Permanent Midnight (1998)

R   |    |  Biography, Drama, Romance

Permanent Midnight (1998) Poster

A comedy writer struggles to overcome his addiction to heroin.




  • Ben Stiller in Permanent Midnight (1998)
  • Permanent Midnight (1998)
  • Elizabeth Hurley in Permanent Midnight (1998)
  • Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson in Permanent Midnight (1998)
  • Ben Stiller in Permanent Midnight (1998)
  • Permanent Midnight (1998)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

1 April 1999 | SodaGuy
A different type of film that I found to be interesting
Permanent Midnight is the autobiographical story of the life and times of Jerry Stahl. This was a movie that tested the boundaries of what could be shown on the movie screen. Ben Stiller's performance as Jerry Stahl was dramatic to say the least. Stiller's performance was excellent and really showed me the flipside of what could happen to somebody when they get hooked on drugs. The whole cast from Maria Bello to Elizabeth Hurley were solid support for the main character, Jerry Stahl. The real Jerry Stahl actually had a role, which surprised me, as Dr. Murphy from the drug rehabilitation clinic. Stahl recounts his life from a hotel room while having a sexual encounter he met while he was working at a restaurant drive-thru. The way that the director lays out the film is perfect; it is different than what I have seen before. The way Jerry Stahl recounts his life the way he did pleasantly surprised me. I warn anyone who wants to watch Permanent Midnight to brace themselves for extreme drug use by sticking needles in arms and sensual love scenes. I recommend this film for its stars' performances.

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Did You Know?


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.


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.


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.

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.


Smack My Bitch Up
Performed by
The Prodigy (as Prodigy)
Written by Liam Howlett (as L. Howlett)/Moe Love (as M. Smith)/Ced-Gee (as C. Miller)/Kool Keith (as K. Thornton)/T.R. Love (as T. Randolph)
Published by EMI Virgin Music Ltd./Next Plateau Music/Beats G Music
Contains portions of "Give the Drummer Some"
by Ultramagnetic MC's (as Ultramagnetic M.C.'s)
Used courtesy of Next Plateau Records
Courtesy of XL-Recordings, Ltd./Mute Corporation/Maverick Recording Company/Warner Bros. Records, Inc.
By arrangement with Warner Special Products


Plot Summary


Biography | Drama | Romance

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$260,562 20 September 1998

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:


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