Willie & Phil

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Willie & Phil
Directed by Paul Mazursky
Written by Paul Mazursky
Starring Margot Kidder
Michael Ontkean
Ray Sharkey
Cinematography Sven Nykvist
Release dates
  • 1980 (1980)
Running time
115 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $5.5 million[1]
Box office $4,400,000[2]

Willie & Phil is a 1980 film directed by Paul Mazursky and starring Margot Kidder and Michael Ontkean.


The film is set in the 1970s and amidst the counterculture chic of that era. Willie, a high school English teacher who plays jazz piano (Michael Ontkean), and Phil, a fashion photographer (Ray Sharkey), meet coming out of the Bleecker Street Cinema where Jules et Jim has just been shown and become friends. They both fall in love with Jeannette, a girl from Kentucky (Margot Kidder).

Critical responses[edit]

The film was reviewed by Pauline Kael in The New Yorker. "It could be that the theme of Jules et Jim, which preoccupies Mazursky - woman as the source of life and art, and woman as destroyer - is just what he can't handle. The ad for Willie & Phil does bring out the film's latent subject: we see the open mouth of a giant goddess who is holding two men in the palm of her hand. They reach up to her with their offerings - one with a bottle of wine, the other with a bunch of flowers. She may be breathing life into these dwarf suitors or preparing to devour them along with their gifts. Either way, she's a source of awe and terror. All through the picture, Mazursky has been trying to demystify what he experiences as mystifying. This movie is a little monument to screwed-up notions of what women are." [3]



  1. ^ Aubrey Solomon, Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History, Scarecrow Press, 1989 p259
  2. ^ http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=willieandphil.htm
  3. ^ Pauline Kael Taking It All In ISBN 0-7145-2841-2

External links[edit]