5.9/10
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29 user 16 critic

Punchline (1988)

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A medical school dropout and a housewife/mom try to make it as stand-up comedians. They become friends and help each other out at an NYC comedy club.

Director:

David Seltzer

Writer:

David Seltzer
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sally Field ... Lilah Krytsick
Tom Hanks ... Steven Gold
John Goodman ... John Krytsick
Mark Rydell ... Romeo
Kim Greist ... Madeline Urie
Paul Mazursky ... Arnold
Pam Matteson Pam Matteson ... Utica Blake
George McGrath ... Singing Nun (as George Michael McGrath)
Taylor Negron ... Albert Emperato
Barry Neikrug Barry Neikrug ... Krug
Ángel Salazar ... Rico (as Angel Salazar)
Damon Wayans ... Percy
Joycee Katz Joycee Katz ... Joycee
Mac Robbins Mac Robbins ... Billy Lane
Max Alexander ... Mister Ball
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Storyline

Steven Gold is a stand-up comedian who is flat broke and has recently dropped out of medical school. He and several others work regularly at the Gas Station, a New York comedy club. The wages are lousy and everybody hopes for the big break. Lilah Krytsick is housewife with an ambition to be a stand-up comedian, however she doesnt seem to have the talent. Steven takes her under his wings and teaches her the art of comedy and humour. But when a TV station arranges a comedy evening at the club, Steve sees his opportunity for fame and stardom. Their friendship seems quickly forgotten and now it's every man and woman for him- or herself! Written by Mattias Pettersson <seaman@sbbs.se>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Dying is easy. Comedy is hard. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 October 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Punch Line See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$160,742, 2 October 1988

Gross USA:

$21,042,667

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$21,042,667
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First acting role for director Mark Rydell in a theatrical feature film for fifteen years, with his last having been in Robert Altman's The Long Goodbye (1973). See more »

Goofs

When Sally Field comes home with a new haircut, she covers her face with a paper napkin. In varying scenes, she has it covered in different ways, and in some she does not have the napkin at all. See more »

Quotes

Lilah Krytsick: Oh okay, so I'm not funny, SHOOT ME!
See more »


Soundtracks

Remember Tonight and Smile
Words and Music by Michael Pollock
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Made by people with no sense of humor...
25 February 2007 | by moonspinner55See all my reviews

A 'dramedy' about stand-up comedy written and directed by David Seltzer, who shows no wistfulness or whimsy for show-biz--for him, it's all about the anxiety of getting a performance right. Tom Hanks has acting talent to spare, yet he does not possess the right timing to be convincing as a stand-up comic (he's all fired up, but he's firing blanks). Sally Field fares somewhat better as a housewife/amateur comedienne who looks to Tom for advice and finds herself a little smitten; her routine on-stage isn't convincing either, but Field's gumshun saves her (she's likable despite the character being a cut-out). John Goodman (as Field's husband) has made a career out of playing down-to-earth, amiable guys; though he's unable to really shine with this shallow material, his low-keyed, self-effacing acting style brings out the best in Seltzer's formulaic impulses--he's the most pleasant part of the film. The writing is so purposefully sour, one squirms through the jokes as much as through the drama. The movie's main purpose is to show us the dark side of comedy...but who wants to see that? *1/2 from ****


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