6.3/10
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55 user 31 critic

Permanent Midnight (1998)

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A comedy writer struggles to overcome his addiction to heroin.

Director:

David Veloz

Writers:

Jerry Stahl (book), David Veloz (screenplay)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ben Stiller ... Jerry Stahl
Maria Bello ... Kitty
Jay Paulson ... Phoenix Punk
Spencer Garrett ... Brad / Tim from Mr. Chompers
Owen Wilson ... Nicky
Elizabeth Hurley ... Sandra
Lourdes Benedicto ... Vola
Fred Willard ... Craig Ziffer
Chauncey Leopardi ... Jerry at 16
Mary Thompson Mary Thompson ... Grandma Whittle
Connie Nielsen ... Dagmar
Charles Fleischer ... Allen from Mr. Chompers
Liz Torres ... Dita
Douglas Spain ... Miguel
Janeane Garofalo ... Jana Farmer
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Storyline

Comedy writer Jerry Stahl, whose $6000-a-week heroin habit had him taking his infant daughter along on his drug runs and doing smack during TV script conferences. Departing detox, Stahl explores memories with survivor Kitty, who listens patiently to Stahl's flashback. Other women in Stahl's life are his British wife Sandra and his agent Vola. For the TV series "Mr. Chompers" (inspired by ALF), Stahl meets with sitcom exec Craig Ziffer and puppeteer Allen. For freaky freebasing, Stahl hangs with mumbler Nicky and druggie Gus. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive graphic drug use, strong sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 April 1999 (Iceland) See more »

Also Known As:

A nap árnyékos oldalán See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$260,562, 20 September 1998, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,166,199, 8 November 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

JD Productions See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The fictional television show "Mr. Chompers" was based on author Jerry Stahl's experience writing for ALF (1986). The other television series was based on Stahl's experiences on Twin Peaks (1990) and Moonlighting (1985), and its star was apparently based on Cybill Shepherd. See more »

Goofs

After Jerry picks up his daughter from Sandra to babysit her (at approximately [1:01:40]), he can be seen driving down the road sitting on the right hand side of the car. This is not consistent with other scenes in the movie and furthermore, the driver is clearly not Ben Stiller. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jerry: You know what's mortifying? Smack is like the leisure suit of the nineties. Instead of wrecking dad's Buick on prom might, these little suburban fucks are coping habits and OD'ing in the rec room.
Kitty: And you're different, because?
Jerry: I never got to the prom.
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Alternate Versions

The DVD features 3 deleted scenes:
  • A wasted Jerry hitting on Owen Wilson's character's girlfriend and being thrown out.
  • A long haired Jerry working for Hustler magazine.
  • A stoned Jerry buying a muffin and being beaten with a baseball bat by the store clerk.
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Soundtracks

WALKING SPANISH
Performed by Tom Waits
Written by Tom Waits
Published by Jalma Music, Inc.
Courtesy of Island Records, Inc.
By Arrangement with PolyGram Film & TV Music
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User Reviews

Underrated Film, Fantastic Performance
21 February 1999 | by Coop-8See all my reviews

Permanent Midnight, while certainly not the best film ever made about heroin addiction, is a very solid film that was largely over looked by both critics and the public. The brightest jewel in this film's crown is Ben Stiller's performance as Jerry Stahl. I found it interesting that while Stiller got loads of attention for getting his "package" caught in his zipper in "There's Something About Mary" (which is a very funny moive) hardly an eye was blinked when he gave the performance of his career in "Midnight." I think this film proves the theory that often comedic actors give the best dramatic performances. Do yourself a favor and rent it.


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