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Theatrical release poster
Directed by Nora Ephron
Produced by Sean Daniel
Nora Ephron
James Jacks
Executive Producer: Delia Ephron
Jonathan D. Krane
G. Mac Brown
Written by Nora Ephron
Delia Ephron
Peter Dexter
Jim Quinlan (Story)
Starring John Travolta
Andie MacDowell
William Hurt
Bob Hoskins
Robert Pastorelli
Jean Stapleton
Music by Randy Newman
Editing by Geraldine Peroni
Distributed by New Line Cinema
Release date(s) United States Canada December 25, 1996
Running time 105 min.
Country  United States
Language English
Gross revenue $119,718,203

Michael is the title of a semi-autobiographical American fantasy motion picture directed by Nora Ephron and released in 1996. The film stars John Travolta as the Archangel Michael, who is sent to Earth to do various tasks, including mending some wounded hearts. The cast includes Andie MacDowell, William Hurt, Joey Lauren Adams and Robert Pastorelli as people who cross Michael's path.

The original music score was composed by Randy Newman. The dance scene and other location shots were filmed at the community center of Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Cornhill, Texas and on country roads near Walburg, Texas, as well as at Texas's Gruene Hall.

Contrary to popular depictions of angels, Michael is portrayed as a boozing, smoking, oversexed slob—yet capable of imparting unexpected wisdom. The character has several parallels with the unkempt, possibly deranged angel Michael in two BBC plays by Dennis Potter, Angels Are So Few (1970) and Only Make Believe (1973).


Plot summary

Vartan Malt is the editor of a tabloid called the National Mirror that specializes in unlikely stories about celebrities and frankly unbelievable tales about ordinary folks. When Malt gets word that a woman is supposedly harboring an angel in a small town in Iowa, he figures that this might be up the Mirror's alley, so he sends out three people to get the story — Frank Quinlan, a reporter whose career has hit the skids; Huey Discoll, a photographer on the verge of losing his job (even though he owns the Mirror's mascot Sparky the Wonder Dog); and Dorothy Winters, a self-styled "angel expert" (actually a dog trainer hired by Malt to eventually replace Discoll) .

They arrive at the rooming house of Pansy Milbank, who informs them that she does indeed have an angel for a tenant, and introduces them to Michael. Michael has wings like an angel, but the resemblance ends there; Michael loves cigarettes, has an uncontrollable sweet tooth (and a pot belly to match), tends to use a large number of non-angelic phrases, is not much on personal hygiene, and likes to hang out with the ladies. Michael informs his visitors that an angel is allowed to take a certain number of "vacations" on Earth, and he's in the midst of one now; trouble is, this is the last one he's entitled to, and he wants to make the most of it.

After Pansy unexpectedly dies, Frank and Huey stumble upon a great story idea — if Michael wants to have some fun, why not take him to Chicago, where he can really kick up his heels? Michael reveals that this was his idea from the beginning. The rest of the film is the experiences that Frank, Huey, Dorothy, Sparky and Michael have while driving to Chicago (Michael refuses to fly). During the trip it is slowly revealed that Michael is an angel whose mission on Earth is to get Frank and Dorothy together despite both having had bad experiences with love.

After Sparky is hit by a truck and killed, Michael brings him back to life. In the process he uses up his allotment of miracles and begins to weaken. The group reaches Chicago just in time for Michael to see the Sears Tower (which he has always wanted to see) and disappear. After Frank and Dorothy go their separate ways, Michael returns one more time (this time with Pansy in tow) and successfully get Frank and Dorothy back together for good.

Main cast

Box office totals

  • Production Budget: N/A
  • Est. Marketing Costs: N/A
  • Domestic: $95,318,203 79.6%
  • Overseas: $24,400,000 20.4%
  • Worldwide: $119,718,203

External links



Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Michael (1996) is the title of a fantasy motion picture directed by Nora Ephron starring John Travolta as the Archangel Michael, who is sent to Earth to do various tasks, including mending some wounded hearts. The cast includes Andie MacDowell, William Hurt, Joey Lauren Adams and Robert Pastorelli as people who cross Michael's path.

Tagline : He's an angel... Not a saint.


  • I'm not that kind of angel.
  • You gotta learn to laugh, it's the way to true love.
  • Battle!
    • As he prepares to confront a bull in a field.


Michael: Remember what John and Paul said.
Frank Quinlan: The apostles?
Michael: No, The Beatles. "All you need is love."

External links

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