IMDb > About Schmidt (2002)
About Schmidt
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About Schmidt (2002) More at IMDbPro »

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About Schmidt -- Warren Schmidt is a man in his 60's. While trying to run his daughter's life, he realizes that he wasted his.


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Up 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Louis Begley (novel)
Alexander Payne (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for About Schmidt on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
3 January 2003 (USA) See more »
Schmidt Happens
A man upon retirement embarks on a journey to his estranged daughter's wedding only to discover more about himself and life than he ever expected. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 36 wins & 39 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Forrest Gump Meets the Conversation See more (610 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Jack Nicholson ... Warren Schmidt

Kathy Bates ... Roberta Hertzel

Hope Davis ... Jeannie Schmidt

Dermot Mulroney ... Randall Hertzel

June Squibb ... Helen Schmidt

Howard Hesseman ... Larry Hertzel

Harry Groener ... John Rusk

Connie Ray ... Vicki Rusk

Len Cariou ... Ray Nichols
Mark Venhuizen ... Duncan Hertzel
Cheryl Hamada ... Saundra

Phil Reeves ... Minister in Denver

Matt Winston ... Gary Nordin - Warren's Replacement

James M. Connor ... Randall's Best Man (as James Micheal Connor)
Jill Anderson ... Bridesmaid Reading St. Paul
Vaughan Wenzel ... Man Mourning Helen
Judith Kathryn Hart ... Woman Mourning Helen
Marilyn Tipp ... Neighbor Lady (scenes deleted)
Robert Kem ... Priest in Omaha (as Reverend Robert Kem)
Melissa Hanna ... Dairy Queen Employee
Tung Ha ... Frat Kid

James J. Crawley ... Other Frat Kid
Mary Beth Nelson ... Bartender

Steve Heller ... Tire Store Employee (as Stephen Heller)
Lester Kills Crow ... Native American Cashier
Thomas Michael Belford ... Funeral Director
McKenna Gibson ... Six-year-old Jeannie
Emily McNaughton ... Twelve-year-old Jeannie
Beth Heimann ... Wedding Singer #1
Linda Wilmot ... Wedding Singer #2
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Chris Huse ... Chuck Woodard (uncredited)

Joe Kunze ... Partygoer #1 (uncredited)

Angela Lansbury ... Herself (voice) (uncredited)
Mark J. O'Leary ... Bartender (uncredited)

Robert Kingston Phillips Green ... Male shopper (uncredited)
Michael Tolochko ... Surly Denver Neighbor Taking Trash Out (uncredited)

Ja'le Youngblood ... Bus boy (uncredited)

Directed by
Alexander Payne 
Writing credits
Louis Begley (novel "About Schmidt")

Alexander Payne (screenplay) &
Jim Taylor (screenplay)

Produced by
Bill Badalato .... executive producer
Michael Besman .... producer
Harry Gittes .... producer
Rachael Horovitz .... executive producer
Original Music by
Rolfe Kent 
Cinematography by
James Glennon (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Kevin Tent 
Casting by
Lisa Beach 
Sarah Katzman 
Production Design by
Jane Ann Stewart 
Art Direction by
T.K. Kirkpatrick  (as Tim Kirkpatrick)
Pat Tagliaferro 
Set Decoration by
Teresa Visinare 
Costume Design by
Wendy Chuck 
Makeup Department
Carrie Angland .... makeup artist: Mr. Nicholson
Danielle Cunningham .... makeup artist
Emjay Olson .... key hair stylist
Angie Paul .... hair stylist
Jeanne Van Phue .... key makeup artist
Joy Zapata .... hair stylist: Mr. Nicholson
Lisa Brockman-Kalz .... additional makeup artist (uncredited)
Stacy Heatherly .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Production Management
Bill Badalato .... unit production manager (as William Badalato)
Billy Badalato .... production supervisor
Carla Fry .... executive in charge of production
Rick Reynolds .... post-production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Rocco Marra .... additional second assistant director
Shari Nicotero .... second assistant director
George Parra .... first assistant director
David Waters .... second second assistant director (as David 'Muddy' Waters)
Art Department
Rob Baker .... utility construction
Dave Brown .... shop steward
Nathan Carlson .... graphic designer (as Nate Carlson)
Andrew Wayne Carson .... set dresser
Jack Clowers .... set dresser
Paula Clowers .... set dresser
Kevin Cowan .... carpenter
Michael Daly .... carpenter
Ron Gielow .... co-construction coordinator
Merve Johnson .... co-construction coordinator
Melanie Jones .... painter foreman
Rick Kaufman .... carpenter
Sora Kimberlain .... set painter
Robert E. Knight .... lead painter (as Robert Ellison Knight)
Craig Lee .... set painter
Patrick Lees .... leadman
Tanya B. Magidow .... assistant property master (as Tanya Magidow)
Chanda McConnell .... additional property
Stephen Miller .... construction gang boss (as Steve Miller)
Jeffrey M. O'Brien .... property master (as Jeff O'Brien)
Ron Rhodes .... co-construction coordinator
Michael Tagel .... paint gang boss
Debi Shirk Tagliaferro .... construction auditor (as Debi Tagliaferro)
Packy Tagliaferro .... construction production assistant
Brian Vogelgesang .... set dresser
Steven Wolfe .... on-set dresser
Greg Berger .... carpenter (uncredited)
Matthew Richard Harris .... graphic designer (uncredited)
Sound Department
Scott Austin .... daily sound transferer
Javier Bennassar .... sound effects editor
John Cannon .... sound assistant
Claudia Carle .... adr recordist
Mark Choi .... sound effects editor (as Mark Hunshik Choi)
Patrick Cyccone Jr. .... sound re-recording mixer
Lisle Engle .... sound effects editor
Frank Gaeta .... sound designer
Frank Gaeta .... sound supervisor
Nerses Gezalyan .... foley mixer
David Grant .... dialogue editor
Ann Hadsell .... adr mixer
Rickey Hawkes .... utility sound technician
Adam Jenkins .... sound re-recording mixer
Kimaree Long .... adr supervisor
James Moriana .... foley artist
Mark Ormandy .... additional sound
Michelle Pazer .... dialogue editor
Art Rochester .... sound mixer
Earl Sampson .... boom operator
Unsun Song .... sound recordist
David Stanke .... sound assistant
Jeffrey Wilhoit .... foley artist (as Jeff Wilhoit)
Greg Zimmerman .... foley recordist
Special Effects by
Pat Tagliaferro .... special effects supervisor (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Erik Henry .... visual effects supervisor
Robert Stromberg .... matte painter
Edward Helmers .... digital artist (uncredited)
Shaina Holmes .... digital compositor (uncredited)
L. Elizabeth Powers .... digital compositor (uncredited)
Mark Sawicki .... optical camera (uncredited)
Patrick Zentis .... digital compositor: Digital Backlot (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Tom Axtell .... electrician
Michael Baird .... video assist operator
Claudette Barius .... still photographer
Monty Bass .... grip
Dave Behn .... grip
Quintin Bogard .... rigging electrician
Dennis Buffum .... electrician
Dwight Campbell .... chief lighting technician
Lora Davis .... grip
Milo Durben .... dolly grip
Robert Edesa .... additional photographer (as Bob Edesa)
Robert Edesa .... camera operator: "a" camera (as Bob Edesa)
Paul Eichler .... electrician
Geoff Eng .... electrician
Melissa Freeman .... camera loader
Kevin Ketelhut .... rigging electrician
Aaron Lemere .... electrician
Stephen B. Martinez .... best boy grip (as Stephen Martinez)
Mike Mastre .... first assistant camera: "b" camera
Scott McCarthy .... additional camera loader
Simone Perusse .... best boy electric
Radan Popovic .... additional photographer
Radan Popovic .... camera operator: "b" camera
Kaile Shilling .... additional photography supervisor
Dennis Shotsman .... grip
John A. Small .... first assistant camera: "a" camera (as John Small)
R. Michael Stringer .... key grip
Jay Swanson .... rigging electrician
Michael Tolochko .... rigging gaffer
Travis Williams .... rigging electrician
Steve Wolpa .... second assistant camera: "a" camera
James M. Wykoff .... grip (as Mike Wykoff)
Justin Akers .... key grip: second unit (uncredited)
Robert K. Feldmann .... key grip: second unit (uncredited)
Craig Ladwig .... rigging key grip (uncredited)
Patriq Luo .... electrician (uncredited)
Kyle T. MacDowell .... grip (uncredited)
John Pycha .... electrician (uncredited)
Casting Department
Chad Bishoff .... extras casting assistant
Sandy Holt .... adr voice casting
John Jackson .... casting: Midwest
Teresa Affleck .... casting intern (uncredited)
Kathleen Chopin .... casting: New York (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Jeannine Bourdaghs .... costume supervisor
Linda Carol Flake .... set costumer (as Linda Flake)
Christel Highland .... set costumer
Nava R. Sadan .... wardrobe: Mr. Nicholson (as Nava Sadan)
Susan Strubel .... set costumer
Cat Cacciatore .... additional costumer (uncredited)
Jeannie H. Kelly .... additional costumer (uncredited)
Editorial Department
David Berman .... apprentice editor
Tom Dailey .... first assistant editor: avid
Danya Joseph .... first assistant film editor
Jody Levin .... executive in charge of post-production
Mato .... color timer
Mark Scovil .... assistant editor
Carla Swanson .... montage: Warren
Mike Sowa .... digital color timer: mastering (uncredited)
Jayson Wall .... post-production assistant (uncredited)
Music Department
Tony Blondal .... orchestrator
Bob Bowen .... music executive
Paul Broucek .... music executive
Robert Fernandez .... score mixer
Richard Ford .... music editor
Larry Groupé .... conductor
David Sabee .... music contractor
Annie Searles .... music clearances
Lori Silfen .... music business affairs
Kerry Wikstrom .... additional orchestrator
Shie Rozow .... assistant music editor (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Chet Badalato .... driver: Mr. Nicholson
Steve Brill .... transportation coordinator
Joe Brumbaugh .... driver
Larry Cain .... transportation captain (as Larry 'Weasel' Cain)
Angie Carraher .... driver
Gary Edelman .... transportation captain
Lindsay Elliott .... driver (as Lindsey Elliott)
Floyd Erwin .... driver
Michael Grooms .... driver (as Mike 'Sluggo' Grooms)
Donald Jones .... driver
Gracie Klein .... driver
Gary Labs .... driver
Dave Nickel .... driver
Gary Roberts .... driver (as Gary 'Jonboy' Roberts)
Robert J. Rocco .... driver (as Robert Rocco)
Lawrence Root .... driver (as Lawrence 'Sparky' Root)
Bernard Sczemanski .... picture car captain (as Bernard 'Ski' Sczemanski)
Tony Swartz .... driver
Carla Klein .... driver (uncredited)
Other crew
Erika Anderson .... set production assistant
Sam Arent .... set production assistant
Anne Badalato .... accounting clerk
Tommy Baratta .... chef: Mr. Nicholson (as Tommy Barratta)
Dana Belcastro .... production executive
Carolyn Blackwood .... production attorney
Tracy Boyd .... assistant: Alexander Payne
Kaylene Carlson .... production coordinator
Laurie Cartwright .... risk management
Laura Chang .... production office assistant
Stephen Coleman .... technical consultant (as Stephan Coleman)
Teresa Cowan .... craft service assistant
Jeff Egan .... production safety
Karen Eisenstadt .... production accountant
Stacy Eyrich .... location assistant: Mr. Nicholson
Nicholas Fitzgerald .... set production assistant (as Nick Fitzgerald)
April Fitzsimmons .... set production assistant
Jim Foyt .... projectionist
Will Gatlin .... craft service
Josh Geller .... set production assistant (as Josh Gellar)
Lynn Giordano .... assistant: Jane Stewart
Jeffrey Gladu .... payroll accountant (as Jeff Gladu)
Emily Glatter .... supervising production coordinator
Sherri Goldman .... first assistant accountant
Brian Grummert .... additional accounting clerk
John Hackett .... double: Mr. Nicholson
John Hackett .... stand-in: Mr. Nicholson
Gene L. Hamilton .... photo double (as Gene Hamilton)
Gene L. Hamilton .... stand-in (as Gene Hamilton)
Joshuwa Hannum .... photo double
Joshuwa Hannum .... stand-in
Marc Jacobs .... production resources
Wayne Lamkay .... assistant production coordinator
John Latenser V .... location manager
Mike Latenser .... assistant location manager
Sagan Lewis .... photo double
Sagan Lewis .... stand-in
Kendra Liedle .... location production assistant
Roland Manarin .... production secretary
Andrew Matthews .... financial advisor
Jennifer Mount .... risk management
Dawn Perlin .... executive assistant: Mr. Nicholson
Dawn Pieke .... photo double
Dawn Pieke .... stand-in
Paul Prokop .... production controller
Steven John Reynolds .... second assistant accountant (as Steve Reynolds)
Rebecca Robertson .... script supervisor
Amy Romeo .... production office assistant
Oswaldo Rosa .... chef: Mr. Nicholson
Suzanne Rosencrans .... business affairs executive
Amy Russell .... clearances: The Clear Choice
Kaile Shilling .... assistant: Alexander Payne
Aaron Smith .... production office assistant
David Sporn .... business affairs administrator
Lee Tucker .... preview technical supervisor
Edward C. Wang .... assistant: Harry Gittes
Rick Williams .... assistant: Michael Besman
Deborah Wuliger .... unit publicist
Teresa Affleck .... production assistant (uncredited)
Helen Blume .... production assistant (uncredited)
Ronald C. Briggs Jr. .... inventory services (uncredited)
Peter Pham .... additional production assistant: second unit (uncredited)
Traci Stick .... production assistant (uncredited)
Kirk Tedeski .... video coordinator (uncredited)
Julie Ginsburg .... thanks: Omaha Film Commission Office (as Julie Ginsberg)
Laurie Richards .... thanks: Nebraska Film Commission Office
Kathy Sheppard .... thanks: Omaha Film Commission Office
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for some language and brief nudity
125 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:13 | Australia:M | Brazil:12 | Canada:14A | Finland:K-3 | France:U | Germany:6 (bw) | Hong Kong:IIA | Iceland:L | Malaysia:U | Netherlands:AL | New Zealand:M | Norway:7 | Peru:14 | Portugal:M/12 (original rating) | Singapore:NC-16 | South Korea:12 | Spain:T | Sweden:7 | Switzerland:7 (canton of Geneva) | Switzerland:7 (canton of Vaud) | Switzerland:12 (canton of the Grisons) | UK:15 | USA:R (certificate #38731)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Thomas Haden Church was originally considered for Randall.See more »
Continuity: When Warren Schmidt leaves Roberta Hertzel's house to go and sleep in his RV, the RV is noticeably tilted to the right due to its being parked on the side of the street. When he is inside, it is perfectly level.See more »
[Warren is on top of the motor home under a starry night]
Warren Schmidt:Helen, what did you really think of me, deep in your heart? Was I really the man you wanted to be with? Was I? Or were you disappointed and too nice to show it? I forgive you for Ray. I forgive you. That was a long time ago, and I know I wasn't always the king of kings. I let you down. I'm sorry, Helen. Can you forgive me? Can you forgive me?
[a shooting star passes by]
See more »
Sentimental LadySee more »


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50 out of 74 people found the following review useful.
Forrest Gump Meets the Conversation, 9 January 2003
Author: intuitive7 from Woodstock, NY

About Schmidt is Forrest Gump through the lens of Sartre or Camus. Warren Schmidt has a handicap, but it's the same handicap most of the people standing on line at seven p.m. at your local Wendy's have. The real star (or anti-star) of About Schmidt is the mediocre architectural landscape of America. Every room or box Warren Schmidt enters in this movie is as devoid of caring and vitality as he is: the retirement banquet room, Warren's house, the tire store, the hired wedding reception room. Schmidt's director and production designer take care to place us in the same life-draining, cheap structures we inhabit and deal with everyday. No prettifying. This is the drab landscape of Fargo revisited, but without the irony. The steady doses of violence in Fargo allowed you an escape route. But there's nothing ironical about a wasted life and a 66 year old widower spinning his wheels in the same rut, now partnerless and foundering. The combination of Jack, this story and these settings is effective and compelling. The result would be, I think, inevitable. The tone and attitude is not consistently managed, even by Nicholsen, whose worn-out, mannered schtick pops up occasionally. Yet the final effect is impossible to fend off: mundane American hell with droll comedic diversion. We experience a downfall as poignant as the smell of bacon cooking in Denny's at eight a.m.

Like Forrest Gump, the film depends on extensive voice over narration, V.O'd by Nicholsen as letters to Schmidt's newly adopted six year old Tanzanian foster child. Through these ridiculous sharings of sextagenarian angst with an African boy, we register Schmidt's internal grievances - thoughts we would never know about otherwise without his commentary. The slow dragging score drains vitality from each transition, as if cinematic momentum would be antithetical to the point of the tale. Back and forth we rock from a single minor chord to a second one, getting nowhere. The mood, the landscape, the buildings, the people say it all: Schmidt's on the road, but he might as well be sitting home in his lay-z-boy. The cushy bucket seat of a 35 foot Winnebago makes a good substitute.

Casting Jack Nicholson may have been the only way this story could have come to the screen. I've racked my brain to think of one other actor who could have pulled Schmidt off. Tony Hopkins? Not with the same comedic finesse. Gene Hackman reprising his role in Coppola's The Conversation or doing his Tennenbaum hamming? Don't think so. Only Jack has the mix. He does some hilarious bits in this, but overall the mood is somber, glum, inert. Can this be how that other famous Warren from Nebransas - Mr. Buffet - lives?

I was confused, amused, depressed and wierdly disoriented by About Schmidt as I left the theater. I commented that it wasn't a film I'd go see again. Thinking about it a day later, I'd hold to that IF it meant returning to the theater and paying. BUT - were I to run across About Schmidt on cable, I doubt I could tear myself away from it any more than I could from a crack up at the Indy 500. And I think that chance encounter might happen more than once, maybe for years. After all, this is the America I know and mark time in myself. A recommended film going experience.

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did anyone else HATE the last minute? Krak-the-Quacktastic-Cracker
Payne is the Bret Easton Ellis of middle America snarfsisgross
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Warren possibly not Jeannie's biological father? mollymarie
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