16 user 5 critic

One-Trick Pony (1980)

R | | Drama | 3 October 1980 (USA)
Jonah (Paul Simon) is an aging rock star trying to put together a new album in the face of an indifferent record label and a talentless producer. At the same time, he's struggling to save his failing marriage.




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Cal van Damp (as Allen Goorwitz)
Modeena Dandridge
Matty Levin
Steve Kunelian
Danny Duggin
Eric Gale ...
Lee-Andrew Parker
Tony Levin ...
John DiBatista
Richard Tee ...
Clarence Franklin
Bernie Wepner
Kate Pierson ...
Herself (as The B-52s)
Himself (as The B-52s)


Jonah (Paul Simon) is an aging rock star trying to put together a new album in the face of an indifferent record label and a talentless producer. At the same time, he's struggling to save his failing marriage.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Rock 'n' roll will give you some laughs...but it won't do you any favors.




R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

3 October 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cyrkowy kucyk  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Floyd Vivino was supposed to appear in this film as the night club owner, but none of his scenes made the final cut. See more »


When Jonah and Matty practice baseball in the park, the ball is returned to Jonah by someone obviously taller than eight-year-old Matty. See more »


Jonah: Anna Freud came backstage last week -- Anna Freud. She sold us some blow.
See more »


Featured in Siskel & Ebert: Buried Treasures - 1987 Edition (1987) See more »


That's Why God Made The Movies
Written and Performed by Paul Simon
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User Reviews

The movie is also a "One Trick Pony"
18 October 1998 | by See all my reviews

Paul Simon is a self-conscious, introspective, thoughtful man. These qualities, together with his superb guitar licks, eclectic international tastes, and sweet whispery tenor, have made him one of the musical giants of the 20th century, at least figuratively.

The same qualities don't stand him in good stead as an actor. Unlike other self-conscious performers (Woody Allen comes to mind), he can't effectively emote even as himself - a Simonesque musician named Jonah Levi. He uses his limbs awkwardly, and he always seems to be waiting politely for the other actors to finish their lines so he can get his turn.

I wanted to like this film, because I like Simon and he threw his heart into it. I just couldn't. He's stiff, the script is meandering, and the ending is so abrupt you wonder if you missed something. Even his music is decidedly on the lower side of his career output, and it seems to create gaps in the movie's flow. (Hey, what can the characters do to kill two and a half minutes until the background song ends? How about showing Paul taking out the garbage?) Besides, if you want to hear his music, grab one of his concert tapes and get his "A" output.

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