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Magnolia (1999)

R  |   |  Drama  |  7 January 2000 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 231,945 users   Metascore: 77/100
Reviews: 1,429 user | 222 critic | 34 from Metacritic.com

An epic mosaic of interrelated characters in search of love, forgiveness, and meaning in the San Fernando Valley.

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From $9.99 on Amazon Video

Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 27 wins & 48 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sir Edmund William Godfrey / Young Pharmacy Kid
Genevieve Zweig ...
Mrs. Godfrey
Mark Flannagan ...
Joseph Green
Stanley Berry
Rod McLachlan ...
Daniel Hill
Delmer Darion
Raymond 'Big Guy' Gonzales ...
Reno Security Guard
Craig Hansen
Forensic Scientist
Sydney Barringer
Arthur Barringer
1958 Detective
John Kraft Seitz ...
1958 Policeman
Cory Buck ...
Young Boy


24 hours in L.A.; it's raining cats and dogs. Two parallel and intercut stories dramatize men about to die: both are estranged from a grown child, both want to make contact, and neither child wants anything to do with dad. Earl Partridge's son is a charismatic misogynist; Jimmy Gator's daughter is a cokehead and waif. A mild and caring nurse intercedes for Earl, reaching the son; a prayerful and upright beat cop meets the daughter, is attracted to her, and leads her toward a new calm. Meanwhile, guilt consumes Earl's young wife, while two whiz kids, one grown and a loser and the other young and pressured, face their situations. The weather, too, is quirky. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Things fall down. People look up. And when it rains, it pours.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language, drug use, sexuality and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



| |

Release Date:

7 January 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mag·no'li·a  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$37,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$193,604 (USA) (17 December 1999)


$22,450,975 (USA) (12 May 2000)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The telephone number (877) TAME-HER is shown on the "Seduce and Destroy" infomercials within the movie. Dialing this number used to give a recording of Tom Cruise giving the Seduce and Destroy pitch. See more »


Two lights on the back of the ambulance are on and off in consecutive shots. See more »


[first lines]
Narrator: In the New York Herald, November 26, year 1911, there is an account of the hanging of three men. They died for the murder of Sir Edmund William Godfrey; Husband, Father, Pharmacist and all around gentle-man resident of: Greenberry Hill, London. He was murdered by three vagrants whose motive was simple robbery. They were identified as: Joseph Green, Stanley Berry, and Daniel Hill. Green, Berry, Hill. And I Would Like To Think This was Only A Matter Of Chance. As reported in the Reno...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Underneath the title at the end a line reads "for fa and ea". fa is Fiona Apple (Paul Thomas Anderson's girlfriend) ea is Ernie Anderson (Paul Thomas Anderson's father) See more »


References Putney Swope (1969) See more »


Nothing Is Good Enough
Written by Aimee Mann
Performed by Aimee Mann
Courtesy of Superego Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Autopsy of the Human Condition

A film such as Magnolia does not come around often enough. Though I felt that Boogie Nights attempted the same effect: exposing the base, unrelenting, human desires of Angelinos, it failed in several ways. Magnolia does not. Mr. Anderson sets out to show the underbelly of Americana, much like Mr. Mendes has done spectacularly with American Beauty. At the end of the century, these two films stand as landmarks in the evolution of the American. What we pursue in name only, piety, commonness with our fellow man, family, fame, fortune, and peace of mind, come crashing together in Magnolia, in an apex of misfortune, misunderstanding, forgiveness and renewal. These two films should scare the living daylights out of Americans, especially those living in Los Angeles. The stories show us that merely giving lip service to morals, self-improvement and camaraderie is not enough, we can fake it for only so long, before life overtakes us in a deluge of happenstance and retribution. Mr. Anderson is a wonderful storyteller, and Magnolia is the most visually and aurally satisfying film in years. Ms. Mann's music and the ensemble acting are symphonic. This movie is as tightly composed as any work in cinema one can remember. Obviously, I highly recommend it.

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