24 user 3 critic

Seize the Day (1986)

Unrated | | Drama | 1 May 1987 (USA)
Tommy Wilhelm is a good honest man who's fallen on hard times after losing his job, but what really gets to Tommy is seeing both his friends and family turning their backs on him one after the other. He tries to seize the day - in vain.


Fielder Cook


Saul Bellow (novel), Ronald Ribman (screenplay)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Robin Williams ... Tommy Wilhelm
Richard B. Shull ... Rojax
David Bickford ... Son-in-Law
Glenne Headly ... Olive
Stephen Strimpell Stephen Strimpell ... Stockbroker
Joseph Wiseman ... Dr. Adler
Jayne Heller Jayne Heller ... Mrs. Adler
Katherine Borowitz ... Margaret
John Fiedler ... Carl
William Duell William Duell ... Joey
Jerry Stiller ... Dr. Tamkin
James Cahill James Cahill ... Phil
Louis Guss Louis Guss ... Rubin
Gillien Goll ... Receptionist
Mara Lori Mara Lori ... Little Girl


Tommy Wilhelm (Robin Williams) is a salesman. An honest, hard-working guy who has lost his job, his girlfriend, and left part of his sanity behind as he heads to New York to pick up the pieces of his life. He's always been able to sell, but caught in a downward spiral, he must, in addition, face the father who never really understood him, while trying to balance his newly precarious existence Written by monterey media/Learning in Focus, Inc.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Losers aren't born, they're made.




Unrated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Final film of Jo Van Fleet. See more »


As Tommy drives through the suburbs, cars from the 1980s can be seen parked in driveways. See more »


Dr. Tamkin: Don't marry suffering the way some people do. They marry suffering. They eat with suffering. They sleep with suffering. And if they find some joy in their lives they think they're committing adultery.
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the end credits have rolled, this can be seen: ...for Joe, who taught so many to seize each day. See more »

User Reviews

Excellent acting, possible connection to Dead Poets' Society
5 April 2005 | by vpoholekSee all my reviews

8 out of 10. An unrecognized gem. His acting is excellent, better than most all other actors. He is particularly gifted in his drama and dramedy (drama/comedy) skills. He is specific, vulnerable, and challenges the very audience who watches him. This film (and his others) deserve greater recognition and he should be cast in more meaty roles. And more movies. And then win all the awards... Was the title "Seize the Day" was an unknowing sign of things to come? Maybe. Who could have foretold of his future excellence in the dramatic flick "Dead Poets' Society"? For those who remember, in that film, he taught the boys the importance of living. He repeated Carpe Diem, Carpe Diem, which is Latin for Seize the Day.

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Release Date:

1 May 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Seize the Day See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Learning in Focus See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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