A former vaudevillian magician (MacLaine) moves her straight-laced niece (Garr) and her two mischievous children to a small town. When the two kids get in trouble with a neighbor for ... See full summary »


Christopher Monger





Cast overview, first billed only:
Louis Guzzo Louis Guzzo ... National Newscaster
Colin Baumgartner Colin Baumgartner ... Eddie
Hillary Wolf ... Emily
Teri Garr ... Kay Harris
Shirley MacLaine ... Aunt Zena
Jeff McCracken ... Charlie
William Dore William Dore ... Reverend Jones
Amanda Arguello Amanda Arguello ... Screaming Girl #1
Michelle Wartman Michelle Wartman ... Screaming Girl #2
Robert Hardwick Robert Hardwick ... Dr. Kelley
LeChelle Anne Goncalves LeChelle Anne Goncalves ... Screaming Girl #3
Robin Ginsburg Robin Ginsburg ... Miss Hicks / Miss Berg
Arthur H. Cahn Arthur H. Cahn ... Mr. Patterson
Lyn Tyrrell Lyn Tyrrell ... Woman in Crowd
Matt Magnano Matt Magnano ... Tommy (as Matthew Magnano)


A former vaudevillian magician (MacLaine) moves her straight-laced niece (Garr) and her two mischievous children to a small town. When the two kids get in trouble with a neighbor for stealing vegetables from his garden, the aunt concocts an illusion of ghosts in revenge. Only trouble is the whole town believes it is real and soon the press is swarming the town and a major magic trick is required for everyone to save face. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


In a scene set in 1962, characters tell the box-office clerk at a movie theater they want two tickets to The Miracle Worker. Prior to the introduction of multiplex cinemas years later, it was unnecessary to specify which movie you wanted to see because the theater was only showing one picture. See more »

Crazy Credits

After the closing credits, Kay (Teri Garr's character) changes the "open" sign on the diner door to "closed" See more »


Written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin
Performed by Little Eva
Courtesy of Rhino Records
Published by Screen Gems/EMI Music, Inc.
See more »

User Reviews

Bright and likable at first, but a bit of a mess by the end
1 June 2019 | by Marco_TrevisiolSee all my reviews

This film - a nostalgic look back at early 1960s America - initially has a lot going for it. The early scenes with single mother Kay Harris (Terri Garr) struggling with the pressures of troublemaking kids and an irascible aunt who leads the children into more mischief are amusing, fast-paced and generally engaging.

But once the plot switches to Kay inherting a rundown diner the film slowly goes downhill. The miracle narrative that takes over the film is predictable and uninteresting with an inept finale.

More significantly, too many new characters are introduced in the second half so that the film not only feels chaotic and messy, but that the central family we followed with interest in the first half feels like an afterthought. Especially so with Garr's character who becomes a supporting role in a film where she's supposedly the central character.

Overall, the film isn't too bad but should've been better than the afternoon TV timewaster that it is. Particularly so for the underrated Garr who after 15 years of impressive work saw her film career ebb away due to flops like this.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 9 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

2 November 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Waiting for the Light See more »

Filming Locations:

Buckley, Washington, USA See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$334,748, 4 November 1990

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Ultra Stereo



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed