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Brighton Beach Memoirs (1986)

PG-13 | | Comedy | 25 December 1986 (USA)
Eugene, a young teenage Jewish boy, recalls his memoirs of his time as an adolescent youth. He goes through the hardships of puberty, sexual fantasy, and living the life of a poor boy in a crowded house.

Director:

Gene Saks

Writers:

Neil Simon (play), Neil Simon (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jonathan Silverman ... Eugene Morris Jerome
Blythe Danner ... Kate
Stacey Glick ... Laurie
Lisa Waltz ... Nora
Judith Ivey ... Blanche
Bob Dishy ... Jack
Brian Drillinger Brian Drillinger ... Stanley
James Handy ... Frank Murphy
Bette Henritze Bette Henritze ... Mrs. Murphy
Steven Hill ... Mr. Stroheim
David Margulies ... Mr. Farber
Fyvush Finkel ... Mr. Greenblatt
Kathleen Doyle ... Mrs. Laski
Alan Weeks Alan Weeks ... Andrew
Marilyn Cooper Marilyn Cooper ... Woman in Street
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Storyline

Eugene, a young teenage Jewish boy, recalls his memoirs of his time as an adolescent youth. He lives with his parents, his aunt, two cousins, and his brother, Stanley, whom he looks up to and admires. He goes through the hardships of puberty, sexual fantasy, and living the life of a poor boy in a crowded house. Written by Jason Ihle <jrihl@conncoll.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The heart-winning story based on his award-winning play. See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of eleven movies made by writer Neil Simon and producer Ray Stark. The films, most made at Rastar Pictures with film studio Columbia, include Murder by Death (1976), The Cheap Detective (1978), California Suite (1978), Chapter Two (1979), The Sunshine Boys (1975), Seems Like Old Times (1980), The Goodbye Girl (1977), The Slugger's Wife (1985), Brighton Beach Memoirs (1986), Biloxi Blues (1988) and Lost in Yonkers (1993). See more »

Quotes

Eugene: What if they took a shower together - Aunt Blanche and Nora? If I could walk in and see that I'd thank God and become a rabbi.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Biloxi Blues (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Jungle Drums (Canto Karabali)
Written by Ernesto Lecuona, Carmen Lombardo and Charles O'Flynn
Performed by Guy Lombardo & The Royal Canadians (as His Royal Canadians)
See more »

User Reviews

 
I have seen the Golden Palace of the Himalayas. Puberty is over! Onward and upward!
14 September 2019 | by hitchcockthelegendSee all my reviews

Brighton Beach Memoirs is directed by Gene Saks and adapted to the screen from his own play by Neil Simon. It stars Jonathan Silverman, Blythe Danner, Judith Ivey, Bob Dishy, Stacey Glick, Lisa Waltz and Brian Dillinger. Music is by Michael Small and cinematography by John Bailey.

This is the first of what would become a trilogy of films detailing the adventures and learnings of Neil Simon's life trajectory. His alias in the three productions comes in the guise of Eugene Morris Jerome, here played by Silverman, and by Matthew Broderick in Biloxi Blues (1988) and Corey Parker in Broadway Bound (1992). This is set in 1937 Brooklyn, New York, and finds Eugene, a Polish-Jewish American youngster experiencing sexual awakening in a family home packed to the rafters.

Having never seen a Neil Simon play before I have no frame of reference, either here or with Biloxi Blues, the latter of which is a personal favourite. So taking it on its filmic terms only, it delivers much of the requisite razor sharp humour that was a trait of the hugely talented writer. The young version of Eugene here has sporting dreams as well as that of being a professional writer, his literary bent evident in his vocal discourse with his family and us on the fourth wall. He's the family gofer, a slave to his adoring but firm handed mother, as if battling the on-set of puberty wasn't taxing enough!

Though primarily humourous in narrative drive, the serious side of family values is always a strong current within. Gambling addiction also features, so to does vivid sibling rivalry later in life, while the dangling thread of Polish family members trying to exit their homeland for a better life in New York strikes a poignant chord. I can't vouch for accents or adherence to natural race standards, but the sense of the period and areas (real location filming of course) is impressive - the cast uniformly tight to the material's various themes.

Obviously not for everyone, but for those not bothered by closeness to the play, and those who love the sort of zingy dialogue found in other Simon film adaptations, then this hits the spot for sure. 8/10


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 December 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Neil Simon's Brighton Beach Memoirs See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,580,750, 28 December 1986

Gross USA:

$11,957,943

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$11,957,943
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Rastar Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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