Up Close & Personal (1996) - Rotten Tomatoes

Up Close & Personal (1996)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Up Close & Personal Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

A story about a career television journalist who eclipses her mentor, this drama's plot resembles that of A Star Is Born, and it shares the same screenwriters as those who penned the 1976 version of that film, John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion. It's based loosely on the real-life story of newscaster Jessica Savitch. Sally Atwater (Michelle Pfieffer) gets a job at a Miami TV station based on a demo tape from her hometown of Reno, Nevada. The station's news director is Warren Justice (Robert Redford), a former high-profile Washington newsman whose career has suffered from his insistence on integrity. He makes Sally his gofer and criticizes her clothes and appearance while she begs him for a chance to go on-air. She becomes the station's weathercaster and Warren gives her the stage name of Tally. With Warren's constant advice, she breaks into news reporting and her star rises quickly as the two become romantically involved. She takes a better job in Philadelphia, with Warren's blessing, and there she soon eclipses the anchorwoman Marcia McGrath (Stockard Channing). From there, Tally's career continues to flourish, while her relationship with Warren takes some strange twists and turns.more
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Drama, Romance
Directed By:
Written By: Joan Didion, John Gregory Dunne
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 7, 1999
Touchstone Pictures


Robert Redford
as Warren Justice
Michelle Pfeiffer
as Tally Atwater
Stockard Channing
as Marcia McGrath
Joe Mantegna
as Bucky Terranova
Kate Nelligan
as Joanna Kennelly
Glenn Plummer
as Ned Jackson
James Rebhorn
as John Merino
Scott Bryce
as Rob Sullivan
Dedee Pfeiffer
as Luanne Atwater
Raymond Cruz
as Fernando Buttanda
Miguel Sandoval
as Dan Duarte
Nobel Willingham
as Buford Sells
James Karen
as Tom Orr
Michael Laskin
as IBS Director
Robert Keith Watson
as IBS Makeup Man
Lily Nicksay
as Star Atwater
Daniel Zacapa
as Harvey Harris
Fern Buchner
as WMIA Makeup Woman
Miguel Pérez
as WMIA Floor Manager
Nicholas Cascone
as WMIA Director
Salvadore Levy
as Congessman Levy
Kenneth Fuchs
as WMIA Assistant Direc...
Julie Foreman
as WMIA Producer
Edwina Moore
as WMIA Co-Anchor
Patti Davis Suarez
as WMIA Reporter
Marc Macaulay
as Police Spokesman
Ed Amatrudo
as Miami Reporter
Ana Azcuy
as Miami Reporter
Peter D'Oench
as Miami Reporter
Dave Game
as Miami Reporter
Michelle Gillen
as Miami Reporter
Eliott Rodriguez
as Miami Reporter
Jennifer Valoppi
as Miami Reporter
Yareli Arizmendi
as Inez Cifuentes
Salvador Levy
as Congressman Diaz
Manny Suarez
as Diaz Aide
Neil Giuntoli
as Trailer Park Manager
Jason Sanford
as Photographer
Michael Villani
as Doug Dunning
Noble Willingham
as Buford Sells
Elizabeth Ruscio
as Lulu Delano
Michael Shamus Wiles
as WFIL Cameraman
Nigel Gibbs
as WFIL Floor Manager
Mary Elizabeth Sheri...
as 98-Year-Old Twin
Marian Lamb Bechtelh...
as 98-Year-Old Twin
Natalie Barish
as Member of Focus Grou...
Wanda Lee Evans
as Member of Focus Grou...
Charles Noland
as Member of Focus Grou...
Charles Martiniz
as Member of Focus Grou...
Charles C. Stevenson...
as Member of Focus Grou...
Cynthia Szigeti
as Member of Focus Grou...
Guillermo Gentile
as Chess Player
as Himself
Richard Alliger
as Right to Life Protes...
Ginny Graham
as Homeless Woman
Frederick Strother
as City Councilman
Larry John Meyers
as Murray Gordon
Andy Prosky
as Cord Otavio
Bruce Gray
as Gabe Lawrence
Norman Parker
as Mark Lindner
Lori New
as Merino's Secretary
Roger Rathburn
as Gary Logan
Dennis Dun
as Satellite Van Techni...
Rhonda Overby
as WFIL Reporter
Jack Shearer
as Prison Expert
Andrew Glassman
as Shouting Questioner
Rick Warner
as Spokesman
Rosie Malek-Yonan
as Boarding Agent
Chris Stone
as Backstage Floor Mana...
Tom McCarthy
as Negotiator
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Up Close & Personal

Critic Reviews for Up Close & Personal

All Critics (48) | Top Critics (14)

Is it worse as a love story or as a drama about the sorry state of television news? The answer: It's a tie.

Full Review… | January 16, 2013
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

This is one of those untaxing time-killers where you spend a lot of time pondering which of its actress's changing hairstyles you like best.

January 1, 2000
USA Today
Top Critic

Full Review… | September 7, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Glitz! Glamour! Love! TV news ethics?

Full Review… | December 15, 2010
Common Sense Media

A perfectly respectable effort, but with all the talent involved it could have been better.

January 23, 2006
Fantastica Daily

Bland TV expose loosely based on the life of Jessica Savitch

April 29, 2005
Film Journal International

Audience Reviews for Up Close & Personal

Pfeiffer stars as Tally aka Sally who is a young and naive journalist who desperately wants to become a news anchor & enlists the help of a news director, Warren Justice (Robert Redford), to help Tally accomplish her dreams. With a beautiful and tragic story of true love and Celine Dion's Because You Love Me, this movie is simply wonderful and incredibly touching and holds a special place in my heart.

Cassie Hill

Super Reviewer


Old-fashioned Hollywood movies are hard to come by these days, and that is what makes this big-screen love story such a treasure. Writer Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne, who based the screenplay on Alanna Nash's biography of ill-fated TV newswoman have gone with a largely fictional tale, and this works very much in the film's favour.

Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer


So sweet and romantic.

Leigh Ryan

Super Reviewer

Up Close & Personal Quotes

Tally Atwater (formerly Sally): I'm exactly the way you made me: do it this way, do it that way, do it MY way - until I don't even know how to do it without you.
– Submitted by Alyssa B (2 years ago)
Tally Atwater (formerly Sally): (proposes marriage to Warren) I want you around in the morning. How, I don't know, but you do.
Warren Justice: You already have me around in the morning. How, I don't know, but you do.
Tally Atwater (formerly Sally): I wanna know that you're legally required to be there.
– Submitted by Alyssa B (2 years ago)
Warren Justice: (His advice about news headlines) "If it bleeds, it leads."
– Submitted by Alyssa B (2 years ago)
Tally Atwater (formerly Sally): (after sex) Why didn't we do this before?
Warren Justice: Because it was always gonna be this hard to stop.
– Submitted by Alyssa B (2 years ago)

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