Maxie (1985) Poster


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What more could you want from a movie?
budmassey1 June 2001
There is a gentleness to this movie, a lack of meanness, anger, angst or aggression, that automatically alienates the majority of moviegoers too obsessed with violence and noise to appreciate things like dialog, tone and mood.

Mandy Patinkin, a national treasure better known for his work on Broadway than in film, appears as a rare book librarian whose wife, Jan, (Glenn Close) becomes possessed by Maxie Malone, 1920's firebrand whose untimely death ended her movie career before it began. Close is adorable in quite different ways as both Jan and Maxie, although in the end, you really wish Maxie could get more face time.

Alas, the living couple decide their spectral third wheel must go, and even though she does win a part that proves she would have been a star, she agrees to take a powder.

Patinkin and Close create characters about whom we care and in whose lives we can take an interest. Ruth Gordon, who passed away shortly after filming, is hilarious, endearing, and a bit sad, as Trudie, Maxie's flapper friend who survived her friend to become an eccentric old woman. In fact, there is a thread of melancholy that runs through the film, but in the end, it leaves you feeling uplifted and optimistic. That in itself makes this movie a treasure.

There is a side-splitting audition scene with Maxie and Harry Hamlin in a cameo playing himself. Barnard Hughes is Maxie's boss, a Bishop who feels an exorcism is in order to banish the freewheeling Maxie. There's even an uncredited appearance by Carole Lombard in the young Maxie's silent film clip.

I don't know what it is about this movie that is so beautiful. It's hard to describe. But it may be the complete lack of the ugliness that pollutes most movies these days. Every time I watch Maxie, I come away feeling refreshed and renewed. What more could you want from a movie?
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Would highly recommend....
phxbus24 June 2001
Maxie is an absolutely delightful comedy based upon the 1973 novel by Jack Finney, `Marion's Wall'. Filmed primarily in San Francisco, this 1985 movie stars Glenn Close and Mandy Patinkin with the wonderful Ruth Gordon in a supporting role. Close plays a double role as Patinkin's wife, Jan, and as Maxie, a 20's vaudeville actress, who returns to this plane to occupy Jan's body. Glenn Close is really fabulous in these roles. This is a great movie based on the fact that it is a great story, with excellent acting. Maxie doesn't rely on massive special effects or inane contemporary music. It is classic comedy that leaves you feeling good when the film is over. This is 98 minutes of excellent entertainment that I would highly recommend.
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Wonderful film!
gflenard4 March 2010
After purchasing my first VCR, this is one of the first films I rented.

Being in High School, at the time...I suppose it had an impression on me.

This movie is fantastic with Mandy, Glenn, and...of course the unforgettable Ruth Gordon.

Since the advent of DVD...I have been hoping for it's release. I relish the day.

Out of all the who know how many movies I've seen...this is one that touched me and counts as one of the greatest. I especially love "Bye, Bye, Blackbird". This was sung by Glenn, herself as "Maxie"
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Throughly Modern, too.
ptb-826 February 2004
This a lovely romantic film that was tossed away on first release and is well worth tracking and enjoying. I saw it on a double feature (and it screened first) with DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN and the audience were clearly annoyed when MAXIE started. They wanted the Madonna film. Within ten minutes it was clear we had been served a delicious appetiser. Within half and hour there was obvious surprise, and by the time 90 mins had passed we had all forgotten about Madonna. When intermission arrived, the crowd was buzzing with sheer delight at this wonderful timeless discovery and the audience went into SUSAN in such a good mood it played like funniest movie ever made. Add MAXIE to your list of 'must see' films. It the sort of small and rewarding film that causes a person at a party to scream with the thrill of meeting someone who has also seen it.
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One of my favorites
Cidla29 June 2003
Maxie is one of my favorites. What is especially excellent is Glenn Close's ability to change between Jan and Maxie, by only a subtle change in expression. She was remarkable. Ruth Gordon too, made the movie memorable . As her last picture, it was a fitting tribute to a great actress. The entire movie couldn't be better. I am giving it a 10.
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Great fun, sweet, no foul language, no violence, no gore no blood - what delight!
tildakovach-396-67970818 December 2013
I loved every minute of it; finally found a rare movie without gore, blood, violence, foul language, obscenities, brutality, car chases, guns, fighting - just pure, clean fun! Why isn't it shown lately??? we do get whole load of repeats of movies that contain all the above vile, yet this is never shown - got it as pure chance long time ago on a video. All main line channels show repeats after repeats specially at Christmas, but never this. WHY? SO BRING THIS OUT!! and please do not make a new version of it - every time anyone does a "new" version it is inferior to the old one, just leave it alone and show it please. Glenn Close is such fun, she seems to revel in this role - what shame she did not do more like it! TV channels please take notice!
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Maxie, great viewing...
mumof3uk5 November 2006
Nick played by Mandy Patinkin(Criminal Minds & Dead Like Me) and Jan, Glen Close (Dangerous Liasons and Reversal of Fortune) move into a new apartment in San Fransisco. When weird things start happening and Jan starts behaving oddly, the landlady Mrs Lavin, Ruth Gordon (Every which way but loose) tells them about Maxie, a 1920's potential starlet, who died before an audition that would make her a real star..

As it turns out Maxie has found a way to take over Jan. Close plays both parts wonderfully, switching seamlessly between the flighty, flirty, flapper and the conservative Jan.

My favourite scene has to be the Bye bye blackbird solo. Close is fabulous.... Ruth Gordon is exquisitely scatty, yet poignant in places. Patinkin is sadly mediocre, but good to see he went on to more suitable roles..

Maxie is using Jan's body to try to see if she'd have made the big time had she lived long enough..... Will she succeed?? You have to watch and see for yourself.....
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not Maxie-mum quality, but passable
lee_eisenberg1 May 2006
In another spin on "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde", Glenn Close plays Jan, woman who gets comically possessed by the ghost of Maxie, a 1920s flapper who got killed just as she was about to star in a movie. Sure enough, Jan goes back and forth between herself and Maxie at the most inconvenient times, and Maxie still wants to debut in a movie.

Yeah, how many movies can there be like this? But "Maxie" isn't all that bad. True, it's not a masterpiece by any stretch, but the pace keeps it from getting boring. It shows that Close can do silly comedy when she tries. Mandy Patinkin, as Jan's husband, seems even more fit for his role. Nothing special, but OK. Also starring Ruth Gordon.
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Light Romantic Comedy that Won't Waste Your Time
ms3966 December 2005
I've always had an unusual name- Maxie. I asked my parents where it was from. A movie, they said, that come out in 1985, the majority of the year that my mother spent pregnant with me. A few years ago, the movie Maxie was on a premium station and I was actually able to sit down and watch it. While the premise is unfathomable, Maxie is a light comedy about the rekindling of old flames and the possibility of reaching your dreams. Glenn Close's acting was one of her best. She was amazing in her portrayal of a guarded housewife to a fun, life loving 1920's actress named Maxie. The shift and broad spectrum to which Close portrays the characters enables me to see why she was praised as highly as she has been. I would recommend it to anyone who has some extra time and doesn't mind seeing a somewhat cheesy 80's romantic comedy. The 80's were an amazing decade, after all.
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Read it and weep!
atomic-cocktail-ent13 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Maxie is a childhood favorite of mine that used to get a lot of airtime on cable in the mid-80s, now largely forgotten. The basic premise is Jan, the uptight and conservative secretary of a San Francisco bishop, becomes possessed by the spirit of 20s jazz baby and starlet, Maxie Malone (played by Glenn Close in a dual role). Mandy Patinkin plays her hapless, yet gentle husband, Nick, and the whole movie deals with the shenanigans of Maxie's return to the living world. Ruth Gordon has a brief, yet touching role as Maxie's best friend Trudy. A pity there wasn't more of her in this film.

Maxie died in a car crash on the way to a movie audition in 1927, which could've potentially made her a star. The conflict arises because of Nick's strong attraction to Maxie and his love for his wife. Close (as Maxie) and Patinkin have plenty of chemistry and there was a part of me that wished Maxie took over completely and kicked Jan to the curb.

At times both the characters of Jan and Maxie were slightly irritating. I cannot explain why I felt that way, but I did at certain moments. Close is not one of my favorite actresses, but she does a decent job here. One of the best scenes is the blazingly white hot "Bye Bye Blackbird" number. Throughout the movie my allegiance switched back and forth between Jan and Maxie, so it was a bit disconcerting.

The problem with this film that I noticed now that I've seen it as an adult is the payoff is never really there. There's certain characters like the Ruth Gordon one that could've been expanded on more, the bishop talking about performing an exorcism on Jan, but we never see it, and other characters that are just "there" for no real reason and don't advance the story along any.

The end with Jan and Nick escaping the hotel in silly disguises was unnecessary. Although I love movies about the 20s, this film wasn't as enjoyable as it was when I was a kid. It's not a terrible film, but it could've had a lot more comedic potential. It's not a bad movie to watch on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
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Seriously Perplexed By Low Reviews
plazaliz20 February 2015
I really don't understand reviews under five on this one. I've seen some pitiful movies, including two featuring Brad Pitt very early in his career. Even his gorgeous face couldn't remove the cringe-factor from Johnny Suede and The Dark Side of the Sun. (I have to give Mr. Pitt a 10 in the humility category for not using his money/influence to have them scourged from the face of the earth). I know this is not a Brad Pitt movie but I can pretty well guarantee that if you see those two movies you will in no way consider this movie below 5. It's not even really fair to make that comparison because Maxie is a good movie. Maxie is a favorite of mine, as well as many of my girlfriends, and my 20+ daughter and her crowd adore it. The twenty-somethings love 80's movies and from the first moment I brought out a taped copy of Maxie for my daughter and a group of her overnight friends they were hooked. I'm a professional with an affection for gangster/mob movies, and do not care for the average Lifetime flick, so no Pollyanna here, and still I consider Maxie fun, charming, entertaining and completely delightful. My husband didn't dis the movie like he has done many romcoms, and although not a big Glenn Close fan, he liked her in this. It was, as someone else described, refreshing. I lost my copy and while online to look for it decided to see how reviewers treated it here. Disappointing. I have moved and have a new group of friends who have not seen it. It's a feel good movie that we would do well to have more of these days. I recommend for a girls'-night-out, a mom/daughter evening or even date night. Like my husband, your significant other might be pleasantly surprised.
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It opens itself up to ridicule...
moonspinner558 March 2008
Released one weekend prior to the crime-thriller "Jagged Edge", "Maxie", also starring Glenn Close, sank like a stone in 1985, which must have pained the actress. Looking back, she may be glad the film wasn't widely-seen, as it clearly demonstrates her weaknesses as a movie personality. Modern-day lady in San Francisco becomes possessed by the spirit of a 1920s flapper who used to occupy her house (it's Maxie's pad...). The woman's husband is perplexed but not disappointed, as devilish Maxie exudes much more sex appeal than his spouse! "Maxie" (terrible title!) is sunk by a tired script, handled in TV sitcom fashion, as well as by Close's valiant yet ultimately lackluster performance. In her films leading up to 1987's "Fatal Attraction", Glenn Close projected a womanly wisdom and Earth Mother niceness that gave her supporting roles an inviting glow. In these bewitching circumstances, she's far too grounded to be convincing as a fanciful flake; and when Close struggles to bring the picture some pizazz, the writing and direction fail to meet her or co-star Mandy Patinkin half-way. * from ****
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JohnSeal8 February 2002
I must be one of those jaded moviegoers in need of violence, nudity, and cheap thrills, because I found Maxie one of the most nauseatingly sweet concoctions to come off the Hollywood assembly line. It's sad to see Ruth Gordon wasting away on screen and unfortunate to see the immensely talented Mandy Patinkin shackled by a paint by numbers script. I must admit that Glenn Close is one of my least favourite film actresses of all time, and her performance here does little to change my opinion of her limited abilities. Add in a cloying soundtrack from a sadly past his prime Georges Delerue, and you have a film that is the aural equivalent of Ju Ju Bes: disgustingly sweet with absolutely no flavour or nutritional value.
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The Worst Movie I've Ever Seen
Marrenp15 February 2008
I was really rooting for this movie. I really liked the actors. My wife and I sat there, more and more aghast at how horrible it was, when it took a plot turn that was SO stupid, so VERY stupid, that my wife and I looked at each other and wordlessly got up, put on our coats, turned around -- and found that we were the only people left in the theater.

It's really that bad. Wretched. It's written as though the idea of a ghost was something no one had ever thought of before. To say it insulted my intelligence would be an overstatement, because it was too incoherent and stupid to even mount an insult.

Avoid this film like the bubonic plague.
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