6.3/10
6,877
58 user 32 critic

Permanent Midnight (1998)

Trailer
2:11 | Trailer
A comedy writer struggles to overcome his addiction to heroin.

Director:

David Veloz

Writers:

Jerry Stahl (book), David Veloz (screenplay)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ben Stiller ... Jerry Stahl
Maria Bello ... Kitty
Jay Paulson ... Phoenix Punk
Spencer Garrett ... Brad / Tim from Mr. Chompers
Owen Wilson ... Nicky
Elizabeth Hurley ... Sandra
Lourdes Benedicto ... Vola
Fred Willard ... Craig Ziffer
Chauncey Leopardi ... Jerry at 16
Mary Thompson Mary Thompson ... Grandma Whittle
Connie Nielsen ... Dagmar
Charles Fleischer ... Allen from Mr. Chompers
Liz Torres ... Dita
Douglas Spain ... Miguel
Janeane Garofalo ... Jana Farmer
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Storyline

Comedy writer Jerry Stahl, whose $6000-a-week heroin habit had him taking his infant daughter along on his drug runs and doing smack during TV script conferences. Departing detox, Stahl explores memories with survivor Kitty, who listens patiently to Stahl's flashback. Other women in Stahl's life are his British wife Sandra and his agent Vola. For the TV series "Mr. Chompers" (inspired by ALF), Stahl meets with sitcom exec Craig Ziffer and puppeteer Allen. For freaky freebasing, Stahl hangs with mumbler Nicky and druggie Gus. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive graphic drug use, strong sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The fictional television show "Mr. Chompers" was based on author Jerry Stahl's experience writing for ALF (1986). The other television series was based on Stahl's experiences on Twin Peaks (1990) and Moonlighting (1985), and its star was apparently based on Cybill Shepherd. See more »

Goofs

After Jerry picks up his daughter from Sandra to babysit her (at approximately [1:01:40]), he can be seen driving down the road sitting on the right hand side of the car. This is not consistent with other scenes in the movie and furthermore, the driver is clearly not Ben Stiller. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jerry: You know what's mortifying? Smack is like the leisure suit of the nineties. Instead of wrecking dad's Buick on prom might, these little suburban fucks are coping habits and OD'ing in the rec room.
Kitty: And you're different, because?
Jerry: I never got to the prom.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The DVD features 3 deleted scenes:
  • A wasted Jerry hitting on Owen Wilson's character's girlfriend and being thrown out.
  • A long haired Jerry working for Hustler magazine.
  • A stoned Jerry buying a muffin and being beaten with a baseball bat by the store clerk.
See more »

Connections

References Mad Max (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

Take Your Time
Performed by Spiritualized
Written and Produced by Jason Pierce (as J. Spaceman)
Published by Chrysalis Music (BMI)
Courtesy of Dedicated/Arista Records, Inc.
See more »

User Reviews

Smart black comedy with Ben Stiller's best performance to date.
21 August 2002 | by InfofreakSee all my reviews

I think Ben Stiller is one of the most talented comic actors currently working, even though he is often in awful movies (e.g. 'Zoolander', 'The Suburbans'). 'Permanent Midnight' is one of the best movies he has been involved with and features what is arguably his single finest performance. Based on the autobiography of TV hack writer Jerry Stahl, this is a smart, fresh and blackly humorous look at addiction and Hollywood. Stiller has a fine supporting cast here, especially his buddies and frequent co-stars Owen Wilson ('Bottle Rocket') and Janeane Garofolo ('Reality Bites'), the amazingly charismatic star-in-the-making Peter Greene ('Laws Of Gravity'), and comedy veteran Fred Willard ('Best In Show'), who all have small but memorable roles. Hell, even Liz Hurley and Cheryl Ladd are good in this, believe it or not. 'Permanent Midnight' was, like so many other good movies that don't pander to a mass audience, a box office flop, but will hopefully find a larger audience in years to come via video and DVD. I think it is one of the most underrated movies of the last ten years, and highly recommend it.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 April 1999 (Iceland) See more »

Also Known As:

Permanent Midnight See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$260,562, 20 September 1998

Gross USA:

$1,171,001

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,171,001
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

JD Productions See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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