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Frankie and Johnny Details


Terrence McNally's stage play Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune was a two-character piece, which starred Kathy Bates and F. Murray Abraham on Broadway. Garry Marshall's film version of the McNally play streamlines the title to Frankie and Johnny, expands the dramatis personae to include at least a dozen fascinating characters, and "glamorizes" the decidedly unglamorous Frankie and Johnny in the forms of Michelle Pfeiffer and Al Pacino (their first co-starring stint since Scarface). Purists carped at the changes, but overall the film is likeable enough to transcend these carps. While serving an 18-month sentence on a forgery charge, Johnny (Al Pacino) discovers the joys of cooking and classical literature. Upon his release, he is hired by gruff but good-hearted New York diner owner Nick (played by Garry Marshall "regular" Hector Elizondo). Also working for Nick is a waitress named Frankie (Michelle Pfeiffer). When Johnny expresses interest in Frankie, she keeps him at arm's length, her mistrust of men stemming from an unmentioned but obviously traumatic experience in her past. Eventually, however, Frankie and Johnny do get together, their curious relationship setting the stage for a dramatic denouement wherein both lovers bare their souls. The bulk of the original McNally play is concentrated in the film's final 20 minutes; the rest of the picture is a kaleidoscope of comic and poignant vignettes and quick-sketch character studies. Of the newly minted characters, the standout is Nathan Lane in the traditional "gay best friend/severest critic" role: he plays the character so effectively that one forgets he's essentially a cliché. As for the stars, Al Pacino is ideally cast as Johnny, but Michelle Pfeiffer, superb though she is, seems a bit ill at ease as the emotionally tattered Frankie; she totally wins the audience's hearts, however, in the film's memorable bowling-alley sequence. Smoothing over the rough spots in Frankie and Johnny is the evocative musical score by Marvin Hamlisch. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

  • Release date:October 11, 1991


Awarded by
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Michelle Pfeiffer Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy 1991 Nominee
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Kate Nelligan Best Supporting Actress 1991 Winner
National Board of Review Kate Nelligan Best Supporting Actress 1991 Winner


Al Pacino
as Johnny
Michelle Pfeiffer
as Frankie
Hector Elizondo
as Nick
Nathan Lane
as Tim
Kate Nelligan
as Cora
Jane Morris
as Nedda
Greg Lewis
as Tino
Al Fann
as Luther
Ele Keats
as Artemis
Glenn Plummer
as Peter
Tim Hopper
as Lester
Harvey Miller
as Mr. Rosen
Sean O'Bryan
as Bobby
Al Sapienza
as Peter's Roommate
Lynn Stalmaster
Shannon Wilcox
as Christine the Hooker
Dey Young
as Johnny's Ex-Wife
Kelly McCray
as Bus Rider
Flora Berniker
as Flora
Shane Ross
as Sexy Neighbor
Ira Glick
as Mutzie Calish
Mychael Bates
as Flower Driver
Barbara Nabozny
as Eating Woman
Calvin Jung
as Officer Lee
Lou Evans
as Eating Man
Bill Applebaum
as Baby's Godfather
Julie Paris
as Pregnant Customer
Marc Raducci
as Cousin's Husband
Zachary Weintraub
as Handsome Bowler
Terri Sigrist
as Bowling Twin
Shawn McLean
as Penny Pitcher
Lorna Thayer
as Flower Vendor
Scott A. Marshall
as Sidewalk Preacher
Lucinda Crosby
as Abused Neighbor
Marvin Braveman
as Officer Joe
Joy Rosenthal
as Snooty Customer
Karin Calabro
as Dental Technician
Ronny Hallin
as Biker Customer
Goldie McLaughlin
as Waitress Helen
Frank Buxton
as Minister
Allan Kent
as Racetrack Customer
Sophie Von Haselberg
as Party Children
Lori Marshall
as Party Guest
Steve Restivo
as Night Cook
Nick Gambella
as Night Busboy
Paul Allison
as Johnny's Son
Richard Allison
as Johnny's Son
Paul Tinder
as New Husband
Jeff Michalski
as Seizure Customer
Blair Richwood
as Bus Rider
Robert Ball
as Haircombing Neighbor
Bettiann Fishman
as Aunt Bette
Shirley Kirks
as Greek Dancer
Diane Frazen
as Whispering Customer Marge
Lori Sigrist
as Bowling Twin
Tracy Reiner
as Attorney at Party
K Callan
as Frankie's Mother
Barbara Marshall
as Helen's Nurse
Laurie Metcalf
DeDee Pfeiffer
as Frankie's Cousin
Diana Kent
as Nick's Wife
Mark Scarola
as Garment Worker
Keith Martell
as Party Child
Eugenia Bravos
as Grandma
Blanche Bronte
as Flower Vendor
Frank Campanella
as Retired Customer
Bud Markowitz
as Juggler Customer
Harvey Keenan
as Salesman Customer
Richard Gillis
as Sexy Neighbor
Gena Bravos
as Greek Dancer
Marty Nadler
as Rude Customer
Hyman Fishman
as Cora's customer
Joli Lallo
as Jorge's Girlfriend
Pricilla Phillips
as Snooty Customer
Elizabeth Kerr
as Senior Citizen Customer
Gordon Belson
as Marlon the Disc Jockey
Hope Alexander-Willis
as Night Waitress
Phil Leeds
as Mr. DeLeon
Barbara Mealy
as Night Waitress
Ashley Baynes
as Johnny's Daughter


Garry Marshall
Garry Marshall
Terrence McNally
Play Author
Terrence McNally
Dante Spinotti
G. Marq Roswell
Musical Direction/Supervision
Keith A. Wester
Musical Direction/Supervision
Marvin Hamlisch
Composer (Music Score)
Battle Davis
Jacqueline Cambas
Albert Brenner
Production Designer
Nick Abdo
Executive Producer
Charles B. Mulvehill
Executive Producer
Alex Rose
Executive Producer
Kathe Klopp
Set Designer
Kathleen Dolan
Set Designer
Rosanna Norton
Costume Designer
Lynn Stalmaster