7.2/10
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Diner (1982)

R | | Comedy, Drama | 21 May 1982 (USA)
A group of college-age buddies struggle with their imminent passage into adulthood in 1959 Baltimore.

Director:

Barry Levinson

Writer:

Barry Levinson

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Steve Guttenberg ... Edward 'Eddie' Simmons
Daniel Stern ... Laurence 'Shrevie' Schreiber
Mickey Rourke ... Robert 'Boogie' Sheftell
Kevin Bacon ... Timothy Fenwick Jr.
Tim Daly ... William 'Billy' Howard (as Timothy Daly)
Ellen Barkin ... Beth Schreiber
Paul Reiser ... Modell
Kathryn Dowling Kathryn Dowling ... Barbara
Michael Tucker ... Bagel
Jessica James Jessica James ... Mrs. Simmons
Colette Blonigan ... Carol Heathrow
Kelle Kipp Kelle Kipp ... Diane
John Aquino John Aquino ... Tank
Richard Pierson Richard Pierson ... David Frazer
Claudia Cron Claudia Cron ... Jane Chisholm
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Storyline

Early twenty-something Baltimoreans Eddie, Shrevie, Boogie, Billy, Fenwick and Modell have been friends since they were kids, where the center of their lives has been and still is the Fells Point Diner. It's the last week of 1959. Baltimore Colts fanatic Eddie is scheduled to get married to Elyse on New Year's Eve, but may call off the wedding if Elyse doesn't pass his Colts quiz which he will hold two days before the scheduled wedding. Inexperienced Eddie turns to the only other married one among the bunch, electronics salesman and music aficionado Shrevie, for advice, he who may not be the best person from who to ask advice on marriage since he doesn't yet realize that he probably got married to his wife Beth for the wrong reasons. Indeed, Beth, who has lost her sense of identity, is unhappy in their marriage, and contemplates having an affair with someone who provides what she believes is a sympathetic shoulder. Hairdresser and law school student Boogie is the player of the bunch, ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Suddenly, life was more than french fries, gravy and girls. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 May 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

American Diner See more »

Filming Locations:

Baltimore, Maryland, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$14,100,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie is notable for featuring a cast of actors, who mostly would later become big stars, but at the time were all still relatively unknown. See more »

Goofs

The movie ends 1st January 1960, however at some point before that we hear "Beyond the sea" by Bobby Darin. The song wasn't released until later in 1960. See more »

Quotes

Eddie: I'll tell you one thing that happens when you get married, you have to give up your old friends. Cause the wife wants you to get new friends. New friends - nope. It's you and me. You and me, buddy, we got secrets she'll never know. Never know. Those new friends will never be as good. Nope! Cause we've - we've got a history. History!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits run as we hear another diner conversation between the guys. See more »

Alternate Versions

ABC edited 16 minutes from this film for its 1986 network television premiere. See more »

Connections

Featured in Diner: On the Flip Side (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Goodbye Baby
Performed by Jack Scott
Courtesy of Carlton Record Corporation
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Thinking Man's American Graffiti
29 April 2006 | by krorieSee all my reviews

Basically the interaction of five guys and one girl during the Christmas season of 1959-1960 in Balitimore, Maryland, "Diner" is somewhat autobiographical of director/writer Barry Levinson, identified as the character Billy (Tim Daly) in the film. Be sure and listen to the dialog spoken over the ending credits. It cleverly encapsulates the entire film. The movie is noteworthy for making stars of six new faces to the cinema public, Steven Guttenberg, Daniel Stern, Mickey Rourke, Kevin Bacon, Timothy Daly, and Ellen Barkin. Had it been created before "American Graffiti," it would have been the definitive coming of age flick. Coming nine years later, it pales in the shadow of that seminal work. Still, "Diner" is a worthwhile piece of cinema and is much more cerebral than "American Graffiti."

There are a few time-line problems. I too was finishing high school and preparing for college during the same time interval. Only I was located in rural America and the protagonists of "Diner" lived in an urban setting. Radio was AM and dominated by the "top forty" play list. Seldom were older rock 'n' roll songs played. Naturally there were no oldies stations yet. Teens basked in the audio heaven of the popular tunes of the day. The "Diner" soundtrack appropriately contains such hits of 1959-60 as "Beyond the Sea," "Theme From a Summer Place," and "Goodbye Baby," but also contains songs that were rarely if ever played on AM radio or on diner juke boxes in 1959-60, such as "It's All In The Game," "Don't Be Cruel," and "Fascination." This all makes for one of the best 50's soundtracks ever, but distracts from the credibility of the film setting.

Teens of the period throughout American had a favorite gathering place or rendezvous. For me it was a local diner called "The Hickory House." Sitting in cars, drinking, and shooting the BS was as popular as actually going inside the diner, though that took place too. "Diner" accurately portrays this aspect of teenage gregariousness. The courting rituals and dating challenges are also true to life for the period. A mediocre film, "A Summer Place" was extremely popular with teens of the period, in particular girls, since it was basically a chick flick. By using it as a backdrop to the story, Levinson enhances the scene with the popcorn box and makes it much more meaningful, especially to those who have watched "A Summer Place." Another aspect of reality used by Levinson in a telling way is the concept of male, female relationships at the time. For example, when Timothy Fenwick (Bacon) starts using vulgar language during the car wreck tomfoolery, the other guys point to Beth (Barkin) and indicate by gesture that there is a lady present. Today, female teens readily use vulgar talk as often as males. Changing times.

"Diner" is one of the best of the teen angst films shot during the 70's and 80's and not to be missed. If the viewer lived through the time passage in the movie, it is all that more enjoyable to see.


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