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Sleepless in Seattle

original film poster
Directed by Nora Ephron
Produced by Gary Foster
Written by Jeff Arch
Nora Ephron
Audrey Gochenour
Starring Tom Hanks
Meg Ryan
Bill Pullman
Rosie O'Donnell
Rob Reiner
David Hyde Pierce
Music by Marc Shaiman
Cinematography Sven Nykvist
Editing by Robert M. Reitano
Distributed by TriStar Pictures
Release date(s) June 25, 1993
Running time 106 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $21,000,000 USD
Gross revenue $227,799,884 USD

Sleepless in Seattle is a 1993 American romantic comedy film written and directed by Nora Ephron. Based on a story by Jeff Arch, it stars Tom Hanks as Sam Baldwin and Meg Ryan as Annie Reed.

The film was inspired by An Affair to Remember and used both its theme song and clips from the film in critical scenes. The climactic meeting at the top of the Empire State Building is a reference to a reunion between Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr in An Affair to Remember that fails to happen because the Kerr character is struck by a car while en route. At one point, some of the characters discuss Affair, with Sam commenting that it sounds like a "chick movie."


Plot summary

Sam Baldwin, a Chicago architect, has lost his wife (Carey Lowell) to cancer. He and his young son Jonah move to Seattle, Washington to make a fresh start, but Sam is still disconsolate. On Christmas Eve, Jonah calls into a national radio advice show and persuades his father to go on the air with him to talk about how much he misses his wife. Thousands of women around the country, touched by Sam's story, send him letters. One letter is from Annie Reed, a journalist from Baltimore, Maryland. Annie is engaged to a nice but sneeze-prone man named Walter (Bill Pullman), but she feels that there is something missing from their relationship.

Meanwhile, Jonah, who has been working his way through the flood of mail, finds Annie's missive and likes that it mentions the Baltimore Orioles. He tries to convince his father to go to New York City to meet her on Valentine's Day, but Sam loses his temper and refuses. Sam begins to see a coworker, Victoria, whom Jonah cannot bear because, among other things, she "acts like a ho" and "laughs like a hyena". On the advice of a precocious friend named Jessica, Jonah mails a letter to Annie that he has penned on Sam's behalf (unknown to Sam) suggesting that she and Sam meet at the top of the Empire State Building on Valentine's Day. At the airport, while dropping Victoria off for a flight, Sam sees Annie getting off the plane and is momentarily entranced, although he has no idea who she is.

Annie, on a whim, has traveled to Seattle to meet Sam. She spies on Sam and Jonah playing on the beach together, and on the advice of a friend, Becky, she decides to meet and talk to him. The next day, she sees Sam with his sister Suzy, thinking Suzy is his girlfriend. Distracted by this thought, she stops in the middle of the street, nearly getting hit by a taxi. Sam recognizes her from the airport, and says "hello;" all she can respond with is "hello" back, a reference to the movie An Affair to Remember, which she later tells Becky about. Annie then decides she is being silly and nervous, and goes to New York City to meet Walter.

Jonah, with the help of Jessica (whose mother is a travel agent) flies to New York and takes a taxi to the Empire State Building, saying he's going to meet his new mother. Sam, frantically in pursuit, catches up with Jonah, who hasn't found Annie. Meanwhile Annie sees the Empire State Building from the Rainbow Room restaurant where she is dining with Walter, and she confesses her doubts. They amicably break up. Jonah and Sam get on the down elevator just before Annie reaches the top of the building. There, she finds Jonah's backpack with a teddy bear in it, not knowing whom it belongs to. Jonah and Sam come back to the top to find the backpack, where they finally meet Annie for the first time.




The soundtrack was a Number One hit on the Billboard charts.

  1. Jimmy Durante - "As Time Goes By" 2:28
  2. Louis Armstrong - "A Kiss to Build a Dream on" 3:01
  3. Nat King Cole - "Stardust" 3:15
  4. Dr. John feat. Rickie Lee Jones - "Makin' Whoopee" 4:09
  5. Carly Simon - "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning" 3:16
  6. Gene Autry - "Back in the Saddle Again" 2:36
  7. Joe Cocker - "Bye Bye Blackbird" 3:30
  8. Harry Connick, Jr. - "A Wink And A Smile" 4:08
  9. Tammy Wynette - "Stand By Your Man" 2:41
  10. Marc Shaiman - "An Affair to Remember" 2:31
  11. Jimmy Durante - "Make Someone Happy" 1:52
  12. Celine Dion & Clive Griffin - "When I Fall in Love" 4:21
Preceded by
Black Sunday by Cypress Hill
Billboard 200 number-one album
August 21 - August 27, 1993
Succeeded by
River of Dreams by Billy Joel

The film was originally to have been scored by John Barry, but when he was given a list of 20 songs he had to put in the film he quit.[1]

Box office

The film opened at #2 at the U.S. Box office behind Jurassic Park, which was on its third consecutive week at the top spot.

  • US Gross Domestic box office: US$ 126,680,884
  • Gross International box office: $101,119,000
  • Gross Worldwide box office: $227,799,884
  • US rentals: $64,930,000


Sleepless in Seattle received two nominations for awards in the 66th Academy Awards (held in 1994), but did not win either of them. It lost out to The Piano for Best Original Screenplay while the song "A Wink and a Smile" lost out to "Streets of Philadelphia" for Best Original Song. The film was nominated for three Golden Globe Awards: one for Best Actor - Musical or Comedy (Tom Hanks) another for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy (Meg Ryan) and a third for Best Breakthrough Performance (Ross Malinger).

The film won four awards at different ceremonies. Meg Ryan won the award for Funniest Actress in a Leading Role at the American Comedy Awards. At the 1994 Young Artist Awards, Ross Malinger won the award for Best Actor Under Ten in a Motion Picture and the film itself won Outstanding Family Motion Picture for Comedy.

Award Category Winner/Nominee Won
66th Academy Awards Best Original Song "A Wink and a Smile" No
Best Screenplay - Original Nora Ephron, David S. Ward & Jeff Arch
48th BAFTA Film Awards Best Score Mark Shaiman No
Best Screenplay Nora Ephron, David S. Ward & Jeff Arch
American Comedy Awards 1994 Funniest Actress in a Leading Role Meg Ryan Yes
51st Golden Globe Awards Best Film - Musical or Comedy No
Best Actor - Musical or Comedy Tom Hanks
Best Actress - Musical or Comedy Meg Ryan
1994 MTV Movie Awards Best Breakthrough Performance Ross Malinger No
Best Female Performance Meg Ryan
Best Movie Song "When I Fall In Love" (Celine Dion & Clive Griffin)
Best On-Screen Duo Tom Hanks & Meg Ryan
Young Artist Awards


External links



Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Sleepless in Seattle is a 1993 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Nora Ephron. Based on a story by Jeff Arch, it stars Tom Hanks as Sam Baldwin and Meg Ryan as Annie Reed.


  • Partners without parents. People who need people. Guys who go into the woods, beat drums and bond. Get a shrink. Hug a friend. Hug yourself.


  • Move on. Right. That's what I'm going to do. In a few months, boom, I'll be fine, I'll just grow a new heart.
  • Look, we had a tough time at first, but I think I'm holding my own as a dad, and Jonah and I will get along fine again as soon as I break his radio.
  • I don't know. When I met my wife, it was so clear. I just knew. I knew it the very first time I touched her. It was like coming home, only to no home I'd ever known. I was just taking her hand to help her out of a cab. And it was like... magic.
  • The hopes are perfect -- beautiful, identical, smooth -- and they are for something really amazing I feel it in my bones --


  • I know, I know. Look, it doesn't happen twice.
  • I'm going to meet someone, someone nice and stable who wears a hat so he won't catch a cold, and I'm going to marry him and have three children and live happily ever after. I mean, I am not cut out for this.
  • For what?
  • For life as we know it.

  • Jonah: Dad, she's a doctor.
    Sam: How do you know? Her first name could be "Doctor."

  • Barbara: I was in Atlantic City with my family. Cliff was a waiter. He talked me into sneaking out for a midnight walk on the Steel Pier. I've probably told you this a million times, but I don't care. And then he held my hand. I was scared. All sorts of thing were going through my head. But after a while I forgot about them. At one point I looked down, at our hands, and I couldn't tell which fingers were mine and which were his. And I knew.
  • ANNIE: What?
  • BARBARA: You know.
  • ANNIE: What?
  • BARBARA: Magic. It was magic.
  • ANNIE: Magic.
  • BARBARA: I knew we would be together forever, and that everything would be wonderful, just the way you feel about Walter. Walter. It's quite a formal name, isn't it?

  • MAGGIE: What did I used to say? Here's looking at you? Here's mud in your eye?
  • SAM: Here's to us. You used to say here's to us. Oh babe. I miss you so much it hurts.

  • SAM: You see someone you like, you get a feeling about them, you ask them if they want to have a drink or --
  • JONAH: -- a slice of pizza --
  • SAM: But not dinner necessarily on the first date because by the time you're halfway through dinner you might be sorry you asked them to dinner whereas if it's just a drink, if you like them you can always ask them for dinner but if you don't you can go home if you see what I mean. (beat) I wonder if it still works this way.
  • JONAH: It doesn't. They ask you.
  • SAM: I'm starting to notice that.

  • ANNIE: Now those were the days when people knew how to be in love.
  • BECKY: You're a basket case.
  • ANNIE: They knew it. Time, distance, nothing could separate them. Because they knew. It was right. It was real. It was...
  • BECKY: .. movie. (beat) That's your problem. You don't want to be in love. You want to be in love in a movie.


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