68 user 18 critic

Moment by Moment (1978)

Trisha Rawlings, a Beverly Hills socialite suffers from loneliness following the separation of her womanizing husband Stu. Strip, a young drifter, became infatuated with her and, develops a May/December relationship with her.


Jane Wagner


Jane Wagner
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Lily Tomlin ... Trisha Rawlings
John Travolta ... Strip
Andra Akers Andra Akers ... Naomi
Bert Kramer ... Stu Rawlings
Shelley R. Bonus Shelley R. Bonus ... Peg
Debra Feuer ... Stacie
James Luisi ... Dan Santini
John O'Leary John O'Leary ... Pharmacist
Neil Flanagan Neil Flanagan ... Storekeeper
Jarvais Hudson Jarvais Hudson ... Gas Station Attendant
Tom Slocum Tom Slocum ... Band Leader
Michael Consoldane ... Hotel Desk Clerk
Jo Jordan Jo Jordan ... Bookstore Lady
Joseph Schwab ... Druggist


One year after "Saturday Night Fever," John Travolta starred in this love story between a young drifter and an older woman - Lily Tomlin. The characters are savagely portrayed, and the story is set against a backdrop of shrink-riddled and over-privileged society. Written by <mack@isomedia.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TRAVOLTA: As you've never seen him before See more »


Drama | Romance


R | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


One of two 1978 movies first released in this year starring actor John Travolta. The other picture was Grease (1978). That movie was a hit whereas Moment by Moment (1978) was a flop. These two pictures were the first two films that Travolta appeared in after Saturday Night Fever (1977). See more »


In opening credit montage, Trisha is seen strolling through Beverly Hills shopping district carrying a coat and a bag from a boutique; by time movie has started she is still carrying same things, only now she is miles away, outside Schwab's Drugstore in West Hollywood - nowhere within convenient walking distance of Rodeo Drive. See more »


Strip: What a world, huh?
Trisha: Yes, what a world.
See more »


Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (2013) See more »


The Lady Wants to Know
Composed and Sung by Michael Franks
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc. and Warner Tamerlane Publishing Corp./Mississippi Mud
See more »

User Reviews

Completely misguided effort
16 September 2002 | by Boyo-2See all my reviews

Lily Tomlin is a talented person, there is no denying it. But judging from this pseudo-romance, you'd think she was just a lousy actress.

Travolta has tons of charm, if nothing else, and it seems slightly unfair that he took the hit for how bad this movie is. If he didn't take the hit, he certainly lost some career momentum because of it. Its not his fault that the movie is bad and I think he tried to make something of the pitiful script he was handed.

These two likable actors crash and burn in this dreary story of two bored and boring people. They meet cute in Schwab's Drug Store (thereby bringing a bad name to a place that has come Hollywood history) when he's there to meet his friend, and she's there to get a refill on her Seconal. He follows her down the street since they had met briefly before and he wants to thank her for something ridiculous. Its just a reason to have them (ha, ha) 'conversing', as it were, so don't pay that much attention. She runs to her beach house, which he also tracks her down at. He wants to be friendly and open and she is bottled up and rude. Its just so they can 'overcome' all that, later on.

Eventually, after much more inane dialogue and stupid reasoning for them to have another scene together, they warm up to each other and begin an affair. The movie does not improve and Lily goes from Ice Queen to Simpering Romantic Fool in twenty seconds.

Strip (Travolta) eventually figures out he's being used for sex only and that Trish does not love him. He leaves in a huff and Lily and her friend visit every seedy bar in Southern California looking for him. Ugh, right.

The dialogue is not even funny enough to laugh at, though when Trish asked Strip "Are you a member of the Automobile Club", I howled.

It just seems like a waste. Lily and her partner Jane Wagner were not allowed near anything even remotely dramatic again. Travolta emerged eventually, but this isn't his fault, like I said. He does try but not even Olivier could have made this flimsy material work. 1/10.

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Release Date:

22 December 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Von Augenblick zu Augenblick See more »


Box Office


$8,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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