5.3/10
356
9 user 8 critic

Portnoy's Complaint (1972)

The movie chronicles a young man's love and passion in his own kinky way.

Director:

Ernest Lehman

Writers:

Philip Roth (novel), Ernest Lehman
Reviews

Photos

Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Richard Benjamin ... Alexander Portnoy
Karen Black ... Mary Jane Reid (The Monkey)
Lee Grant ... Sophie Portnoy
Jack Somack Jack Somack ... Jack Portnoy
Renée Lippin Renée Lippin ... Hannah Portnoy
Jeannie Berlin ... Bubbles Girardi
Kevin Conway ... Smolka
Lewis J. Stadlen ... Mandel (as Lewis Stadlen)
Jill Clayburgh ... Naomi
Jessica Rains Jessica Rains ... Opening Girl
Francesca De Sapio ... Lina
William Pabst William Pabst ... Clerk at Inn
Eleanor Zee Eleanor Zee ... Woman in Hospital Bed
Tony Brande Tony Brande ... Cab Driver
D.P. Barnes D.P. Barnes ... Dr. Spielvogel
Learn more

More Like This 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

When a famous American writer accepts a quest from a Czech emigrant to bring him back unique Yiddish manuscripts, he accepts not only a dangerous journey to Prague, where he is watched at ... See full summary »

Director: Irena Pavlásková
Stars: Jonas Chernick, Klára Issová, Kseniya Rappoport
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An intelligent graduate and working-class army veteran has an affair and clashes with a 'nouveau riche' young woman, who does not care about birth control or the use any other precautions to avoid pregnancy.

Director: Larry Peerce
Stars: Richard Benjamin, Ali MacGraw, Jack Klugman
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Robin Hood, aging none too gracefully, returns exhausted from the Crusades to woo and win Maid Marian one last time.

Director: Richard Lester
Stars: Sean Connery, Audrey Hepburn, Robert Shaw
Eating Raoul (1982)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A relatively boring Los Angeles couple discovers a bizarre, if not murderous, way to get funding for opening a restaurant.

Director: Paul Bartel
Stars: Mary Woronov, Paul Bartel, Robert Beltran
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A playboy who refuses to give up his hedonistic lifestyle to settle down and marry his true love seeks help from a demented psychoanalyst who is having romantic problems of his own.

Director: Clive Donner
Stars: Peter Sellers, Peter O'Toole, Romy Schneider
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

After murdering his entire family, a man marries a widow with a teenage daughter in another town and prepares to do it all over again.

Director: Joseph Ruben
Stars: Terry O'Quinn, Jill Schoelen, Shelley Hack
Comedy | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A Los Angeles Rams quarterback, accidentally taken away from his body by an overanxious angel before he was meant to die, returns to life in the body of a recently murdered millionaire.

Directors: Warren Beatty, Buck Henry
Stars: Warren Beatty, James Mason, Julie Christie
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

Two American GIs are the only survivors of a unit wiped out in a battle with Japanese troops on an isolated island. The two, who don't like each other, find try to put aside their differences in order to evade the Japanese and survive.

Director: Joel Rapp
Stars: Richard Devon, Ron Gans, Roger Corman
The Entity (1982)
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A woman is tormented and sexually molested by an invisible demon.

Director: Sidney J. Furie
Stars: Barbara Hershey, Ron Silver, David Labiosa
Sudden Fury (1975)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Fred is a psychotic entrepreneur who hopes to convince his wife Janet to invest in a shady land deal. The wife refuses, and the couple continue their heated argument while driving through ... See full summary »

Director: Brian Damude
Stars: Dominic Hogan, Gay Rowan, Dan Hennessey
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Four Jewish intellectuals carpool to the funeral of their old friend Leslie Braverman, who died suddenly at age 41.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: George Segal, Jack Warden, Jessica Walter
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

A nonprofit USC Graduate short film adaptation of Philip Roth's novel about a father searching for his daughter during the tumultuous 1960s and the dissolution of the seemingly perfect American family.

Director: Alex George Pickering
Stars: Craig Barnett, Celeste Marie Martinez
Edit

Storyline

The movie chronicles a young man's love and passion in his own kinky way.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Due to the explicit dialogue and bold sexual matter no one under 17 will be admitted without parent or guardian. Rated R. See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Ernest Lehman's first and last attempt to direct. See more »

Quotes

Mary Jane Reid (The Monkey): Is this your idea of a love affair, where you treat a woman as a leper?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Family Guy: Peter, Chris & Brian (2015) See more »

User Reviews

 
Arcane symbolism? Not in the face of so much gross exaggeration and stereotyping...
3 May 2009 | by moonspinner55See all my reviews

Philip Roth's celebrated bestseller, a frank and overtly-rude novel of modern-day Jewish guilt and rage, comes to the screen somewhat neutered. Richard Benjamin plays the 33-year-old lawyer looking back on his boyhood in New Jersey, set in a stifling family house of Jewish repression, and later on his tumultuous affair with a shiksa fashion model. The themes of the book--the all-important mother figure (whose judge-and-jury persona shapes Portnoy's sex life) and the wanton craving for constant ejaculation--are touched upon here fleetingly; but Ernest Lehman, who adapted the script and directed, is too tasteful for raunch. He seems to have decided that simply satirizing Jewish conventions (in a familiar, cartoony way) would suffice instead. And so we get the standard arguments around the kitchen table, the squabbling about kosher diets, the meddling and prodding over sexual matters, and the inevitable battle between Jewish girls versus shiksas. This is all familiar territory by now, made even worse with the casting of Benjamin (didn't we cover much of this material with Benjamin in "Goodbye, Columbus"?). Karen Black gives the film's strongest performance as Portnoy's first serious girlfriend--she's flirty, sexy and scary all at once--but there's perhaps too much of her. The entire midsection of the movie is devoted to Portnoy's putting up with her moods, and Black's "Monkey" is haphazardly written (she's a child-like waif who can't spell in one scene, and a bilingual, bisexual woman of the world in the next!). However, Black's serious stab at this screenplay is commendable, and she gets some good speeches when she isn't being derogatory (the script being an equal-opportunity insulter). Lee Grant tries, too, to make something of the thinly-conceived role of Mother Portnoy, though Jack Somack as her husband is much better suited to the scenario and upstages her. Jill Clayburgh turns up in a throwaway role (she fights against being humiliated, but doesn't appear to teach Portnoy anything in the process). With all this talent on-board, one might be inclined to give the picture a break (it was savaged by the critics in 1972); alas, it is a film that doesn't come close to accomplishing what it sets out to be: a comedic film about sexual frustration, release and resolve. There are too many outré attempts at jokes without understanding the true root of the humor. ** from ****


10 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 9 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 September 1972 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

Alexanders stående problem See more »

Filming Locations:

USA

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$614,416
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed