5.8/10
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30 user 16 critic

Punchline (1988)

Steven Gold is a stand-up comedian who is flat broke and has recently dropped out of medical school. He and several others work regularly at the Gas Station, a New York comedy club. The ... See full summary »

Director:

David Seltzer

Writer:

David Seltzer
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1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sally Field ... Lilah Krytsick
Tom Hanks ... Steven Gold
John Goodman ... John Krytsick
Mark Rydell ... Romeo
Kim Greist ... Madeline Urie
Paul Mazursky ... Arnold
Pam Matteson Pam Matteson ... Utica Blake
George McGrath ... Singing Nun (as George Michael McGrath)
Taylor Negron ... Albert Emperato
Barry Neikrug Barry Neikrug ... Krug
Ángel Salazar ... Rico (as Angel Salazar)
Damon Wayans ... Percy
Joycee Katz Joycee Katz ... Joycee
Mac Robbins Mac Robbins ... Billy Lane
Max Alexander Max Alexander ... Mister Ball
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Storyline

Steven Gold is a stand-up comedian who is flat broke and has recently dropped out of medical school. He and several others work regularly at the Gas Station, a New York comedy club. The wages are lousy and everybody hopes for the big break. Lilah Krytsick is housewife with an ambition to be a stand-up comedian, however she doesnt seem to have the talent. Steven takes her under his wings and teaches her the art of comedy and humour. But when a TV station arranges a comedy evening at the club, Steve sees his opportunity for fame and stardom. Their friendship seems quickly forgotten and now it's every man and woman for him- or herself! Written by Mattias Pettersson <seaman@sbbs.se>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Dying is easy. Comedy is hard. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 October 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Punch Line See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$21,032,267
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For Sally Field, it was the characters in "Punchline" that most appealed to her, especially her role of Lilah Krytsick, the New Jersey housewife and mother who tries to become a stand-up comic, making a valiant effort to create something more of her life. Field said: "I saw the potential for interesting personalities interacting with each other in a fascinating arena. Lilah must renegotiate her life as she decides to make changes that affect not only herself but everyone around her. What was important to me was that Lilah be culpable in the dilemma, not this poor, put-upon housewife, the victim. That would have been boring. I felt that Lilah had to become responsible, not only for making the changes in her life, but for helping her family understand why she needed to make these changes and include them in the process". See more »

Goofs

When Sally Field comes home with a new haircut, she covers her face with a paper napkin. In varying scenes, she has it covered in different ways, and in some she does not have the napkin at all. See more »

Quotes

Albert Emperato: You don't want carpet! You want an area rug!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Siskel & Ebert: Why Gump? Why Now? (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Remember Tonight and Smile
Words and Music by Michael Pollock
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Punchline (1988)
12 March 2010 | by jazza923See all my reviews

55/100. David Seltzer's direction doesn't guide the film along as it should, he doesn't seem to know what direction to go in. . It jumps from comedy, to satire, heavy drama, romance and back again. Sally Fields and Tom Hanks try, but the material they are working with just doesn't know what it wants to be. The romantic angle is completely out of place, and overall the bitterness of the film is a turn off. Even the stand up comedy scenes shown in the film that are supposed to be good, simply aren't. The ending is not satisfying at all. It is a shame the stars didn't get better material, it could have worked so well in different hands.


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