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American Dreamer (1984)

Frustrated housewife/writer Cathy Palmer ghostwrites a story about Rebecca Ryan, a dashing international spy, and wins a trip to Paris. While there, she is involved in an accident, and ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kevin Palmer Jr. (as C.B. Barnes)
Karl Palmer
Jean Rougerie ...
Pierre Santini ...
Léon Zitrone ...
Alain Flick ...
Train Passenger #1
Yassan Khan ...
Train Passenger #2
Christian de Tillière ...
Train Passenger #3
André Valardy ...
Robin Coleman ...
Golf Buddy #1


Frustrated housewife/writer Cathy Palmer ghostwrites a story about Rebecca Ryan, a dashing international spy, and wins a trip to Paris. While there, she is involved in an accident, and awakens in the hospital believing she IS Rebecca Ryan. Much craziness ensues as she meets the writer of the Rebecca Ryan books, thwarts real international spies, and eventually gets her memory back. Written by Suzanne Houghton <tpk@infonaut.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TOM CONTI of Reuben Reuben with JO BETH WILLIAMS See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

26 October 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A nagy álmodozó  »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,580,990, 28 October 1984, Wide Release

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Final film of Coral Browne. See more »


When Rebecca Ryan's signature is shown on receipts for the various outfits purchased, the spelling changes back and forth from Rebecca Ryan to Rebeca Ryan. See more »


Inspector Klaus: What are you trying to tell me? Is she Rebecca Ryan or is she not Rebecca Ryan?
Alan McMann: I told you! There is no such person.
Inspector Klaus: But she sat right here!
Alan McMann: No! She thinks she's a character in a book. She thinks I'm a character in a book. She even thinks my mother is a character in a book. The woman is crazy!
Inspector Klaus: She is not the only one.
Alan McMann: Look, you have got to do something because the priest's death was not an accident. That bullet, and this one, were meant for Rebecca.
Inspector Klaus: The women that does not exist...
Alan McMann: No, of ...
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The Blue Danube Waltz
Written by Johann Strauss (as Johann Strauss)
Played at the embassy party.
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User Reviews

Finally will be Released on DVD in 2005
1 October 2004 | by See all my reviews

American Dreamer (1984) *** (out of 4)

I think that this film is one of those 1980s films that seemed to have lived its life only on cable stations, though it really is a light, charming, entertaining fantasy comedy. JoBeth Williams (POLTERGEIST) plays Kathy Palmer, an amateur novelist who wins a writing contest involving a mystery series featuring a detective named Rebecca Ryan. She wins a trip to Paris and while there gets knocked down by a car, develops amnesia, and then believes herself to be Ryan! I know exactly why this film is loved by many people---women in particular---and it's a shame that it didn't get a better reception at the theatrical release. My theory is that many critics at the time thought it was a rip-off of ROMANCING THE STONE (indeed, there are similarities which cannot be ignored), though it really soon goes off on its own path and scores, with a cast that is aiming to please. Tom Conti is delightful as the French chap who gets involved in Palmer's world of craziness, and Giancarlo Gianninni is both hysterical and engaging as the mysterious man who Palmer is determined to track down (as Rebecca Ryan of course).

I've been afraid that this film would never see the light of day on DVD, despite the number of admirers this film has. However, I contacted someone at CBS, Inc. (which produced and released it back in 1984), and they said that in 2005 (no date or even period has been set) it will be released on DVD through Paramount, which is their sister company. I've even sent a letter to director Rick Rosenthal to see if he would be able to a Director's Commentary---many DVD conossiers like me know all too well that Paramount sucks when it comes to putting special features on DVD. So, be ready to see it on the shelves next year!!!

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