Memories of Me (1988)





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The bittersweet comedy Memories of Me stars Billy Crystal as Dr. Abbie Polin, a New York heart surgeon, long estranged from his father, Abe (Alan King). When the doctor suffers a mild heart attack, he tries to patch things up with his dad, hoping in this way to bring some equilibrium to his own life. This proves well-nigh impossible; Abe, the self-described "king of the Hollywood extras," is not only a play-actor in Tinseltown but in life itself, refusing to take on any real responsibilities, least of all the responsibility of parenthood. So far as Abe is concerned, his only "family" consists of his fellow extras. Though Abbie is extremely judgmental of his father, he himself is no prize in the commitment department, especially when dealing with his longtime lady friend (JoBeth Williams). Star/co-writer Crystal, co-star/co-producer King, and director Henry Winkler lay on the sentiment in thick, juicy slices toward the end. The final sequence in Memories of Me, a Felliniesque funeral, is very clever but somewhat out of synch with what has gone before. One of the film's highlights is a brief celebrity cameo by one of Alan King's "close personal friends."
PG-13 (adult situations/language)
Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

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Billy Crystal
as Dr. Abbie Polin, Abbie
Sean Connery
as Sean Connery
Janet Carroll
as Dorothy Davis
David Ackroyd
as 1st Assistant Director
Phil Fondacaro
as Horace Bosco
Peter Elbing
as Director
Joe Shea
as Stan Kantor
Margarito Mendoza
as Mariachi Trumpet Player
Mark L. Taylor
as 2nd Assistant Director
Peter Elbling
as Director
Larry Cedar
as 1st Assistant Director (Soap)
Noni White
as Waitress
Zachary Benjamin
as Young Abbie
Sue Rihr
as Shiela
Leigh Lombardi
as Soap Opera Nurse
Angela Clarke
as Mrs. Petrakis
Karl Lukas
as Bartender
David Correia
as Photographer
Ryan McWhorter
as Middle Abbie
Sidney Miller
as Slow-Burn
Michael Harte
as Receptionist
Rusty Schwimmer
as Strawberry
Cory Danziger
as Older Abbie
Joseph Medalis
as Sallow Man
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Critic Reviews for Memories of Me

All Critics (2) | Top Critics (1)

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October 31, 2005

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Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Memories of Me

More "remember the Borscht Belt, man, those were the days!" schtick from Billy Crystal, this time with Alan King, as if one schticker wasn't enough.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


Winkler’s direction is workmanlike but his staging is unimaginative and there’s no comic bounce to the supposedly funny sequences. The film looks exactly like a TV sitcom with flat lighting and a minimum of camera movement. Ultimately, Memories Of Me simply dies on the screen. Alan King, who died of cancer earlier this year, deserved a lot better.

Lee Mayo
Lee Mayo

I watched the 1988 movie "Memories of Me," with Alan King and Billy Crystal for the first time yesterday afternoon. It was about a film-extra actor who never could realy get his act together until the final act of his life when his son, a doctor, comes into his life to try and reconcile his relationship with his estranged father. The lead character played by Alan King, BTW a fantastic actor in real-life and in this role, and a greaat comic, seemed to exhibit textbook ADHD traits in his part as the loose-tongued 63 year old. Eating tacos for breakfast, smoking and filled with boundless energy, enthusiasm and self-neglect. He basically acts impulsively and recklessly with no thought of the consequences of his words or actions on others. He also has such low-regard for himself and such self-loathing that he willingly sits in the shadows whilst lesser luminaries, like his former felow extra actors, move on to bigger and brighter jobs in the entertainment biz while he languishes without an agent continuing to struggle for roles as he ages. I am a talented singer. Hear me singing here: Amy Zents Sings "Memory." Yet for the past 48 years I have not advanced beyound doing local low-paying gigs. Just like the lead character in "Memories of Me," like the Alan King character in "Memories of Me," at some level, I have been afraid to be "discovered." Yet, it would matter to me a lot. But, I think I feel secretly afraid. Also, I don't take care of my health as well as I should. True, I quit drinking and smoking, but I eat like a horse and don't get enough exercise.

Molly Siesta
Molly Siesta

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