7 user 8 critic

The Cemetery Club (1993)

PG-13 | | Comedy | 12 February 1993 (USA)
This comedy filled with much Jewish humor is about the widows Doris, Ester and Lucille, whose husbands die one after another in just a few years. Even though the three friends, all in their... See full summary »


Bill Duke


Ivan Menchell (play), Ivan Menchell (screenplay)
1 win. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Ellen Burstyn ... Esther Moskowitz
Olympia Dukakis ... Doris Silverman
Diane Ladd ... Lucille Rubin
Danny Aiello ... Ben Katz
Lainie Kazan ... Selma
Jeff Howell Jeff Howell ... Paul
Christina Ricci ... Jessica
Bernie Casey ... John
Alan Manson Alan Manson ... Abe Silverman
Sam Schwartz Sam Schwartz ... Irving Jacobs
Stephen Pearlman ... Rabbi
Gene Ray Gene Ray ... Photographer
Allan Pinsker Allan Pinsker ... Mel
Alice Eisner Alice Eisner ... Rene
Hy Anzell ... Al


This comedy filled with much Jewish humor is about the widows Doris, Ester and Lucille, whose husbands die one after another in just a few years. Even though the three friends, all in their 50's, react quite differently on their husbands deaths they become even closer than what they were as couples. They frequently visit their husband's graves together and talk about perspective lives. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sensuality and some language | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The music store used for Moskowitz Music is called Spratt Music, and it is outside of Pittsburgh, in Brentwood, PA. The Moskowitz sign created for the movie is still displayed in the window of the store as of 2000. See more »


Abe Silverman: I'm giving fifty. It goes down 25 dollars with each marriage.
See more »


Let The Dancing Begin
Written and Performed by Eric Copley
See more »

User Reviews

Fake Jewish, fake sentimental, fake funny, fake everything...
11 August 2007 | by moonspinner55See all my reviews

Ivan Menchell's screenplay for "The Cemetery Club", taken from his play, is a collection of lightly dramatic and comedic episodes which result in a half-hearted sitcom; it's a Jewish "Golden Girls" for under-achievers, and nobody involved with the picture looks as though they had great hopes for it. Three girlfriends in their 60s, all Jewish widows, grieve together, laugh together, attend weddings and funerals together, but when one of the gals thinks she's found a decent man, the other two interfere (out of jealousy or fear or maybe a bit of both). Possibly hoping to target the "Moonstruck" crowd, director Bill Duke plays on our nostalgic feelings for a cast full of familiar faces, warmly sentimental music on the soundtrack, and antiquated comic shtick which may strike some viewers as funny so long as they're into reruns. For a few brief moments, Ellen Burstyn and Danny Aiello create a cheery romantic rapport, but her introduction to him (fighting with a groundskeeper and being bitten in the leg!) is a gag that even Mel Brooks might have passed on. Writer Menchell is very fond of meet-cutes and warmly bitchy put-downs, and Burstyn has to struggle to carve out an interesting character (it doesn't help that she's weighed down with wigs and scarves and jackets). With its teary-eyed laughter and fake Jewish come-on, the movie appears to be a total fraud, yet there was the germ of a good idea here, particularly with Aiello's cab-driver (he's actually more interesting than the women). The capable cast certainly makes it watchable, but Duke's inconsistent rhythm and indecisive narrative puts a wall around these people--we don't even know for sure if these are likable people, so generic is the writing and handling. ** from ****

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Release Date:

12 February 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Looking for a Live One See more »

Filming Locations:

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$56,833, 7 February 1993

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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