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Frankie and Johnny

Frankie and Johnny

4.0 1
Director: Garry Marshall

Cast: Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer, Hector Elizondo


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Terrence McNally's stage play Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune was a two-character piece, which starred Kathy Bates and F. Murray Abraham on Broadway. Garry Marshall's film version of the McNally play streamlines the title to Frankie and Johnny, expands the dramatis personae to include at least a dozen fascinating characters, and "glamorizes" the


Terrence McNally's stage play Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune was a two-character piece, which starred Kathy Bates and F. Murray Abraham on Broadway. Garry Marshall's film version of the McNally play streamlines the title to Frankie and Johnny, expands the dramatis personae to include at least a dozen fascinating characters, and "glamorizes" the decidedly unglamorous Frankie and Johnny in the forms of Michelle Pfeiffer and Al Pacino (their first co-starring stint since Scarface). Purists carped at the changes, but overall the film is likeable enough to transcend these carps. While serving an 18-month sentence on a forgery charge, Johnny (Al Pacino) discovers the joys of cooking and classical literature. Upon his release, he is hired by gruff but good-hearted New York diner owner Nick (played by Garry Marshall "regular" Hector Elizondo). Also working for Nick is a waitress named Frankie (Michelle Pfeiffer). When Johnny expresses interest in Frankie, she keeps him at arm's length, her mistrust of men stemming from an unmentioned but obviously traumatic experience in her past. Eventually, however, Frankie and Johnny do get together, their curious relationship setting the stage for a dramatic denouement wherein both lovers bare their souls. The bulk of the original McNally play is concentrated in the film's final 20 minutes; the rest of the picture is a kaleidoscope of comic and poignant vignettes and quick-sketch character studies. Of the newly minted characters, the standout is Nathan Lane in the traditional "gay best friend/severest critic" role: he plays the character so effectively that one forgets he's essentially a cliché. As for the stars, Al Pacino is ideally cast as Johnny, but Michelle Pfeiffer, superb though she is, seems a bit ill at ease as the emotionally tattered Frankie; she totally wins the audience's hearts, however, in the film's memorable bowling-alley sequence. Smoothing over the rough spots in Frankie and Johnny is the evocative musical score by Marvin Hamlisch.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
An amiable exploration of love and trust, Frankie and Johnny proved that Al Pacino could make it through a role without bluster and that Michelle Pfeiffer could be frumpy. Adapted from Terrence McNally's play by the playwright himself, the film exchanged the original's grittier tone for a more cuddly, sitcom-friendly approach. The result is a story that takes place in the kind of charmingly eccentric New York that was home to When Harry Met Sally, where employers are endearingly cheap rather than nail-bitingly stingy and there is always a gay neighbor to provide witty advice. Thanks to this sort of treatment by McNally and director Garry Marshall (of Pretty Woman fame), you know everything will end up well, as major characters work out their issues and secondary players stand by to provide wacky, well-meaning moral support. Frankie and Johnny is a sweet, agreeable film, and while it has undoubtedly alienated more than a few viewers with its softhearted, talky approach, it remains a safe bet for a couple hours worth of quality entertainment.

Product Details

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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Al Pacino Johnny
Michelle Pfeiffer Frankie
Hector Elizondo Nick
Nathan Lane Tim
Kate Nelligan Cora
Jane Morris Nedda
Greg Lewis Tino
Al Fann Luther
Ele Keats Artemis
Fernando Lopez Jorge
Glenn Plummer Peter
Tim Hopper Lester
Harvey Miller Mr. Rosen
Sean O'Bryan Bobby
Vallery Baynes Johnny's Daughter
K Callan Frankie's Mother
Lou Evans Eating Man
Laurie Metcalf Actor
Barbara Nabozny Eating Woman
Lynn Stalmaster Actor
Sophie Von Haselberg Party Children
Goldie McLaughlin Waitress Helen
Phil Leeds Mr. DeLeon
Marvin Braveman Officer Joe
Calvin Jung Officer Lee
Frank Campanella Retired Customer
Julie Paris Pregnant Customer
Allan Kent Racetrack Customer
Bud Markowitz Juggler Customer
Elizabeth Kerr Senior Citizen Customer
Marty Nadler Rude Customer
Jeff Michalski Seizure Customer
Diane Frazen Whispering Customer Marge
Hyman Fishman Cora's customer
Ronny Hallin Biker Customer
Harvey Keenan Salesman Customer
Pricilla Phillips Snooty Customer
Joy Rosenthal Snooty Customer
Robert Brunner Accident Driver
Mark Scarola Garment Worker
Karin Calabro Dental Technician
Flora Berniker Flora
Steve Restivo Night Cook
Nick Gambella Night Busboy
Hope Alexander-Willis Night Waitress
Barbara Mealy Night Waitress
Barbara London Night Waitress
Al Sapienza Peter's Roommate
Diana Kent Nick's Wife
Tracy Reiner Attorney at Party
Eugenia Bravos Grandma
Gena Bravos Greek Dancer
Shirley Kirks Greek Dancer
Joli Lallo Jorge's Girlfriend
Ira Glick Mutzie Calish
Shannon Wilcox Christine the Hooker
Dey Young Johnny's Ex-Wife
Paul Tinder New Husband
Barbara Marshall Helen's Nurse
Scott A. Marshall Sidewalk Preacher
Karen Case Cook Megaphone Lady
Shawn McLean Penny Pitcher
John Goldman Parking Lot Owner
Ashley Baynes Johnny's Daughter
Paul Allison Johnny's Son
Richard Allison Johnny's Son
Blanche Bronte Flower Vendor
Lorna Thayer Flower Vendor
Mychael Bates Flower Driver
Terri Sigrist Bowling Twin
Lori Sigrist Bowling Twin
Zachary Weintraub Handsome Bowler
Laurie Quinn Pretty Girl Bowler
Gordon Belson Marlon the Disc Jockey
Shane Ross Sexy Neighbor
Richard Gillis Sexy Neighbor
Robert Ball Haircombing Neighbor
Frank Buxton Minister
DeDee Pfeiffer Frankie's Cousin
Marc Raducci Cousin's Husband
Bill Applebaum Baby's Godfather
Keith Martell Party Child
Bettiann Fishman Aunt Bette
Lori Marshall Party Guest
Krista H. Davis Bus Rider
Kelly McCray Bus Rider
Blair Richwood Bus Rider
Lucinda Crosby Abused Neighbor

Technical Credits
Garry Marshall Director,Producer
Nick Abdo Executive Producer
Lou Barlia Camera Operator
Albert Brenner Production Designer
Jacqueline Cambas Editor
Battle Davis Editor
Kathleen Dolan Set Decoration/Design
Harold L. Fuhrman Set Decoration/Design
Marvin Hamlisch Score Composer
Kathe Klopp Set Decoration/Design
Terrence McNally Screenwriter
Charles B. Mulvehill Executive Producer
Rosanna Norton Costumes/Costume Designer
Alex Rose Executive Producer
G. Marq Roswell Musical Direction/Supervision
Dante Spinotti Cinematographer
Lynn Stalmaster Casting
Keith A. Wester Musical Direction/Supervision
Carol Wood Art Director


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4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I liked this movie! It touched me on a personal level in several ways. First, when they mention Altoona, PA...I'm actually from Johnstown, PA, so I know where Altoona is! Then, when the one waitress, I believe, takes an epileptic seizure...I loved how that scene was handled, with the Medic-Alert bracelet to the T.L.C. toward the patient on the floor. It was very politically correct. Hence, I am an epileptic, myself, and this movie/story touched me in many angles that I was not prepared for. Lastly, I loved the cast! Since Scarface, Pacino & Pheiffer rock!!!