Headstrong 19-year-old Libby Tucker (Dinah Manoff) impulsively hitchhikes from her native New York City to Hollywood, Calif., to visit her long-estranged screenwriter father, Herbert (Walter Matthau). An aspiring actress, Libby expects Herbert to atone for running out on her when she was a baby by helping to make her a star. But it soon becomes clear that the underemployed Herbert and his hairdresser girlfriend, Steffy (Ann-Margret), are not in a position to advance anyone elses career.
Neil Simons I Ought to Be in Pictures (also known simply as I Ought to Be in Pictures) is a 1982 American comedy-drama film directed by Herbert Ross and based on Neil Simons play of the same name. The film stars Walter Matthau, Ann-Margret, and Dinah Manoff (the only one to reprise her role in the movie). Other actors who have supporting roles are Lance Guest, Eugene Butler, David Faustino, Martin Ferrero and Michael Dudikoff.
The film was released on March 26, 1982, a year after the original broadway show ended and was filmed mainly in Los Angeles, California.
Grandmother has nothing to say when Libby tells her that she is off to LA to look up Dad, a Hollywood screenwriter. Grandmother has been in a New York cemetery for six years and Dad has been out of Libby's life for 16 of her 19 years. Libby arrives in LA on a Tuesday and phones Dad the one night that Stephanie, who does Jane Fonda's hair, stays over. Stephanie is there the next morning when Libby decides she needs to tell her story face-to-face.
A 19-year-old Brooklynite, Libby Tucker (Dinah Manoff), visiting her dead grandmas grave at a New York cemetery, reveals that she is moving to Hollywood to become an actress and find her father, screenwriter Herbert Tucker. Libby takes a bus to Denver, then hitchhikes the rest of the way. Libby then tries to call Herb but gets nervous and hangs up.
The next morning, Libby goes to the house where Herb lives and meets his girlfriend, Steffy Blondell (Ann-Margret), who invites Libby inside. After becoming acquainted and learning the reason why Libby is in town, Steffy needs to leave. Herb Tucker (Walter Matthau) awakens to find Libby after a 16-year gap in their lives. The two chat about their pasts and Libby fills in Herb in on the family he left behind, including her younger brother Robbie. The two eventually begin arguing about Libbys goal of becoming an actress just as Steffy returns, and Libby runs out of the house.
Herb tracks down Libby at a motel and eventually persuades her to come back to live at his house. They begin to get along, although the high-strung Libby also begins to realize that Herb is not nearly as successful in Hollywood as she had assumed he was. He is also on the verge of losing Steffy, who has been asked on a date by another man and has been waiting a long time for Herb to make a commitment.
A studio makeup artist, Steffy helps out Libby by arranging for her go to a drama school. Libby meets a young man named Gordon there and together they take a part-time job doing valet parking at a celebrity-filled private party. Libby comes home at 3 a.m. and tells Herb about putting business cards on car windshields reading "Sunset Valet Parking. No party is too big or too small" on the front and "Libby Tucker, New York-Trained Actress. No part is too big or too small" on the back with her phone number included. He tells her that there is no chance of this helping her to become an actress, but Libby clings to her optimistic dreams.
Libby realizes more and more that her trips true purpose was to reestablish a relationship with her father. She decides to return home. After packing up, Libby makes a long-distance phone call to her mom and gets Herbert to talk to her for the first time in 16 years. He speaks with her brother Robbie as well.
Libby goes back home after taking Herbs picture for a keepsake. On the bus, she waves goodbye to Herb and Steffy, who appear to have worked out their differences.Walter Matthau as Herbert Tucker
Ann-Margret as Steffy Blondell
Dinah Manoff as Libby Tucker
Lance Guest as Gordon
Calvin Ander as The Rabbi
Shelby Balik as Shelley
Larry Barton as Harry
Eugene Butler as Marty
Bill Cross as Truck Driver
Michael Dudikoff as Boy on bus
Gillian Farrell as Waitress
David Faustino as Martin
Martin Ferrero as Monte Del Rey
Allan Graf as Baseball Fan
Samantha Harper as Larane
Noberto Kerner as Groundskeeper
Art LaFleur as Baseball Fan
Nomi Mitty as Baseball Fan
Santos Morales as Mexican Truck Driver
Charles Parks as Baseball Fan
Jose Rabelo as Groundskeeper
Lewis Smith as Soldier
Virginia Wing as Auto Cashier
Wayne Woodson as Baseball Fan
Tom Wright as Baseball Fan
Muni Zano as Motel Cashier
Halbert W. Jalikeakek as Baseball Fan (uncredited)
Norris Maxwell as Cashier (uncredited)
Thomas Wright as Baseball Fan (uncredited)
"One Hello" was performed at the end of the movie by Randy Crawford and written by Carole Bayer Sager and Marvin Hamlisch. An instrumental version of "One Hello" is heard at various points in the movie as well. Hamlisch composed the main music for the movie.
I Ought to Be in Pictures was originally produced for Broadway in 1980 and the original cast starred Ron Leibman as Herbert Tucker, Joyce Van Patten as Steffy and Dinah Manoff as Libby Tucker; as mentioned, Manoff reprises her role in the movie. For the film version, most of the script from the play is the same with even more settings such as Dodger Stadium and the Hollywood Park Racetrack. The house used in the film was at 1761 Vista Del Mar Avenue, in Hollywood.
The film had an opening weekend gross of $2,170,397 in the United States. It would make go on to make $6,968,359 in six weeks.
Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert selected the film as one of the worst of the year in a 1982 episode of Sneak Previews.
Neil Simon wrote the story for Neil Simons I Ought to Be in Pictures and wrote the screenplay for California Suite. Neil Simon wrote the story for Neil Simons I Ought to Be in Pictures and wrote the screenplay for Plaza Suite. Neil Simon wrote the story for Neil Simons I Ought to Be in Pictures and wrote the screenplay for The Sunshine Boys. Neil Simon wrote the story for Neil Simons I Ought to Be in Pictures and wrote the screenplay for Only When I Laugh. Neil Simon wrote the story for Neil Simons I Ought to Be in Pictures and wrote the screenplay for Chapter Two.
I Ought to Be in Pictures was released on VHS by CBS Fox Video on December 1, 1982. To date, it has never been released on DVD or Blu-Ray.
The film has aired on Fox Movie Channel on various occasions.