- Noises Off (film)
Directed by Peter Bogdanovich Produced by Frank Marshall Screenplay by Marty Kaplan Based on Noises Off by
Starring Michael Caine
Music by Roy Budd Cinematography Tim Suhrstedt Editing by Lisa Day Studio Amblin Entertainment
Touchwood Pacific Partners I
Distributed by Touchstone Pictures Release date(s) March 20, 1992 Running time 101 minutes Country United States Language English Budget $19 million Box office $2,280,148
Noises Off is a 1992 American comedy film directed by Peter Bogdanovich. The screenplay by Marty Kaplan is based on the 1982 play of the same name by Michael Frayn. The film features the final performance of Denholm Elliott, who died of AIDS that same year.
The film follows the concept of a play within a play, in this case a dreadful farce Nothing On — the type of production in which many doors continually open and shut. The setting has been transplanted from the backcountry of Great Britain to Des Moines, Iowa, where a second-rate theatrical troupe is preparing to perform the Broadway-bound play under the direction of Lloyd Fellowes. Among the cast members are fading star Dotty Otley, scatter-brained actor Garry Lejuene, insecure matinee hearthrob Frederick Dallas, myopic leading lady Brooke Ashton, second female lead Belinda Blair, and alcoholic character actor Selsdon Mawbray. Frantically working behind the scenes are Tim Allgood and Poppy Taylor.
The film opens with the final dress rehearsal before opening night, with the cast still forgetting lines, missing cues, and mishandling props. Lloyd is reduced to cajoling, yelling at, and pleading with them to get things right. Complicating matters are the personal problems and backstage relationships that have fostered jealousy and petty squabbling and intruded upon any professionalism this motley crew can muster. As the company works its way to New York City, the eccentricities of the cast come to the fore and the performances on the road dissolve into chaos on and backstage.
- Carol Burnett ..... Dotty Otley (and Mrs. Clackett)
- Michael Caine ..... Lloyd Fellowes
- John Ritter ..... Garry Lejeune (and Roger Tramplemain)
- Christopher Reeve ..... Frederick Dallas (and Phillip Brent)
- Nicollette Sheridan ..... Brooke Ashton (and Vicki)
- Marilu Henner ..... Belinda Blair (and Flavia Brent)
- Denholm Elliott ..... Selsdon Mowbray (and The Burglar)
- Julie Hagerty ..... Poppy Taylor
- Mark Linn-Baker ..... Tim Allgood
The film received mixed reviews from critics. In his review in the New York Times, Vincent Canby noted, "There are a number of hefty laughs scattered throughout . . . this woozy film adaptation" and added, "Noises Off is a practically perfect stage piece, constructed with such delicacy that any opportunistic adjustment can destroy it, which is what happens here . . . It may not even be Mr. Bogdanovich's fault. He hasn't opened up the play in any foolish way. There are even times when the camera successfully catches the tempo of the lunatic action without being overwhelmed by it. Yet too often the action and the dialogue are so fuzzily understood that the laughs are lost. The film's problem is more basic: the attempt to Americanize a fine English farce about provincial seediness. It can't be done."
Rita Kempley of the Washington Post observed, "The performers all seem to be relishing this sendup, but we're always aware that it is a vehicle better suited to the stage."
In The New Yorker, Michael Sragow said, "Most of the time, Bogdanovich sticks to Frayn's gleefully proscenium-bound play without making it work for the movies. The result is roughly equivalent to the pan and scan TV version of a wide-screen spectacle. Bogdanovich has cast actors you want to see . . . in a production that grows increasingly impossible to watch."
In his review of the video release, Lawrence O'Toole of Entertainment Weekly said, "Nothing is as murderous on a farce as film. Its mechanics can work beautifully from the distance of the stage . . . but the closeness of the home screen points up every flaw in Peter Bogdanovich's futile adaptation: anorectic visuals, bloated acting, broad timing, and often dull direction. The cast members . . . are all game, but it's exhausting watching actors try so hard."
Time Out London says the film "undoubtedly has its moments, but will still disappoint those who laughed themselves silly at the original."
Channel 4 notes, "Frayn's frenetic farce was always going to be a difficult act to pull off on the big screen, but Bogdanovich and an enthusiastic cast do their damnedest to sustain the mayhem and the momentum. Those who remember the original theatrical hit are bound to be disappointed by the lack of immediacy and the occasional sense of artifice, but this is perfectly serviceable."
Siskel & Ebert gave the film two thumbs down.
Noises Off holds a 57% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
- ^ Canby, Vincent. "New York Times review". The New York Times. http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9E0CE4DE123DF933A15750C0A964958260. [dead link]
- ^ Kempley, Rita (March 20, 1992). "Washington Post review". The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/movies/videos/noisesoffpg13kempley_a0a2a9.htm. Retrieved May 20, 2010.
- ^ The New Yorker review
- ^ Entertainment Weekly review
- ^ Time Out London review
- ^ Channel 4 review
- ^ "Review: Noises Off". At the Movies. Disney. http://bventertainment.go.com/tv/buenavista/atm/reviews.html?sec=6&subsec=noises+off. Retrieved 2009-06-15. [dead link]
- Noises Off at the Internet Movie Database
- Noises Off at AllRovi
- Noises Off at Rotten Tomatoes
- Noises Off at Box Office Mojo
Films directed by Peter Bogdanovich 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Noises Off — For the film adaptation, see Noises Off (film). Noises Off Poster for the 2001 Broadway revival Written by Michael Frayn Characters … Wikipedia
Film — This article is about motion pictures or movies. For still photography film, see Photographic film. For motion picture film, see Film stock. Movie and Moving picture redirect here. For other uses, see Movie (disambiguation), Moving Pictures… … Wikipedia
Mojo (play & film) — Mojo Written by Jez Butterworth Date premiered 14 July 1995 Place premiered … Wikipedia
Kathleen Kennedy (film producer) — Infobox Actor name = Kathleen Kennedy imagesize = 240px birthdate = birth date and age|1953|06|5 location = Berkeley, California occupation = Film producer spouse = Frank Marshall (1987 )Kathleen Kennedy (b. 5 June 1953 in Berkeley, California)… … Wikipedia
1992 in film — List of years in film (table) … 1982 . 1983 . 1984 . 1985 . 1986 . 1987 . 1988 … 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 … … Wikipedia
Mask (film) — This article is about 1985 Peter Bogdanovich film. For the 1994 film starring Jim Carrey, see The Mask (film). Mask Theatrical release poster Directed by Pe … Wikipedia
Daisy Miller (1974 film) — Daisy Miller Theatrical release poster Directed by Peter Bogdanovich Produced by … Wikipedia
Nickelodeon (film) — Nickelodeon Directed by Peter Bogdanovich Produced by Robert Chartoff Frank Marshall … Wikipedia
Hog Wild (1930 film) — Infobox Film name = Hog Wild caption = director = James Parrott producer = Hal Roach writer = H. M. Walker, Stan Laurel starring = Stan Laurel Oliver Hardy music = cinematography = George Stevens editing = Richard Currier distributor = Metro… … Wikipedia
Signs (film) — Infobox Film name =Signs imdb id =0286106 writer =M. Night Shyamalan starring =Mel Gibson Joaquin Phoenix Rory Culkin Abigail Breslin director =M. Night Shyamalan producer =Frank Marshall Sam Mercer M. Night Shyamalan editing = Barbara Tulliver… … Wikipedia