7.4/10
115,788
562 user 130 critic

Man on the Moon (1999)

Trailer
2:24 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $3.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
The life and career of legendary comedian Andy Kaufman.

Director:

Milos Forman
Reviews
Popularity
3,827 ( 536)
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 4 wins & 23 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A behind-the-scenes look at how Jim Carrey adopted the persona of idiosyncratic comedian Andy Kaufman on the set of Man on the Moon (1999).

Director: Chris Smith
Stars: Jim Carrey, Danny DeVito, Milos Forman
The Cable Guy (1996)
Comedy | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A lonely and mentally disturbed cable guy raised on television just wants a new friend, but his target, a designer, rejects him, with bad consequences.

Director: Ben Stiller
Stars: Jim Carrey, Matthew Broderick, Leslie Mann
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A nice-guy cop with dissociative identity disorder must protect a woman on the run from a corrupt ex-boyfriend and his associates.

Directors: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly
Stars: Jim Carrey, Renée Zellweger, Anthony Anderson
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A goofy detective specializing in animals goes in search of the missing mascot of the Miami Dolphins.

Director: Tom Shadyac
Stars: Jim Carrey, Courteney Cox, Sean Young
The Majestic (2001)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Set in 1951, a blacklisted Hollywood writer gets into a car accident, loses his memory and settles down in a small town where he is mistaken for a long-lost son.

Director: Frank Darabont
Stars: Jim Carrey, Martin Landau, Bob Balaban
Adventure | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Ace Ventura, Pet Detective, returns from a spiritual quest to investigate the disappearance of a rare white bat, the sacred animal of a tribe in Africa.

Director: Steve Oedekerk
Stars: Jim Carrey, Ian McNeice, Simon Callow
Liar Liar (1997)
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A fast-track lawyer can't lie for 24 hours due to his son's birthday wish after he disappoints his son for the last time.

Director: Tom Shadyac
Stars: Jim Carrey, Maura Tierney, Amanda Donohoe
The Mask (1994)
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Bank clerk Stanley Ipkiss is transformed into a manic superhero when he wears a mysterious mask.

Director: Chuck Russell
Stars: Jim Carrey, Cameron Diaz, Peter Riegert
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A guy who complains about God too often is given almighty powers to teach him how difficult it is to run the world.

Director: Tom Shadyac
Stars: Jim Carrey, Jennifer Aniston, Morgan Freeman
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The cross-country adventures of 2 good-hearted but incredibly stupid friends.

Directors: Peter Farrelly, Bobby Farrelly
Stars: Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels, Lauren Holly
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

When an affluent couple lose all their money following a series of blunders, they turn to a life of crime to make ends meet.

Director: Dean Parisot
Stars: Jim Carrey, Téa Leoni, Alec Baldwin
The Number 23 (2007)
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Walter Sparrow becomes obsessed with a novel that he believes was written about him. As his obsession increases, more and more similarities seem to arise.

Director: Joel Schumacher
Stars: Jim Carrey, Virginia Madsen, Logan Lerman
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jim Carrey ... Andy Kaufman (as Tony Clifton)
Gerry Becker ... Stanley Kaufman - Andy's Father
Greyson Erik Pendry ... Little Michael Kaufman (as Greyson Pendry)
Brittany Colonna Brittany Colonna ... Baby Carol Kaufman
Leslie Lyles Leslie Lyles ... Janice Kaufman - Andy's Mother
Bobby Boriello ... Little Andy Kaufman
George Shapiro ... Mr. Besserman
Danny DeVito ... George Shapiro
Budd Friedman ... Budd Friedman
Tom Dreesen ... Wiseass Comic
Thomas Armbruster Thomas Armbruster ... Improv Piano Player
Pamela Abdy Pamela Abdy ... Diane Barnett
Wendy Polland Wendy Polland ... Little Wendy
Cash Oshman Cash Oshman ... Yogi
Matt Price ... Meditation Student
Edit

Storyline

A biographical film on the late comedian Andy Kaufman. Kaufman, along with his role on Taxi (1978), was famous for being the self-declared Intergender Wrestling Champion of the world. After beating women time and time again, Jerry Lawler (who plays himself in the movie), a professional wrestler, got tired of seeing all of this and decided to challenge Kaufman to a match. In most of the matches the two had, Lawler prevailed with the piledriver, which is a move by spiking an opponent head-first into the mat. One of the most famous moments in this feud was in the early 80s when Kaufman threw coffee on Lawler on Late Night with David Letterman (1982), got into fisticuffs with Lawler, and proceeded to sue NBC. Written by Eli Boorstein <uahp@rocketmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

"Hello, my name is Andy and this is my movie." See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and brief sexuality/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK | Germany | Japan | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 December 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Andy Kaufman See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$82,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,515,585, 26 December 1999, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$34,580,635, 20 February 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

During an interview, Colin Mochrie from Whose Line Is It Anyway? (1998) revealed that he had a role, but his scenes were deleted from the final movie. See more »

Goofs

The scene in which Andy and Jerry appear on Late Night with David Letterman was filmed on the similar, but not identical set of Late Show with David Letterman. Also, David Letterman is shown wearing glasses, which he did not do in the early 1980s (see trivia). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Andy Kaufman: Hello. I am Andy and I would like to thank you for coming to my movie. I wish it was *better*, you know, but... it is so stupid! It's terrible! I do not even like it. All of the most important things in my life are changed around and mixed up for dramatic purposes. So, I decided to cut out all of the baloney! Now the movie is much *shorter*.
[pause]
Andy Kaufman: In fact, this is the end of the movie. Thank you very much.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Jim Carrey's head (as Kaufman) peeks back in during the end credits. See more »

Alternate Versions

Several scenes were shot but cut. These include:
  • The cast of Taxi rehearsing with a stand-in substituting for Andy.
  • Andy responding to fan mail from some attractive girls.
  • Andy taking a girl out on a date and acting so weird she asks to go home.
  • After the Tony Clifton fiasco on the Taxi set, Andy calling Ed Weinberger and thanking him for playing along so convincingly.
  • A scene backstage after Andy "hurts" his neck at the wrestling match where his worried parents come to see if he is okay.
  • A scene towards the end of the movie at the Improv Club where Andy resurrects his Foreign Man routine and is "heckled" by Zmuda posing as an audience member.
See more »

Connections

References Coal Miner's Daughter (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

Jingle, Jangle, Jingle
(1942)
Music by Joseph J. Lilley (as Joseph Lilley)
Lyrics by Frank Loesser
Arranged by Norman Henry Mamey (as Norman Mamey)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

great Carrey performance in an uneven film
10 June 2000 | by Buddy-51See all my reviews

Your fondness for `Man on the Moon' may well be predicated on your feelings for Andy Kaufman, both as comic performer and offstage human being. And, as this film suggests, there was not, ultimately, a very wide gap between the two. Indeed, the point of the film seems to be that, with Kaufman, the many characters he showed to us on stage and T.V. pretty much reflected the man who existed in real life.

This may be both the strength and the weakness of the movie itself. Kaufman's purported genius has always eluded me. Ostensibly, it lay, I imagine, in his metaphorically giving the finger to his audience while entertaining them at the same time. That audience, ultimately discovering that it was the butt of the joke, then was able to go a step further and become a willing part of the act, allowing them all to feel superior to the uninitiated masses still deluded enough to be on the outside looking in. Kaufman's act became, then, a kind of exclusive comic club, a collective act of defiance against the social norms of theatrical convention and good taste. Thus, we see him in the film reading the entire novel `The Great Gatsby' verbatim to a stunned and ultimately hostile college audience; we see him wrestling women while spouting inflammatory chauvinistic rhetoric and deliberately muffing his lines on live national television in a brilliant blurring of the line between reality and theatricality. The problem, however, is that iconoclasm has never been a source of humor in itself, and much of Kaufman's act and persona came across as heavy-handed, smug and self-conscious, particularly in his grating Lithuanian `Taxi' character. In short, Kaufman always seemed too full of himself and so dazzled by his own cleverness and cuteness to ever be truly funny. It was like he was always pointing his thumbs back at himself saying, `Look how funny I am.' Such unctiousness inspires us not to laugh.

The film itself is an uneven study of the man. The first half is particularly shaky. After a clever 5-minute view of Kaufman as a performance-obsessed child, we move to his young adulthood where we see him bombing in a local nightclub with an act so aggressively unfunny that we cannot even imagine that it could possibly be real. Then, virtually in the blink of an eye, he is discovered by his future manager, again, in a scene of staggering incredibility, in which Kaufman somehow manages to reduce his audience to helpless laughter with material that couldn't possibly evoke even titters let alone room-shaking guffaws. Before we know it, Kaufman has somehow landed a hosting job on `Saturday Night Live' (yet another bad performance) and has become so much in demand that he not only secures a role in a new sitcom, `Taxi,' but is allowed to make all sorts of demands from the producers in exchange for his services. The chronicle of his meteoric rise to fame simply lacks the detail necessary to make it credible.

The movie finds surer footing as it moves ahead in time. If anything, the gross lack of humor of many of his performances recreated for the film simply underlines the overrated comic gifts of Kaufman himself. Although the writers, Scott Alexander and Larry Karasczewski, and director, Milos Forman, convey an obvious attitude of affection towards Kaufman, they do not shy away from portraying the self-centered petulance that governed many of his actions both in his professional and personal life. The most poignant moments come when he discovers he has lung cancer, yet cannot convince many of the people who are closest to him that he is really sick, so skeptical has his life of duplicity made them. Though Courtney Love is very good indeed as the woman who learns to love Kauffman, the portrayals of her character and their relationship as a whole remain sketchy and superficial throughout. We never really sense much chemistry between them since they never seem to experience much in the way of revelatory conflict. She simply loves him unconditionally, and she is given little to do but beam pleasantly at him or look perpetually concerned for his health and well being.

`Man on the Moon's one element of undeniable brilliance lies in the triumphant performance of Jim Carrey in the starring role. In physical appearance, in mannerisms, in comic stylings, he, quite literally, becomes Andy Kaufman! Whether on stage or behind-the-scenes, Carrey never hits a false note, displaying his uncanny ability to bring out the humanity that might easily have been lost in a portrayal of a very eccentric comic artist. Indeed, Carrey lends some much needed depth to a screenplay that, in its bare-bone plotting, often seems undernourished and underfed. `Man on the Moon' becomes, ultimately then, more compelling as a steppingstone in Carrey's development as an artist than as an elegy for the artist who once was.


71 of 94 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 562 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Check Out What's Playing on IMDb Freedive

See what movies and TV series you can watch for free today, and visit IMDb Freedive for even more. Select any poster below to play the movie!

Find more things to watch

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed