MAX DUGAN RETURNS (Theatrical Release USA 1983)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.2|5.0 Stars ìììì

Max Dugan Returns—surprise—turns into a terrific little entertainment piece with Jason Robards, Matthew Broderick, Marsha Mason, and Donald Sutherland. It’s one of those ‘wow treats’, easily missed because of its low key presentation. Like a show from the 1960s, it has a smooth, inviting feel, all the more enhanced with the caricature and playful music that introduce the movie. Very nicely done.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia 


Nora McPhee (Marsha Mason) and her son Michael (Matthew Broderick) are the typical single mother trying to raise a good son when that son comes packaged with his own ideas and preferences that run against his mother’s wishes. After Nora’s car is stolen, she reports it to a conscientious policeman named Brian Costello (Donald Sutherland) who falls in love with Nora. Unexpectedly, Nora’s father Max Dugan (Jason Robards) returns to her life, tells her he has only a few months to live, and that he has money for her inheritance. When she hears his whole story she doesn’t want anything to do with him, but after turning him out in the night rain, she feels compassion and asks him to return for one night and the story is on as the whole family starts to bond.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Herbert Ross for his efforts in directing this film. Thank you to Executive Producers Roger M. Rothstein for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Michael McPhee (Matthew Broderick), Mrs. Litke (Dody Goodman), Coach Roy (Sal Viscuso), Luis (Panchito Gómez), Charley Lau ( Charley Lau), Pat (Mari Gorman), Kevin Costello (Brian Part), Older Woman (Billie Bird), Blond at Shoe Store (Tessa Richarde), Man At Shoe Store (Jim Staahl), and Teacher (Duke Stroud).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No Maybe?

Yes. It’s an entertainment treat for the whole family.

Video Critique Available Here:

Ben Meyers

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