that this will eventually be the ends to the vacation.

Rob Morrow plays John's equally annoying brother, a "mama's boy" type who frequently contacts Beatrice, trying to get her to be more modern and everything else like John does, but at the same time, not trying so hard to force it on her, and also, not trying like John to resolve anything laden in their relationship that may be troubling them. Though, it seems to be suggested that there is a slight "Oedepis Complex." But, Rob Morrow is only a subplot, and kind of an aggravating character at that. Beatrice seems so pleasant, and so well...motherly.

The strange reformations that John and his mother take on are quite amusing. The bit, for example, in the beginning when John first arrives at his mother's house, and she doesn't seem to have anything he likes to eat. Or, when they go to the mall together, and he tries to stop her from always feeling obligated to explain everything to strangers (like her son is a middle aged divorced man with writer's block). It's really cute. According to the trivia, Nancy Reagan was considered for Debbie Renynolds' role, which would've probably been played wonderfully by her. Some of things that Reynolds's (like the restaurant scene) is hilarious with the cursing and all of that as she becomes impatient with her son John's wanting to change her every moment.

Basically, the whole movie is Albert Brooks and Debbie Reynolds. John McGinnley and Lisa Kudrow show up for a minute role as the best friend and blind date (respectively). It might be worth watching for older audiences. I watched it with my folks, and they really seemd to enjoy it (they usually don't like Albert Brooks movies, either). It's worth a try.

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