A Chicago cop must balance loyalty to his overbearing mother and a relationship with a shy funeral home worker.


Chris Columbus


Chris Columbus





Cast overview, first billed only:
John Candy ... Danny Muldoon
Maureen O'Hara ... Rose Muldoon
Ally Sheedy ... Theresa Luna
Kevin Dunn ... Patrick Muldoon
Milo O'Shea ... Doyle
Bert Remsen ... Spats
Anthony Quinn ... Nick Acropolis
Jim Belushi ... Salvatore Buonarte (as James Belushi)
Joe Greco Joe Greco ... Johnny Luna
Marvin J. McIntyre ... Father Strapovic
Macaulay Culkin ... Billy Muldoon
Kieran Culkin ... Patrick Muldoon Jr.
Allen Hamilton ... O'Neal
Teri McEvoy Teri McEvoy ... Susan Muldoon
Bernie Landis Bernie Landis ... Larry


Danny, a cop, meets and falls in love with Theresa. They get engaged, despite sneaking around behind his mother's back, but when push comes to shove, he can't quite quit worrying about his mother long enough to be any kind of lover to Theresa. Written by Gregg Long <diggerblue@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Man, The Woman, The Mother.


Comedy | Romance


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Chris Columbus wrote the script with Maureen O'Hara in mind for the role of the mother. Once casting had begun, he insisted on having O'Hara play the role, and began a search for her. What he didn't know, was that she had long since retired, and was living on St. Croix in the U.S.Virgin Islands. Knowing her brother Charles B. Fitzsimons was still in the movie industry, Columbus contacted him, and had a script sent. O'Hara's brother then sent the script to her, and said, "This you do!" After reading the script herself, Maureen contacted her brother and said, "This I do!" See more »


Danny's brother tells him he got Danny's boss to "transfer him to a precinct in Florida." City police departments are self governing -- there is no way anyone in the Chicago police department could transfer anyone to a precinct in another city. See more »


Father Strapovic: You feel threatened by Theresa.
Rose: Threatened?
Father Strapovic: Yes. See, she's taking up a lot of Danny's time, so you're feeling threatened that she's trying to steal your son.
Rose: What?
Father Strapovic: Rose, I know you realize it's the nineties, I'm just not sure you realize it's the *nineteen* nineties.
See more »


Ain't That a Kick in the Head
Written by Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen
Performed by Dean Martin
Courtesy of Capitol Records
By Arrangement with CEMA Special Markets
See more »

User Reviews

A John Candy Classic , Funny & Heartwarming
2 March 2012 | by funky_cherry86See all my reviews

John Candy was one of the most gifted actors in Hollywood having seen his performances in Splash, Uncle Buck, Spaceballs and Cool Runnings he had a great talent for both comedy and drama. Only the Lonely is a funny little gem that also features the great acting of Maureen O'Hara, Jim Belushi & Ally Sheedy.

The story is simple a lonely Chicago cop in his late 30's finds romance with the daughter of a funeral parlour owner he must also deal with his mother who disapproves of the relationship. Maureen O'Hara portrayed the role of Rose Muldoon to perfection, she comes across as a tight fisted iron willed Irish woman who tells it like it is without any regard of who gets hurt.

Danny Muldoon (Candy) is a 38 year old police officer who still lives with with his mother in Chicago he is always worried about her to the point of having nightmares in which something bad happens. still single and longing to find love soon enough his search ends up in the one place nobody would expect. One evening at a bar Danny crosses paths with Theresa Luna (Sheedy) the shy daughter of funeral parlour owner Johnny Luna (Greco). The next day he heads to the parlour where Theresa does make up for the stiffs. He asks her out, she says yes. The funniest scene is when they are on the date and he tells an amusing story about his brother Patrick's (Dunn) bachelor party.

Another plot of the film sees Nick Acropolis (Quinn) Danny's neighbour trying to win the affections of his mother he's been asking her out for years she keeps turning him down. However by the end of the film after accepting her son's choice to be with the love of his life she warms up to Nick's charms.

Funny & filled with many dramatic moments Only The Lonely is a good gem of a movie for anyone out there. Rest In Peace John you are missed.

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English | Irish | Greek

Release Date:

24 May 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Only the Lonely See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,997,993, 27 May 1991

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby SR



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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