Curtain Call

5.71 h 34 min1998PG-13
Stevenson Lowe's (James Spader) girlfriend Julia wants to get married. But all thoughts of proposing are quickly scared out of him by a couple of grouchy ghosts who have the marriage from hell.
Peter Yates
James SpaderPolly WalkerMichael Caine
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4.2 out of 5 stars

138 global ratings

  1. 69% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 11% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 4% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 3% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 13% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Nancy C. De YoungReviewed in the United States on April 6, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Buy this movie!!!
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Known as a screwball comedy, this is packed with Maggie Smith’s sarcastic remarks, Michael Caine’s facial expressions on the receiving end of her remarks, James Spader freaking out, and the quick pace in a gorgeous old mansion beats any dim junk they are putting out today! Clever, creative and unsurpassed actors doing a fine job Entertaining! Spader buys a mansion closed off for years , complete with the last owners, a battling married celebrity couple from long ago! The ghosts pop in and out shattering Spader’s nerves but no one else seems to see them.
Highly recommend!
Barbara SchambergerReviewed in the United States on August 9, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
America's' Olivier hold his own with two Cinema Icons!
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I despise slapstick comedy, pratfalls are silly and "devices" are trite--James Spader disproves all of my prejudices. One does not easily hold one's own against Dame Maggie Smith and Sir Michael Caine, but James Spader does it with elan. The gentleman does the smoothest, most realistic and genuinely funny pratfalls any moviegoer has seen since Sandra Bullock in "Miss Congeniality". It's a rom-com with elegance.
Amazon CustomerReviewed in the United States on July 23, 2010
3.0 out of 5 stars
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Down through the years I have simply adored Dame Maggie Smith especially in her forays into comedy. I really believe that she is one of the funniest actresses on earth. Just one look or one line delivered can send me into hysterics. This film "Curtain Call" is certainly not the greatest film on screen but WHO CARES it has Maggie Smith and Michael Caine "bouncing" off each other in very amusing ways. Yes, when they are on the screen, in this movie, I laughed out loud many, many times.

This 93 minute, made in 1997 film, to me, is, at best, merely mediocre with no "stand out" acting; however, I derived a great deal of pleasure whenever Maggie Smith and Michael Caine were on screen playing ghosts from the 1920s that have been married for a long time and feud a lot but love each other a lot. Their duels make one laugh out loud with Maggie delivering, in her wonderful way, some very funny lines.

In light of the above, if you want to spend 93 minutes of your time watching a non-challenging movie that is free of any gratuitous violence, sex or nudity and, most of all, has two veterans (Maggie and Michael) that illuminate the screen whenever they appear, buy this film,
One person found this helpful
mind dancerReviewed in the United States on November 23, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
Delightful film
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This is a lovely little film with a great cast -- Maggie Smith and Michael Cain fire off sarcastic quips at each other beautifully and James Spader more than holds his own in the comedy while also bringing a sweet sincerity to the mix. Fun to watch.
C. L. KingsleyReviewed in the United States on December 16, 2015
5.0 out of 5 stars
Lighter than Air
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I bought this for my cousin's Christmas present because she and I both love the three principal actors. Since it was a gently used dvd, I watched it myself before I mailed it to her. Fabulous. a young James Spader with a mop of hair and a tendency to fall over obstacles is simply hilarious and he nearly manages to compete with those two inveterate scene stealers, Michael Caine and Maggie Smith.

The storyline reminds me of the old Topper tv series. This is light comedy, almost as light as a sponge cake from the Great British Baking Show.
Great fun!
4 people found this helpful
Marya ZandersReviewed in the United States on June 14, 2010
3.0 out of 5 stars
Buying a house with resident ghosts
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I admire Maggie Smith and Michael Caine but this was certainly not one of their best.
The main character, a young fellow buying a house with the other two as resident ghosts is such a disappointing character. One wonders how he can run a publishing house when he can't manage to ever get meaningful words out of his mouth when dealing with his personal life, especially when dealing with his girlfriend.
Another film that used this theme (and did a better job of it) springs to mind: THE GHOST AND MRS. MUIR.
Even fanciful films such as MR. PEABODY AND THE MERMAID---unfortunately not available on DVD---worked a similar theme better. CURTAIN CALL is not a keeper in our DVD collection.
One person found this helpful
libriarsqueReviewed in the United States on March 21, 2008
4.0 out of 5 stars
Old-fashioned fun
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I'll watch any movie that has Maggie Smith and Michael Caine together; their comedic chemistry is strongly reminiscent of William Powell/Myrna Loy. It's also nice to see James Spader in a comic role, which he handles quite well.

This is a very entertaining, light-hearted movie which wears well over more than one viewing. The only part of the plot that ever-so-slightly annoys (at least, it does me) is that the girlfriend, played by Polly Walker, never gives Spader's character a chance to explain; she always interrupts him, then runs away. But of course, that in itself provides some of the "conflict" in what would otherwise be a mere piece of fluff.

This DVD is worth purchasing for Caine and Smith alone, and also for those of us who love old-fashioned fun.
55 people found this helpful
PhredReviewed in the United States on April 25, 2014
4.0 out of 5 stars
A friendly remake of Topper, but with wonderful by-play between Caine and Dame Maggie
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Bottom line: some fun moments, some filler moments, and good by play between the veteran actors. There is enough to enjoy making this a nice family night, but overall not great movie making.
I was a huge fan of the old Topper TV show. Leo Carroll was just right for the role and I preferred the casual insouciance of Robert Sterling over the suave but aggressive Cary Grant from the movie version.

Curtain Call replays the notion of married ghosts haunting a nervous socially inept man.

Michael Caine and Maggie Smith carry the movie. Between them is a natural, effortless professional set of skilled performances. Timing, delivery even the carriage of their bodies lend to the enjoyment of this movie. A short silent sequence has the lecherous Caine as Max Marlow attempting to leer at the living couple; James Spader (Stevenson Lowe) and Polly Walker (Julia) share an amorous moment. Evan as Max maneuvers for the best view, Dame Maggie Smith (Lily Marlow) urges him away with a gentle imperious manner , she in turn lingers to get her voyeuristic moment then reluctantly leaves the living to live. Start to finish, a lovely performance.

Plot wise the story asks if the nervous but art inspired Spader character can come to realize his love for his girlfriend while making the adult decision about his just taken over, previously family owned publishing House. No need for spoilers except that the plot hardly matters. James Spader looks very young, and handles his role as the point man well enough. His job is to observe and then make the big speech.

There is some real power in the supporting roles of Sam Shepphard (competing love interest for Julie- she has no second name ) and some wonderfully slick moments by Buck Henry, the oozing corporate master mind who now makes the decisions for the publishing house.

This is light entertainment. There is some rough language but overall it is family friendly. The plot is close to surprise free and the humor is rarely above the broad smile level. I am rating this at 4 stars but will not quibble with those who would rather see 3 ½.
2 people found this helpful
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