4.5/10
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31 user 8 critic

The Telephone (1988)

A crazy out of work actress, Vashti Blue, spends all her time in her small apartment with her pet owl and her telephone, which she uses to try and solve all her problems with life.

Director:

Rip Torn

Writers:

Harry Nilsson (screenplay), Terry Southern (screenplay)
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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Whoopi Goldberg ... Vashti Blue
Severn Darden ... Max
Elliott Gould ... Rodney
John Heard ... Telephone Man
Ronald J. Stallings Ronald J. Stallings ... Saxophone Player
John Hattan John Hattan ... Sidewalk Vendor
Lina Chu Lina Chu ... Sidewalk Vendor
James Victor ... Big Ray on Answering Machine (voice)
Robin Menken Robin Menken ... Voice on the Freeway (voice)
Danae Torn Danae Torn ... Midge on Answering Machine (voice)
Hervé Villechaize ... Voice on the Freeway (voice)
Don Blakely ... Larry on Answering Machine / Voice on the Freeway (voice)
Amy Wright ... Honey Boxe / Irate Neighbor / Jennifer on Answering Machine
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Storyline

One evening, unemployed actress Vashti Blue (Whoopi Goldberg) returns to the apartment she shares with her pet goldfish and owl. On the answering machine, Vashti listens to her messages, and hears her agent remind her of an audition, as well as a notification about her overdue telephone bill. She also hears a voice she believes is her former lover, Larry. Throughout the night, Vashti entertains herself by dialing different telephone numbers, talking to the local market, video store, police station, and her friend, Jennifer. The noise from the calls causes Vashti's next-door neighbor to yell at her in frustration. Later, Vashti's former agent, Rodney, and his new client, "Honey Boxe," arrive, asking to use her telephone. However, Vashti refuses Rodney's request. Rodney tells Vashti that her bad attitude always made it difficult to find her acting jobs. Annoyed, Vashti asks Rodney and Honey Boxe to leave. But the best and and most is about to come.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Everybody's got one. Some people just know how to use it. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Whoopi Goldberg had John A. Alonzo replaced as cinematographer by her then-husband David Claessen. See more »

Goofs

Goldberg's character insists Frank Capra directed a movie called Christmas in July. Capra never did. There is a movie called Christmas in July (1940), but it was directed by Preston Sturges. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: The Fantastic Four (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Sweet Georgia Brown
Written by Ben Bernie, Maceo Pinkard and Kenneth Casey
© 1925 Warner Bros, Inc (Renewed) (A.S.C.A.P.)
See more »

User Reviews

Brilliant early Whoopi
20 June 2002 | by akhenaton8010See all my reviews

The film has all the humor, wit and charm of Whoopi Goldberg's, multi-character, one-person shows with a more cohesive aspect defined by a single, central character. Notice the "hats-off" to Richard Pryor and a final plot twist that shocks and tugs heart strings simultaneously. This one might cruise right over your head. Watch it more than once.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 January 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Telefon Terror See more »

Filming Locations:

San Francisco, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,200,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$54,811, 24 January 1988

Gross USA:

$99,978

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$99,978
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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