Simon (1980)

Simon (1980)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Simon Photos

Movie Info

In this far-out comedy that slams it to academia, television, and the military, Simon (Alan Arkin) is a puffed-up professor who is boondoggled by a group of geniuses in a think tank. Becker (Austin Pendleton) leads the wacked-out thinkers as they invent off-the-wall games to keep themselves amused instead of solving global problems in ecology or whatever. They manage to convince Simon he is really a space alien, but then Simon gets away from them and takes refuge in a strange commune headed up by a former television executive (Adolph Green) whose bible is TV Guide. Simon's life does not get any easier since he is being hunted by the army with orders to shoot on sight.
Comedy , Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Warner Bros.

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Alan Arkin
as Prof. Simon Mendelssohn
Madeline Kahn
as Dr. Cynthia Mallory
Austin Pendleton
as Dr. Carl Becker
William Finley
as Fichandler
as Barundi
Wallace Shawn
as Van Dongen
Max Wright
as Hundertwasser
Fred Gwynne
as Korey
Adolph Green
as Commune Leader
Pierre Epstein
as Military aide at map
Roy Cooper
as General's aide
Rex Robbins
as Army Doctor
Hetty Galen
as Mother
David Gideon
as Security guard
David Susskind
as Himself
Dick Cavett
as Himself
Remak Ramsay
as TV newscaster
Hansford Rowe
as TV priest
Yusef Bulos
as TV philosopher
Jerry Mayer
as TV scientist
Sol Frieder
as TV rabbi
William Griffis
as TV senator
Tom Kubiak
as Roach reaction patient
Al Cerullo
as Helicopter pilot
James Dukas
as Narration
Ed Karvoski
as Commune Member
Ricky Murray
as Commune Member
Stephanie Segal
as Commune Member
Lisa Maurer
as Commune Member
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Critic Reviews for Simon

All Critics (5) | Top Critics (1)

Simon is propelled by a witty screenplay and the energetic brio of Alan Arkin in the lead role.

Full Review… | January 29, 2004
Spirituality and Practice

The direction of the story is anyone's guess

December 31, 1999

Quote not available.

Full Review… | May 5, 2006
TV Guide

Quote not available.

April 7, 2006
New York Post
Top Critic

Quote not available.

July 23, 2005

Audience Reviews for Simon

his is, apparently, supposed to be a clever biting satire along the lines of Dr. Strangelove or perhaps Network, but it fails miserably. Dreadfully pretentious, Marshall Brickman's direction is insulting. I was not in the least bit amused.

James Higgins
James Higgins

2.5/10. This is, apparently, supposed to be a clever biting satire along the lines of Dr. Strangelove or perhaps Network, but it fails miserably. Dreadfully pretentious, Marshall Brickman's direction is insulting. I was not in the least bit amused.

James Higgins
James Higgins

[size=3][font=Tahoma]This movie has so many things that make you go "oh really?" that you need to watch it a couple of times just to catch it all. The interesting thing at the start is the really black mood of the country coming out of the 1970's. Oil embargos, embarrassment in Vietnam, Jimmy "Malaise" Carter as President for goodness sake! So all the bad things that have happened come down to the Institute for Advanced Concepts and the director - Dr. Arnold Becker. There are 5 guys who were put together to think about solutions to problems, "you know--war, hunger, that sort of thing". When asked what happened, he simply replies that they "moved on to more interesting material". Upon reading a new story that a majority of Americans believe that we have been visited by extra-terrestrials, the group at the Institute decides to give them what they want. An extra-terrestrial. Of course, to do this they first need to find the right orphan--since an extraterrestrial must not be traceable to earth-born parents. And then we get to Dr. Simon Mendelson (Alan Arkin). He is a sociology professor who's favorite saying is, "You can move the world with an idea, but you have to think of it first!". Simon is offered a position at the institute with all the equiment and time he needs to do his research on a "general theory of creativity". And he gets a beautiful assistant in Madeline Kahn, who fulfills his every dream. She also obtains samples of his bodily fluids for the team at the Institute. Simon has been experimenting with sensory deprivation chambers (those sure passed through their fad stage quickly, didn't they?) and instead of having him come out after 1 hour, the team at the Institute leaves him in there for 200 hours. His brain turns to tapioca and when he is brought out he is given a new birth memory - that his mother is an extra-terrestrial and he is an engineered being--a toaster as it were. At this point he starts cooking. The Institute announces their ET, the press shows up and is wowed, and Simon starts issuing rules that he wants written into the Constitution to make everyone's life better. Some of them include: [/font][/size][list][*][size=3]All politicans who appear in public have to wear a cone-shaped party hat[/size][*][size=3]Anyone who owns a factory that makes toxic waste has to take it home with him at night[/size][*][size=3]We don't need a House and Senate, the Romans got by with just a Senate so why can't we?[/size][/list][size=3]Simon's escapades and announcements make for a rip-roaring good time. Strangely enough this move is aimed at adults, which shows just how much the movie business has changed in the past 25 years. Strongly recommended [/size]

Bryan Mullinax
Bryan Mullinax

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