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Promotional poster by Olga Kaljakin
Directed by Norman Jewison
Produced by Norman Jewison
Patrick Palmer
Written by John Patrick Shanley
Starring Cher
Nicolas Cage
Olympia Dukakis
Vincent Gardenia
Danny Aiello
Music by Dick Hyman
Cinematography David Watkin
Editing by Lou Lombardo
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date(s) December 16, 1987
Running time 102 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Gross revenue $80,640,528

Moonstruck is a 1987 romantic comedy film directed by Norman Jewison. The movie was released on December 18, 1987, receiving largely positive reviews from critics. The film went on to gross $80,640,528 at the North American box office, making it the fifth highest grossing of that year.[1] The film was nominated for six Oscars at the 60th Academy Awards, winning three for Best Original Screenplay, Best Actress, and Best Supporting Actress.[2]



The story takes place in Brooklyn Heights in Brooklyn, New York. 37-year-old Loretta Castorini (Cher) is a an accountant for a few local businesses. Johnny Cammareri (Danny Aiello) proposes marriage, and she accepts. Johnny leaves for Italy to be with his dying mother. Loretta's father Cosmo (Vincent Gardenia) does not approve of the marriage, and her mother Rose (Olympia Dukakis) approves.

Before leaving, Johnny asks Loretta to invite his younger brother Ronny (Nicolas Cage), with whom he is not speaking, to the wedding. Loretta visits Ronny at the bakery where he works, and he tells Loretta how he lost his hand in a bread slicer after his brother distracted him. Because of his handicap, his fiance left him. The two then proceed to talk about their miserable lives. Their mutual attraction for each other takes over, and they make love. The next morning, Loretta feels ashamed of herself. She says she will never see Ronny again and they must never tell anyone what they did, but Ronny is instantly smitten. Ronny asks her on a date to the opera, that night, and she agrees.

At the opera, Loretta and her father, Cosmo catch each other being unfaithful. They both agree to pretend they saw nothing. Walking home, Loretta feels guilty for being with Ronny, but he convinces her that there should be no regrets and they should follow their hearts. Loretta spends the night at Ronny's house once again.

Meanwhile, Johnny has come back from Italy and visits Loretta's house so he can tell her how his mother has miraculously recovered. Instead, he tells Rose the news and assures her that he'll be back the next morning to talk to Loretta privately.

Loretta comes home the next morning, and her mother tells her the news. Ronny then arrives at the house to confront his brother with the fact that he is in love with Loretta. At the same time, Rose confronts Cosmo about his affair, and he agrees to stop seeing his girlfriend. Johnny arrives and shocks the whole family by telling Loretta that he can't marry her. Ronny immediately proposes to Loretta, and she accepts. The film ends as the whole family toasts, "Alla famiglia!", which means "to the family!"



Cast notes

  • This is the second time that Cher and John Mahoney have starred in a movie together, their first being Suspect also in 1987.
  • Gardenia and Dukakis previously appeared in Death Wish (1974).
  • Cher and Aiello play younger characters; in real-life, she was approximately Johnny Cammareri's age (42), and Aiello was approximately twelve years older (54) than his character.
  • Twenty-three-year-old Cage (born 1964) plays a character about fifteen years older than his real age. In real life, he is eighteen years younger than Cher (born 1946) and thirty-one years younger than his on-screen brother Aiello (born 1933).
  • There is only a fifteen year age difference between Cher and Dukakis (born 1931).
  • Three members of the film's principal cast (Dukakis, Aiello, and Mahoney) all share June 20 as a common birthday.

Awards and honors

Award Category Name Outcome
Academy Awards Best Actress Cher Won
Best Supporting Actress Olympia Dukakis Won
Original Screenplay John Patrick Shanley Won
Best Picture Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Vincent Gardenia Nominated
Best Director Norman Jewison Nominated
British Academy Film Awards Best Actress Cher Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Olympia Dukakis Won
BAFTA Award for Best Film Music Dick Hyman Nominated
BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay John Patrick Shanley Nominated
Golden Globe Awards Best Actress Cher Won
Best Supporting Actress Olympia Dukakis Won
Best Picture - Musical or Comedy Nominated
Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Nicolas Cage Nominated
Best Screenplay John Patrick Shanley Nominated
Writers Guild of America Best Original Screenplay John Patrick Shanley Won

In June 2008, AFI revealed its "Ten top Ten"—the best ten films in ten "classic" American film genres—after polling over 1,500 people from the creative community. Moonstruck was acknowledged as the eighth best film in the romantic comedy genre.[3][4] The film is also number 72 on Bravo's "100 Funniest Movies," and number 41 on AFI's 100 Years... 100 Laughs.

American Film Institute recognition

Influential film critic Roger Ebert entered the film to his "Great Movies" collection in June 2003. [5]


  1. ^ Moonstruck Box Office Mojo Retrieved 2010-2-26
  2. ^ Moonstruck Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Retrieved 2010-2-26
  3. ^ American Film Institute (2008-06-17). "AFI Crowns Top 10 Films in 10 Classic Genres". Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  4. ^ American Film Institute (2008-06-17). "AFI Crowns Top 10 Films in 10 Classic Genres". Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  5. ^ Ebert, Roger. Moonstruck. June 22, 2003.

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Moonstruck is a 1987 American romantic comedy film directed by Norman Jewison and starring Cher and Nicolas Cage.



  • That woman didn't leave you, OK. You can't see what you are, and I see everything... You are a wolf!... That woman was a trap for you. She caught you and you couldn't get away. So you, you chewed off your own foot. That was the price you had to pay for your freedom... And now, now you're afraid because you know the big part of you is a wolf that has the courage to bite off its own hand to save itself from the trap of the wrong love. That's why there's been no woman since that wrong woman. OK? You're scared to death of what the wolf would do if you try and make that mistake again!


  • Bring me the big knife, so I can cut my throat.
    • After Loretta tells him of her impending marriage to his brother.
  • I lost my hand. I lost my bride. Johnny has his hand. Johnny has his bride.


Rose: Do you love him, Loretta?
Loretta: Ma, I love him awful.
Rose: Oh, God, that's too bad.

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