My Blue Heaven (1990 film)

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My Blue Heaven
My blue heaven poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byHerbert Ross
Written byNora Ephron
Produced by
CinematographyJohn Bailey
Edited by
Music byIra Newborn
Hawn/Sylbert Movie Company
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • August 17, 1990 (1990-08-17)
Running time
95 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Box office$23.6 million[2]

My Blue Heaven is a 1990 American crime comedy film directed by Herbert Ross, written by Nora Ephron, and starring Steve Martin, Rick Moranis, and Joan Cusack. This is the third film in which Martin and Moranis starred together. It has been noted for its relationship to Goodfellas, which was released one month later. Both films are based on the life of Henry Hill, although the character is renamed "Vincent 'Vinnie' Antonelli" in My Blue Heaven. Goodfellas was based on the book Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi, while the screenplay for My Blue Heaven was written by Pileggi's wife Nora Ephron, and much of the research for both works was done in the same sessions with Hill.[3]


Vinnie Antonelli is a former mobster recently inducted into the Witness Protection Program with his wife, Linda. The two are under the watchful eye of federal agent Barney Coopersmith. Vinnie and Barney soon find common ground when both of their wives leave them due to their lifestyles. While he succeeds in getting Vinnie to a suburb in California and a private home, Barney has one more problem: he must make sure the jovial and sometimes mischievous Vinnie conforms to Witness Protection protocol until he testifies against mob kingpins.




Ephron first pitched the idea for the film to Goldie Hawn and Anthea Sylbert (who went on to produce the film) in 1987.[4] After Hawn left the project in 1989, Steve Martin was cast to play Coopersmith, with Arnold Schwarzenegger playing the role of Antonelli. However, Schwarzenegger was offered the role of Det. John Kimble in Kindergarten Cop and left the production. Failing to find another suitable "Vinnie" for Martin's Coopersmith (Danny DeVito turned down the role), Martin offered to take on the part of Vinnie himself. Producers agreed, and then cast Rick Moranis as Coopersmith, who had originally been considered for the role, but was unavailable.[5][6]


Principal photography began in October 1989. It took place primarily in the California cities of San Luis Obispo, Atascadero, Paso Robles, and the surrounding area, though the nominal setting is a fictional suburb of San Diego. Some scenes were shot in San Diego. The film's title comes from the famous song performed by Fats Domino,[7] which appears on the soundtrack.


The film's score was composed by Ira Newborn.

  1. "My Blue Heaven" (Music: Walter Donaldson, Lyrics: George A. Whiting) – Fats Domino
  2. "Surfin' U.S.A." (Chuck Berry and Brian Wilson) – The Beach Boys
  3. "Stranger in Paradise" (Robert Wright and George Forrest) – Tony Bennett
  4. "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)" (Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, and Eddie Holland) – Billy Hill
  5. "The Boy from New York City" (John Taylor and George Davis) – The Ad Libs
  6. "New York, New York" (John Kander and Fred Ebb)
  7. "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" (Albert von Tilzer and Jerry Northworth)
  8. "The Star-Spangled Banner" – United States Marine Band


Box office[edit]

My Blue Heaven opened in 1,859 venues on August 17, 1990 and earned $6.2 million in its debut, ranking fourth in the North American box office and second among the week's new releases.[8] It closed with a domestic gross of $23.6 million.[2]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 67% based on 18 reviews, with an average rating of 5.90/10.[9] Metacritic reports a weighted average score of 35 out of 100, based on 14 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[10] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B–" on an A+ to F scale.[11]

David J. Fox of The New York Times said the film was "a truly funny concept and a disappointment on the screen."[12][13]


  1. ^ "My Blue Heaven (PG) (CUT)". British Board of Film Classification. October 10, 1990. Retrieved December 11, 2016.
  2. ^ a b "My Blue Heaven (1990)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved December 11, 2016.
  3. ^ Hill, Henry (February 2007). Gangsters and Goodfellas: The Mob, Witness Protection, and Life on the Run. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 225–226. ISBN 978-1-59077-129-7.
  4. ^ "THE MOVIES : The fine art of MAKING THE DEAL". Los Angeles Times. May 27, 1990.
  5. ^ "The Compleat Steve :: About Steve :: Actor :: Movies :: My Blue Heaven Page 2". August 16, 1990. Archived from the original on July 15, 2011. Retrieved July 30, 2010.
  6. ^ "THE MOVIES : The fine art of MAKING THE DEAL". Los Angeles Times. May 27, 1990.
  7. ^ Gleiberman, Owen. "Movie Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
  8. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for August 17–19, 1990". Box Office Mojo. August 20, 1990. Retrieved December 11, 2016.
  9. ^ "My Blue Heaven (1990)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved October 12, 2021.
  10. ^ "My Blue Heaven Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved December 11, 2016.
  11. ^ "Find CinemaScore" (Type "My Blue Heaven" in the search box). CinemaScore. Retrieved November 30, 2020.
  12. ^ Fox, David J. (August 21, 1990). "Exorcist III a Hit With Moviegoers". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 13, 2012.
  13. ^ James, Caryn (2007). "My Blue Heaven (1990)". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Archived from the original on December 4, 2007.

External links[edit]