70 user 16 critic

Same Time, Next Year (1978)

PG | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 8 March 1979 (UK)
A married man and a married woman end up sleeping with each other, and decide to meet at the same place every year on the anniversary of their one night stand. As the years go by, they observe changes in each other and their relationship.


Robert Mulligan


Bernard Slade (based on the stage play by), Bernard Slade (screenplay)
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Ellen Burstyn ... Doris
Alan Alda ... George Peters
Ivan Bonar ... Chalmers
Bernie Kuby ... Waiter
Cosmo Sardo ... Second Waiter
David Northcutt David Northcutt ... Pilot #1
William Cantrell William Cantrell ... Pilot #2


A man and woman meet by chance at a romantic inn over dinner. Although both are married to others, they find themselves in the same bed the next morning questioning how this could have happened. They agree to meet on the same weekend each year. Originally a stage play, the two are seen changing, years apart, always in the same room in different scenes. Each of them always appears on schedule, but as time goes on each has some personal crisis that the other helps them through, often without both of them understanding what is going on. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Anniversaries should be spent with the one you love... Even if you aren't married to them. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


This movie was made and released about three years after its source play of the same name by Bernard Slade was first performed in 1975. It premiered in November 1978 about two-and-a-half months after the Broadway season closed. "Same Time, Next Year" was the first stage play written by Slade. See more »


When Doris is in labor and is in the bathroom, she gives her doctor's phone number to George. A boom mic is visible for about 15 seconds. See more »


Doris: George, how come you're wearing your robe and pajamas in the afternoon?
George: I'm rehearsing a Noël Coward play.
See more »


Referenced in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: Same Game, Next Season (1994) See more »


The Last Time I Felt Like This
Music by Marvin Hamlisch
Lyrics by Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman
Performed by Johnny Mathis and Jane Olivor
See more »

User Reviews

A Sheer Delight
2 January 2005 | by MISSMOOHERSELFSee all my reviews

Two people meet at a seaside inn one night in 1951 and are attracted to one another although each is married to someone else. After spending the night together and realizing they've fallen in love, each agrees to meet on the same weekend each year for a rendezvous and each keeps that promise. We see this couple age and grow together from 1951, just after the war, to 1977, just after Vietnam. Seeing each character grow as human beings together and apart is amazing.

Alan Alda plays the happily neurotic accountant beautifully off Ellen Burstyn's naive "stay-at-home" mother who blossoms into a confident, talented businesswoman. Mr. Alda's character, George, doesn't grow as obviously as Miss Burstyn's Doris, but both absorb and survive some of life's best and worst experiences. Some of Miss Burstyn's transformations are a bit jarring - arriving one year to the reunion 8 months pregnant comes to mind, as does her transformation from a suburban housewife to a Berkeley University hippie chick. And Alan Alda's transformation from an uptight Goldwater Republican to the typical 1970s man who ditches the corporate life, grows a mustache, wears his hair longer and also uses every typical 1970s cliché in existence is also a bit jarring but it can be forgiven because Mr. Alda pulls it off so well.

Two characters who make their presence deeply felt even though you never see them are George's wife, Helen, and Doris' husband, Harry. We learn about them and come to know and appreciate them even though they never appear. Only from George and Doris' "good" and "bad" stories about their spouses do you get to know what these 2 absent people are like and you find they are funny and sad, poignant and ordinary and totally human and three-dimensional in their foibles. It's a nice touch to a story that could easily have been one-dimensional.

"Same Time, Next Year" is based on a Broadway play and it makes the transition very smoothly. In fact, what makes the transition so smooth are the historical pictorial vignettes injected between "years." I remember many of the events depicted and you can't help but feel nostalgic. Also, the movie's theme song, played to accompany the vignettes, is wonderful! All in all this is a delightful little movie with some stark drama and hilarious comedy sometimes in the same scene. It's a rare actor who can do comedy and drama so convincingly and Mr. Alda and Miss Burstyn proved beyond the shadow of the doubt they are more than capable of doing this - they are superb!

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Release Date:

8 March 1979 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Same Time, Next Year See more »


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Black and White (montage)| Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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