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Max Dugan Returns (1983)

PG | | Comedy, Drama | 25 March 1983 (USA)
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An English teacher and struggling single mother has her life disrupted when the father who abandoned her as a child comes back into her life.

Director:

Herbert Ross

Writer:

Neil Simon
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Marsha Mason ... Nora McPhee
Jason Robards ... Max Dugan
Donald Sutherland ... Brian Costello
Matthew Broderick ... Michael McPhee
Dody Goodman ... Mrs. Litke
Sal Viscuso ... Coach Roy
Panchito Gómez Panchito Gómez ... Luis (as Panchito Gomez)
Charley Lau Charley Lau ... Charley Lau
Mari Gorman ... Pat
Brian Part Brian Part ... Kevin Costello
Billie Bird ... Older Woman
Tessa Richarde Tessa Richarde ... Blonde at Shoe Store
Jim Staahl ... Man at Shoe Store (as James Staahl)
Duke Stroud ... Teacher
Sondra Blake ... Teacher
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Storyline

Nora is a single mother who lives with her son Michael in a small house. They don't have much money but at least they have each other. Out of the blue comes Nora's father Max Dugan, who left her and her mother when Nora was nine years old. He brings a suitcase with dollar bills and showers her and Michael with gifts, trying to make up for lost time, knowing that he has a fatal heart ailment. The money comes from his shady career in Las Vegas and Nora is dating a police who is very interested in meeting him... Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Prices are double. Your love life's in trouble. The car won't start. Your boss has no heart. The door squeaks. The roof leaks. Your stereo just went mono. All you need is a little Max Dugan. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 March 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Como caído del cielo See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,791,002, 27 March 1983, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$17,613,720
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

This film was an original screenplay written for the screen by Neil Simon and was not an adaptation of one of Simon's plays. See more »

Goofs

When Nora McPhee drives home on the motorcycle with her son and parks, she leaves the ignition on, as evidenced by the brightly glowing taillight that will turn off and on with the ignition switch. See more »

Quotes

Max Dugan: [Mike points the camcorder at Max] No, Mike, not me.
Michael McPhee: Why not?
Max Dugan: Well, certain primitive tribes believe that pictures steal your soul, and I don't have too much soul.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Yes Man (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Warm, funny and spirited--but leaves a curious question-mark behind...
17 April 2001 | by moonspinner55See all my reviews

As an actress, Marsha Mason always makes the best of an occasionally bad situation ("Audrey Rose", "Chapter Two"), yet in "Max Dugan Returns" she really gets to shine with excellent material. She has often played mothers, but Mason's relationship here with screen-son Matthew Broderick is extremely warm and real--it lives beyond the wisecracks--and as a daughter to Jason Robards she's funny and occasionally maternal. Plot about an L.A.-area teacher struggling to keep ahead of the bill collector has a jaunty, lively rhythm and a vitality that puts it above most family comedies. When the teacher gets a visit from her long-lost father, carrying a satchel of stolen money, the story thickens but doesn't bubble over. Director Herbert Ross does a good job at keeping the situation grounded. Donald Sutherland is perhaps an odd casting choice as the detective/love-interest investigating Pop (Sutherland has played so many heavies, he still has an evil glint in his eyes and an edge in his voice), however he makes the character right for him. Credit Neil Simon with one of his best scripts; he has no agenda here except to make us laugh, though that presents a problem when reality sinks in and daughter and dad have to deal with the moral (and legal) ramifications of the money. There are some quick lines at the finale designed to make the ending a happy one, but I'm not so sure Mason would be in the clear after the police become involved--nor would her romance with Sutherland be quite so rosy once he has to choose the law over his feelings for her. And why does Mason say "he's going to drive" at the finale when the car turns into an animated plane? Would Pop ditch the car at the airport? And what about that lunch date at Pizza Hut? When Mason and Broderick show up in a taxi, wouldn't detective Sutherland be a little bit suspicious? *** from ****


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