6.5/10
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Only When I Laugh (1981)

A boozy Broadway actress comes out of a 12-week cure to face the problems of her best friends as well as her needy daughter. She tries to balance the terrors of returning to work with the ... See full summary »

Director:

Glenn Jordan

Writers:

Neil Simon (screenplay), Neil Simon (based on the play "The Gingerbread Lady")
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Marsha Mason ... Georgia Hines
Kristy McNichol ... Polly Hines
James Coco ... Jimmy Perrino
Joan Hackett ... Toby Landau
David Dukes ... David Lowe
John Bennett Perry ... Vincent Heller (Lou)
Guy Boyd ... Man in Bar
Ed Moore Ed Moore ... Dr. Bob Komack
Byron Webster ... Tom
Peter Coffield Peter Coffield ... Mr. Tarloff
Mark Schubb Mark Schubb ... Adam Kasabian
Ellen La Gamba Ellen La Gamba ... Receptionist
Venida Evans ... Nurse Garcia
Nancy Nagler Nancy Nagler ... Heidi Stanton
Dan Monahan ... Jason
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Storyline

A boozy Broadway actress comes out of a 12-week cure to face the problems of her best friends as well as her needy daughter. She tries to balance the terrors of returning to work with the demands of all around her with humor and insight, while staying off the booze. Written by Ed Lorusso

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

new york city | based on play | See All (2) »

Taglines:

It'll make you laugh...'til you cry. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 September 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Neil Simon's Only When I Laugh See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,880,870, 27 September 1981, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$25,782,304, 6 December 1981
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Rastar Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film represents an early film appearance of then unknown actor Kevin Bacon who appears in a couple of brief scenes. See more »

Goofs

In one of the opening scenes when Marsha Mason's character is leaving the "Betty Ford Clinic" of the time, there is an employee, Sandy, who passes her by the stairs says good-bye but addresses her as Mrs. Simon instead Mrs. Hines the character's real name. See more »

Quotes

Jimmy: I saw him last week at Joe Allen's. He look thin, drawn tired...
Georgia: You're lying!
Jimmy: Alright he looked gorgeous. Who cares? the man can't write his name. I've got to go.
Georgia: Was he alone?
Jimmy: He was at a big table I don't know who was with who.
Georgia: she was that pretty, huh?
Jimmy: What am I, a police reporter? She was a female Caucasian that's the best I can do. I've got to pick up that script, I'll call you later.
Georgia: I love you. Why don't we smarten up and marry each other?
Jimmy: Because you're an alcoholic and I'm gay. We'd ...
See more »

Alternate Versions

NBC edited 24 minutes from this film for its 1984 network television premiere. See more »

Connections

References One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

I Guess I'll Have to Change My Plan
(uncredited)
Music by Arthur Schwartz and lyrics by Howard Dietz
Sung by Marsha Mason and Kristy McNichol
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Simon, Mason, Coco, Hackett, and McNichol - How Can You Go Wrong!
18 July 2000 | by jamie-81See all my reviews

Marsha Mason's performance of a lifetime - snubbed by the academy. This was by far her best performance since The Goodbye Girl. This film was not your ordinary Niel Simon flick. A tour-de-force with all the elements: Tears, Laughter, and each character going through their own seperate turmoil. James Coco is great as the gay wannabe actor/best friend. Joan Hackett is brilliant as Toby Landau, the aging Park Avenue beauty, who dreads growing old. Ms. Hackett won a Golden Globe for her performance in this film. Oscar nominations for Mason, Hackett, and Coco. Too bad none of them won.


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