Permanent Midnight (1998)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama, Romance  |  23 April 1999 (Iceland)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.3/10 from 5,905 users  
Reviews: 54 user | 30 critic

Comedy writer Jerry Stahl, whose $6000-a-week heroin habit had him taking his infant daughter along on his drug runs and doing smack during TV script conferences. Departing detox, Stahl ... See full summary »



(book), (screenplay)
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

Free at IMDb

1 nomination. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Zero Effect (1998)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The world's greatest detective Daryl Zero aided by his associate Steve Arlo investigates a complex and mysterious case of blackmail and missing keys for shady tycoon Gregory Stark who is less than forthcoming about what is really happening!

Director: Jake Kasdan
Stars: Bill Pullman, Ben Stiller, Ryan O'Neal
The Minus Man (1999)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A cold-blooded serial killer floats around the country and chooses his victims from people who complain about their lives and indicate a willingness to be killed. His murders are introduced... See full summary »

Director: Hampton Fancher
Stars: Owen Wilson, Sheryl Crow, Dwight Yoakam
Clay Pigeons (1998)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Clay (as in the title) is a young man in a small town who witnesses his friend kill himself because of the ongoing affair that Clay was having with the man's wife. Feeling guilty, Clay now ... See full summary »

Director: David Dobkin
Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Vince Vaughn, Janeane Garofalo
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Unhappy couples fall apart and hop into other beds with other people.

Director: Neil LaBute
Stars: Amy Brenneman, Aaron Eckhart, Ben Stiller
Jesus' Son (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A young man turns from drug addiction and petty crime to a life redeemed by a discovery of compassion.

Director: Alison Maclean
Stars: Billy Crudup, Robert Michael Kelly, Torben Brooks
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A pharmacy-robbing dope fiend and his crew pop pills and evade the law.

Director: Gus Van Sant
Stars: Matt Dillon, Kelly Lynch, James Le Gros
The Cable Guy (1996)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A lonely and disturbed cable guy raised on television just wants a new friend, but his target, a designer, rejects him, with bad consequences.

Director: Ben Stiller
Stars: Jim Carrey, Matthew Broderick, Leslie Mann
Spun (2002)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An out-of-control speed freak is introduced his drug of choice's creator by his dealer. A massive three-day adventure ensues.

Director: Jonas Åkerlund
Stars: Jason Schwartzman, John Leguizamo, Patrick Fugit
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In the hope of a big score, two junkie couples team up to commit various drug robberies which go disastrously wrong leading to dissent, violence and murder.

Director: Larry Clark
Stars: James Woods, Melanie Griffith, Vincent Kartheiser
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A college freshman returns to L.A. for the holidays at his ex-girlfriend's request, but discovers that his former best friend has an out-of-control drug habit.

Director: Marek Kanievska
Stars: Andrew McCarthy, Jami Gertz, Robert Downey Jr.
Love Liza (2002)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Following the unexplained suicide of his wife Liza, a web designer turns to gasoline fumes and remote-control airplanes while avoiding an inevitable conflict with his mother-in-law.

Director: Todd Louiso
Stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Annie Morgan, Kathy Bates
Wonderland (2003)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In the police investigation of a brutal crime scene, one man was at the center of it all: legendary porn star John Holmes.

Director: James Cox
Stars: Val Kilmer, Lisa Kudrow, Kate Bosworth


Cast overview, first billed only:
Jerry Stahl
Phoenix Punk
Brad / Tim from Mr. Chompers
Craig Ziffer
Jerry at 16
Mary Thompson ...
Grandma Whittle
Allen from Mr. Chompers
Jana Farmer


Comedy writer Jerry Stahl, whose $6000-a-week heroin habit had him taking his infant daughter along on his drug runs and doing smack during TV script conferences. Departing detox, Stahl explores memories with survivor Kitty, who listens patiently to Stahl's flashback. Other women in Stahl's life are his British wife Sandra and his agent Vola. For the TV series "Mr. Chompers" (inspired by ALF), Stahl meets with sitcom exec Craig Ziffer and puppeteer Allen. For freaky freebasing, Stahl hangs with mumbler Nicky and druggie Gus. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive graphic drug use, strong sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

23 April 1999 (Iceland)  »

Also Known As:

A nap árnyékos oldalán  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$260,562 (USA) (18 September 1998)


$1,166,199 (USA) (6 November 1998)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Actor Charles Fleischer, best known for playing Roger Rabbit, has the small role of Allen from Mr. Chompers. According to the book, Permanent Midnight, Jerry Stahl wrote an unaired television pilot as a vehicle for Fleischer. See more »


After Jerry picks up his daughter from Sandra to babysit her (at approximately [1:01:40]), he can be seen driving down the road sitting on the right hand side of the car. This is not consistent with other scenes in the movie and furthermore, the driver is clearly not Ben Stiller. See more »


[first lines]
Jerry: You know what's mortifying? Smack is like the leisure suit of the nineties. Instead of wrecking dad's Buick on prom might, these little suburban fucks are coping habits and OD'ing in the rec room.
Kitty: And you're different, because?
Jerry: I never got to the prom.
See more »


Spoofs G.I. Jane (1997) See more »


Performed by Embrace
Written by Danny McNamara (as McNamara) and Richard McNamara (as McNamara)
Produced and Mixed by Dave Creffield and Embrace
Published by Mobetta
Courtesy of DGC Records, Inc.
Under License from Universal Music Special Markets
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Smart black comedy with Ben Stiller's best performance to date.
21 August 2002 | by (Perth, Australia) – See all my reviews

I think Ben Stiller is one of the most talented comic actors currently working, even though he is often in awful movies (e.g. 'Zoolander', 'The Suburbans'). 'Permanent Midnight' is one of the best movies he has been involved with and features what is arguably his single finest performance. Based on the autobiography of TV hack writer Jerry Stahl, this is a smart, fresh and blackly humorous look at addiction and Hollywood. Stiller has a fine supporting cast here, especially his buddies and frequent co-stars Owen Wilson ('Bottle Rocket') and Janeane Garofolo ('Reality Bites'), the amazingly charismatic star-in-the-making Peter Greene ('Laws Of Gravity'), and comedy veteran Fred Willard ('Best In Show'), who all have small but memorable roles. Hell, even Liz Hurley and Cheryl Ladd are good in this, believe it or not. 'Permanent Midnight' was, like so many other good movies that don't pander to a mass audience, a box office flop, but will hopefully find a larger audience in years to come via video and DVD. I think it is one of the most underrated movies of the last ten years, and highly recommend it.

17 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Smoking crack in the highrise colby-14
Can't believe...... osgrl
When he got pulled over. . . LoadedRevolver66
I'm F-ing A Jew Scene eddycollins
This movie was great.. Jennifer22140
Stiller Needs to take... jason-mousseau
Discuss Permanent Midnight (1998) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: