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Reuben, Reuben (1983)

A drunken Scottish poet, who has not written a word in years, feels compelled to regain control of his life and work after meeting a beautiful young woman.


Peter De Vries (novel), Herman Shumlin (play) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Conti ... Gowan McGland
Kelly McGillis ... Geneva Spofford
Roberts Blossom ... Frank Spofford
Joel Fabiani ... Dr. Jack Haxby
Cynthia Harris ... Bobby Springer
Lois Smith ... Mare Spofford
E. Katherine Kerr ... Lucille Haxby
Rex Robbins Rex Robbins ... C. B. Springer
Kara Wilson Kara Wilson ... Edith McGland
Jack Davidson ... George Spofford
Damon Douglas Damon Douglas ... Tad Springer
Robert Nichols Robert Nichols ... Harry Pycraft
Ed Grady ... Dr. William Ormsby
Thomas McGowan ... TV Interviewer (as Tom McGowan)
Dan Doby Dan Doby ... Alvin


Gowan McGland is a half-Irish/half-Welsh Scottish poet with some renown. He is also a total s*** - a boozer, a womanizer (his conquests more frequently married than not), lazy, and a leech, with a deteriorating body and bad teeth, losing which he equates with death. He also has his charms, which, in combination with his renown, leads to him usually being able to get what he wants. His wife, Edith McGland, also a writer, is well aware of who he is, their marriage which is in name only, although they are still good friends. It is because of her profession and her connection that she has been commissioned to write his biography. Because he is lazy, he has not written anything in five years. He is on a speaking tour to earn what little money he has, currently on an extended stop in Woodsmoke, Connecticut. His reputation in almost every sense precedes him in Woodsmoke - including his womanizing where probably only the husbands of his conquests are unaware of what's going on, and his ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Gowan McGland, the year's new art form! See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


First of two cinema movies that husband Tom Conti and wife Kara Wilson made together. Their second and final film [to date, June 2013] was The Gospel According to Vic (1986) about three years later. The pair have also worked together extensively in television. See more »


Gowan McGland: Deprived of their support, her breasts dropped like hanged men.
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Referenced in Remote Control (1988) See more »

User Reviews

Intrigues, Humors & Surprises
20 October 2007 | by movieratings03See all my reviews

REUBEN, REUBEN ****1/2 Tom Conti's role--Gowan McGland, a philandering Scottish poet suffering from writer's block and a depression--is drinking away his fears and tears in wanting something more. He finds fulfillment, however, on one of his gallivanting book tours when he falls in love with a youthful, spirited college student named Geneva. The impressive turns from Conti, Kelly McGillis (debuting here as Gowan's girlfriend), and Roberts Blossom (as Geneva's grandfather) are a must-see, but it's Julius J. Epstein's screen writing that drives the picture. This film, which opened in New York with a bang but petered into obscurity extremely quickly, will intrigue, humor, and often surprise you. Rated R. 1983

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Release Date:

16 December 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Amor e Boemia See more »

Filming Locations:

Shelby, North Carolina, USA


Box Office


$3,500,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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