The Allnighter (film)

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The Allnighter
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Tamar Simon Hoffs
Produced by James L. Stewart
Written by Tamar Simon Hoffs
M.L. Kessler
Music by Charles Bernstein
Cinematography Joseph D. Urbanczyk
Edited by Dan M. Rich
Aurora Productions
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date
May 1, 1987
Running time
108 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget approx $1 million[1]
Box office $2.7 million

The Allnighter is a 1987 American comedy film directed by Tamar Simon Hoffs, released on May 1, 1987 and starring her daughter Susanna Hoffs, Dedee Pfeiffer, Joan Cusack and Pam Grier.


Molly (Hoffs), Val (Pfeiffer) and Gina (Cusack) are graduating college, but on their final night, frustrations are aired. Molly is still looking for real love and Val is beginning to doubt if that is what she has found. Gina is too busy videotaping everything to really notice. When the final party at Pacifica College kicks off, things do not go exactly as planned.



The film was also known as Cutting Loose.[2]

It was written and directed by Hoffs' mother who had directed a number of music videos, including the Bangles' Going Down to Liverpool, and two short films, including The Haircut with John Cassavetes. She said:

Movies are never 100% accurate because they're one step away from reality, but I think this is an accurate depiction of young people-and not just kids in Southern California in 1987. I went to Yale and the experiences depicted in the film are very much like experiences I had at school. In fact, the three female leads are loosely based on myself and my two roommates. There are certain stories you can tell over and over and it's possible to have enormous amounts of content buried in a film like this. Being in school delays having to deal with certain aspects of life and these kids are still a bit innocent, so on one level the film is about the end of innocence. It's also about the relationships that develop between people when they live together at a certain point in their lives.[3]

Tamar Hoffs called the film as "sort of a beach party movie intended for kids from 14 to 16... I've always loved beach party movies," she admits, "because they're optimistic and ask nothing more of the viewer than the price of admission and just hanging out-and that's pretty much the mood of `The Allnighter.' It's a light, easy film about a moment in time when friendship really counts."[3]

Tamar Hoffs said she did not write the film with her daughter in mind.[4]

Susannah Hoffs does not sing in the film, and no Bangles music is featured. She said:

This movie isn't a musical, and it would've confused the audience if I'd sung in the film-particularly since that's not what the character I portray is about. I play a vulnerable, cautious, self-protective girl-adjectives that describe me pretty well, by the way. I identified with this character quite a bit. On the other hand, she's a beach girl and that's something quite foreign to me. Even though I grew up at the beach and love it there, I can remember looking at surfers and surf bunnies and thinking 'Wow! Who are these people?! They're so cool they're like creatures from another planet!'[3]


The film was promoted with a poster featuring Susanna Hoffs wearing a skimpy bikini as she sips a cocktail and the tag line "Who says you can't do it all in one night?"

"I feel pretty weird about it," said Hoffs, "though there's a side of me that thinks it's kind of funny. I do a scene in the film wearing nothing but my underwear and I must admit that was hard to do. I knew if I had an incredible song blasting in the background I'd be able to do it, so I brought in a copy of Aretha's 'Respect' and that did the trick."[3]

She added, "I'm satisfied with my performance in the long run... It left me eager to do more-probably because we all had so much fun. There was great cameraderie among the cast and I don't think anyone felt I was given special treatment because I was the director's daughter."[3]


The film was popularly and critically panned, receiving a 0% on the Internet review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.[5]

The film, according to motion picture-historian Leonard Maltin, was "...grotesque in the AIDS era, although it would be a stinker in any age."[citation needed]

The New York Times called it "outstandingly dim... The principals are three bubble-headed women who room together, and the film could be accused of sexism if their male counterparts were not equally dumb."[6]

The Hoffs said they planned to make another film together despite The Allnighter's poor reception. "The critics can’t ruin our relationship," said Tamar.[1] However no subsequent film resulted.

Susanna Hoffs later said, "It was such a low budget quickie thing, a cutesy little teeny-bopper movie. It wasn’t a great movie but the whole experience of it was great."[7]

DVD releases[edit]

On August 24, 1999, Universal Studios Home Entertainment released The Allnighter on DVD.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Gold, Todd (8 June 1987). "A Bangle Bares All in a Teen Flick Directed by Her Mom". People.
  2. ^ It's been a name game;get your family ready to hit the road. (1987, Apr 07). USA TODAY (Pre-1997 Fulltext) Retrieved from
  3. ^ a b c d e McKENNA, K. (1987, May 05). MOTHER AND A BANGLE TEAM UP FOR A MOVIE. Los Angeles Times (Pre-1997 Fulltext) Retrieved from
  4. ^ Marcia, F. C. (1987, May 10). TAMAR SIMON HOFFS MOTHER-DAUGHTER TEAMS ARE THE WAVE OF THE FUTURE. Chicago Tribune (Pre-1997 Fulltext) Retrieved from
  5. ^ The Allnighter at Rotten Tomatoes
  6. ^ "The Allnighter Review". New York Times.
  7. ^ Hunt, Chris (1991). "LET'S GO TO BED: SUSANNA HOFFS INTERVIEW". Rage.
  8. ^ DVD information for The Allnighter,

External links[edit]