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  • claboure44412 July 2006
    what an outstanding and heart-tugging performance by DINAH. i never miss a rerun and go out of my way to see it. i can't believe she was not nominated for something. a perfect bit of acting by her and WALTER MATHAU. my wife says, "i guess you're.... just in love". the first time i saw the film was totally by accident. i was in a dentist's office for an appointment for teeth cleaning. the movie came on in the waiting room and after it was thirty minutes into filming the nurse came out and said "next". by a stroke of luck it was the last appointment of the day. i asked the dentist, who is also a dear friend, to let me continue watching. well, we both watched. the nurse had gone and he worked on my cleaning himself. he said it was worth it.
  • This is a modest but affecting little film. Besides his gift for one-line zingers, Neil Simon has a way of giving his characters lines that are both surprising and believable. Dinah Manoff is perhaps a bit abrasively cooky at first, but she moderates the Brooklyn shtick after awhile and comes over as more complex and real. Walter Matthau as her bewildered but finally disarmed dad is consummately believable. Ann Margaret has little to do, but she does it with superb subtlety. Just watch how well she listens and understands
  • I just saw the movie. What a great movie it is. Very well written and very strongly performed. This movie basically has everything and teaches us how to combine a philosophical life with practical life. It shows us we might need the both and also more importantly the both ideas have their own values. All the performers did a great job in this. I thought it was great to look at the situation from this point of view. It is about how you want to build yourself not which is the right way of doing it. Great great movie. I feel bad for the person who wrote the comment as "the worst....". I think it is one of the best movies i have ever seen.
  • Wonderful film with Neil Simon again showing that he is the master of writing.

    Dinah Manoff is just marvelous as the precocious 19 year old who goes to California to see the dad she hasn't seen in 16 years.

    The film is touching as it first shows that Matthau knows so little about his daughter (and son) but then as the film goes on, he shows all the attributes that a father shows.

    As Matthau's girlfriend, Ann-Margret is very good. The picture itself provides no screaming of usual Matthau antics. He is genuine here in every sense of the word.

    The film shows the strong bond that is formed and we're sorry when Libby takes the bus back to N.Y. At least, there is a commitment by the father to keep in touch.

    We also have to wonder what kind of woman he was married to that drove him away years before.
  • In my and my wife's opinion(s) this picture ("I Ought To Be In Pictures") held our attention, made us laugh, and touched our heart strings. The plot is very believable and truly beautiful. Dinah Manoff and Walter Matthau were delightful. Ann-Margret's part was undoubtedly low-key, but we applaud her for being prepared to play it and play it well. (Who ever said an actress has always to play "knock-out" parts.) This is a movie we will buy for our collection of fine movies. Leonard Maltin's review rating: ** is an insult. We give it *** at least. We were thrilled to see Dinah Manoff playing a larger role than her role in "Ordinary People."
  • It must have been a casting no-brainer to put Dinah Manoff in the film-adaptation of Neil Simon's Broadway hit "I Ought To Be In Pictures" since she played the part of headstrong Libby on the stage. Unfortunately, a bombastic concoction such as Libby cannot be easily transferred to the more intimate medium of film, and the writing leaves both Manoff and the viewer at a complete loss. Neil Simon writes gag-dialogue, gag-characters, gag-situations, so when he tries to get serious--the audience doesn't know how to respond. Is this guy kidding again? Libby moves from Brooklyn to Los Angeles to reconnect with her estranged screenwriter father, ostensibly to break into movies but mostly because she needs a loving dad to hold her. These later scenes are so uncomfortable, so static, that poor Walter Matthau can only sit on the end of the bed and gape (I've never seen him at such a loss). Ann-Margret has a warm, grounded presence as Matthau's girlfriend (it's not much of a role, and the dialogue is still in Simon's one-note, but A-M manages to give this woman some soul). Manoff, looking and acting like a cross between Tatum O'Neal and Kristy McNichol, projects to the rafters, as if she were still on Broadway. She's Gussy Gumshun; and when the barriers come down and she's vulnerable, we would like to give her our sympathies, but Simon won't let us. He has already moved on, to the next limp gag. ** from ****
  • PWNYCNY6 September 2006
    What's a daughter to do when she wants to get in touch with her father who she hasn't seen in 16 years and lives 3,000 miles away? Answer: watch this movie and find out. It would be easy to rag this movie, to cite all its flaws, to point out its corniness, to dwell on Dinah Manoff's incredibly loud performance; to emphasize all the schlock, dreck, schmoozing and kvetching that identifies this movie as another example of 'ethnic" humor. Yes, one could easily rag this movie, but I won't do it. Not here, not in this website, not on the pc. Why? Let me tell you: I LIKED THIS MOVIE!!!!! Yes, I admit it. THIS WAS A GOOD MOVIE!!!!. So what if the acting was a bit strained! So what if the story was as stale as a corn beef sandwich that's been sitting in the refrigerator all night! This movie is a about a father and daughter who re-establish a relationship and that's something that cannot be ragged. No way. So what if the daughter talks with a certain ethnic inflection! So what if Walter Matthau reminded me of Oscar Homolka in "I Remember Momma." So what if this movie contains what has to be Ann-Margret's most forgettable role!! So what if this movie is like a pastrami sandwich with a lot of fat!!! So what if this movie's most inspiring character is a deceased grandmother!!!! I liked this movie and you will too if you just keep an open mind and remember: IT'S JUST A MOVIE!!!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    In 1982, Vincent Canby of The New York Times described "I Ought to Be in Pictures" as a film that "ought not to be." Popular television critic Gene Siskel chose "I Ought to Be in Pictures" as one of the worst films of the year. On his show, Siskel described the theme of the film in these words: "A smart alec daughter learning to accept a smart alec father." The preceding reviewers' comments demonstrate the inherent subjectivity involved in film criticism.

    The "smart alec" daughter is Libby Tucker, as played by the young actress Dinah Manoff. Manhoff had just won a Tony Award for her performance of the same role in the New York stage version of Neil Simon's play. In the film, Manhoff creates a textured, multi-layered interpretation of Libby Tucker. Her comic timing is superb, and she discovers the emotional depth of the character late in the film.

    The "smart alec" father is Herbert Tucker, who is played by one of the finest interpreters of Neil Simon's comedies and one of the most beloved stars of Hollywood, Walter Matthau. In interpreting Herb Tucker, Matthau's naturalism in the reading of Simon's often contrived one-liners is superb. And he hits all the right notes in the touching relationship of Herb and the daughter he has not seen in sixteen years.

    Herbert Ross brings a fine directorial touch in adapting Simon's stage play to the screen. There is some terrific location shooting in Los Angeles, including the Hollywood Park race track and Dodger Stadium. There was a picture-perfect selection of Herb Tucker's home at 1761 Vista Del Mar Avenue, in Hollywood—a residence with a distinctive red tile roof. That house is still standing and may be see in a google satellite map, virtually unchanged from the 1982 filming.

    It was a challenge to adapt a three-character play to the film medium. But this crisply paced and well-photographed film was undeniably a success. Ann-Margaret delivers a sensitive, understated performance as Steffy, who is involved in a romantic relationship with Herb. Other small roles, such as the two young men Libby meets are also spot-on.

    The beautiful scoring of the film is by Marvin Hamlisch, one of the most accomplished composers in both films and the American theater. The beautiful song "One Hello" recurs through the film's score, culminating at the end with a sensitive rendition by vocalist Randy Crawford.

    With the passing of over three decades "I Ought to Be in Pictures" is a film worthy of reconsideration. How many films today have this level of sophisticated comedy and are able to balance the humor with a heartfelt message? And how many have the chemistry of such outstanding performers as Walter Matthau, Dinah Manoff, and Ann-Margaret?
  • The problem with this film was that it was a rotten play to begin with. It's the same old Neil Simon characters, same old Neil Simon storylines. For Matthau, this is the same Neil Simon characterization as with his previous ventures into Simon's work. He's much better as Oscar in "The Odd Couple." Ann Margaret is entirely out of place here, but so is the writing and Herbert Ross's direction. Only Dinah Manoff, who reprises her Tony Award winning role, comes off successful in the picture.
  • Libby Tucker (Dinah Manoff) sets off from New York to look for her Hollywood screenwriter father Herbert Tucker (Walter Matthau). She wants to get into the movies. She's the talkative type who talks to her dead grandmother. She calls on her dad and finds movie hair stylist Steffy Blondell (Ann-Margret).

    I like the character of Libby in the beginning but eventually, she stops being realistic. I don't buy her sex questioning of Herbert. If Neil Simon wants to go there, he should do it by asking about Herbert's sex life with her mother or better yet Steffy. That scene is a last straw situation where her emotional breakdown feels unearned. I am surprised at the clunky dialogue. It feels overly written. There are so many ways I want this story to go but it never really goes anywhere. The whole last act is cringeworthy with Libby's dialogue. It is big emotions built on nothingness.
  • msdemos9 April 2017
    Every once in a while, you watch a random film, and hours, days, weeks, a lifetime later, it's one you find you just never forget.

    This, for me, is one of those films.

    Flying under the radar, and IMMENSELY underrated, this one quietly showed up in 1982, and then seemed to be gone and forgotten about, by nearly everyone.

    Though it did have a video (vhs) release, criminally, it was never released on DVD.

    But now, the little film that could, is FINALLY available on DVD, as part of 20th Century Fox's Cinema Archives series.

    Maybe, just maybe, the rest of the world will now slowly catch on to this sneaky little gem of a movie, and find themselves remembering it hours, days, weeks.......or even a lifetime later.
  • The movie starts out with Libby(Manoff)talking to her dead grandmother who we hear about all through the film. She has decided to travel cross country from New York to LA to find her estranged father, an out of work screenwriter. The only saving grace in this film is Ann Margaret. Libby spends the rest of the film parking cars for actors(putting her name and number on there windshields), trying to get laid and forcing her estranged father to talk to his ex-wife(her mother).Manoff is probably great on the stage but she was terrible in this movie. Its not so bad in the parts with just Matthau and Ann Margaret but otherwise no chemistry. The part where Libby asks her father about sex is hysterical and has to be one of the most embarrassing moments in screen history.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    which had been performed on Broadway in the mid-late 70's. It was an interesting and light generational & family piece which centers around a teenager girl arriving at the home of her long-absconded father. Dad turns out to be the opposite of everything a girl could have hoped for, a slovenly failure living in a run-down home in L.A. Dinah Manhoff (the daughter of Lee Grant) and Walter Matthau do fine job of father and daughter battling guilt, anger, expectations, hopes and dreams. A line I remember well comes when Ms. Manhoff is berating Mr. Matthau for his failures as a father by comparing him to the steadfast grandmother who raised her and her brother "My grandmother was my father." Catch this little seen film if you can.