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Man on the Moon (1999)

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The life and career of legendary comedian Andy Kaufman.

Director:

Milos Forman
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Popularity
3,561 ( 92)
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 4 wins & 23 nominations. See more awards »

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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
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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 video." [video release] See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | Germany | Japan | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 December 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Andy Kaufman See more »

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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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Milos Forman could not decide between Edward Norton and Jim Carrey for the role of Andy Kaufman, and left it up to the studio, which went with the more bankable Carrey. Oddly enough, Norton used to be a guitarist in a Los Angeles gig of Courtney Love's called Hole in Two. See more »

Goofs

At the end, the MPAA certificate number is listed as 369,916, which has one digit too many. At the time it should have been near 37,000. 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

Referenced in WWE Raw: Episode #6.40 (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

One More Song for You
(1979)
Written by Michael Omartian (as Michael O'Martian) and Stormie Omartian (as Stormie O'Martian)
Performed by Andy Kaufman
Courtesy of Soundstage WTTW/Chicago
See more »

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User Reviews

Hmmm...
30 December 1999 | by hoscheitSee all my reviews

Having liked the contrived Latka Gravas, but never really knowing much more about Andy Kaufman than the Headlines, Man on the Moon offered some incredible depictions of this one of a kind enigma.

I was never a big fan of his off-Taxi antics, but then again, Man on the Moon made it clear that I simply did not understand them. I'm not any more of a Kaufman fan than I've been, but Man on the Moon has left me with an incredible appreciation for his genius.

Jim Carrey's performance is chilling. His normal on-screen presence has often made it hard for me to see him as the characters he's played. This time, I forgot that I was watching an actor portraying Andy Kaufman. It was frighteningly good. The entire supporting cast was just as stellar.

Though interesting throughout, mostly because it explained so much that I never knew about events that were so highly publicized, Man on the Moon's amazing insight into the "why" behind the "what" of his antics completely left out the "why" behind the "what" of the person. I now know a lot about what he did, but I still know very little about who he was.

If the creators' intent was to let the world get to know Andy Kaufman the man, then I think the film missed its mark. However, that has nothing to do with the fact that it was an outstanding film in every way. It would be as unfair to detract from the film for this as it would be to call a hammer useless because it doesn't drill holes. A film isn't about what I expect, it's about what it is. In this case, it's astounding from beginning to end.


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