6.0/10
1,164
24 user 3 critic

Seize the Day (1986)

Unrated | | Drama | 1 May 1987 (USA)
Tommy Wilhelm is a good honest man who's fallen on hard times after losing his job, but what really gets to Tommy is seeing both his friends and family turning their backs on him one after the other. He tries to seize the day - in vain.

Director:

Fielder Cook

Writers:

Saul Bellow (novel), Ronald Ribman (screenplay)
Reviews
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Cadillac Man (1990)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Joey gets 2 days to sell 12 cars to keep his job and keep his girlfriends happy. It gets worse. He's juggling 3 buyers when a guy with a machine gun crashes into the car dealership and takes everybody hostage.

Director: Roger Donaldson
Stars: Robin Williams, Tim Robbins, Pamela Reed
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A struggling young writer finds his life and work dominated by his unfaithful wife and his radical feminist mother, whose best-selling manifesto turns her into a cultural icon.

Director: George Roy Hill
Stars: Robin Williams, Mary Beth Hurt, Glenn Close
The Survivors (1983)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Having both lost their jobs, two strangers become unlikely friends after a run in with a would be robber, who is actually a hitman with a grudge against the two.

Director: Michael Ritchie
Stars: Walter Matthau, Robin Williams, Jerry Reed
Club Paradise (1986)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

A retired Chicago fireman partners with a reggae singer to turn a seedy Caribbean nightclub into a resort for affluent tourists. A crazy comedy co-starring Rick Moranis, Peter O'Toole, Eugene Levy, more.

Director: Harold Ramis
Stars: Robin Williams, Peter O'Toole, Rick Moranis
Comedy | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A small-town loser determines to have one more shot at the big time by winning a football game.

Director: Roger Spottiswoode
Stars: Robin Williams, Kurt Russell, Pamela Reed
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

When a Russian musician defects in Bloomingdale's department store in New York, he finds adjusting to American life more difficult than he imagined.

Director: Paul Mazursky
Stars: Robin Williams, Maria Conchita Alonso, Cleavant Derricks
Being Human (1994)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

One man must learn the meaning of courage across four lifetimes centuries apart.

Director: Bill Forsyth
Stars: Robin Williams, John Turturro, Kelly Hunter
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Joyce and Hal Harrison have a perfect marriage until Joyce asks her favorite daytime talk show host Martin Mull to visit their small town in Ohio and shoot an episode of his TV show there. Hal quickly becomes jealous and acts out on it.

Director: Harry Shearer
Stars: Martin Mull, Mary Kay Place, Fred Willard
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

During World War II, an ordinary inhabitant of a ghetto fakes news about Allied offensives to inspire hope for other victims of the Nazi regime.

Director: Peter Kassovitz
Stars: Robin Williams, Hannah Taylor Gordon, Éva Igó
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.4/10 X  

A comedy comprised of short sexually suggestive skits.

Director: I. Robert Levy
Stars: Jeff Doucette, Vic Dunlop, Patrick Wright
Awakenings (1990)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The victims of an encephalitis epidemic many years ago have been catatonic ever since, but now a new drug offers the prospect of reviving them.

Director: Penny Marshall
Stars: Robert De Niro, Robin Williams, Julie Kavner
Dead Again (1991)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A woman who has lost her memory is taken in by a Los Angeles orphanage, and a private eye is enlisted to track down her identity, but he soon finds that he might have a past life connection to her that endangers their lives.

Director: Kenneth Branagh
Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson, Andy Garcia
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robin Williams ... Tommy Wilhelm
Richard B. Shull ... Rojax
David Bickford ... Son-in-Law
Glenne Headly ... Olive
Stephen Strimpell Stephen Strimpell ... Stockbroker
Joseph Wiseman ... Dr. Adler
Jayne Heller Jayne Heller ... Mrs. Adler
Katherine Borowitz ... Margaret
John Fiedler ... Carl
William Duell William Duell ... Joey
Jerry Stiller ... Dr. Tamkin
James Cahill James Cahill ... Phil
Louis Guss Louis Guss ... Rubin
Gillien Goll ... Receptionist
Mara Lori Mara Lori ... Little Girl
Edit

Storyline

Tommy Wilhelm (Robin Williams) is a salesman. An honest, hard-working guy who has lost his job, his girlfriend, and left part of his sanity behind as he heads to New York to pick up the pieces of his life. He's always been able to sell, but caught in a downward spiral, he must, in addition, face the father who never really understood him, while trying to balance his newly precarious existence Written by monterey media/Learning in Focus, Inc.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Losers aren't born, they're made.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 May 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ambiciones peligrosas See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Learning in Focus See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Coincidentally, lead Robin Williams went on to star in Dead Poets Society (1989) in which, as a teacher, he extolled the proverb - "carpe diem" - Latin for "seize the day." See more »

Goofs

As Tommy drives through the suburbs, cars from the 1980s can be seen parked in driveways. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Adler: Oh Wilkie, have you taken my advice?
Tommy Wilhelm: From what, dad?
Dr. Adler: Take a swim, get a massage!
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the end credits have rolled, this can be seen: ...for Joe, who taught so many to seize each day. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Good, very relevant but flawed
28 April 2011 | by Rodrigo_AmaroSee all my reviews

Before leading his students to noble pursuits and seize the day in "Dead Poets Society" Robin Williams appeared in a small film named "Seize the Day" whose inspiration is totally different from the other film; the inspiration here is deeper, sometimes invisible to the eyes of a regular viewer but a regular viewer won't be watching any of those films even if they're Williams fans.

Based on the great novel written by Saul Bellow, Seize the Day" follows Tommy Wilhelm (Williams) an failed actor, defeated salesman, out of luck, out of job, who left his wife and children and now needs to pay for their alimony; he tries to find a way for his life with a new girlfriend (Glenne Headly) who wants something concrete from this guy, more than just promises that everything will be fine. On his way of trying to get some help he'll try two options: working closely with a successful doctor (Jerry Stiller) who teaches all about stock market and how to make money in risky business or ask to his estranged and repressive father (Joseph Wiseman) for money, love and understanding which is something very hard to get with this man, since he almost rejects his son simply because he didn't followed his advice of going to medicine school and end up getting underemployed and underpaid. But with all this drama, sadness and failures Tommy still has the compassion of crying for a stranger during a funeral, or as some might say, seize the day.

The movie progresses with an story about the importance of money versus human feelings in a animalistic society that believes in the power of an object (money) instead of deeper and positive feelings like love and respect; people simply don't care about what they cannot see. They don't help each other unless money is involved. But, hey, at the end of the day we can all sit down, breathe and think about our lives and think: there's worst problems in the world so here's a chance to smile and enjoy the things to come, carpe diem! The film and the book work with that idea but they diverge in a few things.

Bellow is not much of an easy writer to read but the book is his most accessible; the film knows how to translate his story and environment despite its looks of an B movie with a extremely low budget, but what the film doesn't seem to capture its the essence of the characters, often neglected in some low acting from the cast reduced to shouting scenes, or moments when we couldn't understand what they were saying and they were too different from the way they were written in the book, something that would be appealing in the film version because they were dramatic enough and very believable while in the film sometimes they were comical and a little bit hysterical.

It is a very good film, has its good moments, presented a relevant story even today and there's some good acting from few members of the cast (Jerry Stiller surprised me big time, this is his best role ever). I guess this was a way of Robin Williams showing his dramatic skills for the first time, a film which almost no one saw except the producers from "Good Morning Vietnam" who really saw a natural talent coming from his performance in "Seize the Day" and decided to take a shot, and the rest is history. His performance went from moving and interesting to mildly bad. You can see and feel his desperation but there were times when it seemed he was going to make us laugh when we didn't needed, but I guess this was a script problem that treated some of the dramatic moments as a comedy; rare moments, nothing to ruin the film. But his last scene, in a different perspective from what Bellow made in the book, was incredible, with one of the most ambiguous crying scenes I've ever seen. That's the moment he realizes everything and we keep thinking: what's the most important value in our lives? Money? Love? Or we don't have values because we're animals that need to do everything possible to survive in a cruel world? Why is it so difficult to be understood? Don't wait for answers about all that, just seize the day and watch this film. 7/10


2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 24 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed