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Only When I Laugh (1981)

A boozy Broadway actress comes out of a 12-week cure to face the problems of her best friends as well as her needy daughter. She tries to balance the terrors of returning to work with the ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (based on the play "The Gingerbread Lady")
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Polly Hines
...
...
Toby Landau
...
David Lowe
...
Vincent Heller (Lou)
...
Man in Bar
Ed Moore ...
Dr. Bob Komack
Byron Webster ...
Tom
Peter Coffield ...
Mr. Tarloff
Mark Schubb ...
Adam Kasabian
Ellen La Gamba ...
Receptionist
...
Nurse Garcia
Nancy Nagler ...
Heidi Stanton
...
Jason
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Storyline

A boozy Broadway actress comes out of a 12-week cure to face the problems of her best friends as well as her needy daughter. She tries to balance the terrors of returning to work with the demands of all around her with humor and insight, while staying off the booze. Written by Ed Lorusso

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

new york city | based on play | See All (2) »

Taglines:

It'll make you laugh...'til you cry. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 September 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Neil Simon's Only When I Laugh  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$3,880,870 (USA) (27 September 1981)

Gross:

$25,782,304 (USA) (6 December 1981)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The character name of Georgia Haines (played by Marsha Mason) was changed by writer Neil Simon from his original source play "The Gingerbread Lady" where she was known as Evy Meara. On Broadway, Evy was played by Maureen Stapleton, after her successful performance on stage in Simon's "Plaza Suite". Stapleton won a Best Actress Tony Award for her part in "The Gingerbread Lady". The Evy Meara character was inspired by Judy Garland. See more »

Goofs

Jimmy is arranging a bouquet of orange flowers to welcome Georgia home from re-hab. He is shown adding a stem of eucalyptus to the bouquet and two branches of orange flowers that stick up much further than the other flower stems in the vase. When the delivery boy comes and Jimmy turns to get the money to pay for the groceries, the bouquet of orange flowers has no eucalyptus stem and the flowers are all the same height again. See more »

Quotes

Bartender: What's the problem?
Georgia: Do you see cigarettes? That's the problem.
Bartender: How much money did you put in?
Georgia: Twelve dollar like it says.
See more »


Soundtracks

Heart
from Damn Yankees! (1958)
Music and Lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross
Performed by Kristy McNichol (uncredited) and Nancy Nagler (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great Film
8 September 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a great Film, not only is it a fast moving film, but it also shows how alcohol can ruin someone's life and what effects it will have not only on themselves but also on those around her. It has a great mother daughter relationship that is being tested from the beginning of the movie. This movie also shows the support of her good friends and how much they are will to put up with! This movie was ahead of it time for when it came out in the early 80's and touched on a lot of subjects that were not discussed even for 1981!! Marsha Mason plays a woman with a drinking problem, has a gay best friend and a friend who is obsessed with her looks, she is divorced and she is not the parent who raised her daughter because of her alcohol problems. Kristy McNichol plays the daughter who really only wants her mother to notice her and pay attention to her.

Yes, it maybe somewhat similar to The Goodbye Girl but there are some major differences. It also has great story and moves along fast, is funny, and at one point you really do not like Marsha Mason character, which is what a good movie does!!! But this is a movie you need to see for yourself and make your mind up!!


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