Maxie (film)

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Maxie -- movie poster.jpg
Directed by Paul Aaron
Produced by Carter DeHaven
Rich Irvine (exec)
James L. Stewart (exec)
Written by Patricia Resnick
Jack Finney (book)
Music by Georges Delerue
Cinematography Fred Schuler
Edited by Lynzee Klingman
Distributed by Orion Pictures
Release date
  • September 27, 1985 (1985-09-27)
Running time
98 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $2,564,278

Maxie is a 1985 American fantasy film directed by Paul Aaron and starring Glenn Close, Mandy Patinkin, Valerie Curtin, Ruth Gordon and Barnard Hughes. The plot is based on the 1973 novel Marion's Wall by Jack Finney about a woman who is possessed by a very outgoing female ghost - a budding actress from the 1920s - named Maxie, who wants to fulfill her destiny.


When husband Nick and his wife Jan, somewhat staid and socially stifled, move into an old house in San Francisco, they uncover a message under layers of wallpaper left by a previous tenant. ("Maxie Malone lived here! Read it and weep!").

The daft landlady from upstairs is overwhelmed when she sees the message and tells them about an actress, Maxie Malone, who lived there in the 1920s. Maxie was a brash, young party girl who died in a car crash the morning before her big audition for a Hollywood studio. Her only movie legacy, mere minutes on film, is dug up by Nick who watches it with Jan, who goes to bed right afterwards. Nick, too, is headed to bed, but he is stopped by a voice which tells him to play the piece again. He thinks that it is Jan at first, but the voice materializes partially in front of him as Maxie and he plays the piece again for her. Then Maxie disappears and Nick goes to bed, dismissing the incident as a psychotic episode.

The next day at work, his boss (who has romantic designs about him) invites him and Jan to a party. Jan is nervous about the high society bash when Nick agrees to attend, but Maxie (who has inserted her soul into Jan's body) behaves rather differently from Jan. "Jan" gets drunk, dances seductively, and sings a vamp version of "Bye Bye Blackbird" draped over the piano, flirting with every male there. Maxie and Nick, drunk, break into an amusement park and make out on a merry-go-round, only to be caught by a policeman, who lets them go because of an excuse Nick makes up.

Somehow this otherworldly possession must end, so that Jan can resume her own life. The solution lies in an audition for the lead in a new film production of Cleopatra. Paired with actor Harry Hamlin (as himself), "Jan" dazzles everyone when Maxie takes over the role. A successful actress at last, Maxie moves on in the afterlife. She leaves Jan freer and happier, comfortable in expressing her own sexuality, thanks to sharing Maxie's irrepressible feminine spirit.



Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA

  • 1986, Glenn Close was nominated for the Saturn Award for Best Actress
  • 1986, Ruth Gordon was nominated for the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress

Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival

  • 1986, Paul Aaron won the Silver Raven


  • 1987, Maxie was nominated for the Best Film Award International Fantasy Film Award for Best Film

Critical response [edit]

Critic Roger Ebert, in a review dated September 27, 1985, wrote, "...if Maxie had any brains, she'd appear in Jan's body, take one look at the script, and decide she was better off dead."[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ebert, Roger (September 27, 1985). [1]. Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2012-03-05.

External links[edit]