Lost in Yonkers (film)

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For the play, see Lost in Yonkers.
Lost in Yonkers
Lost in yonkers poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Martha Coolidge
Written by Neil Simon
Based on Lost in Yonkers
by Neil Simon
Music by Elmer Bernstein
Cinematography Johnny E. Jensen
A. Troy Thomas
Edited by Steven Cohen
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date
  • May 14, 1993 (1993-05-14) (U.S.)
  • October 21, 1993 (1993-10-21) (Argentina)
  • November 18, 1993 (1993-11-18) (Australia)
  • January 14, 1994 (1994-01-14) (Spain)
  • April 29, 1994 (1994-04-29) (Sweden)
Running time
114 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $9,285,189

Lost in Yonkers is a 1993 film adaptation of Neil Simon's Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name, directed by Martha Coolidge. It stars Irene Worth, Mercedes Ruehl, and Richard Dreyfuss.

It was the first theatrical feature film to be edited on Avid Media Composer.

Plot synopsis[edit]

In 1942 in the Bronx, Evelyn Kurnitz has just died following a lengthy illness. Her husband, Eddie Kurnitz, needs to take a job as a traveling salesman to pay off the medical bills incurred, and decides to ask his stern and straight talking mother, from whom he is slightly estranged, if his two early-teen sons, Jay and Arty (who their Grandma calls by their full given names, Yakob and Arthur), can live with her and their Aunt Bella Kurnitz in Yonkers. His mother refuses at first but reluctantly agrees after Bella threatens to leave her. Despite their Grandma owning and operating a candy store, Jay and Arty don't like their new living situation as they're afraid of their Grandma, and find it difficult to relate to their crazy Aunt Bella, whose slow mental state is manifested by perpetual excitability and a short attention span, which outwardly comes across as a childlike demeanor. Into their collective lives returns one of Eddie and Bella's other siblings, Louie Kurnitz, a henchman for some gangsters. He is hiding out from Hollywood Harry, who wants what Louie stole and is hiding in his small black bag. Jay and Arty's mission becomes how to make money fast so that they can help their father and move back in together, which may entail stealing the $15,000 their Grandma has hidden somewhere. Bella's mission is to find a way to tell the family that she wants to get married to Johnny, her equally slow movie theater usher boyfriend; the two could also use $5,000 of Grandma's hidden money to open their dream restaurant. And Louie's mission is to survive the next couple of days.


Broadway play[edit]

Main article: Lost in Yonkers

After eleven previews, the Broadway production, directed by Gene Saks, opened on February 21, 1991 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, where it ran for 780 performances. The original cast included Jamie Marsh, Irene Worth, Mercedes Ruehl, and Kevin Spacey.


  • Roger Ebert (14 May 1993). "Lost In Yonkers". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2008-06-26. 

External links[edit]