Neil Simon - Rotten Tomatoes

Neil Simon



As the most financially successful playwright in history, Bronx-born Neil Simon hardly needs TV and movies to enhance his reputation -- though at least one-third of his output has been geared exclusively to non-theatrical projects. Upon graduating from New York University, Simon began penning comedy material for nightclubs and revues, then signed on as a staff writer for TV comedian Sid Caesar. During his years with Caesar, and his later tenure on Phil Silvers' military sitcom "You'll Never Get Rich" (1955-59), Simon became skilled in the art of allowing jokes to flow naturally from the situation and the characters, rather than merely inserting gags arbitrarily for quick, cheap laughs. After an ignoble Broadway debut as librettist for the shortlived musical The Adventures of Marco Polo (1959), Simon scored a hit with his play Come Blow Your Horn (1961), which later became a successful Frank Sinatra film vehicle. Simon's first script written directly for the screen was After the Fox (1966), an uneven "international" comedy suffering from too many cooks (including star Peter Sellers and director Vittorio de Sica). Simon's next movie original, The Out of Towners (1969), was far more successful both financially and artistically. While his stage plays of the 1970s and 1980s were almost invaribly hits, Simon's film scripts of the same period fluctuated wildly in quality. There are few if any faults in The Heartbreak Kid (1972), The Goodbye Girl (1977), and Seems Like Old Times (1979). Conversely, Simon's movie-genre spoofs Murder by Death (1975) and The Cheap Detective (1978), while frequently uproarious, are little more than elonganted Sid Caesar sketches. And The Slugger's Wife (1983) is not only Simon's weakest screenplay, but also one of the worst big-budget pictures ever made. However, in the final analysis, Simon has hit the mark far more often than not -- in addition to his Pulitzer Prize for the 1991 play Lost in Yonkers, his scripts for The Odd Couple (1968), The Goodbye Girl (1977), and California Suite (1978) have been honored with Academy Awards. As he entered the 1990s, Simon suffered one major cinematic setback with 1991's The Marrying Man, then -- as always -- regained lost ground with still another Broadway smash, 1993's Laughter on the 23rd Floor.

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Neil Simon: The People's Playwright
  • Screenwriter
2006
No Score Yet The Goodbye Girl
  • Producer
  • Executive Producer
  • Screenwriter
2004
No Score Yet London Suite
  • Screenwriter
2004
No Score Yet Neil Simon's 'Laughter on the 23rd Floor'
  • Screenwriter
  • Executive Producer
2001
27% The Out-of-Towners
  • Screenwriter
1999
21% The Odd Couple II
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1998
No Score Yet Pitch
  • Actor
1997
No Score Yet The Sunshine Boys
  • Screenwriter
1997
No Score Yet Caesar's Writers
  • Actor
1996
71% Lost in Yonkers
  • Screenwriter
1993
No Score Yet Broadway Bound
  • Screenwriter
1992
10% The Marrying Man
  • Producer
  • Executive Producer
  • Screenwriter
1991
81% Biloxi Blues
  • Screenwriter
1988
No Score Yet The AFI Lifetime Achievement Awards: Jack Lemmon
  • Actor
1988
70% Brighton Beach Memoirs
  • Screenwriter
1986
0% The Slugger's Wife
  • Screenwriter
1985
48% The Lonely Guy
  • Screenwriter
1984
75% Max Dugan Returns
  • Screenwriter
  • Producer
1983
No Score Yet I Ought to Be in Pictures
  • Producer
  • Screenwriter
1982
50% Only When I Laugh
  • Producer
1981
75% Seems Like Old Times
  • Screenwriter
1980
40% Chapter Two
  • Screenwriter
1979
55% California Suite
  • Screenwriter
1978
50% The Cheap Detective
  • Screenwriter
1978
88% The Goodbye Girl
  • Screenwriter
1977
65% Murder by Death
  • Screenwriter
1976
81% The Sunshine Boys
  • Screenwriter
1975
No Score Yet The Prisoner of Second Avenue
  • Screenwriter
1975
No Score Yet Last of the Red Hot Lovers
  • Screenwriter
1972
91% The Heartbreak Kid
  • Screenwriter
1972
No Score Yet Star Spangled Girl
  • Screenwriter
1971
50% Plaza Suite
  • Screenwriter
1971
54% The Out-of-Towners
  • Screenwriter
1970
No Score Yet Sweet Charity
  • Screenwriter
1969
100% The Odd Couple
  • Screenwriter
1968
87% Barefoot in the Park
  • Screenwriter
1967
71% After the Fox (Caccia alla volpe)
  • Screenwriter
1966
No Score Yet Caesar's Hour
  • Screenwriter
1957

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT
No Score Yet The Odd Couple
2015
  • Screenwriter
No Score Yet Frasier
1993-2004
  • Guest

Quotes from Neil Simon's Characters

No quotes approved yet.