6 user 4 critic

Joshua Then and Now (1985)

The story of a Jewish writer, from his life as a young boy in Montreal to his more complicated grown-up life.


Ted Kotcheff


Mordecai Richler (novel), Mordecai Richler (screenplay)
5 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
James Woods ... Joshua Shapiro
Gabrielle Lazure ... Pauline Shapiro
Alan Arkin ... Reuben Shapiro
Michael Sarrazin ... Kevin Hornby
Linda Sorensen ... Esther Shapiro
Alan Scarfe ... Jack Trimble
Ken Campbell Ken Campbell ... Sidney Murdoch
Kate Trotter ... Jane Trimble
Alexander Knox ... Senator Hornby
Eric Kimmel Eric Kimmel ... Young Joshua Shapiro
Chuck Shamata ... Seymour Kaplan
Yuval Kernerman Yuval Kernerman ... Young Seymour Kaplan
Robert Joy ... Colin Fraser
Harvey Atkin ... Dr. Jonathan Cole
Paul Hecht Paul Hecht ... Eli Seligson


Successful Montréal-based writer Joshua Shapiro, in middle age, is facing both professional and personal crises, which make him reflect on his unusual life bringing him to where he is today. That success belies having grown up in the working class Jewish district of the city with his multi-career father, Reuben Shapiro (with most of those careers veering into the realm of the illegal), and his mother, Esther Shapiro, whose penchant for performing, which she demonstrated much to the delight of Joshua's friends at his bar mitzvah, took her into her own highly "exposed" career. Wanting to go to Spain to cover the conflict there in his younger years, he initially went to London instead, where he met arguably two of who would be the most important people in his life. The first is writer Sidney Murdoch, the two who eventually came up with a money making scheme at that time which is now the cause for one of those crises. The other is who was named Pauline Fraser (née Hornby) at the time of ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Some men rise to greatness because of their upbringing. Joshua did it in spite of his.


Comedy | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The last feature film of Alexander Knox. See more »

Alternate Versions

Co-produced by the Canadian National Broadcaster CBC, Joshua Then & Now was aired as a four-hour miniseries, with many scenes and subplots not included in the theatrical version. See more »

User Reviews

A movie deserving of more attention
14 December 2002 | by farleygrainerSee all my reviews

This is a wonderful movie that never sinks into sentimentality or farce. It would have been easy to overplay both of the Alan Arkin and the James Woods roles, and this movie could have become sappy or too slapstick. This is a gem of a movie that, unfortunately, probably has limited appeal. I think that it was finely written and wonderfully acted and deserves more attention that it has received.

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Release Date:

20 September 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Eine Liebe in Montreal See more »

Filming Locations:

Brockville, Ontario, Canada See more »


Box Office


CAD10,940,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Films RSL, Moviecorp X See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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