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California Suite (1978)

Four groups of visitors stay at the swanky Beverly Hills Hotel and are forced to deal with problems ranging from a runaway daughter to which outfit to wear to the Academy Awards ceremony.

Neil Simon is at his most devilish and rapier-witted with this adaptation of his hit Broadway comedy, a classy confection of oddball vignettes.


The cast is a superior blend of seasoned comic performers and acting heavyweights, all having a ball with Simon’s quick-fire one-liners.

The stand-out turns are from Walter Matthau and Elaine May, whose frantically unbalanced antics almost take the movie into the surreal, and Maggie Smith, who deservedly won the best supporting actress Oscar for her performance as, coincidentally, an actress preparing for the Academy Awards.

There is substance to counteract the froth, particularly in Jane Fonda’s moving performance.

Bill Warren
Alan Alda
Sidney Cochran
Michael Caine
Dr Willis Panama
Bill Cosby
Hannah Warren
Jane Fonda
Marvin Michaels
Walter Matthau
Millie Michaels
Elaine May
Dr Chauncey Gump
Richard Pryor
Diana Barrie
Maggie Smith

Herbert Ross