A talent-challenged girl tries to promote herself to stardom in New York's waning punk music world.


Susan Seidelman


Susan Seidelman (story), Ron Nyswaner (story) | 2 more credits »
1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Susan Berman Susan Berman ... Wren
Brad Rijn ... Paul (as Brad Rinn)
Richard Hell Richard Hell ... Eric
Nada Despotovich Nada Despotovich ... Cecile
Roger Jett Roger Jett ... Billy - Eric's Roommate
Kitty Summerall Kitty Summerall ... Eric's Wife
Joni Ruth White Joni Ruth White ... Landlady (as Robynne White)
D.J. O'Neill D.J. O'Neill ... Ed
Joel Rooks Joel Rooks ... Xerox Boss
Pamela Speed Pamela Speed ... Terry
Tom Cherwin Tom Cherwin ... Mike
Edie Schecter Edie Schecter ... Christine
Katherine Riley Katherine Riley ... 1st Hooker
Amos Poe ... Hustler in Bar
Ada McSpade Ada McSpade ... Rasta (as Ade McSpade)


A restless and abrasive young woman eschews the affections of a sensitive young portrait artist, preferring to chase punk singers in a misguided desire for fame and fortune in New York's Greenwich Village. Written by Rick Ferncase <ferncase@chapman.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Who is this? See more »


Drama | Music


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The story in the film's original screenplay was vastly different. See more »


After Wren's landlady hears someone breaking into Wren's apartment while watching TV, she runs out into hall and suddenly has smears of white beauty creme under each eye. See more »


Lead Singer: Ah, the sunshine in my life. You know, that reminds me of a woman I knew of who worked in this neighborhood. She had sunshine in her life. I'd like to sing about how she lost it. Hit is, Cleve.
Lead Singer: Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl, With yellow feathers in her hair and a dress cut down to there, She would merengue and do the cha-cha...
See more »


References The Final Conflict (1981) See more »


Devious Woman
Performed by Singers and Players with Bim Sherman
Courtesy of 99 Records
From the album "War of Words" (1981)
See more »

User Reviews

The dream
27 April 2020 | by mdinaz-80608See all my reviews

A lot of the reviewers focus on the waning punk scene of the Village in the early 80s, but this is really irrelevant to the movie. Wren, our heroine, is just one of thousands since the 1920s looking for "the dream" of success while living in a trash can or other men's pants. Susan Seidelman did an outstanding job of capturing the desperation, the hopelessness, the lies, the dirt, and the total narcissism required of pursuing "the dream". Aptly, in one scene we see anti-hero Eric's room mate reading a comic called "Despair". While I myself was once a musician in NY (but an hour north of the city), being awake for days going from work to practice to gigs and back to work again, I had long ago disabused myself the idea of "the dream" - I had decided I enjoyed eating and sleeping in my own home more important. Playing music was for fun. But I played with people exactly like this, including a female lead singer who had once led exactly a Wren-ful life of sleeping in the street or some guy's van just to survive. I even had my own situation as a skull full of mush where I found myself dragging a suitcase and a portable TV down a street 1500 miles from home with exactly enough money for a ticket back - leaving me with a dollar to last me three days, with which is more than Wren ended up. That final shot encapsulates the nightmare masquerading as a dream perfectly. "Smithereens" is nothing new - there are scores of movies since the silent era-days exactly like this. But capturing that mood so perfectly is pure art. BTW - did anyone catch Chris Noth (of "Law and Order" fame) in the van?

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Release Date:

25 February 1983 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Smithereens See more »


Box Office


$105,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Domestic Productions See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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