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Mother (1996 film)

DVD cover
Directed by Albert Brooks
Produced by Herb Nanas
Scott Rudin
Written by Albert Brooks
Monica Johnson
Starring Albert Brooks
Debbie Reynolds
Music by Marc Shaiman
Cinematography Lajos Koltai
Edited by Harvey Rosenstock
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • December 25, 1996 (1996-12-25) (Limited)
  • January 24, 1997 (1997-01-24)
Running time
104 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $19,145,198[1]

Mother is a 1996 comedy-drama film directed by Albert Brooks, and was co-written by Brooks with Monica Johnson. The film stars Brooks and Debbie Reynolds.


John Henderson (Albert Brooks) is a successful science fiction writer who is finalizing his second divorce. Perplexed by the issues he has with women, John decides to initiate a project that will help him understand what went wrong in his relationships—he moves back in with his mother (Debbie Reynolds), occupying the same bedroom he had as a child.



Brooks wanted a famous actress from the 1950s to play the role of Mother, and originally offered the role to retired actresses Nancy Reagan and Doris Day. Day refused; Reagan loved the script and considered coming out of retirement for her first acting role in more than 40 years, but decided instead to stay home and care for her husband, Ronald Reagan, who was suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Brooks then asked his good friend Carrie Fisher if she could send the script to her mother, Debbie Reynolds, who accepted the part.[citation needed]


Mother was filmed on location in and around the Sausalito, Greenbrae, and Tiburon areas, with additional shooting in San Francisco.


Critical reception

Mother received mostly positive reviews from critics and holds a 90% rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes based on 41 reviews.[2]

Box office

Mother became the highest-grossing Brooks-directed film to date, with a total of $19.1 million earned at the box-office.[3]


It also won the most awards of the films which Brooks has directed. Brooks and co-writer Monica Mcgowan Johnson won the New York Film Critics Circle Award and the National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Screenplay. Debbie Reynolds won a Golden Satellite Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical and was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.


External links