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Theatrical release poster
Directed by Michael Hoffman
Produced by Alan Greisman
Aaron Spelling
Written by Robert Harling
Andrew Bergman
Starring Sally Field
Kevin Kline
Robert Downey Jr.
Whoopi Goldberg
Elisabeth Shue
Teri Hatcher
Music by Alan Silvestri
Cinematography Ueli Steiger
Editing by Garth Craven
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date(s) May 31, 1991 (U.S.)
Running time 93 mins
Country United States
Language English
Budget $7 million
Gross revenue Domestic: $18 million
Worldwide: $86 million

Soapdish is a 1991 comedy film which tells a backstage story of the cast and crew of a popular fictional television soap opera. It stars Sally Field as an aging soap star, joined by Kevin Kline, Robert Downey Jr., Elisabeth Shue, Whoopi Goldberg, Teri Hatcher, Cathy Moriarty, Garry Marshall, Kathy Najimy, and Carrie Fisher, as well as cameo appearances by TV personalities like Leeza Gibbons, John Tesh, and Ben Stein. Kline was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for the film.

Soapdish was directed by Michael Hoffman, from a screenplay by Robert Harling and Andrew Bergman. The film was produced by Aaron Spelling and Field's then-husband Alan Greisman.


Celeste Talbert (Field), the longtime star of the popular daytime drama The Sun Also Sets, is targeted by costar Montana Moorehead (Moriarty); Montana connives to supplant Celeste as the show's star by promising sexual favors to its producer, David Seton Barnes (Downey). To make the audience hate Celeste's character, Montana and David come up with a last-minute plot change in which she will accidentally kill a young, destitute deaf-mute, played by the newly-cast Lori Craven (Shue). Despite the strong objections of Head Writer Rose Schwartz (Goldberg) and Celeste herself, the scene plays out, but is interrupted by Celeste's recognition of Lori as her real-life niece. Network honcho Edmund Edwards (Marshall) sees potential in the relationship and makes Lori a regular cast member, as Celeste tries to talk her niece out of an acting career.

Montana and David seek to further unnerve Celeste by bringing back Jeffrey Anderson (Kline), an actor who had been fired from The Sun Also Sets (and his character decapitated) decades before after his romantic relationship with Celeste had gone sour. Bitter at being reduced to performing dinner theater for uninterested seniors in Florida, Jeffrey relishes the chance to needle Celeste. Outwardly despising Jeffrey but perhaps still harboring some feelings for him, Celeste is horrified as he and the much-younger Lori develop a close friendship. In dramatic fashion, Celeste interrupts an onscreen kiss between them by revealing that Lori is actually her daughter by Jeffrey. The ensuing fallout leads all three actors to demand "They go or I go!"

A decision is made by the network, and the actors head into a live episode in which they will read their lines from a teleprompter to keep secret until the last minute who will be written off. It is revealed that Lori's character has "brain fever" and will die; still hoping to be rid of Celeste, Montana ad-libs and suggests that a brain transplant can save her. In character, Celeste immediately plays along, offering her own brain for the operation. Touched by the sacrifice, Lori asks Celeste not to leave the show, and softens to her newfound parents. Montana is publicly ruined as Rose, with the help of Ariel Maloney (Hatcher) who plays Dr. Monica Demonico on the show, reveals the secret that Montana was once a man named Milton Moorehead. Later, Celeste, Jeffrey and Lori win soap opera awards as Milton performs dinner theater at Jeffrey's former venue.


External links



Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote


Starring: Sally Field Kevin Kline Robert Downey Jr. Cathy Moriarty and Whoopi Goldberg


Jeffrey: I don't think you realize how serious this operation is! You will not have a brain when it is complete! Celeste: I don't want my brain! I don't need it! Take the god damn thing! Jeffrey: It's gone!

Mr. Edwards: There's a nurse in the restuarant...did I miss a meeting?


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