Walter Matthau once said of this movie: "It's filled with very real emotions . . . there were a few seconds while I was acting when I flashed back to my childhood when my father deserted us . . . I was exhausted at the end of each day. Some roles are easier but comedy, such as Neil Simon writes, is twenty times more difficult than straight acting or tragic acting. I prefer the challenge of comedy. It requires a great deal more energy, a great deal of kinetic output."
In this picture, Dinah Manoff reprises her Tony Award winning role for Best Featured Actress as Libby Tucker from the Broadway play 'I Ought to Be in Pictures'. Manoff also had won the 1980 Theatre World Award for that stage role.
This film was made and released about two years after its source play by Neil Simon was first performed in 1980. The play 'I Ought to Be in Pictures' originally opened on Broadway at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre on 3rd April 1980 and completed its run on 11 January 1981 after 324 performances.
The play 'I Ought to Be in Pictures' was Neil Simon 18th play. It's setting described in the play's intro reads: "West Hollywood, California. The present." The play is a three character comedy-drama.
Fifth appearance by Walter Matthau in a screen adaptation of a Neil Simon play. The previous ones were The Odd Couple (1968); Plaza Suite (1971); The Sunshine Boys (1975) and California Suite (1978). The film was Matthau's penultimate Simon film, The Odd Couple II (1998) being his last.
Writer Neil Simon added number of new characters were added to the screenplay for this filmed adaptation of his 'I Ought to Be in Pictures' play which were not in this play, it only having three characters. Among these new parts included Gordon (played by Lance Guest) and Martin (played by David Faustino).
Herbert Ross, who directed this movie, also directed the play of it on the stage on Broadway.
Walter Matthau plays Herb Tucker in this movie. Ron Leibman played this lead role during the Broadway stage run of the 'I Ought to Be in Pictures' play.
Second and final appearance of Ann-Margret in a filmed adaptation of a Neil Simon written work. The Cheap Detective (1978) was the first.
Dinah Manoff was the only member of the original Broadway cast to reprise her role in this filmed adaptation of the play 'I Ought to Be in Pictures'.
Walter Matthau plays Herb Tucker in this movie, a character who left his family sixteen years earlier. In real life, Matthau's father, a Russian peddler from Kiev, left home when he was three years of age.
Dinah Manoff and Walter Matthau star in this picture directed by Herbert Ross and written by Neil Simon. Manoff is the daughter of Lee Grant who co-starred with Matthau in the earlier Simon written Plaza Suite (1971).
The address of the house seen in the film is in Hollywood at 1761 Vista Del Mar Avenue.
Director Herbert Ross directed five films written by Neil Simon. They were Max Dugan Returns (1983), California Suite (1978), The Goodbye Girl (1977), The Sunshine Boys (1975), and I Ought to Be in Pictures (1982) which was Ross' penultimate Simon film.
First of three movies that Walter Matthau and Ann-Margret made together. The other films were Grumpy Old Men (1993) and Grumpier Old Men (1995).
Ann-Margret plays Steffy Blondell in this movie. Joyce Van Patten played this lead role during the Broadway stage run of the 'I Ought to Be in Pictures' play.
Prior to the lead role of Libby Tucker in this picture, actress Dinah Manoff had actually appeared in two significant and well-known movies, they being Ordinary People (1980) and Grease (1978).
In its premiere engagement in America, this movie was released just six months after another filmed adaptation of a Neil Simon play, Only When I Laugh (1981), based on "The Gingerbread Lady". I Ought to Be in Pictures (1982) was directed by Herbert Ross who had been the first choice to direct Only When I Laugh (1981). Both works predominantly dealt with the conflict between a daughter and a parent, the parent being a mother in Only When I Laugh (1981) and a father in I Ought to Be in Pictures (1982). Both parent characters also abuse alcohol. Both films are reconciliation movies; in I Ought To Be In Pictures, the father and daughter have not seen each other for sixteen years, in Only When I Laugh the daughter is sixteen years old.
Reportedly, the film's script is predominantly the same as Neil Simon play, but with some settings added, such as the Dodger baseball stadium and the Hollywood Park Racetrack.
One of two 1980s Neil Simon written films made by the 20th Century Fox studio. The other was Max Dugan Returns (1983).
The wording on Libby Tucker's calling-card read: "Sunset Valet Parking. No party is too big or too small" and on the other side, "Libby Tucker, New York, Trained Actress. No part is too big or too small".
The amount of time that Herb Tucker and his daughter Libby had not seen each other was 16 years.
This Neil Simon written film is considered a father-daughter version of Simon's earlier hit The Odd Couple (1968).
Actor Walter Matthau''s Herb Tucker character likes to gamble on horses at the races. Matthau was in real life a fan of the race-track and a big gambler. Matthau had long wanted to make a racing picture and got to do this when he starred in Casey's Shadow (1978). Matthau said of this: "Casey's Shadow is the first race picture that's come my way that I've liked". A couple of years after that movie, Matthau followed up that horse racing movie with another, Little Miss Marker (1980), then a couple years later, I Ought to Be in Pictures (1982).