44 user 13 critic

Author! Author! (1982)

PG | | Comedy, Drama, Family | 18 June 1982 (USA)
While facing the stress of his play being produced on Broadway, a playwright deals with having to raise his son, his stepdaughters, and his stepsons.


Arthur Hiller


Israel Horovitz

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Al Pacino ... Ivan Travalian
Dyan Cannon ... Alice Detroit
Tuesday Weld ... Gloria Travalian
Bob Dishy ... Morris Finestein
Bob Elliott ... Patrick Dicker
Ray Goulding ... Jackie Dicker
Eric Gurry Eric Gurry ... Igor
Elva Josephson Elva Josephson ... Bonnie (as Elva Leff)
B.J. Barie B.J. Barie ... Spike
Ari Meyers ... Debbie
Benjamin H. Carlin Benjamin H. Carlin ... Geraldo
Alan King ... Kreplich
Ken Sylk Ken Sylk ... Roger Slessinger
James Tolkan ... Lt. Glass
Tony Munafo Tony Munafo ... Officer Kapinsky


Playwright Travalian feels pulled limb from limb these days. He has a Broadway play in rehearsal and they want rewrites. His tramp wife is leaving him, leaving him as well with four children from her previous marriages plus his own son. And his lead actress wants to move in with him but isn't used to kids. Written by Paul Emmons <pemmons@wcupa.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Anyone can be a father. But not every father deserves a standing ovation. See more »


PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

18 June 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Avec les compliments de l'auteur See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,279,260, 20 June 1982, Limited Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The film's title is an ovation used in the theatre to call the playwright onstage after a well-received opening performance. See more »


When Ivan and Alice meet at the plaza, Alice has 3 glasses of champagne and 3 aspirin in front of her, which she sips from and swallows during the conversation. She takes more than 3 aspirin, although 3 are clearly shown. And the liquid levels in the champagne glasses change from shot to shot. See more »


Debbie: I'm never gonna get married. Not ever. Even if you paid me a hundred and fifty dollars.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The 2005 Region 2 DVD, and the 2007 Region 1 DVD, which were both released by Fox Video, contains the following changes: Alternate opening title credits (white titles over black background). No title credit to both the song 'Coming Home To You' and the song's vocalist and writers (Michael Franks, Alan and Marilyn Bergman). Johnny Mandel credited as the film's composer. Film ending with Ivan and the kids at the newstand. Previous video releases by 20th Century Fox Video, CBS/Fox Video, and Fox Video contains the opening credits in white text playing over the NYC skyline backdrop to the set in the playhouse, a title credit to both the song Coming Home To You, and its vocalist and writers (Michael Franks, Alan and Marilyn Bergman), David Grusin credited as the film's composer, and the film ending with the kids celebrating Ivan's success by pouring champagne and cake on him while he is in bed. David Grusin was hired to rescore Johnny Mandel's original score. David Grusin's score is heard in the final film. See more »


Comin' Home To You
Music by Dave Grusin
Lyrics by Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman
Performed by Michael Franks
See more »

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User Reviews

Pacino Warm and Winning as Father
3 December 2003 | by jescciSee all my reviews

Pacino's characters are always warm, intimate and personal - yes even Michael Corleone - and in this film also sensitive and kind. Here he gets to share those qualities with lucky children whose parents abandon them.

As a father, he's tough when he needs to be, tender and concerned when he's called on to be and just a big kid when he feels impelled and its appropriate. His character here, as in many of his roles is self-centered if not self-obsessed, and that can drive the adults around him bonkers when they need his attention, but he never lets the children down.

His house evolves into a kind of wayward home - a place to where his ex-wives's children return of their own will because it's the only place they feel wanted comfortable and respected. There they matter as human beings.

Pacino is a playwright and apparently a good one, but he seems less concerned with the art of his craft and more concerned with it being lucrative for the benefit of his now extended family. He's shown to be the only responsible adult in the movie and he's barely hanging on to the coat tails of sanity as it is. The children all seem to have more sense than the adults. With Pacino, they take an us against the world approach to their problems. We root for them, of course, because they're much too important to be ignored and they've got the spunk to insist that they be seen and heard.

The household has a summer camp bunk mate feel. The children have distinct and in some way opposing personalities. Each stands out as special and for the most part there is little conflict. That may be a contrivance or it could be a believable happy accident.

Tuesday Weld, Pacino's estranged wife and the mother (with different fathers) of four of the five children, is the embodiment of the enemy. A selfish, uncaring, unloving mother - oh, they're out there - but she probably also represents society on some level especially at the tail end of the me-decade 70's. Perhaps for the sake of ratings there is no direct reference to drugs or promiscuity, but it ain't a far leap to make to explain the history of the characters.

As at least one other reviewer has said, the film probably works a lot better for people who have lived the kind of life portrayed.

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