Neil Simon's I Ought to Be in Pictures

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For the Neil Simon play of the same name, see I Ought to Be in Pictures.
Neil Simon's I Ought to Be in Pictures
I ought to be in pictures.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Herbert Ross
Produced by Herbert Ross
Neil Simon
Written by Play:
Neil Simon
Neil Simon
Music by Marvin Hamlisch
Cinematography David M. Walsh
Edited by Sidney Levin
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release dates
March 26, 1982
Running time
108 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $6,968,359

Neil Simon's I Ought to Be in Pictures (also known simply as I Ought to Be in Pictures) is a 1982 American comedy-drama film directed by Herbert Ross and based on Neil Simon's play of the same name. The film stars Walter Matthau, Ann-Margret, and Dinah Manoff (the only one to reprise her role in the movie). Other actors who have supporting roles are Lance Guest, Eugene Butler, David Faustino, Martin Ferrero and Michael Dudikoff.

The film was released on March 26, 1982, a year after the original broadway show ended and was filmed mainly in Los Angeles, California.


The film starts with 19-year-old Brooklynite Libby Tucker (Dinah Manoff) visiting her dead grandma's grave at a New York cemetery, and informs that she was moving to Hollywood to become an actress and find her father, Screenwriter Herbert Tucker. Libby takes the bus to Denver, then hitchhikes the rest of the way. Libby then tries to call Herb but gets nervous and hangs up.

The next morning, Libby goes to the house Herb lives where she meets his girlfriend, Steffy Blondell (Ann-Margret) who invites Libby in. Libby and Steffy find out about each other's past and the reason why Libby is in town. After Steffy steps out, Herbert Tucker (Walter Matthau) awakens to see Libby after a 16-year gap. The two chat about their pasts and Libby fills Herbert in on the family he left behind including Libby. The two eventually begin arguing about Libby's goal of becoming an actress just as Steffy returns, and ran out, leaving them behind.

Herbert later finds Libby at a motel and eventually persuades her to come back to the house where she would redecorate. Steffy helps out Libby by having her go to a Drama School; She would meet a young man named Gordon there. One night, Libby comes home at 3:00 A.M. to tell Herbert that he was out meeting famous people and putting cards on their car windshields saying, "Sunset Valet Parking. No party is too big or too small" while on the back it says, "Libby Tucker, New York, Trained Actress. No part is too big or too small" with the phone number attached. He tells her that there is no chance of becoming an actress; later they would talk about sex. Eventually, Libby realizes she is unsure if she wants to be an actress. After a few more days she decides to return home. After packing up, Libby makes a long distance phone call to mom and gets Herbert to talk to her for the first time in 16 years. Libby goes back home after taking his pictures. On the bus, she ends the film by saying that she was unsure of her future as she was "sort of in a transitional period." Libby waves goodbye to Herbert and Steffy as she goes back home to New York.



"One Hello" was performed at the end of the movie by Randy Crawford and written by Carole Bayer Sager and Marvin Hamlisch.[1] An instrumental version of "One Hello" is heard at various points in the movie as well. Hamlisch composed the main music for the movie.

Filming and production[edit]

I Ought to Be in Pictures was originally produced for Broadway in 1980 and the original cast starred Ron Leibman as Herbert Tucker, Joyce Van Patten as Steffy and Dinah Manoff as Libby Tucker; as mentioned, Manoff reprises her role in the movie.[2] For the film version, most of the script from the play is the same with even more settings such as Dodger Stadium and the Hollywood Park Racetrack. The house used in the film was at 1761 Vista Del Mar Avenue, in Hollywood.


The film had an opening weekend gross of $2,170,397 in the United States.[3] It would make go on to make $6,968,359[3] in six weeks.

Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert selected the film as one of the worst of the year in a 1982 episode of Sneak Previews.[4]


I Ought to Be in Pictures was released on VHS by CBS Fox Video on December 1, 1982[5] and reprinted in 1984. To date, it has never been released on DVD or Blu-Ray.

The film has aired on Fox Movie Channel on various occasions.


  1. ^ Stubblebine, Donald J. (1991). Cinema Sheet Music: A Comprehensive Listing of Published Film Music From "Squaw Man" (1914) to "Batman" (1989). McFarland. p. 179. ISBN 0-89950-569-4. 
  2. ^ Neil Simon's I Ought to Be in Pictures at the Internet Broadway Database
  3. ^ a b I Ought to Be in Pictures at Box Office Mojo
  4. ^ Sneak Previews: Worst of 1982
  5. ^ "I Ought to Be in Pictures (VHS, 1982)". Retrieved 21 October 2010. 

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