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Old Boyfriends is a 1979 American drama film directed by Joan Tewkesbury and written by Paul Schrader and Leonard Schrader. The film stars Talia Shire, Richard Jordan, Keith Carradine, John Belushi, John Houseman and Buck Henry.[2][3] The film was released on March 22, 1979, by Embassy Pictures.

Old Boyfriends
Old Boyfriends poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJoan Tewkesbury
Produced byEdward R. Pressman
Michele Rappaport
Written byPaul Schrader
Leonard Schrader
StarringTalia Shire
Richard Jordan
Keith Carradine
John Belushi
John Houseman
Buck Henry
Music byDavid Shire
CinematographyWilliam A. Fraker
Edited byWilliam H. Reynolds
Edward R. Pressman Productions
Distributed byAVCO Embassy Pictures
Release date
  • March 22, 1979 (1979-03-22) (New York)[1]
Running time
103 minutes
CountryUnited States


Dianne Cruise (Talia Shire) is psychiatrist who is suffering with an identity crisis and struggling with her marriage. In an attempt to learn about herself Dianne goes on a road trip to reconnect with three of her old boyfriends.



Vincent Canby of The New York Times called it "a movie in which the characters are more intelligent and interesting than anything they are required to do ... The writing veers back and forth between the good and the appalling."[4] Dale Pollock of Variety wrote, "What's missing, in both the Schraders' script and Tewkesbury's direction, is a strong sense of just why Shire is trying to recapture her past, other than idle curiosity. As in other Schrader pix, the characters are carefully distanced, and only Jordan projects any real warmth."[5] Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune gave the film 2.5 stars out of 4 and wrote that it was "wildly uneven" in tone and had "too many stories. I would have preferred that one relationship, the adult one with Richard Jordan, had been examined in greater detail. She and Jordan seem like an interesting couple. But their rapproachment is rudely severed and what follows after their first encounter appears to be dictated by psychological theory."[6] Charles Champlin of the Los Angeles Times stated, "Despite the raucous interlude with Belushi, 'Old Boyfriends' is a quiet and well-observed romantic drama and a promising start for a directing career, revealing most particularly a gift for evoking good performances."[7] Gary Arnold of The Washington Post wrote, "In 'Old Boyfriends,' director Joan Tewkesbury and a talented cast end up hostages to an unsalvageable script."[8]


  1. ^ "Old Boyfriends - Details". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved May 18, 2019.
  2. ^ "Old Boyfriends (1979) - Overview -". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
  3. ^ "Old Boyfriends". TV Guide. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
  4. ^ Canby, Vincent (March 22, 1979). "Film: 'Boyfriends' By Joan Tewkesbury". The New York Times. C15.
  5. ^ Pollock, Dale (March 21, 1979). "Film Reviews: Old Boyfriends". Variety. 24.
  6. ^ Siskel, Gene (May 2, 1979). "A fine idea, but too many 'Boyfriends' spoil the plot". Chicago Tribune. Section 3, p. 2.
  7. ^ Champlin, Charles (April 12, 1979). "Backtracking to 'Boyfriends'". Los Angeles Times. Part IV, p. 1.
  8. ^ Arnold, Gary (April 27, 1979). "Narcissistic Odyssey". The Washington Post. C1.

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