Sunset Limousine VHS cover
|Directed by||Terry Hughes|
|Edited by||Michael J. Lynch|
|Distributed by||Columbia Broadcasting System|
Sunset Limousine is a 1983 American made-for-television comedy film written by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais. Directed by Terry Hughes and shot on locations in San Diego, the film stars John Ritter, Susan Dey, Paul Reiser, Audrie Neenan, Martin Short, and George Kirby in a story about a limo driver who aspires to be a stand-up comic.
Pre-production began in 1979 after British company Witzend Productions signed to produce the project for CBS. Filming took place during May 1983 with Lainie Kazan, Martin Short, and Audie Neenan joining the cast that month. The film debuted October 12, 1983 on CBS.
Alan O'Black (John Ritter) is an aspiring stand-up comic who takes on a job as limousine driver in order to prove to his girlfriend Julie (Susan Dey) after she has kicked him out of their shared home, that he can be a responsible adult. Her standing complaint about Alan as a boyfriend has been that he sees life as one long rehearsal. This is exacerbated by the fact that, even with a now-steady job and dealing with strange passenger/clients, Alan rehearses his comedy at every opportunity and deals with bizarre situations with good-natured aplomb. He and his buddy Jay (Paul Reiser) become involved the shady dealings of businessman Bradley Coleman (Martin Short), which results in a chase through Los Angeles with both sides of the law in pursuit.
- John Ritter as Alan O'Black
- Susan Dey as Julie Preston
- Paul Reiser as Jay Neilson
- Audrie Neenan as Karen
- Martin Short as Bradley Z. Coleman
- George Kirby as Elmer
- James Luisi as Angel
- Louise Sorel as Dolores Chase
- Lainie Kazan as Jessie Durning
- Michael Ensign as Gavrik
- Charles Lane as Reinhammer
- Stacey Nelkin as Stacey
- John Snee as Steven
- Darrell Zwerling as Janczyn
- Tom Dreesen as Comic 'Himself'
- Eleanor Mondale as Secretary
- Martin Mull as Mel Shaver
- Joyce Little as Lauren
- Dick Patterson as Howard Chase
People Magazine bemoaned John Ritter's comedy ability being "drowned out" within the "cruder context of Three's Company", and wrote that his ability "shines in this fanciful TV-movie." It was expanded that the film's story line is silly, but as Ritter's character "gamely rehearses his [comedy] act through it all", he shows himself as "delightful."
The Age wrote that Sunset Limousine stood out from most American television comedies because it actually was funny. In praising star John Ritter, it was offered that his timing and charm made a story that was otherwise rubbish into something entertaining. As the story progresses Ritter's character "handles the most impossible situations with politeness and good humor," becoming "increasingly endearing."
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette panned the film, offering that CBS' reliance on names over substance could not keep the film from being silly, and that even appearances by Lannie Kazan and George Kirby could not save prevent the film from being mindless.
- Shreger, Charles (August 24, 1979). "British Moving In On American Film Industry". The Spokesman-Review. p. 68. Retrieved September 10, 2014.
- staff (May 28, 1983). "If you loved Lainie Kazan...". Wilmington Morning Star. Retrieved September 10, 2014.
- Marilyn Beck (May 22, 1983). "Actress gets part of Hughes estate; The Videoland View". The Spokesman-Review. p. 4. Retrieved September 10, 2014.
- staff (October 9, 1983). "Ritter drives into trouble in Sunset Limousine". The Salina Journal. p. 59. Retrieved September 10, 2014.
- staff (October 17, 1983). "Picks and Pans Review: Sunset Limousine". People Magazine. Retrieved September 9, 2014.
- Murdoch, Anna (August 28, 1986). "Smiling in the sunset". The Age. p. 30,31. Retrieved September 9, 2014.
- Flander, Judy (April 24, 1985). "Tune in Tonight". Ocala Star-Banner. Retrieved September 10, 2014.
- Sherwood, Rick (October 12, 1983). "'Sunset Limousine' another silly movie without substance". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved September 10, 2014.